The leaves are changing, the air is brisk: it’s fall!
Fall is a busy time of year in Indiana, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of options for family fun. We’ll give you the lowdown on fun fall activities to explore with your family, so you can make the most of this wonderful season.
There’s just something special about picking your own produce, and fall brings plenty of U-Pick opportunities at local apple orchards. Anderson Orchard in Mooresville is ripe for the picking in the fall, and their annual Apple Festival and Craft Fair on September 28-29 is an area favorite. Beasley’s Orchard in Danville opens their farm store and celebrates picking season with a festival the first two weekends of October. And if you’re up for a fall road trip, The Apple Works in Trafalgar is worth the drive.
Go for a hike
Take advantage of cooler temps by going on a family hike. Cool Creek Park on the north side, Eagle Creek Park on the west side and Fort Harrison State Park on the east side are just some of the parks that offer easy hiking that is perfect when traversing with young people in tow.
Visit a pumpkin patch
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 others!
Do a fall festival
It just isn’t fall without festivals. Bring your appetite to the Nappanee Apple Festival on September 19-22 to sample a slice of Indiana’s largest 7-foot baked apple pie. In its 73rd year, the Irvington Halloween Festival on Oct. 19-26 is a week-long east side celebration of all-things Halloween.
Conquer a corn maze
While you’re planning your fall festival circuit, be sure to include a couple corn mazes. Get lost in Fortville’s Piney Acres corn maze, which is 8 acres of corny fun. Once you make it out of Conner Prairie’s corn maze, you can hitch a ride on the 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!
Enjoy the local colors
Indiana is at its most beautiful in the fall. Red, orange, yellow and gold — you’ll see all the colors of the autumn rainbow! And there’s no better way to take in fall foliage than on a train. Whitewater Valley Railroad’s Valley Flyer takes patrons 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.
Take a hayride
Speaking of rides, hayrides are a necessary part of fall. On select dates in October, take a haunted and historical ride on the Headless Horseman Hay Ride at Conner Prairie. On the north side, visit Stonycreek Farm in Noblesville for hay rides (or book a hayride party!) and stay for fall fun during their Pumpkin Harvest Festival.
Decorate for fall
Pick up some autumn mums, find the most bizarre gourds or get a little fancy by making your own scarecrow! Sullivan Hardware & Garden, Rosie’s Gardens and Habig Garden Shop — all in various locations around Indy — sell lots of autumn decorations, flowers and fall foliage to get your home spruced up for the season.
Carve a pumpkin
Embrace the mess and get your kids involved in scooping out “pumpkin guts!” Whether you carve your pumpkins days before Halloween or the night of, be sure you “carve” out time for this festive tradition.
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, where little ones can dress up in their favorite costumes and find treats around the park. The same month, check into The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’s Hotel of Spells, and make your way through a spooky (or not-so-spooky) haunted house to collect treats. You can also check the churches in your area for trunk-or-treat events that typically happen throughout the month of October.
We’re entering the best time of the year, Indy parents! Grab your family, friends and a Pumpkin Spice Latte and fall for fall.