Ahhhh…. It’s fall.
Everybody seems to be feeling the fall love this year. Dunkin’ added pumpkin to their menu (and we’re totally onboard with that, especially with the cinnamon sugar pumpkin latte – yum!). Even Elsa and Anna seem to be getting into the autumnal spirit if the leaf-swirling fall-forested trailers are any indication of a Disney-ish fall to come.
One of our team members recently recounted how her family always took weekend drives together. Looking back now, she wonders if her parents just enjoyed having a few minutes to chat while the kids were preoccupied in the backseat (honestly, if they did, we don’t blame them; weekends with a houseful of kids can be long!).
However, for her part, she remembers the fun they had playing car games, checking out the scenery, looking for different farm animals, and stopping for treats. It was a special time for them to step away from TV and chores and distractions, and one that she’s found herself recreating with her own family.
Since we’re lucky to live in an area where fall is gorgeous, where foliage is abundant and where we have plenty of scenic routes available to enjoy, we wholeheartedly recommend adding some weekend drives to your fall agenda.
We’ve put together a few of our favorites, and, of course, we’ve included some must-do stops along the way, just to add to the fun family memories you’ll create.
Sniff Your Way Through A Multi-Sensory Fall Foliage Extravaganza
Scent is inextricably linked with holiday seasons and family time. In one of our team member’s families, a certain peach-scented Yankee Candle always takes her back to summer days at her mother’s house, while other die-hard candle lovers of our acquaintance cling to the spicy scents of fall and the mouthwatering aroma of baked goods-themed candles.
One of our favorite fall foliage routes is a drive on I-91/Route 5. Along this route, you can experience the beauty of the foliage, then stop and indulge yourself in some scented goodness. Both Yankee Candle and Kringle Candle are convenient stops on this route.
Our perfect agenda for this fall foliage outing would be:
- A Sunday drive straight up to Kringle Candle, with plenty of leaf-peeping along the way.
- Browsing at the store, spending way too much on must-have household goodies.
- Having brunch at The Farm Table (can we please, please, please order the charcuterie board AND the lemon ricotta pancakes?!).
- A drive back down to Mount Sugarloaf for a bit of a hike to work off the fact that we just ate an unreasonable amount of delicious food.
- A stop at Yankee Candle Village, where we will again spend too much on household items, because is there really such a thing as too much autumnally scented Farmstand Festival or Luscious Pumpkin Trifle?
- A drive home punctuated by alternately oohing over the foliage and sniffing/comparing candle scents.
If that doesn’t sound like the most fragrantly delightful and delectable outing, we really don’t know what to tell you.
1. Brimfield Outdoor Antique Show -
Multitask by Managing your Holiday Shopping and Foliage Fun at the Same Time
If you’re up for a longer car ride (the better to soak in maximum fall gloriousness), we have the perfect trek in mind. Take the drive along I-91 to Lee Premium Outlets.
You’ll get to experience the full-blown beauty of the Berkshires, which we think rivals any other foliage to be found across the nation (yes, gauntlet thrown, Vermont). You’ll probably want to either bring somebody with you or be willing to stop for photos, because almost any vibrant red-gold-orange combination could be an instant framer.
Once you get to the Outlets, you can start your holiday shopping early and feel good about the productivity of your trip. Some of our favorite stores there for gift shopping include Coach, Harry and David, and Kitchen Collection. And, we must confess to occasionally treating ourselves at the Lindt store too.
For a long trip like this one, a good soundtrack is key. So, what are you listening to on your drive? We’re always in a quandary over this, but tend to either go with something light and instrumental if we’re with a passenger, the better to enjoy the foliage and the conversation.
If we’re alone, we have a confession to make: sometimes, we surreptitiously start listening to Christmas music. (GASP!) We know, we know; it’s STILL FALL. But we can’t help it.
Make it a Fun Family Day with a Drive to Atkins Farms
Our Route 116 drive can start wherever is most convenient for you, but its end destination must be Atkins Farms Country Market. Typically on a road trip, it’s usually the kids who are crying out, “Are we there yet?” but you may feel like asking that yourself, as your mouth waters over the treats to come.
Atkins Farms sells some of the best and most delectable cider doughnuts you will ever taste, and they make them by the thousands. Their apple cider is amazing on its own, too.
Also, we have a pro tip for you. Tell your kids they can pick out their own pumpkin for carving a jack-o-lantern. Wait until said kids are completely absorbed in selecting the perfect pumpkin.
2. Three County Fair Grounds -
Then and only then, head to the candy section and buy the world’s most delectable fudge (peanut butter is our top choice, but you may find something equally toothsome in your explorations). Hide it and eat it once you’re back in the car and they’ve fallen asleep. It’ll make the perfect fall foliage drive just that much sweeter.
Honestly, you deserve it; and if you feel a little guilty, you can balance it out by stocking up on farm fresh fruits and vegetables, which Atkins also sells.
As for your kids, if they catch you red-handed, they can’t even be that mad, especially if you plan to stop by the nearby Eric Carle Museum to let them play and explore on your way home.
To sum it up, if everyone’s jumping on the falltide hayride, who are we to say no? We’ll just be the ones over here enjoying the foliage, then going out of our way to step on those extra crunchy leaves and hear that satisfyingly quintessential fall noise. Don’t worry – we’ll leave a few crunchy ones for you too.