It’s finally here!!! Autumn is upon us and because you are a reader of this blog, you will be privy to the most interesting things to do in Delaware during this fine season.
Milburn Orchards - One of my best fall memories was a trip to Milburn Orchards when I was a student at UD. My friend organized a group hayride and bonfire one Friday night in October, and luckily, I had the good sense to attend. Apples were everywhere, and like an irresponsible child, I ate half a dozen before the tractor arrived. That made it tough to consume a reasonable number of apple cider donuts later that night. Nothing beats a hayride with good friends in the fall. But a nice little bonfire at the edge of the woods comes close. Perfect evening. Just 5 minutes outside of Newark.
Cut your own Christmas Tree! I was an artificial-tree-kid growing up, but I have been doing fresh tree cutting for the last several years and it’s unbeatable. I think this activity is excellent for bringing out the relational dynamics in your family. You really get to see who the decision makers are because you’ll keep looking for that perfect tree until that person(s) is satisfied. By the way, you’ll want to do this in the fall because Dec 21st is too late to get a decent tree.
UD Football Game, Newark, DE. I personally feel UD has struck the correct balance of college football quality vs. insanity. The games are competitive, the tail-gating is top notch, and tickets are extremely affordable for families. Grab your hoodie and check out a game. You can get tickets the day of if planning ahead isn’t your thing.
The Fall Festival at Autumn Arch Beer Project, Newark, DE. It’s October 26 and we’ll have music, food trucks, lawn games, and an outdoor beer garden. Milburn Orchards is on site with apple cider donuts (see #1). It happens to be the same day as UD Homecoming game (see #3), which is either a nice alternative or a post game activity for you.
Markell Bike Trail, New Castle, DE - I just rode this with my son last week specifically to report back to you on it’s quality. It’s high. Park near Battery Park in New Castle and ride up to the Wilmington Riverfront. Treat yourself to a snack at Iron Hill Brewery before riding back. You definitely earned it.
The Apple Scrapple Festival, Bridgeville, DE. If you’ve never consumed a block of scrapple, this may be the best place to do it for the first time. The event starts on Friday, October 11 and goes through the next day. There’s a 5K as well as loads of delightful and/or interesting foods. And if you’re a native to Northern Delaware, this small bit of southern Delaware culture will be good for you.
Picnic at Brandywine Creek State Park, Wilmington, DE. The rolling hills and open expanses provide a great view of the changing fall foliage. Mid to late October is your best bet for awesome colors. Bring your kid(s) as well as a kite or frisbee.
Tour Dover Air Force Base. Technically, as a US taxpayer, you own all the planes there, so go check out the goods. Take the day off with your kid(s) and go check the massive military clout the United States wields (unfortunately, they only give tours on Tuesday and Thursday, and you need to book 30 days in advance, so this is not for the last-minute-planner)
Frightland, Middletown, DE. This spooky theme park has a hayride as well as carnival. If the actual place is half as spooky as the website, you are in for a treat.
Backyard campfire @ your house. Epic beers optional. Epic friends mandatory. 100% free (except for the beers…unless you wisely convince your friends to bring them). There is something primal and beautiful about gathering around an open fire and sharing stories. Humans have been doing it for millennia, so as a modern human, you should embrace this ancient tradition starting now. Some of my best fall memories are chilly evenings hanging around a backyard campfire, sharing local beers, smoking cigars (which I find totally disgusting but strangely appropriate for the occasion), and trading old stories, bad jokes, fond memories, and lofty dreams.