There is perhaps no more gracious way to enjoy senior living than getting out in the autumn air and enjoying the change in seasons. In Ohio, especially around Cincinnati, the weather is temperate and conducive for large deciduous trees, so the annual turning of the leaves is a comforting herald of cooler weather.
Many families enjoy long drives out in the surrounding countryside to see the trees and catch a nostalgic whiff of burning leaf piles. A hike in one of the many scenic woodland parks is also an excellent way to get out and exercise. But there are other activities to get you outdoors and enjoying the weather, besides long walks. Here are a few ideas you might try out and enjoy this October.
Fall festivals for everyone.
In Ohio, every county has a fair and it seems like every small town has a street festival. Many of these small festivals take place in October, when the weather isn't terribly hot and before it gets downright cold.
From the Great Pumpkin Festival in West Chester and the Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville, both in early October, to the New Richmond RiverArts Festival and Franklin's Fall Fest toward the end of the month, you can explore small town Ohio and enjoy yourself, one caramel apple or funnel cake at a time.
And, if it does get too cold to get out, there are several indoor festivals you can enjoy.
Seniors with a sweet tooth will be in heavy attendance at Cincinnati's Chocolate Festival, which takes place at Xavier University's Cintas Center on October 19th. Adult admission is $10 (discounted to $7 with a coupon available at Kroger stores); kids 12 and under are free. The event will feature chocolate tastings, local chocolate producers and vendors, confectionary and baking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, contests and raffles, as well as activities geared toward children.
Head out to the patch and pick your pun'kin.
With all the agricultural land in Southwest Ohio, it's natural that there would be plenty of farms that welcome the public every fall for pumpkin picking excursions.
Shaw Farms, on State Route 131, just outside Milford, is a perennial favorite with residents on the east side of Cincinnati. Featuring a giant corn maze (why no one calls it a "maize maze," we'll never figure out), piles of purchasable pumpkins and weekend music, a trip to Shaw Farms is a fun, easy excursion that doesn't require a long car trip out to the country.
Further out, but worth the scenic drive, is a trip to A&M Apple Orchards, near Midland, where you can pick apples of several different varieties. The farm also offers hayrides out to its pumpkin fields, where you can select the perfect gourd to become your Halloween jack o'lantern or Thanksgiving pie. And, for our money, A&M's fresh-pressed apple cider is some of the best we've ever tasted.
If you're on the north side of Cincinnati, Iron's Fruit Farm, near Lebanon, offers the usual corn maze and u-pick-'em fun, but they also feature a country market and bakery that is worth the trip alone. Housed in a converted barn that was built in 1912, Iron's bakery serves up what are, quite possibly, the world's best apple fritters. They also sell cider donuts, pies, local honey and other fresh goods.
Up for a scream? Try Kings Island's Fear Fest. Just be sure to go in the daytime…
Although at night, in October, Kings Island transforms into a haunted amusement park for its annual Fear Fest, by day, from 12 pm to 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, the frights are light to the grandkids’ delight. Every weekend day in October, Kings Island hosts its kid-friendly, not-so-scary Snoopy's Halloween Party.
Rides are open during this time. There are contests and prizes for children who come in costume. The park offers safe trick-or-treating, live shows, a Charlie Brown-themed maze and even a petting zoo. Kids will also enjoy talking to the interactive Great Pumpkin.
There's plenty to do this fall in Cincinnati. Get out and go!
If autumn is your favorite time of year, you won't be disappointed. The weather is right for a little exercise and activity. The air is crisp, the apples are ripe and the senior living is easy. Good gracious, with so many fun fall activities in the area, you shouldn't let your friends and family "leaf" you behind!