Summer is slowly turning into fall, and the number of fun activities and events for families is not slowing down one bit. Indiana really shines during this season — there are just so many ways to celebrate autumn with your family. Here are some great ideas to make the most of this wonderful season!
Related Article: Fall Fun Bucket List: Things to do this Fall in Indianapolis
Take advantage of cooler temps by going on a family hike. Hague Road Nature Haven on the north side, Eagle Creek Park on the west side and Hummel Park on the south side are just some of the parks that offer easy hiking — some with paved trails — that are perfect for walking with young children.
Related Article: Top 5 Fall Foliage Destinations in Indiana
There’s something about fall that makes you want to pick your own produce. Fortunately, there are plenty of U-pick apple opportunities in the area. Anderson Orchard in Mooresville is ripe for the picking in the fall, and their annual Apple Festival and Craft Fair on September 25 & 26 is an area favorite. Beasley’s Orchard in Danville opens their farm store and celebrates picking season on September 24. In the mood for a fall road trip? The Apple Works in Trafalgar is worth the drive.
Watching your kids trudge across an orange-speckled field of pumpkins is a parental rite of passage! No matter where you’re located in Indy, you’ll find a place to pick the perfect pumpkin, including Tuttle Orchards in Greenfield, Stuckey Farm in Sheridan, Spencer Farm in Noblesville and many central Indiana pumpkin patches!
Indy residents are fortunate to have many bike trails throughout this part of Central Indiana. Strap on your helmet and enjoy the changing leaves while pedaling along the Monon Trail, which stretches from the town of Sheridan in the north all the way to downtown Indianapolis. Other popular biking trails include the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Eagle Creek Trail and Fall Creek Trail.
Enjoy the changing colors by train
Indiana is at its most beautiful in the fall, and seeing the fall foliage on a train takes the fall feeling to a whole other level. Nickel Plate Express departs from Atlanta, Indiana, and offers themed train rides for families, and dinner rides for adults. Whitewater Valley Railroad’s Valley Flyer takes riders on a tour of Indiana’s Historic (and beautiful) canal town, Metamora. And if you’re up for a road trip into Ohio, Lebanon-Mason Monroe Railroad’s Turtle Creek Flyer runs through October and will take you through the picturesque countryside of Southwest Ohio.
Related Article: Let’s Go on a Train Ride!
Do a fall festival
It just isn’t fall without festivals. History buffs will enjoy a visit from one of America’s most beloved presidents at Lincoln’s Lebanon and Civil War Reenactment Festival on September 24-26. And the Irvington Halloween Festival is October 23-30, with a week of east side celebrations of all-things Halloween.
Related Article: September Festivals around Indianapolis
Indiana is the land of corn, so why not get a little corny this season? Get lost in Fortville’s Piney Acres corn maze, which is 8 acres of fun. Once you make it out of Conner Prairie’s corn maze, you can hitch a ride on the newly renovated 1859 Balloon Voyager and view the cornfield from above. And on the west side, Hogan Farms in Brownsburg offers a themed corn maze that exits at the pumpkin patch — the perfect spot to grab a pumpkin or two to take home!
Take a hayride
Hayrides are a necessary part of fall. On select dates in October, take a haunted and historical ride on the Headless Horseman Hayride at Conner Prairie. On the north side, visit Kelsay Farms in Whiteland for hayrides and other fall fun this October.
Go trick-or-treating before Halloween
Indy kids have it pretty great — there are tons of opportunities to trick-or-treat before the big night. Visit the Indianapolis Zoo in October for ZooBoo on October 6-31, where little ones can dress up in their favorite costumes and find treats around the park. Also in October, round up your cowpokes and saddle up for a spook-tacular ride through the The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’s Frightful Frontier, and make your way through a spooky (or not-so-spooky) haunted house to collect treats.