I absolutely love this time of the year.
OK, so maybe I’m not as autumn-crazy as my friends who were dreaming about lighting pumpkin candles and donning sweaters in August, right about the same time some of us were tolerating the heat wave and wishing our arms didn’t look so jiggly in tank top shirts. But I digress.
I did get a chance to break in a pair of new boots last week. And if everything goes as planned, our house will be decorated with leaves, scarecrows and happy pumpkins by the end of the weekend. (If past years are any indication, my kids will probably try to talk me into putting up some “spooky” decorations, too.)
But I think I love this time of the year the most because our family has built some great traditions around it. We’re talking pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple cider and backyard campfires. Oh, and let’s not forget Halloween; my kids have already asked several times, “When are we going costume shopping?”
Here are some family activities you might enjoy during the next month:
• The Nisqually Watershed Festival is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, 100 Brown Farm Road NE, Lacey. Activities include a marine invertebrate touch tank, salmon fish printing and exhibits. For more information, go tonisquallyriver.org/
• At the Fall Arts Walk, Oct. 3-4, in downtown Olympia, see, hear and participate in art of all forms, from sidewalk chalk and oil paintings to street performances and classical music. More than 100 businesses will serve as venues for art and events. For more information, go toolympiawa.gov
• Climb aboard the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad, 1101 Sylvenus St., Chehalis, Oct. 25-26 for Pumpkin Train events that include a treat bag and a pumpkin hunt.
Departures are at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 for ages 2 and older.
For more information, call 360-748-9593 or go to steamtrainride.com.
• Enjoy a harvest festival: The Evergreen State College Organic Farm will host its 32nd annual Harvest Festival noon-5 p.m. on Oct. 18.
The free event is open to the public and will include food and music as well as farm tours and workshops. For more details, go to evergreen.edu or call 360-867-5213.
• Get a taste of autumn at a cider mill. Beginning Sept. 27, Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm, 9402 Rich Road SE, Olympia, will hold its annual Apple Festival. The event continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekend in October and features pony rides, apple bobbing, farm animals, food and wagon rides to Lattin’s pumpkin patch.
There is no admission charge, but parking costs $5 a vehicle. The farm is open daily, as well.
Call 360-491-7328 or go to lattinscider.com.
• There’s no shortage of pumpkin patches in the area (check The Olympian through the season, and if you have a pumpkin patch, send the information firstname.lastname@example.org
Our family has gone to Hunter’s Pumpkin Patch, 7401 Yelm Highway SE, Olympia, several times.
The kids, especially younger ones, enjoy its hay maze and barn slide. The farm offers many other activities each weekend. It will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, from Oct. 3 to Oct. 31.
Call 360-456-0466 or go to hunterfamilyfarm.com.