Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA

If you grew up in New England, you most likely took an elementary school field trip to Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. When I was publicizing my upcoming trip to Sturbridge Village, dozens of friends, followers, and readers exclaimed “oh I loved going there as a kid!” It is definitely a must visit, but not just when you’re in elementary school. As an adult, I have been able to recall some parts of the village from past visits, yet I still learned a lot of new things when we visited this past weekend.

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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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Dutchess County, New York

Dutchess County, located in southeastern New York, spans from Fishkill and Beacon to Rhinebeck and Red Hook covering (in total) thirty cities, towns, and villages. There are literally hundreds of ways to explore the area, but I thought I would share twelve ways families can enjoy all that Dutchess County has to offer together. The county borders western Connecticut and is about 90 minutes from Manhattan. Driving from the north end of Red Hook south to Beacon takes less than an hour, so you won't spend days in the car exploring the area.

Start your planning by checking out DutchessTourism.com, which is a well organized, well informed network of suggestions for eating, staying, and exploring the county.  They have a section dedicated to family fun and even have itineraries broken up in one, three, and five day stays (in additional to organizing suggestions for shopping, craft beer, spa, LGBT and other themed trips).

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The Farmer's Daughter in South Kingstown, RI

I grew up on the South Shore of Massachusetts, right between Boston and Cape Cod and my parents and sister’s family still live there. Now living in southwestern Connecticut with my family, we’re always looking for places off Interstate 95 to meet for the day. Westerly, Rhode Island is exactly halfway between our home towns and we’ve found fun things to do in Westerly- look for a post soon on Westerly through the seasons.

However, this past week we wanted to try something new. I had bookmarked my friend Sarah’s CTinStyle blog post on The Farmer’s Daughter, a garden center, in nearby South Kingstown, Rhode Island last year. I remember Sarah describing the beautiful displays, impressive selection, and attention to detail. I checked The Farmer’s Daughter’s website, and when I saw the promise of lots of family centered fun, it was a done deal.

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