The Harbinger Online

Fun and Cheap Fall Activities

Football

Relax in the fresh air while you still can, because before you know it, you will be stuck at home in the biting cold wishing for a warm autumn day. This is your chance.

College football and the NFL are kicking off and there’s no better way to celebrate it than to have a pick-up football game at your local park. For a great break, try a picnic of Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue sandwiches along with fresh apples.

When you play football with your friends, it doesn’t matter how good you are, all that matters is that you are getting fresh air and spending time with your friends. Some of the most fun plays of my football games didn’t come from the superstar track athletes; they came from the average kid who was having fun.

For an interesting twist, play in the mud. Playing tackle football in the mud isn’t just for Brett Favre and Levi jeans commercials; anyone can have a fun time in the mud. You are bound to get dirty when playing tackle football on the torn-up, wet field so make sure to wear a comfortable pair of old jeans and an old worn out sweatshirt. Another great help when playing football in the mud is to bring goggles. It is extremely painful to receive a face full of mud and have nothing to protect your eyes.

Now that you played football for yourself, relax and watch an NFL game while snacking on the Oklahoma Joe’s leftovers.

Corn Mazes

It is the final challenge in the Tri-Wizard Tournament from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Harry Potter is preparing to race into a maze made out of towering hedges and filled with magical creatures and traps. The cannon shoots off and Harry sprints off into the maze. You may not be able to recreate the towering hedges or magical creatures and traps, but you will be able to share the excitement and atmosphere as is in Harry Potter.

Corn mazes are cheap and can be used multiple times without seeming the same thing twice. From racing to see who can get to the center first to playing hide-and-go seek in them, there is fun to be found for anyone.

One of the many pumpkin patches and corn mazes in the Kansas City area is at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead. Deanna Rose is located near 138th and Switzer.

Every year I pick out a round, giant pumpkin and take it home to carve out. The pumpkin seeds getting scooped out and baked to make a tasty treat and a laughable face is carved on the side. A Halloween tradition from the first time we visit the pumpkin patch in kindergarten to buying pumpkins from our local school is picking out the perfect pumpkin.

Picking the perfect pumpkin and carving the pumpkin takes time, but for many, it is a yearly tradition. Whether the designs are of a creepy ghoul or a laughable ghost, trick-or-treaters will be sure to enjoy your creation.

Apple Picking

There is nothing better when you get home from a long day of school then a fresh, juicy, hand-picked apple.

Such apples can be found at Wagon Wheel Orchard in Edgerton, a 30 minute drive from East. Even though the summer was extremely hot, many of their southern apple variety are still having a good season for picking.

The picking schedule puts Fuji, Golden Delicious and Liberty ready for picking now; Granny Smith ready to pick Oct. 2; and Arkansas Black ready to pick Oct. 21. Call or email to find out what is available for picking. As you are deciding which apples to pick, you can choose from Granny Smith apples that are ready to eat that day or Arkansas Black apples that will be ready to eat in a matter of weeks.

Apple picking can also be a great time to buy the classic fall drink, apple juice. Most apple orchards will sell freshly squeezed apple juice straight from their own apples. This will give each and every orchard’s apple juice its own flavor and color.

Apples are not the only fruit that can be picked at most farms. Fall pears are currently in season at most farms and can be a great alternative to those who don’t like apples and apple juice.

Make sure to email or call Wagon Wheel Orchards before you go to check seasons and availability of apples and pears.

Festivals

Get in touch with your community and spend some time going to an event in Kansas City. Going to a festival can be an interesting way to kick off a fall season.

Playing carnival games and trying the cake walk at fall festivals can be a much needed break from the rigor of hours of homework, a job and chores. Forget your daily troubles by racing down an inflatable slide or getting a tattoo airbrushed onto your arm of Spiderman on a brick wall.

If you are in need of service hours, you can also volunteer to work at a fall festival. Even if you don’t need service hours, you can still help young kids clutching their paper sack filled with free toys and candy up inflatable obstacle courses or help to hand out candy at the cake walk.

Volunteering at your fall festival is better than working at your average food pantry because there is a more friendly atmosphere and the energy level is greater. The time rushes by and afterwords you usually have the chance to play on the inflatables or try the games for yourself.

Check your local churches, schools and communities for times and dates of fall festivals and to find where to sign up to volunteer.

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Andrew McKittrick

Junior Andrew "McKitty" McKittrick is the Assistant Editor for print. Along with broadcasting and designing, Andrew enjoys swimming, country music and cuddling. He is also a member of the Broadcasting Dream Team. He also enjoys harassing his two best girls, Katie Knight and Jennifer Rorie. Read Full »

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