Fall: A Time for Family Bonding & Buckets Lists of Course…

October 11, 2019

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

Man, I love fall.

Sure, summer is gone and the temps are dipping a bit, but there’s something about the cool, crisp air that just feels right.

It’s no longer the crazy-busy beginning of the school year, and it’s not quite the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday. (Regardless of what retailers seem to think.)

Fall is that time in-between where things are kind of chill; where you’re not exactly running around like a mad-person. Not all the time, anyway. I feel like fall is a great time for family bonding. It’s comfortable. Warm sweaters, cute boots, homemade apple pies, soup – no shivering and no sweltering.

There’s just something about it.

If you know me, you know my love for lists. I have a list for everything. Even a list for my lists. 🙂 So why not make a fall family bucket list. Some are quite obvious and others are a nice reminder.

First and foremost – Get outside! Like, often. It doesn’t even really matter what we’re doing, being outside in the fall is the absolute best. Sometimes it’s just a nice walk around the block or maybe picking up and jumping in some leaves, or collecting pine cones. My girls would rather be outside than inside and we know what’s coming, so now is the time. Bring a blanket and just sit and read books, have a picnic and tell some jokes. Collect leaves, build a scarecrow, take some awesome and colorful family photos!

Head to the cider mill. Fall is just not fall without a trip to the cider mill. We love Mayer Brothers in Elma but you can also check out Smith’s Cider Mill in Lockport and Red Barrel Cider Mill in Boston. They always have some great treats and neat merchandise. Don’t forget to grab some fresh cider and of course, some apples. Better yet, go apple picking!!!! My kids LOVE picking their own… LOVE it.

Bake up a storm. Yes, use the apples, obviously. Apple pie from scratch is the best (although, truth be told, we do buy pre-made crust – sorry). That’s not the only thing to bake this fall, though. How about some pumpkin bread? Yum. My girls love helping out in the kitchen.

Take a hike. Oh my gosh, the scenery is so beautiful in the fall. There are many incredible places to take a hike. We love Reinstein Woods, Knox Farm and Chestnut Ridge Park, but there are many other beautiful parks and trails in Buffalo and Western New York. Bundle the kids up and hit the trail. Don’t forget the camera.

Go for hay ride. Kelkenberg Farms in Clarence has a great hay ride. Sing some songs, check out the gorgeous views, and enjoy the crisp fall weather. What more could you ask for?

Open up! I’m talking about opening some windows! There’s something invigorating about that crisp fresh air coming into your home. It is a pick-me-up for sure.

Take a family picture. Get everyone you can and gather together to capture some incredible moments. Hire a photographer if you can or just grab your camera or smart phone and snap away. Ask someone to help you out so you can jump in a few.

Be grateful. I’m always pushing this one because it is my favorite. Make a jar and give your kids a small piece of paper every day (one for you, too). Each day write down one thing you are most thankful for. Then, on Thanksgiving, read them together as you enjoy your turkey dinner! You might be surprised at what your kids are thankful for! We sure have an awful lot to be thankful for, even during the tough times.

This is the time to make some great and lasting memories. Once you’ve finished up your bucket list, make a photo book together and write down some of your favorite moments. It’s always fun to bring them out and recall all of the wonderful times you had as a family.

There is no doubt that the reds and golden-yellows that fill our trees at this time of year are simply stunning and one of the highlights of the season. Simply put the shorter days and cooler temperatures trigger the leaves’ green photosynthetic pigment (chlorophyll) to break down, allowing other yellow and orange pigments to show through, before the leaves are finally lost as winter comes.

Fall is fabulous for many reasons – you no longer need your air conditioning and don’t yet need your heat so you can save a few bucks. It’s football season, Halloween is almost here, and let’s not forget – less humidity in the air – which means more good hair days!!! 🙂

One more thing… don’t hate me for this … try doing these activities without your phone in hand. It’s fine to capture the moments but it’s important to live in them, too.

Happy Fall Y’all! Enjoy every minute – we know what’s next…..



About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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