Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Fall Fun
An autumnal bucket list

by Sarah McCosham

October 01, 2013

Forget summer: fall is king! Many people choose autumn as their favorite season. With cooler temps, vibrant foliage and great outdoor festivals, it’s easy to see why fall is so favored. Make the most of this special time of year with a few of these ideas.

Enjoy the outdoors

On any given weekend in September, October and November, you’ll find a variety of fall festivals on the calendar. Events at local apple orchards and pumpkin patches are a “must do” with kids. From hay mazes, pick-your-own pumpkins and fresh-baked goodies, it just isn’t fall without a trip to the orchard.

At Russell Farms Pumpkin Patch in Noblesville, the entire month of October is a celebration. “Every weekend in October we celebrate the harvest, taking everyone on hayrides out to the pumpkin fields to pick the perfect pumpkin,” says owner Laura Jackson-Russell. With additional activities like bull lassoing, cart driving, live music, a petting zoo and homemade baked goods, Jackson-Russell says everyone can join in the fall celebration. “There is nothing better than catching up with friends, drinking some apple cider and relaxing outside on a real working farm on a beautiful fall day.”

At both of Waterman’s Family Farm’s two locations (Raymond Street and Greenwood), families can attend weekly fall festivities featuring hayrides, live animals, and pick-your-own pumpkins. Want even more fall fun? Check out Waterman’s “Punkin’ Kerplunkin” event. The weekend after Halloween, leftover pumpkins are “dropped, plopped, launched, fired and destroyed.” Even better – all proceeds from the event are donated to charity.

Celebrate spooky fun

With parties, candy and costumes, what’s not to love about Halloween? The week of October 19th – 26th, bring the family down to the Historic Irvington Halloween Festival. This week of Halloween-themed events includes a run, scholarship pageant, spooky movies, storytelling, ghost tours, live theater, roller derby and a haunted puppet show – just to name a few fun events. The Festival culminates on Saturday with a street fair, which includes over 120 vendors, live-music and a costume parade.

For another take on the Halloween holiday, consider the Day of the Dead Festival at the Indiana State Museum. The Day of the Dead – or “dia de los muertos” – is a Mexican holiday that honors the lives of the deceased and celebrates the continuation of life through death. Visitors can attend demonstrations, make paper marigolds, learn about altar building and much more. The festival takes place on October 26th, with details on the Museum’s website.

Join a race

With summer’s sweltering heat behind us, fall is the perfect time to lace up your running shoes and get moving! There are a variety of fall walks and runs in Indianapolis to consider.

Capturing the spirit of Oktoberfest, the Lederhosen 5K at the Athenaeum is a fun event families can run or walk together. Hosted by the Indiana German Heritage Society, all proceeds from the October 12th race will benefit the Indianapolis Chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Athenaeum Foundation.

Taking place at dusk, the Light the Night Walk is an evening of hope, inspiration and reflection, says Event Coordinator Elizabeth Hamilton. “The Indianapolis evening sky is brightened by illuminated balloons as the Walk exits Victory Field and follows the canal on a two-mile leisurely course. The evening concludes at Victory Field with fireworks. Thousands of families, individuals, community leaders and caregivers who have been touched by blood cancers gather at Victory Field to share stories, enjoy live music and walk,” says Hamilton, who adds that children are welcome, and encouraged, to participate.

With a veritable cornucopia of fall events from which to choose, there’s sure to be something you and your family can get excited about. No matter how you celebrate the season, find something fun that speaks to you, and start an annual tradition with your family!