Fall travel with kids
By Rowena Carr-Allinson
Oregon is a great destination in the fall for kids. (Courtesy Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau)
Summer break may be over, but it’s good to go on a quick getaway, if only to reboot, refresh and recover. Also, there’s nothing quite like planning your next getaway to beat the back-to-school blues. Keep it local or travel across the USA; whatever you decide, a weekend packed with family-friendly attractions might just be what you need for a quick break with the kids this fall. Whether you like to go leaf peeping and get back to nature or you prefer a spooky thrill, we’ve got a fantastic selection of fall break ideas for you.
San Diego, CA
Take the kids to San Diego, which is offering a kids free promotion this October. (Photo: Michelle Rae Uy)
As well as a great weather in the fall, San Diego is packed with family-friendly activities at this time of year. The city is once again offering their Kids Free in October promotion, giving kids complimentary and discounted access to more than a hundred of the city’s kid-friendly haunts. If they are brave enough, big kids can head to Knott’s Berry Farm before October 31st when the horror season kicks off with new bloodcurdling mazes, spooky live shows, and other attractions at Knott’s Spooky Farm. LEGOLAND® California is also in the area, with ‘Brick-or-Treat’ on select weekends, with Halloween-themed fun, music, costume contests and more. You’ll also want to stop by the Julian Apple Days Festival, the Gaslamp Quarter Fallback Festival and the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival in November.
You’ll be hard pushed to find more festivals and fun in any state than in Oregon during the fall. From Lincoln City’s Fall Kite Festival to Cranberry Festival and everything in between, there is plenty to keep you busy. There’s the Dragon Boat Festival (who knew?) as well as the Alpenfest, and the Country Fairs where you can catch the local rodeo. The schedule is full of family-friendly fun for a great Fall weekend getaway. Try the Sublimity Harvest Festival if you like Monster Trucks and parades, or the Northwest Food and Wine Festival in November where the entire family can go gourmet.
Tick off a few of New England’s best sights like Lake Candlewood. (Flickr: Western CT State University)
It’s on many people’s bucket list, so why wait? Plan your weekend escape to New England now to see the changing colors that have become so iconic. Join the leaf-peeping club and get into the fall harvest spirit by taking a mini-road-trip in New England. You can tick off a few of the best sights within a couple of days including Lake Candlewood, the Squantz Pond State Park and the local vineyards. Everywhere maple, oak, birch and beech trees give the perfect colourful backdrop, while the seasons’ local family-friendly festivals add to the spirit. Stop in Kent on the banks of the Housatonic River where the hike up Cobble Mountain in Macedonia Brook State Park gives perfect views against the Catskills. At Housatonic Meadows State Park, you can try your hand at kayaking or take it easy with a picnic. You could also fit in the Berkshires, in western Massachusetts. Head to Great Barrington with its art galleries and restaurants; hike Beartown State Forest for more perfect Fall forest views. Really want to clock some miles? Push onto Massachusetts’ highest peak in the Mount Greylock State Reservation and hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail.
Savannah and Tybee, GA
Beautiful downtown Savannah is a great fall destination in the South. (Flickr: Scott Oves)
A trip down to Georgia’s beautiful coastline could be the perfect family fall weekend getaway. The city of Savannah has tons of kid-friendly activities indoors and outdoors, ideal for a fall visit whatever the weather. There’s the Savannah Children’s Museum in the old Central of Georgia Railroad station with its two-level outdoor playing space. There’s also the neighbouring Georgia State Railroad Museum or even the Civil War Fort Pulaski National Monument. What’s more, those popping over to the island of Tybee can join in the fun during the island’s Pirate Festival from Oct 6-9th. Every Columbus Day Weekend, Tybee is turned into a pirate village for swashbuckling fun by the barrel load, with music, food, and more at Little Matey’s Cove not to mention the Pirate Victory Parade.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands
Without a doubt one of the best times to visit Lake Erie’s Shores & Islands, autumn is the season when the area is alive with festivals celebrating everything from apples to wine and even bears. The family will love the MidWest’s very own Oktoberfest for a taste of traditional German fares. Dads and the kids might enjoy the Harvest Happenings in Huron, which has a tractor and antique engine show. Antique lovers should head to Birmingham for the Country Harvest of Antiques and Crafts in early October with hundreds of vendors selling treasures. The kids might prefer the Annual Pumpkin Festival in Huron on October 11th or the Pumpkin Palooza in Milan where you can try pumpkin painting and pumpkin bowling. There’s even the Apple Festival in Oak Harbor for apples every which way!
Rowena Carr-Allinson contributed this to MiniTime. Since the arrival of her son in 2011, she has taken him everywhere from Bangkok to NYC, writing family friendly articles en route.