Category Archives: Fall Fun

Haunted Halloween Activities for the Whole Family

Haunted Halloween Activities for the Whole Family

This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content.  Please know that all opinions are honestly conveyed and are mine alone.

Fall is probably my favorite time of year.  I just love everything about it: the hayrides, apple picking, and trips to the pumpkin patch so many things that my family  enjoys together every year!  But of course, with Halloween just around the corner, taking in a few haunted Halloween activities for the whole family is a lot of fun too!

And recently, we did just that.  We took a weekend trip to Lake Erie Shores & Islands and had a blast!

Our reason for going, was for more than just a family get-a-way, this was also a celebration of our oldest son’s 12th birthday!  Instead of having a birthday party this year, Chase wanted to go to Cedar Point.  Living in Ohio, we have been to Cedar Point before, but I wanted to make this visit a little more special, since this time we are celebrating a birthday, so I started planning… that’s when I found Lake Erie Shores and Islands Welcome Center.  Even if you are familiar with this area, you may not know all of the great events and destinations that are available.  I was so glad to work with the great people at the visitor’s center to find out about other attractions that we could visit on our weekend mini vacay.  While I got a lot of the information online at ShoresandIslands.com, there are two visitor centers in the area as well, so we decided to stop by…

There are lots of brochures, maps of the area, and of course, very useful information from the local perspective by those working at the visitor center.

 
Play…

To really get in the haunted Halloween mood, we kicked the weekend off by heading to Ghostly Manor Thrill Center.  This thrill center is probably not like any other that you’ve ever been to; this family entertainment center has been featured in The Travel Channel’s “Best Places I’ve Ever Been.”  And if you are brave enough, you can journey through one of the scariest haunted houses in the country— rated one of Forbes top 10 haunted attractions (this is only recommended for ages 10 and up).

Chase wanted to go through the haunted house, so my husband went with him… and I took our two younger sons to the not-at-all scary play zone.

So in case your family has some younger ones that don’t want to be scared, there are lots of other activities too!

We watched a 3D movie in the XD Theater, played 3D black light mini golf, and the boys even went through the new laser maze!  Oh, and they also have an Escape Room that is now open!

 

Stay…

After we had a few hours of fun at Ghostly Manor, we decided to head back to the hotel for the evening, so the kids could swim.  We don’t have a pool at home, so anytime we are on vacation, we always have to stay at a hotel with a nice pool!  The Comfort Inn Sandusky had an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a sauna, and hot tub— so the kids were in heaven!  And as great as the amenities were, the room is probably what the kids liked the best.  It was a huge open room with three double beds!  This may not sound like much, but when you have a family of five, someone is usually sleeping on a roll-away bed or a pull-out sofa— and we all know how uncomfortable those can be!  So for everyone to get to sleep in a comfy bed was really nice.  And the rates were very affordable (only $100/night this time of year)… as a money savvy mom, that was probably my favorite part!

Amusement for the day…

Cedar Point is probably the best place I can think to go for thrill rides.  Roller coaster after roller coaster awaits!  According to Golden Ticket Awards, Cedar Point has four roller coasters that rank in the top 25 steel coasters in the world!  Yes, we’ve ridden them all—and they don’t disappoint!

 

But the thrills don’t just stop with the coasters.  In the fall, you can visit Cedar Point for Halloweekends—and experience scary thrills as well!

During the day, you won’t really see it, but at dusk, the spooky starts to happen, as costumed cast members dressed-to-scare begin appearing throughout the park.

Halloweekends Cast Member. Photo courtesy of Joe Schaaf

If you have little ones with you or just don’t want to have a cast member jump out at you after dark, you can buy a green light-up pumpkin to indicate that you don’t want to participate in the scaring…

There are also lots of fun fall decorations and a parade in the afternoon featuring your favorite characters from the Peanuts, so there is plenty for the kids to enjoy all day long.

 

What haunted Halloween activities will you and your family do this year?

 

#TravelOhio #LakeErieLove

 

 

 

 

Best of Fall: 20+ Fall Recipes, Activities, Crafts, & Home Decor Ideas

Best of Fall: 20+ Fall Recipes, Activities, Crafts, & Home Decor Ideas

I have to admit, fall is definitely one of my favorite seasons!  After a hot summer, it is kind of nice to enjoy some cooler temperatures along with those beautiful sunny days.  Crisp mornings are perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee on the deck or going for a jog.  So to celebrate the season, I have a compiled the best of fall that I could find! 20+ fall recipes, activities, crafts, home décor ideas, and more:

Autumn Recipes

Apple, pumpkin, and maple… oh my!  Yes, the time of year has come for all of these delicious flavors!  Here are some of my favorite fall recipes to share with you:

Frosted Maple Cookies

Maple Sugar Cookies

Apple Pie Pizza

Harvest Apple Crisp

DIY Healthy Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

Healthier Apple Crisp

Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancakes  

Pumpkin Pie

Apple Harvest Muffins

Hot Mulled Apple Cider Sangria in the Crockpot

Quick & Easy Apple Cider

Caramel Apple Cider

Fun Fall Food Ideas for Kids

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins

Carrot & Beet Cupcakes

Gluten Free French Apple Tart

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

 

 

DIY & Crafts

Fun Crafts and DIY that you and your kids can make!

