New England

Fall Craft Fairs and Fun Outside

I love brilliantly colored fall foliage, but what matters most to me is the color of the sky. If it’s blue and the sun is shining, then foliage could be peak, post-peak, almost peak and I’d still be perfectly happy. Luckily for us weekend warriors, the last few fall weekends have been perfect examples of […]

By Heather Atwell

Oct 08 2010

I love brilliantly colored fall foliage, but what matters most to me is the color of the sky. If it’s blue and the sun is shining, then foliage could be peak, post-peak, almost peak and I’d still be perfectly happy. Luckily for us weekend warriors, the last few fall weekends have been perfect examples of ideal fall weather. As I am sure all of you diligent Yankee Magazine readers know, Manchester, Vermont, was ranked #3 on Yankee’s top 25 foliage towns list. The towns that made the list were chosen not just on “best foliage views” but for the total foliage experience — hikes, culture, orchards, shopping, food/lodging, plus a few others and…parks! I haven’t played outside at a park for a long time, but last weekend I had the fortunate opportunity to spend an afternoon at the Dana L. Thomspon Memorial Park in the #3 foliage town. This park has tennis courts, lots of jungle gyms and soccer fields. I should not brag, but I scored 10 goals, though I was under duress. My nephew Collin would not let me leave the soccer field until I scored exactly 10 goals. He did cheer for each and every goal I scored so it all worked out. He also scored 10 goals in case anyone is keeping track. In addition to playing soccer, I slid down slides, and played almost like a five year old does. My mother was entertaining my youngest nephew in many of the same ways while some of the adults in our group chatted at the picnic tables. I gotta say that playing at a park totally counts as an outdoor fall foliage adventure. In fact, I think anything that any of us used to do regularly when we were kids outside in the fall counts as such. In between playing at the park and my next activity in Manchester, I was able to sneak in a trip to the Gap. I know that most outdoor adventure purists would not consider shopping at the Gap a viable activity, but I really wanted to experience fall foliage based on Yankee’s categories. Since shopping is one of them, I really had no choice. To round out my weekend, I went to the annual Hildene Fall Arts Fair. Sunny skies, perfect weather and kettle corn. It was a nice way to end a mellow fall weekend spent in the outdoors. Lots of different types of crafters were there, but my favorite was Woody Jackson, live and in person. If you’ve ever licked a cone of Ben and Jerry’s, then you should know who he is. And, if you don’t know who he is, then use this as a good excuse to buy a pint of your favorite flavor and while savoring the creaminess, look at the carton. You’ll see on the carton just what I think of as a perfect fall day: blue skies (and some very cute cows).