The trees are exploding into color, the days are getting cooler and it’s time for sweaters, hot chocolate, bonfires and other autumn traditions to enjoy.
If you’re staying at Massey's Landing and looking for some fall fun, there’s plenty to do without driving too far.
The hayride scene
A couple local farms offer that fall pumpkin picking experience. They are:
Mr. Pepper’s Pumpkin Patch, Laurel
Pick out a pumpkin, try the maze, browse the gift shop and get a hayride on the weekends. The patch is open from 10 a.m. to dark every day, except Sundays when it’s from noon to dark. Call 302-245-8616 for more info.
Adkins Farm Market, Salisbury, Maryland
This market not far south of the Delaware line has a corn maze and play area, and offers U-pick pumpkins.
Parsons Farms Produce, Dagsboro
Every weekend in October, Parsons offers U-pick pumpkins and activities like pumpkin bowling, hayrides, rubber duck races and more.
Other farms offer one-day festivals with similar activities. Kingsley Orchards in Frankford holds its fall festival Oct. 11, with games, pumpkin decorating, food, a hayride and a petting zoo and pumpkin picking. Call 302-238-0105 for more info.
Magee Farms in Lewes has a Fall Day on Oct. 12 with bobbing for apples, pumpkin decorating, a straw maze and more.
If you’d like to pick apples at an orchard, T.S. Smith and Son in Bridgeville offers U-pick (and you can pick pears, too, if you want to try to get a different fall tradition started).
A Sussex County tradition, the Apple Scrapple Festival is held each year in Bridgeville on the second full weekend in October. It features a car show, crafts, a carnival, an orchard tour and a 5k. You’ll be able to pick up fall food like apple dumplings -- and a lot more -- from the vendors.
Another, newer tradition is the Sea Witch festival at the Delaware beaches, starting Oct. 25. There’s a costume parade held under the gaze of a giant inflatable witch head, trick-or-treating, beach games, pony rides on the beach, a haunted bonfire beach party and more.
If you’re looking for an excuse to eat barbecue and call it a fall festival, you can try Boo-B-Que at Delaware Seashore State Park, this year on Friday, Oct. 18. There’s a barbecue competition, with wings and beer for good measure, and a costume contest and trick-or-treating.
On the Halloween theme, you can take the Spooky Lighthouse Tour at the East End Lighthouse in Lewes, where actors dressed up in period costume will regale you with tales of the unfortunate demise of locals and try to persuade you they may still be lurking around.
If you just want to enjoy some crisp fall air, one option is to walk or ride the paths through the dunes and scrubby pine trees at Cape Henlopen State Park, which also has a frisbee golf course. Trap Pond State Park near Laurel offers hiking, biking and canoeing amid its beautiful bald cypress trees.