Fall Fun

Pamela Crimbchin

Make the most of this autumn with these places to go, things to see and crafts and seasonal recipes to make.

When the leaves are brilliant hues of red and yellow, yards are full of pumpkins and scarecrows, and students wear sweaters and scarves, it’s time for fall.

Here are some tips and ideas to help make the most of this spooky fall season.

Places to visit

Carnival of Horrors

Fall is full of ghost stories, witch hunts and terrifying adventures. The Carnival of Horrors at Blossom Music Center is a great place to visit this October for a night of fear.

The carnival features three haunted houses and a posse of horrific clowns.

The Fun House is a haunted fun house, and the Freakshow is a 3-D haunted house where even the floor, ceiling and walls try to scare you. Those who enter the Wicked Woods will have to make their way through the monster-infested woods with only a flashlight.

These haunted attractions are great for groups and couples who aren’t afraid of a scary adventure.

The cost is $18, but coupons are available for $3 off that price at participating sponsors. A list of where the coupons are offered is available on the Web site, www.carnivalofhorrors.com.

Beckwith Orchards

The smell of fresh-baked apple pies and apple dumplings from the bakery cascades over visitors to Beckwith Orchards in Kent.

Visitors are allowed to walk around the apple orchard and see the many different varieties of apples grown and sold at the family owned and operated farm.

“It’s just a great place to take a walk in the orchard,” said Sally Beckwith, manager of the Orchards. “The bike path is adjacent to us, so it’s very convenient for students to ride a bike here.”

Beckwith’s large country store sells maple syrups, black squirrel greeting cards and many other home accessories that are suitable for the fall season.

Eating a warm piece of apple pie after walking through the orchards can be a fun weekend activity for people looking to try something different. Admission is free. More information is available at www.beckwithorchards.com.

Pumpkin Fun

Visit Dussel Farm

Fresh-popped kettle corn, hot apple cider and warm caramel apples greet the taste buds of visitors to Dussel Farm while they search for the perfect pumpkin.

“We have very healthy pumpkins, beautiful pumpkins with strong stems on them at a good price,” said Linda Dussel, whose in-laws own the farm.

Located in Brimfield, the farm has a large variety of pumpkins and other fall decorations such as hay bales, corn stalks and gourds.

The farm also offers a children’s maze, a corn maze, a haunted bus and face painting on the weekends.

“They have a pretty nice selection of pumpkins, and there’s a lot of activities for the kids,” visitor Nicole Knocek said.

With the different activities offered on weekends, Dussel Farm is full of families and fun.

“Everybody’s in a good mood and smiling,” Dussel said. “There’s lots of people to talk to, and you miss it when winter comes.”

Make a jack-o’-lantern

Making a jack-o’-lantern is messy, but it adds a festive decoration for the fall season.

Here are some tips for making jack-o’-lanterns:

• Sprinkle the bottom side of the pumpkin lid with cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves to let your jack-o’-lantern double as an air freshener.

• To make removing large pieces easier and avoid damage to your design, cut them into smaller chunks before trying to remove them.

• The longer the candle is left burning, the quicker the pumpkin will decompose. Electric lights work well instead of candles.

• To make the pumpkin’s life last longer, coat the raw edges with petroleum jelly or WD-40 and the inside with a mild bleach solution.

Cook pumpkin seeds

Don’t throw out the pumpkin seeds from the jack-o’-lantern. The seeds can be a healthy and tasty snack for students on the go.


• Cooking spray, olive oil or butter

• Optional: Salt, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt or seasoning of choice


• Rinse pumpkin seeds. Remove the pulp.

• Drain.

• Spread seeds out on a cookie sheet to dry overnight.

• On the next day, preheat oven to 250 F.

• Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil.

• Sprinkle seeds with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper or your choice of seasonings.

• Bake for one hour, tossing every 15 to 20 minutes until seeds are golden brown.

• Allow seeds to cool before eating.

• Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to three months or refrigerate up to one year.

Arts and Crafts

Make a tie blanket

Cool fall weather is a good sign that winter is on its way. This relatively cheap activity is a great way to make a warm blanket for yourself or as a gift to others.

What you’ll need:

• Two pieces of fleece fabric (of the same thickness and size.)

• Scissors

• Binder clips (rectangular black paper clips)


• Lay the fabric pieces on top of each other and clip them together with the binder clips to prevent them from moving.

• On one side of the fabric, begin cutting 4-by-1 inch-wide fringes. Remember to cut both fabrics at the same time.

• Continue on all four sides.

• Take the two pieces of fabric for each cut and tie them into a knot along all four sides.

• After finishing, enjoy a cuddle with your handmade blanket.

Make a candle with leaves

Adding decorative fall leaves to a plain candle can add color to any room.

What you’ll need:

• Unembellished wax candles of any color

• Block of plain white wax

• Fine-bristle paintbrush

• Dried and pressed autumn leaves

• Double boiler, wax melter or coffee can and pot


• Place the block of wax into the wax melter or double boiler and fill the bottom with water. If using a coffee tin, place wax in tin and place tin a pot with water.

• Place this on medium high heat and stir the wax until it is completely melted.

• Turn the heat down to low or just warm enough to keep the wax from re-solidifying.

• Paint the melted wax onto a small section of the candle.

• Carefully place a leaf over the wax spot you just painted.

• Gently press down on the leaf for approximately 10 to 15 seconds until the wax dries.

• Continue placing leaves around candle.

• Once all leaves are placed, gently brush wax over top surface of leaves.

• Continue to add layers of wax around the candle to make it even.

• Make sure each layer dries before adding the next leaf.

• Continue until there are enough to keep leaves from peeling off.

Contact features reporter Pamela Crimbchin at [email protected].