Say it with me…”it will not always be this hot, it will not always be this hot”. If you repeat it enough times, you might start to believe yourself. And then be ready, because for the few weeks that fall really does exist in the South, it is the most glorious and splendid thing in the world. So wash your flannel, put a blanket in the car, get the picnic basket dusted off and be on the alert so that when fall does make it’s grand entrance, you waste no time running out the door to scoop it into your arms and give it a big hug!
The only real word you need to remember for fall is OUTSIDE. And here’s how you can do that…
Chattanooga Market at the First Tennessee Pavilion – Sunday afternoons this place comes alive with food and music and fresh pickings from the farm. September 29 is an especially delicious day to go because it’s Apple Festival! Free from 11am-4pm. FREE
Smith Perry Berries – Out in Ooltewah near Mahan Gap is the family-owned farm that has strawberries in the spring, sunflowers in the summer and pumpkins in the fall! Go to find your own front porch decorations, take pictures, ride the new Hooterville Express (aka a tractor train for kids) and enjoy small-town fun.
3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival – Fun fact: the three sisters are actually beans, corn and squash which are planted to work together and maintain the soil – quite the partnership! But in Chattanooga, it means a great concert down by the river on October 4-5. FREE
Ironman Triathlon – Presented by Little Debbie, this is a feat to watch and it’s so fun to cheer for complete strangers who undertake this challenge. Get downtown to be a part on September 29.
Hyperflite Skyhoundz – No one will be proclaim to be bored or grumpy when you go watch cute fluffy dogs catch frisbees in the air! Grab some ice cream from Clumpies and head down to Coolidge Park on September 21-22 for some crazy canine fun! FREE
Chattanooga Water Lantern Festival – A new event to town, this will be on October 19 at Chester Frost Park. It looks to be a beautiful night to spend with someone special.
Old McDonald Farm Days – Head out to Sale Creek to hop on a tractor ride, play in a bin of corn kernels (you know, this is surprisingly therapeutic) and snack on some fried Oreos. It’s an afternoon with something for the whole family from September 28-October 27 on Saturdays and Sundays.
Just a short drive away:
Prater’s Mill Fair – Located in Dalton, GA, this is a staple of the fall season with lots of craft vendors, plenty of delicious food and a lazy day of strolling and wandering. October 12-13.
Ketner’s Mill Fair – Another long-standing tradition in Whitwell, TN this event offers the same kind of entertainment as well as canoe floats on the creek. Check it out the next weekend October 19-20.
Cleveland Apple Festival – You can also head north up the interstate to downtown Cleveland for apples, apples everywhere and plenty of fun for the kiddos with pony rides and activities. October 19-20.
Red Apple Barn – Grab your basket and get ready to fill it up with sweet and tangy apples at this pick-your-own orchard in Elijay, GA. Their tasting barn lets you sample all kinds of apple varieties and they’ve got special things for the kids, too.
Now that you’re salivating over thoughts of cinnamon and pumpkin and apples – all the flavors we wait an entire year for – I’ve found a recipe that I think just about anyone could make turn out delicious. You can always count on Betty Crocker to make the most amateur baker feel like they should open a French bakery! Check out this delicious recipe for their Best Apple Crisp and remember, even though it says the ice cream is optional, we all know it’s really not!
Happy Fall, Y’all!