I was just looking outside and saw some leaves in my area are starting to change color. Just a few days ago, I noted that nothing seemed to be changing yet and it just sneaked up on me. Now that we’ve passed the Equinox, signs of fall are falling upon us. It seems like a great time to take some fall family trips.
I know that the kids are in school so it’s not a good time for any extended vacations, but we still have some three day weekends and some kids get a fall break before the Thanksgiving break. And there are always the weekends to keep in mind. A getaway doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it can be a great excuse to spend some time together without spending a lot of money. If you’re lucky enough to live in the Midwest or New England states, you won’t have to travel far to see the fall foliage.
Help your child develop a love and appreciation for nature by taking them on a trip to view fall foliage.
A Great Lesson On Colors and Nature
Your kids will have a great time guessing what colors will come up with the fall hunts you’ll take. This time of year is treasured by nature lovers, both die-hard and casual. There’s no other time of year when the colors shine as bright as they do in the fall. The changing colors of the leaves may be enhanced by a red barn or a reflection in the lake, making your view even more spectacular.
You can give your kids an early lesson on science by comparing a changed leaf with one that hasn’t yet changed or is still green. The chemical of chlorophyll is what makes the leaves look green in the spring and summer. When fall hits, the trees begin to prepare for winter. They stop producing the chemical compound of chlorophyll, which is why the leaves change colors. You can explain to them the many of these leaves have always been yellow, browns, orange, and red, just hiding under the green mask of the chlorophyll.
The vibrancy of the colors depends on three factors, according to Cool Green Science. These factors are:
- A dry end of summer
- Sunny fall days
- Cool fall nights, with temperatures lingering around the 40s (F) and not freezing
The debate is still out on whether fluctuating temperatures will affect the vibrant fall foliage this year, but we always get a view, no matter what. Of course, different areas will get different results. A few years ago, my family and I took a drive to North Carolina where we drove through Virginia and West Virginia. We noted that the leaves in Virginia were much more vibrant than the ones in West Virginia, probably due to some factors listed above.
Where To Go
Now that we’ve got the science of it all, where do we go to see the best fall foliage? You’ll be happy to know that you can enjoy the views of fall foliage all over the country. However, I’ve done a little research and listed the top 5 spots below. These places not only offer you great views but they have additional activities that you can enjoy as a family. I have included links for you to visit and book below.
Its no secret that this is a top spot for some great views of fall foliage, it doesn’t fail to appear on the internets top spot lists. Bar Harbor is a great place for a quick weekend getaway, offering places to eat and fun activities for you to enjoy while seeking out the pretty fall colors.
If you live anywhere near the New York metropolitan area, this is a great spot for you. It can be either a day trip or a weekend getaway. While your family will enjoy watching the leaves change color, you can all get a taste of history by visiting the Vanderbilt and Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museums while exploring the small, quaint town. Huntington, New York is located only 33 minutes from New York City.
I was a bit surprised when this showed up in my lists. I knew I wanted to include a least a couple of places on the west coast, but I had assumed New Mexico was mainly desert (you can tell I’ve never been on the West Coast). I was surprised to learn that Taos is located on one of the most the most scenic drives in America, The Enchanted Circle. This 83-mile drive includes Taos and other neighboring towns for you to explore.
P.S. While you’re there, see if you can listen for the famous Taos Hum.
It’s not just for skiing. Another west coast location that hosts some of most beautiful fall foliage in the country, Aspen, Colorado is the place to take scenic drives and get some unique farm to table produce at the Aspen Saturday Market. It’s a great family friendly town with lots to do in the fall season as well as year-round.
Amicalola Falls State Park is home to the largest waterfall in the state of Georgia, a great family conversation starter. The Amicalola Falls State Park is full of activities if you’re the outdoorsy type, including zip lines, camping grounds, and even a GPS scavenger hunt…plenty of fun for the entire family. It’s also a great place to explore fall foliage, of course. The natural surroundings will instill a sense of calm and an appreciation for nature.
Check out my Pinterest board for more fall trip ideas!
Explore Fall Locally
Don’t feel bad if you can’t take a formal fall trip. Chances are, there’s great fall foliage in your backyard. Take some time to explore it and even go on a scavenger hunt to see how many colors you can find. Here are some other great ideas for fall fun that you can probably find right in your own neighborhood.
- Go through a corn maze
- Rake the leaves, then jump in them
- Make a bird feeder and watch the birds eat
- Go apple-picking, then bake an apple pie
- Make pumpkin or cinnamon play dough
- Enjoy a family game of touch football
Enjoy yourself this fall. It comes and goes so quickly. Make it memorable!