By Katy Killilea
I love fall: wearing cozy jackets, having big bowls of apples at my disposal, knowing there are new episodes of The Office coming soon. And I hate fall: freezing my fingers off at soccer practice, anxiety about where to spend Thanksgiving, and running out of daylight before I’m done with daylight things. I want to spend time doing the things I love this fall. So I have made a list to work from. As it stands now, it is heavy on farm visits. I implore you to add your own must-do’s to this list by adding comments, below.
1. Visit Coggeshall Farm in Bristol. This is such a beautiful, bucolic place to spend a few hours in the fall. The water, the animals, the low-key farm workers and wool spinners. This is Williamsburg on tranquilizers. And it’s a farm. And it’s closer.
2. Play Hot Monkey. If you have a younger sibling going along dutifully to each older child’s soccer practice, don’t forget the sock monkey. Along with a snack and paper and crayons, a hearty game of Hot Monkey will turn potentially tedious part of the day into one of the highlights. How to play: Players convince themselves the monkey is hot. It gets hotter when it hits the ground. The higher you throw it, the more it cools off. Anyone can join in, and sock monkeys are easy to catch because of the flailing limbs and tail.
3. Do not miss the 1000-plus pound pumpkin being dropped by a crane. (And the pumpkin catapult!) Ridiculous, wonderful pumpkin-related action takes place at Frerich’s Farm in Warren during Pumpkin Palooza. Visit their site for the a full schedule. When the giant pumpkin splats on the ground, you don’t want to miss it. There are also pumpkins and apples for sale, as you would expect at a lovely Rhode Island farm in the fall.
4. Play tag on the beach after dinner. If you live in Rhode Island, you are definitely close enough to one beach or another. Playing tag on a chilly beach with your family as the sun goes down ensures sweet dreams — and sandy sheets.
5. Go apple picking. Our nursery school teachers, Carole and Susan, swear by Dame Farm in Johnston. This family owned and operated farm is not at all far from Providence. There is an additional attraction: The owners make giant caramel apples that will gobsmack anyone as a hostess gift. I hope I remember to stock up and get an extra one for myself.
6. Wash carrots at Four Town Farm in Seekonk. Or just ask if you can see where they are bagged! Kids (and parents) will be interested to see the carrots go from a dirty pile to a tidy package ready for the grocery store. At Four Town Farm you can also have a hay riding, pumpkin picking, horse-oggling good time.
7. Bake bread and make soup. And talk to people about bread and soup. And have people over for bread and soup.
8. Attend a Brown University or high school football game. Whether or not you like the actual game, no one can resist the lure of a marching band playing “Cream” by Prince (or similar).