I absolutely love Fall in NB, it’s always been my favourite time of year, the warm days and cool nights, no longer needing to slather my girls from head to toe in sunscreen, and let’s not forget about the lack of blackflies and mosquitoes! That alone makes it the best time of year. I love it so much I did my best to plan the birth of both my girls in September so I could kick of maternity leave in the Fall. It worked, my girls were born September 13th and 23rd. My first was actually born on the first day of Fall so her middle name is Autumn.
Here are some of our family’s favourite fall activities:
Apple Picking and Pumpkin Picking
There’s nothing more enjoyable than spending the entire day outside. We are lucky enough to have an acreage out in the country with 65 apple tree and a huge garden where we grow our own pumpkins so we don’t have to go far for this activity. However, there are some great U-Picks in our area. Charlotte’s Family Orchard in Gagetown is one of the best. They always have huge pumpkins on display and a wide variety of apples. Another popular location close to Saint John is Mackay Apple Orchard on Long Reach, Kingston Peninsula. Also on the Kinston Peninsula you’ll find Bostwick’s U-Pick Apples.
I’m a huge hiker and that didn’t change when kids came along. I loved it when I could bundle up the baby in the carrier, grab the dogs and go on a good long hike. This time of year is perfect as you don’t have to worry about baby overheating in a carrier or strollers. My girls are now way too big to be carried but they share my love of hiking. You don’t have to go far to find some awesome hiking trails in the city.
Rockwood Park is in the heart of the city and there are more than 55 paths and trails for hiking and biking, and many are stroller friendly. There you’ll find the Kiwanis Play Park Playground which is a fantastic playground for all ages and alongside the playground are the Rockwood Park Stables where horses are kept. If you keep your eye out, you may even see a deer or two while at the playground!
My personal favourite is the Irving Nature Park on the Westside. The Irving Nature Park is a 600-acre site created by J.D. Irving, Limited and has more than 11 km of coastline. There are eight walking trails to choose from with varying degrees of difficulty but the trails are all beautiful and I bet your kids will surprise you on how far they’ll walk. Our top pick there is the Squirrel Trail as it’s only 1.4 km and includes a boardwalk out over the salt marshes where you can still spot fish in the tidal pools. The trail also brings you through an area full of brave little chickadees where they will come feed out of your hand (don’t forget the sunflower seeds). The end of the trail finishes up by Saint’s Rest Beach.
Feeding the chickadees
Overlooking Saint’s Rest Beach at the end of the Squirrel Trail
Exploring the beach with my girls!
If your children are not tired out after their hike, check out the Children’s Forest on your way back down Sand Cove Road. The playground is good for all ages and has two cedar hedge mazes which are a lot of fun, along with a picnic area and porta potties.
To me, bonfires are one of the most relaxing things on the planet. However, on hot summer evenings, I don’t really want to sit around a hot bonfire and sweat even more. Now that the weather has cooled off it’s the perfect time to just sit in the backyard, and stare at a bonfire. This is a great time to invite your neighbours over and catch up as you’ve likely been busy all summer. Who can say no to an invite to a bonfire! It’s also dark a bit earlier than in the summer so you don’t have to wait so late to start it and kids can run around and burn off the last bit of energy before bed. Even my dogs get excited when we light up the bonfire, they can’t resist the roasted marshmallows either.
Roxy guilty of enjoying the marshmallows
Cruise Ship Season
Uptown Saint John is beautiful year round, but when there are cruise ships in the port uptown comes alive. Cruises make their way into the Port until November 1st. To find the full 2018 Cruise Schedule here.
To avoid paying to park uptown, I usually park under the Harbour Bridge at Fort LaTour follow Harbour Passage to the Boardwalk. Harbour Passage is great for all ages and definitely stroller/wagon friendly. It’s a great place to get a beautiful view of the city and let the kids run around and burn off some energy.
Fort LaTour picnic with my youngest
Fort LaTour is a huge green space and is a perfect spot to set up a picnic. Did you know that back in 1631 this area was used by the Indigenous community as a fur trading post?
Celebrating a big Family Thanksgiving
We have so much to be thankful for living in a country like Canada. I could dedicate an entire post to this topic alone. It’s so nice to have a holiday that isn’t over commercialized, it’s all about spending time with family and friends and enjoying all things pumpkin.
And on the topic of pumpkin, I have Celiac so I can’t eat traditional pumpkin pie, but if anyone else is looking for a delicious Gluten Free Pumpkin pie (maybe you’re just not a fan of pie crust),this one is my favourite.
This Thanksgiving weekend try to slow down and spend some uninterrupted time with your family (put the phones away) and be present in the moment. Don’t count calories, have the extra dessert if you want it and enjoy the fresh fall air and the beautiful maples trees.
Michelle Lefrancois was born and raised in the small town of Grand Bay-Westfield, NB. She graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a Business Degree in 2004. After graduation, she worked in the Finance and Banking world for 10 years before deciding to be a stay at home mom to her two young daughters. She’s the founder of Network of Mom and loves helping other moms connect. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying the great outdoors with her husband, 2 children and 2 Boxers.