Monday, September 30, 2013

Western New York Fall Bucket List

My husband Ben used to balk at the idea of using Pinterest – "It's for women," he'd say. But now that fall is here, he's sending me pins about pumpkin carving and fall activities, which goes to show just how much he loves this season.

Of the pin below, he said, "I want to do every thing on that list, even the fancy coffees."

If you're interested in tackling this bucket list, here's how you can make a dent in it.

Day 1: Pick Apples and Make Caramel Apples

Pick apples at one of the farms listed below, then head to the grocery store to collect supplies for candy apples. Dip them in caramel, drizzle them with chocolate, or add some candy pieces. Click here for a supply list.

Day 2: Make S'mores and Have Fancy Coffees

Enjoy an afternoon in the village of East Aurora. Head to Taste and make s'mores at your table and sample their coffee drinks. Looking for more coffee flavors? Drive to Hamburg, where you'll find pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice coffees at Elizabeth's Gourmet Coffee & Tea Shoppe

Day 3: Go to a Pumpkin Patch and Decorate a Pumpkin

Pick a pumpkin at The Great Pumpkin Farm, then buy painting supplies at JoAnn Fabrics and avoid the mess of carving. Check out Pinterest for inspiration.

Day 4: Picnic, Take a Nature Walk and Make Leaf Art

Picnic at Beaver Island State Park, then burn off the calories with a walk. Grab some leaves along the way to use for one of the art projects below.

Day 5: Go on a Hay-Ride and Explore a Corn Maze

Take a day trip to Pumpkinville in Ellicottville, where you can go on a hay-ride, make your way through their corn maze, and tour an antique cider mill. Plus, pet farm animals, mine for gems and shoot ears of corn at hay bale targets.

Day 6: Make Fall Cookies and Watch Halloween Movies

Make these iced pumpkin cookies and settle in for a day of Halloween movies. Or form teams in your household and have a pie bake-off.


1. Apple Picking

The farms below offer apple picking in their orchards. Call ahead to confirm hours and availability.
Click here for a complete list of U-pick farms.

2. Make Leaf Art

Sunday, October 13 - Fall Leaf and Nature Art at Reinstein Woods

This short indoor presentation about using natural materials to make art will be followed by a trek through the woods to identify fallen tree leaves. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

Craft Tutorials

Painted Wreath

Leaf Artwork

Fall Leaf Bunting

Leaf Stationery

3. Go on a Hay-ride

4. Enjoy a Bonfire with S'mores

5. Make Caramel Apples

Make classic caramel apples or follow the tutorial on the Yummy Life blog to learn how to add chocolate and candies to your creations. Use fresh apples for best results.

6. Corn Maze / Hay Maze

7. Go to a Pumpkin Patch

8. Take a Nature Walk

9. Drink Fancy Coffee Drinks

10. Picnic

Picnicking will be weather-dependent, so go early in the month for your best chance at warmer temperatures. Picnic at:
  • Hoyt Lake, Delaware Park (next to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery)
  • Martin Luther King Park, near the Buffalo Science Museum
  • Beaver Island State Park
  • Niagara Falls State Park
Click here for a list of Western New York parks and for driving directions.

What's on your fall bucket list?

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