DIY Fall Hoop Wreath

Preppy Pumpkin

Fall Crafts for Kids

Fall Digi Leaves

Nature Press to Preserve Leaves

 

Home Décor

Do you love to decorate for fall?  Here are some fun ideas to really bring the season alive in your home!

Home décor for Fall  

Tis the Season for Fall Décor

 

Fall Fashion

I live in Ohio, so while we do have warm fall days, it does start to get cooler.  So I get to enjoy all the cute boots and sweaters as we head into winter, but what if you live in a warmer climate?  She Lives Vintage has some great ideas on how to wear fall fashion in warmer locations.

Autumn Activities

Looking for fun things to do this fall?  Here are some great suggestions you won’t want to miss!  I know my family looks forward to going to the same farm every year to pick pumpkins and enjoy a hayride!  It’s a great afternoon of family fun!  Even if you have activities you enjoy in the fall, you may want to check out these great ideas too:

Fun & FREE Fall Activities for the Family

Go Apple Picking  

Summer Activities for Fall

50 Fall Activities

Family Friendly Fall Activities

15 Ways to Enjoy Nature this Fall Season

 

Happy Fall Y’all! 

 

Apple Crisp: the Perfect Autumn Dessert

Apple Crisp | Money Savvy Living

 

 

Autumn has only been here a few days, per the calendar, but I have been in fall-mode for about a month now. When the kids go back to school, summer is over for me. That is my (un)official start of fall—and they have been back in school since mid-August.
With my early welcoming of autumn, I planted mums a few weeks ago and really felt like I was rushing the season change… until I was in Kohl’s a few weeks ago and saw a few Christmas displays out already, then they started popping up at Target and Walmart too… I decided I may actually be a bit late in starting my celebration of fall… As much as I love, Love, LOVE Christmas, I am not willing to by-pass autumn and all the great things that go along with it.
Fall is quite possibly my favorite season of the year. I enjoy the apple picking, crisp mornings, roasting marshmallows over the fire pit, the beautiful fall canvas of changing colors, hayrides, watching the kids select the perfect pumpkins for Halloween…

 

 

IMG_0884
The apple picking this fall was just a little bit extra special to me because the apples were from our own tree! Yes, the two little trees that we planted nearly 10 years ago are finally giving us some good apples. Well, one tree did. We bought two trees because one is the cross-pollinator for the other, so I am pretty sure that we would need another tree to cross-pollinate, but I honestly don’t even remember what variety of apple trees we bought. I am no expert in this area. I have no idea how long it should take for apple trees to bear fruit, but ours finally did, and I am excited!
The natural thing to do when you pick a bunch of apples off the trees that you have been growing for years is to make an apple crisp…so I did. Plus, I figured it would make my hubby happy.

Harvest Apple Crisp

Harvest Apple Crisp

Ingredients

  • 5-6 apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. oatmeal
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • ¾ stick softened butter

Instructions

  1. Filling: Mix the dry ingredients together and toss the diced apples in the flour/cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  2. Spread out in the bottom of your prepared 13×9 pan (spray the bottom of the pan with a bit of non-stick spray)
  3. Crumb Topping: In the same bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, sugar, and butter. I find it best to just go ahead and get my hands in and mix it together and then crumble on top of the apples. While you may be tempted, like I am, to eat this crumb topping mixture raw, I assure you that it is even more delicious when it has baked on top of the apples!
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://moneysavvyliving.com/2015/09/28/apple-crisp-the-perfect-autumn-dessert/

This apple crisp is delicious when served warm (with ice cream!) or at room temperature.

 

Apple Crisp recipe | Money Savvy Living
You probably figured out that this literally cost me nothing to make. The apples were free since I grew them myself and only had the cost of the other ingredients, which I already had in my cabinet. Even if you buy the apples, this is an inexpensive, delightful dessert that really captures the deliciousness of the season.
ENJOY!

Making S’More Memories

smores

It never ceases to amaze me that some of the things that my kids get the most excited about in life are so simple. I mean, if my husband and I say that we are going to get a little fire going in the fire pit, the kids jump up and down likes it’s Christmas… well almost just like that. None the less, they excitedly jump around and start yelling for s’mores. Now why is this so exciting? We make s’mores all the time using the microwave to slightly melt the chocolate and puff up the marshmallows.

But that just doesn’t compare to the experience of making s’mores over the open fire.

DSC_0106

Besides the fact that they get to have extremely sharp roasting sticks, which is a novelty in and of itself for them, they get to “play with fire.” As you can imagine, having three boys, I try to avoid sharp objects… and fire… and sugar, the other major component of this. Maybe that is why it is so exciting. This combines sugar, sharp objects, and fire– all of the forbidden elements of my little boys’ lives.

