While adults can marvel for hours at the beauties of hillsides covered in brilliant red and orange leaves, sitting in the back seat and looking at trees gets old pretty fast for kids. But there are ways to make everybody happy on a fall foliage trip.
Choose a route that combines leafy scenery with stops for things kids like to do. These don’t need to be the usual day-long forays to theme parks; fall brings its own kid-pleasing attractions perfect for a stop of an hour or two. By planning routes around these, you can break the day into segments that please different ages.
Look for farms that have special fall events and attractions, such as corn mazes, hayrides, pick-your-own pumpkins or apples. Some of these, such as Moulton Farm in Meredith, in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, have multiple harvest activities on fall weekends. In addition to the corn maze and a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, there are hay-bale hurdles, a free pumpkin decorating station with paints and child-friendly tools, free tractor and horse-drawn carriage rides around the farm, cider doughnuts and special entertainment events on weekends.
While foliage viewing in the beautiful Brandywine Valley in Delaware and Pennsylvania, stop in North Wilmington for the seven-acre corn maze at Ramsey’s Farm; stay to explore it after dark with flashlights, when there are evening hayrides and a bonfire. Younger kids may be more comfortable in the sorghum maze, which has a storybook theme. The whole family can tour the farm on a hayride, ending up at the hilltop pumpkin patch where kids can choose just the right one for a Jack-o-lantern.
Along with farms, many popular attractions have special events during foliage season you can incorporate into your leaf-peeping trip. Tourist trains, such as the Conway Scenic Railroad in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, often have special foliage season excursions, and many ski areas open chairlifts and gondolas for mountaintop foliage viewing. On a fall tour of Vermont’s Green Mountains, you can stop at family-friendly Okemo Mountain Resort for quick thrills on the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster or scenic rides on the Sunburst Six chairlift for panoramic views of the leaf-painted countryside.
You don’t need an organized activity to break up a day’s driving for kids. Look for trails to hike through the colorful woods, especially those with a reward at the end. Mountain regions are sure to have trails to waterfalls and scenic viewpoints. Natural attractions such as Virginia’s Natural Bridge, at the end of the colorful Shenandoah Valley, usually have trails where kids can run off some steam as families explore together and breathe fresh autumn air.
By Hainan Airlines
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