Things to do in Northern CA | Fall Edition

Japanese Fire Maple Leaves leaves in Northern California. Photo by Claire Toney Photography
Japanese Fire Maple Leaves leaves in Northern California. Photo by Claire Toney Photography

Before I knew it, summer ended.

My emailbox is full of upcoming events that include apple cider, apple picking, pumpkins, and Halloween. I am longing again to make my weekly drives up the hill and surround myself with orchards and the crisp fresh air. Many changes...and to tell you the truth, I am happy for them. 

I have a few places that I love to visit with my children. A few you may recognize - Nevada City and Apple Hill are places that I can visit anytime of the year, probably because the seasons are more pronounced than where I live. The rest are specific to the autumn season and should not be missed, especially if you have littles. I wish I had more pictures to share with you, but the drive that I kept photos on dropped a few months ago (I cry a little inside whenever I think about that). But I do have some favorites that I made backups of before the drop happened. 

Here is a list of a few of my favorite seasonal things to do in Northern CA:

  1. Apple Hill - As you can imagine, this place is PACKED come October. I like to visit as late in September as possible if I have to go on the weekend. Now that we are homeschooling, I plan on taking my son there during the week. Most of the orchards open on Labor Day Weekend and some have You-Pick apple orchards. My husband scoffs at these because he considers it work to pick produce when you can just go to the store and buy ones that have already been picked. I think there is a certain natural joy to finding your own food and picking it off straight from the tree or vine. I've tried to instill this in my children and I think I've succeeded...my daughter still likes to pick berries and apples straight from the source. 
  2. Bishop's Pumpkin Patch - This is another popular place to take your family during the fall season. They have pony rides, a corn maze, animals, and (my son's favorite) an area where children can pan for marbles. The activities cost, however, so be ready to spend money while you're there. 
  3. Renaissance Fair - There are a few in Northern California. The one that we go to is the Folsom Renaissance Faire. I LOVE the costumes, and jousting, and noise, and atmosphere. (Last year's pictures are on that dropped drive)
  4. Nevada City - I LOVE this area during the fall. The reds, oranges, and yellows that I remember from my childhood burst all over town. I take at least one photography walk here by myself to capture them. 
  5. Area Harvest Festivals - There are quite a few in our area, many held by schools. A few to check out are Golden Valley Charter School, Sacramento Waldorf, and Alice Birney.
My dad with my daughter. One of our favorite things to do in Northern CA during the fall season
My dad with my daughter. One of our favorite things to do in Northern CA during the fall season

What are your favorite things to do in Northern CA this time of year? Please share in the comments - I'd love to hear from you!

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