Family Fall Fun
Wow, that was quick! Summer just shot by us like an acorn falling from an oak tree. We hope you got all your sunshine and swimming in because that's all gone. It's time to hunker down for the cold, brutal, oncoming dark days of winter...but only after you get a chance to enjoy all the great events and traditions of autumn. There's so much fun to be had, even when the air starts to crisp and the days begin to fade. Here's a couple of things you can do locally that will make you never want winter to show up (more so, that is).
First things first, let's make sure you know about the Fall BINGO Scavenger Hunt that HDT is putting on all through October. Get a BINGO with the 24 items on your card, snap pics of them, and earn some fun prizes. Registration opens Friday, October 1 and goes through Halloween. Read what some of our past participants have said:
“It was so fun, thank you for doing this. My grandson and I had a great special time participating in this project. This was such a fun activity, I think I'll create another scavenger hunt list so we can gather more pictures!” - Linda
Outdoor Edible Activities
In Minnesota, fall means harvest. It's the perfect time to get outdoors and find something good to eat! Luckily, there's no shortage of food-based outdoor fun to be had. All you need to do is put on a sweater and go find it. That being said, the unfortunate draught has had an impact on size and abundance in this area. However, here's a quick list of places that encourage you to eat away from the dinner table:
Johnsdale Orchard - Onamia - Only open during the last week of September and the first week of October, this orchard boasts honeycrisp, fireside, and haraldson apples.
Gilby's Nursary & Orchard - Aitkin - No apple picking this year, but they have them for sale, pre-picked! They even have a slew of events going on every weekend, from hay rides to pumpkin patches to even a spruce tree maze, this edible attraction is a must stop.
Boys-N-Berries Farm - Brainerd - Open even during the weekdays, this farm offers up all sorts of pumpkins, squash, gourds, and even hay bales for your fall needs.
Breweries - All Over - Autumn is the time of year when local breweries showcase their fall flavors. Surely, a great time to be had sipping and sampling an evening away.
One thing that makes the list, and one that I'm super excited to try, is a "pizza farm." This is a production location that offers freshly made pizzas from ingredients grown and produced on location. What an idea! Now, unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any local venues, however, in the Driftless Region, where we have our satellite location, there are MANY options. Here's a quick link to 11 pizza farms to visit (when you're down in near Winona).
So, with the abundance of our area, there's the problem of what to do with it all. We can't just let it go to waste. We've got to prepare it, can it, and preserve it. Here are a few ideas you can use:
Favorite Fall Recipes - We talked with Campus Chef Chris G what he prefers to cook in the fall. Here's some of his favorite fall recipes.
Harvest Recipes - I asked around campus to see what staff's favorite feel-good, cozy, or comfortable foods are for the fall. Here they are!
How to Handle the Harvest - It's a time of plenty and overabundance. Here's some ideas specific to addressing this problem.
Outdoor Autumn Excursions
There's more to getting outside than the food (but, it's a given that it's right up there with the best reasons). Getting outdoors during the fall is a time to celebrate life, because in no time, it's going to be cold, dark, and bleak. That's why we must embrace the opportunities we have to commune with nature, be with others (socially distanced safely, of course), and just bask in life. Here are a few events taking place in the region.
14th Annual Great Pumpkin Festival - Brainerd - Brainerd Parks and Rec are hosting this annual get together at local favorite Gregory Park. Be sure to practice your 3-legged AND wheelbarrow racing techniques. 😜
Check out those colors! - All Outdoor Locations - One of the best things about fall is the changing of the leaves. If you plan it right (using this handy-dandy Fall Color Finder, maybe), you can literally watch autumn march into and out of the season.
Country Sunshine Farm - Pierz - Only open for U-Pick'Em for a few weeks in the autumn, this greenhouse specializes in flowers! See what they have available this weekend.