You'll recognize the feeling the first morning it arrives. The air is crisper-maybe even a bit cleaner. It's fall, and with it comes a vast array of activities to enjoy. If you live in or plan to visit Massachusetts, the following fall activities are available for your enjoyment.
From mid-October through early November, Boston's Urban Adventours offers an over 15-mile-long bicycle tour of Boston's green spaces. Stops include the Boston Common and Public Garden, the Charles River Esplanade, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and more. Participants should be cyclists accustomed to spending four or more hours on their bicycles. While the tour is available throughout much of the year, it is its most beautiful during peak foliage season.
If you missed out on the summer beauty on the Cape, don't let fall pass you by without a trip to the Wellfleet Farmer's Market. Fall colors dazzle the wares, picked at their absolute peak. Local crafters display an array of products including natural soaps, hand woven rugs, fresh honey, homemade pies, and fudge.
Just north of Boston in Salem, the Salem Haunted Happenings runs throughout the month of October, and features everything witch-related-and more. Historical tours afford visitors a look at the graveyard where the real-life Salem witches are buried and a short production that details the Salem witch trials. Restaurants and bars feature fall specials on food and drinks to refuel before setting out on the witchcraft trail for part two. Maria's Sweet Somethings offers "wicked good confections," and they're open until 11 p.m., which is well into those bewitching hours. Eclectic shops line the path for those needing a bit of retail therapy. The month-long celebration culminates in a huge street party on Halloween.
It's simply not fall without a corn maze, and Rolling Acres Corn Maze in Southampton is open beginning on Columbus Day. As if the beauty of western Massachusetts isn't already enough, Rolling Acres features fun for the whole family. In addition to the elaborate maze, there are hayrides and a petting zoo. Fall foliage in this area is some of the best Massachusetts offers.
Carver, Massachusetts is home to King Richard's Faire-New England's oldest renaissance faire. The event is held weekends and Monday holidays from Sept. 3 through Oct. 23, and features a wealth of rides, skilled games, and shows-including jousting-on its 80-acre wooded site. Feast on spit-roasted turkey legs and hearty bowls of chowder or stew. Take home a treasure from the Artisan's Marketplace.
Fall means pumpkins-for both cooking and creating a festive display of harvest colors inside or outside your home. The perfect stop for picking up your pumpkins, gourds, and more is Flint Farm, located in Mansfield. Don't leave without sampling their delicious made-in-Massachusetts ice cream.
You've no doubt seen those Ocean Spray ads on TV, with the two guys standing waist-deep in a cranberry bog. You can experience this up close and personal in Wareham on Oct. 12 and 13 at their annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration. Continuous viewing of the wet harvest will both excite and educate. Cooking demonstrations will prove there's way more to do with cranberries than simply making them into jelly. Live music and children's activities make it a fun weekend for all.
Visit Newburyport on Oct. 19 and take part in the Great Pumpkin Lighting and Stroll. Bring a carved pumpkin to Market Square. It will be lit and placed on a stage for all to see. Stroll throughout downtown Newburyport and see the pumpkins the shop owners have placed on display.
Check out Massachusetts' fall foliage via the water on a Nashoba Paddler Paddling Tour. On Oct. 8, an easy paddling tour-the Fall Foliage Paddle-will find you in a kayak or a canoe. The trip affords adventurists the most spectacular fall foliage of the season. Located in Groton, the tour lasts three hours, and you may request a boxed lunch with your reservation, for an additional cost.
Even if history isn't your thing, Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge offers the best take on fall apples. Apple Days features some of the best heirloom apples you'll ever taste. Guests can help make apple cider and make an apple-scented sachet. You can pick apples to take home as well.
Yes, fall in Massachusetts is replete with enough to leave your senses bursting with excitement for months to come. Whether you're up for action or a quiet day filled with the sights, smells, and tastes of fall, you'll find all this and more.