(Graphic by Ysabel Berger)
As Utah inexorably turns away from summer — from endless barbecues and trying to figure out what to stuff into that little space between the window AC unit and the heat outside — Utah County residents are eagerly turning their eyes toward fall. With the promise of cooler weather and warmer drink options, it’s a good time to find an excuse to go out. While pumpkin patches and corn mazes always seem to pop up out of the ground as soon as the leaves change color, we wanted to find some alternative reasons to hit the town this time of year. Whether you want to take that special someone on a date or you just want to get out and have some fun with your friends, these five unique activities embrace the refreshing spirit of Fall without breaking the bank.
1. Visit an Orchard
Nothing reminds me more of the transition between summer and fall than certain kinds of fruit. Yes, you heard me. Fruit. While pumpkins and corn always seem to hog the limelight during the fall months, with jack-o-lanterns and creepy mazes, orchards full of apple and peach trees remind us that, while it seems like everything green is slowly dying, there is still growth and life to be enjoyed during the fall months. Shauna and Monte Phelps, who own and run Rocky Top Fruit Farm down in Payson, feel the same way, allowing people to come and walk in their orchards. They even allow you to pick your own fruit. This would make a great group date activity, or even a chance to reconnect to something real and natural. Details on when to visit can be found here.
2. Go on a Haunted Bicycle Tour
I know how that sounds. I can assure you that none of the bicycles are actually haunted. The tour, which offers an opportunity to get out and exercise a little, also entertains and educates its patrons with a route near downtown Provo, visiting some of the reportedly haunted areas of this historical city. There are two routes to choose from, so make sure to revisit the tour in order to get your fill of ghost stories and hauntings. This tour, which usually caps its attendance at 10 riders, makes for a great group date but it’s also perfect for that solo ghost hunter who doesn’t want to find Casper on their own. Don’t have a bike? Not a problem. Pedal Provo also offers bike rentals on their website.
3. Ride the Sundance Ski Lift, Halloween Style
Looking for some fresh air air? Head to Sundance Mountain Resort, where they are offering a family-friendly ski lift ride with Halloween as the theme. The ride lasts anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes, with games, snacks and a movie to get you into the spirit of Halloween. Enjoy a unique view of the mountains with that special someone or bring the whole family along for a night full of spooky fun. Reservations are required and more information can be found here.
4. See a Fall Play
There’s no better way to get into the mood of fall than by going to see a play that completely embraces the season. The Covey Center for the Arts is putting on one such play this October.
Starting on the Oct. 15, actors will bring to life the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a folktale by American author, Washington Irving. This story is both haunting and humorous — a perfect combination to put one in the right state of mind for the season. Tickets and additional information can be found here.
5. Eat a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie
I don’t care where you get the cookie, but you need to try one of these if you haven’t already. If you have, you know what I’m talking about. I am willing to admit that I am not usually a pumpkin connoisseur. I would rather carve a funny face into a pumpkin than put anything pumpkin-baked into my mouth. However, these delectable treats are something I look forward to every year as soon as it starts to get colder. So, do yourself a favor and try one today. You’ll thank me for it. Well, you will probably thank your local bakery for it but I will be reassured that I did my part.
Enjoy the season. Enjoy the cooler air and the changing colors in the leaves. We understand that 2020 has been a particularly interesting year. So, as you go about, discovering exciting new things to try this fall, please remember to stay safe. Practice social distancing and wear your mask. After all, Halloween is just around the corner and it’s great practice for trick-or-treating.