Why live in New England if you aren’t even going to try to do some seasonal things? That does not mean getting “dressed like a fashion blogger” and creating staged moments for Instagram. Here are a few suggestions:
This is a free, annual outdoor performance that marks the change in seasons. It rotates to a different Hartford park each year and is one of those true community events where the hours before the show are as much about socializing with friends and neighbors as they are about buying snacks and claiming your blanket space. I’m going to go right ahead and take a guess that after the horrors in Vegas over the weekend, we can all benefit from more time connecting with others. There is dancing and giant puppets. It may look like an event for children on the surface, but I would not go so far as to categorize it that way. If you are an adult showing up without kids, you won’t be looked at as a creeper. Night Fall is in Bushnell Park on October 7 this year.
Get a chaider
Kick those basic seasonal beverages to the curb. It’s time for cider and chai. Blue State Coffee has this. Or, get an adult beverage: Hanging Hills Brewing Company has teamed up with Bear’s to create Pumpkin the Bear.
Hoard some gourds
You can get pumpkins and gourds at farmers’ markets. Don’t even need to leave town for ’em.
Go see that display in Elizabeth Park
The area around Elizabeth Park’s Pond House gets transformed into a Halloween paradise for a few weeks around the holiday. There is no charge to walk through and look at the decor. Be sure to look up in the trees.
Check out house, lawn, and stoop decorations
There are a fair number of people who take the time to decorate their homes, whether for Halloween or the season in general. They are intended to be looked at.
Follow the Wallace Stevens Walk
Available all year, but why not go now when you won’t get as sweaty on this 2.4 mile walk? There are granite markers with stanzas from Stevens’ poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”
Halloween Scavenger Hunt and Costume Parade
There’s so much wrong with the world right now. Dressing your pug to look like a penguin is not one of those things. Naturally Dogs & Cats is enabling this kind of good ridiculousness on October 21.
Stare at the leaves
Vermont is nice and all, but if you can’t manage to get it together this year, now you have a back up plan. Some of the most interesting foliage displays can be seen in Keney Park and from the path along the Connecticut River.
Hallowed History Lantern Tour
You get to walk through a cemetery at night without automatically getting into trouble for it. You also get to learn about dead people. This is at Cedar Hill Cemetery on October 27.
BONUS: head to the wilds of West Hartford for the ultimate Halloween display on North Main Street.
Thanks to those Hartford residents who shared their thoughts on Fall activities. Anything else that should be on this list? Leave your remarks in the comment section below.