Plan Some Fall Fun for Your Family

You can’t stop time, but you can slow down and enjoy the season you’re in. Maybe a trip to the pumpkin patch is just what you need.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

How is it already the end of October? Time seems to be going by faster than ever, and it feels like yesterday that I was making a New Year’s resolution to have more fun.

I know I’m not the only adult baffled by the way time seems to speed up as we grow older. Books have been written about this, and movies, too. And the only way I can figure to slow this runaway bus (that’s a Speed reference, for all you Gen Zers) is by digging my heels into the earth, taking a deep breath, and finding meaning and intention in the present.

Or, as it were, heading out on a chilly fall Sunday for an afternoon of pumpkin picking at a favorite local farm.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

Our destination? Irons Fruit farm, a fourth-generation farm market growing some of the region’s finest seasonal fare: brilliant berries in the summer, crisp-tart apples in the fall, and gorgeous orange pumpkins come autumn. Those looking to dig in and pick their own produce can do so, and folks looking for the classic cider doughnut and hayride twofer can find it at this Warren County gem, too.

Irons is also, as it were, the site of my very first field trip eight years ago, when Julian was a half-day kindergartener, and I was a slightly carsick chaperone thanks to a bumpy bus ride surrounded by excited 5- and 6-year-olds.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

The afternoon at Irons was delightful, as it always is, with my kids eagerly dispersing post-hayride in search of the biggest orange gourds they (or I) could lift. My advice? Bring rain boots and be ready to take home more than you bargained for. I’ve found the best approach at u-pick farms (and in most situations, really) is to let my kids lead the way and make the most of what they gather—even if that means coming home with some Charlie Brown Christmas Tree kind of produce.

As with any annual tradition, visiting an apple orchard or pumpkin patch in the fall isn’t about the destination or activity, it’s about the experience. And while, by the time you read this article, fall produce might be past its prime, that’s beside the point. Because guess what? The holidays are fast approaching, and the winter, too. Schedule something fun—a holiday light drive-thru, family ice skating date, or trip to a longstanding Christmas attraction—and make it yours. Childhood—and adulthood, it seems—passes by in the blink of an eye, and these traditions are ways to ground us in the present, enjoying the (ahem) fruit of the season.

Irons Fruit Farm, 1640 Stubbs Mill Rd., Lebanon

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

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