It might feel like the first day of fall when your favorite coffee shop starts selling pumpkin-flavored lattes and apple cider doughnuts, but that’s just wishful thinking. Fall officially starts when the autumn equinox arrives, which is tomorrow! This year, fall begins on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in the United States and everywhere else in the northern hemisphere. The autumn equinox — also known as the autumnal equinox, the fall equinox or the September equinox — occurs when the sun moves directly over the Earth’s equator, bringing virtually the same amount of daylight and darkness on that particular day. The word equinox comes from the Latin words "aequus," which means "equal," and "nox," which means night. That's led to the perception that everyone worldwide sees the same amount of daylight and nighttime, but it's not the absolute truth. To be precise, daylight lasts about 8 minutes longer than nighttime on the day of the equinox. Another definition of fall is “nights of below-freezing temperatures combined with days of temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21°C)”. From here on out, the temperatures begin to drop. Fall is the perfect season to do fun activities! According to visitnj.org here are are some fun things to do this fall!
Take a scenic drive.
Enjoy fall’s blissfully mild weather with a drive along one of New Jersey’s eight scenic byways. On the Delaware River Scenic Byway, you’ll pass by important historic sites—such as Washington Crossing, where George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War—as well as charming small towns lined with shops and restaurants, and lush state parks, such as the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park—perfect for pulling over and stretching your legs. Meanwhile, the Bayshore Heritage Byway is a 122-mile stretch featuring picturesque lighthouses, historic sites and ocean views, offering plenty to explore along the drive.
See fall foliage.
Fall means blazing colors of crimson, gold and orange washing across the mountainsides. Take in the breathtaking foliage at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, where you can hike part of the iconic Appalachian Trail to take in the views. At High Point State Park in Sussex, trek to the top of High Point State Monument for sweeping views of the Pocono Mountains, Catskill Mountains and the Wallkill River Valley. Allamuchy Mountain State Park near Hackettstown offers several lakes, so you can enjoy the peaceful sounds of water while enjoying the display of dazzling fall colors.
Pick your own apples.
Feel the sun on your face and take part in a Garden State fall tradition when you pick your own bushel of fresh apples right from the orchards. At the family-owned Battleview Orchards in Freehold, take your pick—quite literally—of flavorful apple varieties such from early September through the end of October, whether you enjoy Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Cortland, Gala, Golden Delicious or others.
Visit a pumpkin patch.
There’s nothing like picking out the perfect pumpkin for your Halloween jack ‘o’ lantern. At Cheesequake Farms in Matawan, wander acres of fields to choose from gourds and pumpkins of all sizes, shapes and colors to find the best ones for your harvest décor. In Montville, take in sweeping views of the sunflower fields at Conklin Farm U-Pick, and choose from thousands of pumpkins in an array of sizes. Before leaving, stop by the farm store for a selection of painted pumpkins, as well as Indian corn, scarecrows and straw for fall decorating.
Fall also brings some wonderful holidays, including Halloween and Thanksgiving, which carry us through the season until temperatures begin to drop, nights begin to get longer, and all the woodland critters start storing up for the long haul of winter. And don’t forget about the end of Daylight Saving Time, when we “fall” back, setting our clocks back one hour and regaining an hour of precious sleep!
Posts written by the Team ELM family!