Budget-friendly ways to enjoy Michigan’s fall season – The Oakland Press

There is nothing quite like the sights, sounds, tastes and smells during fall in Michigan. People can spend a small fortune to visit apple orchards, pumpkin farms, cider mills, corn mazes, haunted houses, and other attractions in September and October. These are definitely some great things to do, but if you’re short on cash, you shouldn’t miss out on all the fun that fall has to offer.

There are many ways to enjoy the fall weather and seasonal produce without spending a lot of money. Consider these economic ideas:

• Heat things up. Gather around the fireplace for good conversation and s’mores. You can provide the marshmallows, apple cider, and blankets and ask guests to contribute to the meeting by bringing in creative toppings like chocolate bars, peppermint patties and cups of peanut butter as well as different flavors of graham crackers and cookies to sandwich everything. If you are having a small gathering, just offer marshmallows and a conversation

• Take him outside. A nature walk can soothe the soul and provide a quiet slice of time during an otherwise busy season. Explore a new trail, bring your binoculars for migrating bird watching, or just sit on a bench to clear your mind. The Polly Ann Trail is a great option that runs along a former Orion Township rail corridor on the border of Lapeer County and Oakland. The non-motorized road winds through the quaint communities of Addison Township, Leonard, Orion Township, Oxford and Oxford Township.

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection

Baking is a wonderful way to spend quality time with the family that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection

• Make a homemade apple pie. It doesn’t matter if you pick the apples from an orchard or buy them at the store or if you skip the process of making a homemade pie crust in favor of the store-bought refrigerated version you roll out. The point is, you gather in the kitchen to cook as a family and if you have any, pass the family recipes on to the next generation.

“The baking and baking products are so emotional,” said Pam Turkin, a local pastry chef who teaches baking skills online. “Every time we work together in the kitchen, you build memories that can last for generations to come. “

Turkin said Michigan has the best apples in the country and there are a ton of varieties. She enjoys exploring different apples and mixing them together to create unique pies. She said when making apple pie from scratch it’s important to make sure the butter is cold.

“Also, research your apples, make sure they’re the right apples for the taste and texture you want,” she said. “A final tip: I always throw my apple slices in the flour before adding them to my pie shell. This helps thicken the juices.

• Look at the stars. On a comfortable, clear night, spread a blanket, sit outside, and stargaze with your family. You can even bring mugs of hot chocolate outside to keep everyone warm. If you want to learn more about the solar system, uncover the stories behind the constellations, or take a map of the current night sky, consider a visit to your local planetarium.

• Cheer on the home team. Get into the spirit of the community by attending a Friday night football game at your local high school or enjoy a beautiful location along the Homecoming Parade route. Even if you don’t have a high school student, cheering on the home team is a great way to connect with friends and neighbors while watching a good game, shouting with cheerleader chants and while listening to fantastic bands.

• Hang on to it. Many high school students wait until fall to have their pictures taken, and for good reason. Interesting fall foliage and colorful leaves provide the perfect backdrop with very little effort. You also don’t need a fancy camera or matching shirts. Just ask your loved ones to meet you at a local park, sunflower field, apple orchard or pumpkin patch and you will get snapshots you are sure to cherish for years to come.

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection

Reading books aloud is a great way to build literacy skills and introduce young children to the love of lifelong learning. Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection

• Getting lost in a good book. Reading books aloud is a great way to build literacy skills and introduce young children to the love of lifelong learning. It is also a wonderful activity for older families who can look forward to reading the next chapter of a book together each evening.

Lisa Mulvenna, head of children and youth services at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library, said there was nothing better as the nights started to get cooler so the family could all put on their pajamas and read stories together.

“Especially with young children, I like to choose books that explore the world and the books of the seasons do,” she said. “Children absorb so much new information that they have new experiences, even if those experiences are done through books. It helps them prepare to learn later in life.

To start a family story time, Mulvenna suggests picking a time that works for your family, whether it’s bedtime or after school, and stick to it to make it routine. She said if you have an older child take turns reading because even older kids love to be read to them and don’t be discouraged if a younger child isn’t sitting next to you for a while. reading the story because they are still listening.

When choosing books, she said remember that you don’t have to be serious. Use a funny voice when reading and laugh when the parties are funny.

“Laughter is contagious and if your child sees you laughing, so will they,” Mulvenna said.

If you don’t have a home library or are looking for new books, visit your public library for new ideas and let your child choose the book whenever possible.

“Children’s favorite books are the ones they choose for themselves,” Mulvenna said.

Here is a list of her fall reading suggestions:

• “Apples and Pumpkins” by Anne Rockwell
• “Autumn is not easy” by Marty Kelley
• “Fall Leaves Fall” by Zoe Hall
• “The mixed autumn” by Bob Raczka
• “In the middle of autumn” by Kevin Henkes
• “The Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert
• “There was an old lady who swallowed leaves” by Lucille Colandro
• “We go hunting for leaves” by Steve Metzger

• Enjoy it all with pumpkin spice. It’s definitely not a flavor for everyone, but if you love pumpkin spice, now is the season to indulge in new products or get creative at home. Bake pumpkin pancakes on a Saturday morning, meet friends at a cafe for a traditional pumpkin spice latte, or whip up a pumpkin shake or smoothie in the blender, you get the idea. Enjoy all the pumpkin spice you can, because after October 31 it’s all about peppermint and eggnog.

• Cinema evening with a host family. Pop some popcorn and gather around the TV to enjoy a season favorite like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, or Hocus Pocus. If you prefer, stream something even more spooky and stay awake all night listening to the bumps in the dark.

• Jump into a pile of leaves. Children will be more inclined to help rake leaves if they know there is a reward at the end of work time. Collect as many leaves as you can and have fun spending the afternoon laughing and taking photos. Then have everyone help carry the leaves in orange plastic bags with pumpkin faces on them.

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection

Children will be more inclined to help rake leaves if they know there is a reward at the end of work time. Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection

Whichever way you choose to fill this brief fall season, be sure to get outside to create memories and make the most of the season’s sunny days before the snow begins to fall.

A bonus for bakers

Baking is a wonderful way to spend quality time with friends and family that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Plus, the results can be absolutely delicious!

Whether you’re cooking together in the same kitchen or you’re online and virtually cooking together, making a seasonal treat provides plenty of time for conversation and laughter. Pam Turkin, a local pastry chef who teaches baking skills online and is the administrator of the Babka Brigade, a Facebook group where members can share their culinary achievements and cheer on others, shared this recipe for a delicious crumble that can be used to garnish all kinds of pastries. of seasonal pies. She said it also freezes very well for future use.

Crumble

6 tbsp. Butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups of flour

Melt the butter, add the two sugars and mix. Add the flour and work until it is crumbled. Add liberally on top of any pie.

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