Published October 20, 2009
Youngstown is just slamming with spooktacular fun during the fall. It is the best time of year for living here (IMHO). We have apple farms, spectacular colorful tree displays, Indian summer (um, sometimes), Octoberfests, Halloween and football! I think it is my favorite season because there was and is always so much to do in this area in the autumn.
A few local fun fall festivities to explore with your children:
What would fall be in Youngstown without Mill Creek Metroparks? I'm sure all of us have a great story to share with our kids about enjoying the park in the fall. And who hasn't taken a drive with their children to point out fall foliage that is aflame with colors? There is also no better time for a fun hike with your children than this time of year. Do you know you can register for park event e-mail updates? They even categorize them with a children’s section which makes it easy for parents to see what is appropriate according to age. Go to their site and see what you are missing. There are great events like Pumpkin Scarecrow projects for toddlers ages 3-5, Pumpkin and Posies for school agers and children of any age will adore the beautiful Fellows Riverside Garden which is ablaze with pumpkin and hay decorations. November is chock full of even more fall projects for the little ones. Start their appreciation of the park and the environment young.
The entire month of October, Whitehouse Apple Farms has had a petting zoo, pony rides, kettle corn and pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkins every weekend. My daughter loves going there to see “the water”, i.e. pond full of little fish, and had a smile that lit up the sky when she rode a pony. I even have friends coming down from Cleveland’s west side just to visit the farm because they were blown away by their infamous donuts (I’m partial to their candy apples). This year is the first time I'm really taking advantage of the farm with my daughter. In all honesty, it was just too packed for a baby and unappreciated by a child younger than 2 to be very enjoyable. Even at 3, I have to time how long we are there because she tends to have an "expiration date" for too many people/too much stimulation.
As for pumpkin carving, "we" tried to do this last night as a mom/daughter activity. At first, my daughter was amazed/appalled at the innards of a pumpkin. Upon sticking her hand into the gooey, slimy mess, she exclaimed "Ewww, yucky" and bolted to watch the Dora Halloween DVD. Better luck next year I guess.
Boardman Park is another location for fall fun. They have a Great Pumpkin Carve-Out (and display) as well as Haunted Hayrides. Their website could take a lesson from the Mill Creek site as far as displaying calendar/events. It isn't as easy to read and they could benefit from sending out e-mail updates on events as well.
As far as local football, I don't think I need to really expand on this topic. If nothing else, this area has maxed out the promotion and publicity of football for as long as I remember (too much to the sacrifice of other sports if you ask me). Still, it was fun to grow up and watch my high school team games and see what girl could look their best without totally freezing. LOL! However, play-off games in the ice and snow one can do without. ;) As for taking small children to a game, we "tried" to enjoy a YSU game a few weeks ago. I found that toddlers definitely lack the appreciation and patience for the sport. I was disappointed that there were no penguin mascots on site or at half time after promising my daughter she would see Petey the Penguin. What's up with that? I think we will wait another 6-10 years before tackling another college game - next time OSU where Brutus will definitely be on site as well as The Best Damn Band In The Land!
I'm sure I've only touched upon a few fall festivities for kids. Feel free to add your favorite fall fun. :)