To retailers around the country, the holiday season started bright and early Nov.1. We’ve hardly had time to raid our kids Halloween candy and Santa and his reindeer are already trying to sell us everything from crockpots to electric razors. This is a little disconcerting to me mainly because I don’t like to be rushed. I KNOW Christmas is only 6 weeks away but I’d kinda like to enjoy my turkey and dressing first before I jump into the deep end of the yuletide pool.
Like it or not, fall is definitely winding down. Get out and enjoy the last days of autumn before you get swept away by the Fa La La.
The clocks rolled back one hour last weekend and now the night comes a little earlier. One way to embrace the fall’s shorter days is a Nighttime Owl Prowl Hike at the Trinity River Audubon Center. This is one of my family’s absolute favorite fall activities. The event starts with a talk about owl anatomy, how call owls, and how to attract owls to your yard. Later on, after it gets dark, you’ll head out onto the spooky trails for a group lead owl prowl. The night ends with roasting s’mores over the fire. Don’t forget to bring your flashlight and to wear closed-toed shoes.
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate everything good about fall, be a part of the Lantern Fest this Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. The ethereal event happens after the sun goes down when thousands of revelers launch paper lanterns into the night sky creating an effect that can only be described as magical. Get there early and enjoy food, live music, a stage show, costumed characters, face painters, s’mores, balloon artists and more. Be sure to arrive early enough to park, check-in and find a place to enjoy the event.
The crazy popular Halloween at the Heard sold out in record time, but you can still enjoy the scary fun of a little post-Halloween dinosaur watching. That’s right, along the half-mile nature trail at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney are ten life-size animatronic dinosaurs. The giant reptiles communing with nature are part of the Dinosaurs Live! exhibit and they move, growl, and of course, roar. This is one time the kids won’t need to be encouraged to take a hike and get some exercise.
Your mind might be drifting in the direction of Christmas trees but pumpkins are what you should be thinking. That’s right, there are still a few pumpkin patches open and after Halloween can be a great time to visit. The crowds have died down and you can enjoy yourself at a slower pace. Enjoy some simple pleasures at the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm at Preston Trail Farms. Experience the country life as you take a hayride, explore a 6-foot hay maze, ride the farm train, or pet some farm animals. They’re open daily through Nov. 22.
Speaking of farms, don’t miss the open house at Latte Da Dairy this Sunday. This peek inside the dairy, which is home to Nubian and Lamancha dairy goats, is extra special because it only happens twice a year. You and your “kids” can meet the goats called the ‘dairy divas,’ see how goat cheese is made, and best of all — pet baby goats! They’ll also be holding a mini-market where you can buy locally produced items like jam, free-range eggs, local honey, and of course, goat cheese. And because goats produce more than just milk, you’ll also have the opportunity to purchase Nanny Berry organic compost for just $5 a barrel. Just make sure the container you bring has a TIGHT lid.