I believe I have shared my love of summer once or twice before, but I must admit that my favorite time of year has come to an end and what makes the transition a little easier is the fact that my second favorite season is autumn.
Call me a basic bitch, but I love pumpin spice chai tea lattes (since I can no longer have coffee), the fall foliage and afternoons spent cuddling up in a cozy sweater with my cats and a mug full of something hot. And as someone who grew up in the real Salem Village who is a closet goth girl that lets her darker sense of style reappear during this festive time, I absolutely love everything about Halloween.
One of the best things about the autumnal season is all of the great family customs we have fostered over the years. Here are some of my favorite fall traditions …
This might be my favorite tradition because it involves one of the tastiest treats of my year. Russell Orchards in Ipswich, Massachusetts is the perfect, picturesque New England farm. There’s apple picking, plenty of pumpkins and other produce, as well as the most delicious apple cider and apple cider doughnuts you will ever have. The Orchard has also racked up quite a few awards for their fine wines so if I see something I like I will pick it up to enjoy over the season. They have also added an apple cider doughnut sundae to their specialties, so if the day isn’t too chilly, it is a must try!
It’s America’s oldest agricultural fair and it’s one of my families oldest traditions. I’ve gone to the Topsfield Fair every single year since I was born, and that includes when I lived in Idaho, Maryland and New York City. Though I’m not a huge fan of the cheesy rides, it’s fun to go coo over the bunnies, the chickens, the new born chicks and the world’s largest pumpkin. And of course you can enjoy all the typical fair food such as German fries, fried dough and caramel apples. We particularly love checking out the Demolition Derby. It’s always on the last day of the fair and it is probably one of their most popular and entertaining events.
As I mentioned, I grew up in the real Old Salem Village and that had a large affect on both my pop culture education and my historical education. In school we studied the Salem Witch Trials extensively and for many of our field trips we would go to several of the landmarks involved in that dark time of our local history. Now Salem has become one of my favorite cities and has undergone some real urban renewal in the past few years. Restaurants like Gulu Gulu Café, Flying Saucer Pizza Co., Sea Level Oyster Bar, Notch Brewery and Tap Room, Bit Bar and the adorable tea house, Jolie Tea Company, have turned the city into a culinary destination. And cute boutiques like Wicked Good Books, HausWitch and Modern Millie’s, one of my favorite consignment shops that I’ve raved about before, have married the witchy history of the city with interior design, literature and fashion. I love wandering around Salem during October (when I can find a space, that is) and seeing the city come alive. It truly is a magical place at this magical time of the year.
I am always in the mood for a good mystery. One of my favorite shows growing up was Are You Afraid of the Dark? even though it was technically banned in my house. I guess my poor mother didn’t enjoy having to deal with my paranoia when I had a nightmare. And some of my favorite movies include the cult classic, Hocus Pocus (obsessed!), E.T., Psycho, Rear Window, Bell Book and Candle, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd, Edward Scissorshands – okay, okay, basically anything involving Tim Burton and it’s even better when you throw Johnny Depp into the mix. And don’t get me started on The Nightmare Before Christmas! I really thought Jack Skellington was my boyfriend. Now I love watching shows like Stranger Things and I can’t wait for season 2 to drop on Netflix. Their is just something magical about a crisp fall night, curling up in front of the TV with your family, watching something that scares you to death!
What are some of your favorite fall traditions? Please share them with me in the comments.