As the leaves begin to change to their autumnal hues and the air gets crisp and chilly, Mainers and tourists alike celebrate the arrival of fall. The months of September and October in Maine are arguably some of the most beautiful and picturesque, boasting foliage and scenery that looks like something out of a postcard. As stunning as it may be, Maine’s autumn season is about more than just looks - it’s an opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities before everything is coated in a blanket of deep, white snow. If your family loves the fall, but you need a little inspiration to make the most of the season, we’re here to help!
Go for a Drive
Maine is a huge state, and there’s no better way to explore than by breaking out the old atlas and going for a drive. Whether you have a few destinations in mind, or you just want to wander, filling the tank with gas and loading up the family is a great place to start. To make the adventure even more fun, turn it into a scavenger hunt! Make a list of things you’d like to see or photograph, then just drive and look for them! This will keep the kids eyes away from their phones, and allow everyone to enjoy the views together. For inspiration of which sights to see or destinations to drive, crack open a recent issue of Downeast Magazine, the Maine-centric publication that features the places Mainers love most.
Stock Up on Sweets
There’s something very autumnal about the scent of fresh pastries baking, and there’s no better place to find these delicious goodies than one of Southern Maine’s incredible bakeries. Here the the South Portland area, we love Scratch Bakery for their famous bagels, Cape Whoopies for their whoopie pies (a Maine staple), and The Cookie Jar for donuts and nearly any other fresh-out-of-the-oven sweet treat. If you want to make an afternoon of it, drive around the neighborhood through South Portland and Cape Elizabeth, taking in the views and stocking up on boxes of baked goods to bring home. Enjoy some now, and save plenty for later.
Go Apple Picking
In late September or early October, Maine’s apple orchards will be open for business, allowing you to mix and match your own bag of apples from the countless varieties available. If you’re planning to bake pies, pick more than you think you’ll need; you can always pack the extras in the kids lunch boxes! Most apple orchards also offer cider, baked goods, and other seasonal fare, making this activity a pretty delicious way to spend an afternoon. If picking isn’t your style, but fresh produce is, pay a visit to The Farm Stand, a local supplier of the freshest harvest picks from local farms.
Find a Pumpkin Patch
Whether you’re planning for halloween or just looking for seasonal decor, one of Maine’s pumpkin patches is a great place to start. You can wander the fields looking at hundreds of bright orange pumpkins until you find the perfect one, and pose for photos with a perfect fall backdrop. Many pumpkin patches are part of larger farms that offer other activities like hayrides and corn mazes - allowing you to spend hours outside without anyone complaining of boredom.
Turn Chores into Challenges
Besides being beautiful, fall is a time when Maine homeowners must take measures to prepare for winter. Cleaning the house, raking leaves, moving lawn furniture into the garage, and countless other tasks simply need to happen - so why not make them fun? Take a drive over to True Value for the supplies you need (and the friendliest service), then head back home to start your pre-winter projects. Enlist the family, with the promise of a big reward, and assign jobs to everyone, then watch as they compete to complete their responsibilities in record time.
Some of Maine’s most beautiful autumn scenery can be found within the walls of its local craft breweries. Since not all fall days in Maine are sunny, you can make the best of a dreary one by indulging in a few foamy pints at nearby tasting rooms. Check out Fore River Brewing Company and try the Timberhitch, a red ale that’s perfect for a crisp fall day. Next, make your way to Foulmouthed Brewing and order the Dark and Foamy, a spiced beer with ginger and molasses that’s perfect for warming you up on a chilly fall day.
Have a Family Meal
Whether you’re hungry after a day of fall adventures, or the promise of a big reward motivated your whole family to get the seasonal chores done, dinner should be next on your agenda. Gather the family and head to Elsmere, where everyone can find something delicious on our huge menu. From hearty wood fired BBQ entrees to salads and seasonal specials, Elsmere’s menu options are as plentiful as Maine’s countless fall activities. We hope to see you soon and hear all about your fall adventures!