Friday, October 25, 2013

5 Things to Do Before Thanksgiving

1. Go Apple Picking

Record apple crops mean that orchards are overflowing with beautiful, crisp fall apples.  Going to an apple orchard is the perfect activity to enjoy fall weather and colors.  The leaves have turned, and the scene couldn’t be more beautiful.

Local apple orchards have more than just apple picking to offer.  Many of these friendly establishments also have fresh made cider, donuts, and pies.  A few, like Wiard’s Orchards, even offer hayrides, corn mazes, and country markets.

Local Orchards:
Lutz Apple Orchard - Saline, MI
Wasem Fruit Farm - Milan, MI
2. Visit Your Local Parks for a Color Tour

Fall Color Tours have long been a tradition in Michigan’s beautiful natural woods and forests.  Many residents of Southeast Michigan travel up to areas like Traverse City or Cadillac to enjoy the landscapes and gorgeous colors of autumnal leaves.  Rather than making a long trek to the north, Ann Arborites and Metro Detroiters can enjoy the colors in local State and City Parks.

Take a color tour on foot at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor or at Maybury State Park in Novi.  A color tour doesn’t have to be a long drive or a big expense.  Walking paths and bike trails in local spaces will get you active and give you a chance to enjoy the natural beauty of Southeast Michigan.  

3. Bake a Pie (or Just Eat a Really Good One)

With so many delicious apples, ripe pumpkins, and fresh pecans, fall is certainly the season for baking.  Explore your local Farmers’ Market for the freshest produce.  Many communities - including Ann Arbor and Plymouth - have weekly local markets all through the fall season.  Take a walk around on Saturday morning to find the sweetest apples and plumpest pumpkins.  Remember to ask around for great pie recipes; these markets are great places to meet new local people and trade recipes.

If you don’t enjoy baking, you should still venture down to the Farmers’ Market; many booths will sell amazing, homemade pies at great prices.  Other great local places for pie include: Achatz Pie Co., Dom’s Bakery, and the very new Why Not Pie?.

4. Try a Fall Craft

Autumn is filled with natural beauty and Halloween and Thanksgiving call for natural decor that you can easily make at home.  Painting or decorating pumpkins is an easy way to spruce up fall decor inside and out.  Try collecting leaves and using them to create a festive wreath.  You can also create memory or shadow boxes that feature leaves and other fall favorites.  Dried leaves can also be added to candles to make great gifts.

Other great craft ideas vary from creative jack-o-lanterns to many kinds of hand-print crafts.  Explore more options here.

5. Make a Scarecrow

Scarecrows are fun and festive way to celebrate the season.  Children of all ages and adults will enjoy getting their hands dirty to create a seasonal favorite.  Scarecrows make great decorations for any Halloween display - both at home, at a business, or at school.  Scarecrows can also be very functional for your home garden.  Make yours with brightly colored clothing, or even create a costume for your scarecrow.  Especially for Halloween, costumes can get your whole house in tune for a spooky and fun season.

Get tips on making your own scarecrow here.

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