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Breaking Summer

Published: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 11:05 a.m. CDT

With the arrival of October, we are ever so reminding of the nearing winter and how much more we could have done during the delightful summer.

I’m not sure about you, but fall is my favorite holiday because of the weather and the changing environment.

This month, if you get the opportunity, here are a variety of activities you can do to get into the lovely fall spirit.

Seasonal Cooking

Whether it’s pumpkin bread or apple cookies, everyone enjoys a treat now and then and what better time to experiment with pumpkin and apple. There are endless options when it comes to cooking with pumpkin and apple, but no matter what you try, you can’t go wrong with the spice of the season.

Make some treats for your neighbors, co-workers or family and to make it even more fall like, add a little decor. It’s a great way to liven up someone’s day.

Pumpking Carving

It doesn’t matter how old you are, you’re never too old to carve a pumpkin with a loved one. You start out with a pumpkin and a knife, and then you make a fantastic mess and let your creative side show.

Whether it’s with your husband, grandaughter or a group of friends, carving pumpkins can be an event if you add treats like cider and snacks. This is a fairly inexpensive activity too. Don’t forget the newspaper.

Boone & Scenic

Valley Railroad

Just an hour to the northwest of Newton is a wonder opportunity to experience the beauty of fall. The Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad and Museum offers multiple types of rides and one wonderful view of rolling hills and river valleys.

There are a variety of ride lengths, prices and views to consider, but one of my favorite is the picnic train because you can bring your own meal with you. If you want inexpensive, go with the basic ride because it will not disappoint, but if you’re willing to splurge, then the dinner train is absolutely the way to go.

Legends State Park

Another place in the same general vicinity of Boone is quaint and colorful Legends State Park. The park is carved by a large sandstone gorge that provides a variety of hiking experiences, but nothing extreme.

In fact, the trails are not intensive. You can have lunch with your family in the valley bottom and enjoy the scenery, or you can climb to the top to concur an excellent river view.

Another bonus to this stop is that it’s free. One of my most beloved memories while at Iowa State was a autumn afternoon at Legends because of the remarable colors, views and other happy people enjoying the great outdoors.

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