Of course, it wouldn’t be as exciting if someone didn’t catch a marshmallow on fire either. In fact, I think that we may lose as many marshmallows to being consumed by fire as what actually end up edible. My middle son always says that he didn’t mean for the marshmallow catch on fire, but really, when he holds the marshmallow a bit too close to the flame, and it actually does catch on fire, I think he is secretly satisfied with himself.

smore braylon

Even though we did this several times this summer, and now into fall, there is something special about the family gathering together around the fire pit, talking, laughing, and just enjoying a little family time. It’s not a big event, but it’s fun. It’s not expensive, bit it’s memorable.

I hope that when my boys grow up and have families of their own, and when they roast marshmallows over a fire to make s’mores, they can’t help but be drawn back in time to the memories made this year.

smore chase derek2

Even though this ends up to be a sticky, face-and-clothes-covered-in-chocolate-kind-of-mess for my trio, I can’t help but be a bit amused by it all.

Spending time together as a family is what it is all about– making memories together by just being together and actually enjoying being around each other.  There are so many ways to spend quality family time together, and it doesn’t cost anything:

  • Movie night– my kids love to pick a movie that we watch together as a family– of course, enjoyed with some popcorn and M&M’s!
  • Game night– I don’t know why, but it is something special for the kids when my husband and I play the Wii or xbox with them.  They play all the time by themselves or even with each other, but they get so excited for us to play with them.
  • Picnic in the park– go to a local park.  Let the kids play, then take lunch, a snack, or just popsicles to enjoy.
  • Ice cream sundae bar– letting the kids have ice cream is one thing, but let them top it with hot fudge, caramel, sprinkles, whipped cream, etc… it is all of a sudden an exciting event.
  • Camp out at home– yes, this one is going to probably have your back hurting for a couple of days (at least it did for me!).  We set up a tent in the basement in the winter and put sleeping bags in it and the kids loved it!  I loved that they had fun, but I also loved sleeping in my bed the next night.  It makes it worth it though that a year later, they are still talking about the camp out in the basement and wondering when we can do another.
  • Outdoor fun– take a hike, go bike riding, play basketball, soccer… you get the idea.

I see for myself, and any parent will tell you, that the time that you have with your children flies by all too quickly.  Make the most of each day.  Take the time to make s’more memories.

Fall Festival Time!

Welcome, Autumn!  It's Fall Festival Time!

Welcome, Autumn! It’s Fall Festival Time!

Download printable coupons for savings nationwide!

Autumn has arrived! The air is getting cooler, football season is here, and leaves are starting to turn…and the colors will be at their height in just a few weeks. It is the time of year for pumpkin spice latte and apple crisp (YUM!), hayrides, and taking the kids to the pumpkin patch.

Ready for some Money Savvy Fall Festival Deals? I have put together a great list of Corn Maze Coupons and Fall Festival savings NATIONWIDE. Download valuable coupons for Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches and Fall Family Activities!

Arizona
Schnepf Farms – Queen City
Tolmachoff Farms– Glendale, AZ

California
Forneris Farms – Mission Hills

Colorado
Anderson Farms – Erie
Flat Acres Farm – Parker
Fritzler Maze – La Salle
Sunflower Farm – Longmont
Mile High Farms – Bennett
Wishing Star Farm – Calhan
Harvest Farm – Wellington

Georgia
Lane Southern Orchards – Fort Valley
Poppell Farms – Odum

Indiana
Amazing Fall Fun – Waterloo
Harvest Tyme Pumpkin Patch – Lowell
Hobson’s Fun Farm – Rockville
Guffey Acres– Kokomo

Illinois
All Seasons Orchard – Woodstock
Kuipers Family Farm – Maple Park
Odyssey Fun Farm – Tinley Park
Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm – Lockport

Louisiana
CM Farms – Dry Creek

Maryland/DC
Summers Farm – Fredrick County

Massachusetts
Sauchuk Farm – Plympton

Michigan
Farmer Charley’s Corn Maze Adventure – Monroe

Missouri/Kansas
KC Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze – Gardner
Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch – Pleasant Hill

Mississippi
Seward Farms Maze – Lucedale

Minnesota
Afton Apple Orchard – Hastings

Montana
The Maize at Grandpa’s Farm – Billings

Nebraska
Camp Fontanelle – Nickerson

NewJersey
VonThun Farms – Monmouth Junction
Sahl’s Father Son Farm – Egg Harbor City

New York
Wright Family Farm – Warwick
Harbes Family Farm – Mattituck

North Carolina
Patterson Farm Market and Tours – Mount Ulla

Ohio
The Corn Maze at the Sharp Run Market – Millersburg
Meadow View Growers – New Carlisle

Oregon
The Maize at The Pumpkin Patch– Portland

Pennsylvania
Hurricane Hill Farm – Coatsville
Triple B Farms – Pittsburgh
Reillys Summer Seat Farm – Pittsburgh

Rhode Island
Confreda Greenhouses & Farms – Hope (Western Cranston)

Texas
Devine Acres Farm – Devine
Fiesta Farm – San Antonio
Yesterland Farm – Canton
South Texas Maize – Hondo
Dewberry Farm – Brookshire
Brazos Valley Maize– Brenham

Virginia
Cows-N-Corn – Midland
Wayside Farm Fun – Berryville
Belvedere Plantation – Fredericksburg

Utah
Cornbelly’s Corn Maze & Pumpkin Fest – Spanish Fork