family fun

Fall Traditions: Apple Picking in Upstate New York

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What are your favorite family fall traditions? For us, it boils down to three things: foilage, food, and family.

Fall Traditions

Specifically, we love fall traditions that involve Sunday drives in the mountains just as the leaves are changing colors. I mean, just looking at these fall colored leaves will make you want to hop on a plane if you don't live in Utah and take a drive on the Alpine Loop.

 Fall in the Mountains-Fall Traditions

We also love pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies from our favorite local bakery, which bring nothing but ginormous grins to our faces. And spending time with family during holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving warms our hearts.

But one fall tradition that had never made its way onto our family's list was apple picking. In fact, I don't remember a single time I had ever gone apple picking until just last month. For all you New Englanders and Midwesterners, you are probably scratching your head at how a grown adult could have lived her entire life without experiencing what I've heard is a regular occurrence when fall rolls around. I was too, so you can only imagine how thrilled I was to see apple picking on the itinerary for the TMS Family Travel Summit in Niagara County, New York I attended recently.

Becker Farms has been a family-run farm for more than 100 years. They are the perfect sport for fun-filled fall traditions perfect for the entire family. I mean, who doesn't love a hay ride, a bonfire with donuts and hot apple cider, or a 100-mile radius dinner (where everything at the dinner was grown within 100 miles of the farm itself)?

Fall Traditions-Hay Rides

Fall Traditions and Apple Picking

How could the first day of fall--the beginning of fall traditions for 2013--have been any better for me than to kick it off with apple picking?

Fall Traditions-Apple Picking

I can't think of anything that would have been more fun!

Fall Traditions-Apple Picking

Right after visiting Niagara County, New York, I headed to the Smucker's Corporate Headquarters outside of Cleveland, Ohio in farm country for an all-expenses paid trip. I loved seeing all of the products and when they offered to allow me to take some home, I made sure I chose those with apples in celebration of fall and my first-time apple picking experience.

Apple Jelly-Apple Butter-Fall Traditions-Apple Picking

What are your favorite family fall traditions?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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