Enjoying a New England Fall With Kids Without Looking at Leaves

I love that I grew up in New England, and recent travels have confirmed I will always be a New Englander. One of my favorite things about living in New England is the change in seasons, and there is (arguably) nothing more beautiful than fall in New England. However, I would argue that it takes a more “mature” desire to spend significant time looking at foliage. I don’t know too many toddlers, children, or teenagers who enjoy going for long drives in the country just to look at leaves. If your children are anything like mine, they like to do things, especially when the weather is still warm enough to be outside for extended periods of time.

Here is a list of some of my family’s favorite things to do in the Northeast during the fall and links to full, detailed blog post. Yes, you’ll still see plenty of beautiful foliage while traveling to these spots, but your children will be happily engaged, entertained, and energized:

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Sports Halls of Fame

Whether you are a novice player and want to learn the rules and history of a sport, or a hard core enthusiast who wants to challenge their sports trivia knowledge and relive legendary moments, Sports Halls of Fame are a great place to visit with children. There’s a Hall of Fame for just about every sport and they are very family friendly. Here are some highlights from Halls of Fame (HoFs) my family has visited over the years:

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Seven Free Things to Do in New England This Summer

Warmer weather and longer daylight hours mean more opportunities to get out and explore! There are many seasonal places to visit in New England, and while some of the following places are open year round, their spring and summer calendars are filled with more activities, more tours, more shows, and more fun! As an added bonus, your family can check out the following seven spots for FREE:

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Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield, Massachusetts

I’ve been obsessed with Yankee Candles for a long time. Anyone who knows me would probably say I have the most sensitive nose they have seen. It’s true: I need my environment to smell good. So whether it’s fall (Macintosh or Spiced Pumpkin), the holiday season (Christmas Cookies or Homes for the Holidays), or summer (Blueberry or Lush Berries), I always have a Yankee Candle burning in my home (and yes, I have the car jar fresheners for my car- French Vanilla is my favorite).

I made a brief stop at the Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield, Massachusetts years ago (I had a shortage of Macintosh and fall was approaching, if I remember correctly) but could not stay to explore the village. So, it went on my travel list, and this past week my family had the opportunity to visit.

The Massachusetts Yankee Candle Village (there is also a location in Williamsburg, Virginia) is located thirty minutes north of Springfield.  The campus opened in 1982 with a 5,000 square foot building; now there’s over 90,000 square feet of fun to explore. The village welcomed over 500,000 visitors from over 50 countries in 2017, and many of them made a visit during the popular fall foliage and holiday season time.

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10 Reasons Why I Love the National Parks Service System

Seven years ago I planned my first major road trip. My children were toddlers and we were planning on traveling almost cross country to visit good friends who were temporarily relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sharing my itinerary with my Uncle Bob, he asked if I planned on visiting any National Parks. I knew of the National Park Service system, but didn’t know much information about the various locations. Uncle Bob pulled out a worn, tattered, small blue spiral book and about an hour went by before I spoke again. (Full disclosure: Uncle Bob is a good storyteller and he does have a TON of travel experience.) His National Parks Passport book was filled with stamps dating back to the early 1970s. It was the perfect memento of his travels and I knew I had to start my own passport book.

Since 2012, I have collected dozens of passport stamps from various stops in the National Park Service system. There are over 400 locations in the United States and American owned islands. These locations include parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and even the White House. With every stop, I became a bigger and bigger fan of the National Parks system. Here are my top 10 reasons why:

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