Butterscotch Caramel Coffee

This simple Butterscotch Caramel Coffee Recipe makes the perfect drink for cold nights! Get the free printable recipe card for a party coffee bar. Easy Butterscotch Caramel Coffee Recipe I’m a coffee lover! When we had a blast of cold weather here in Dallas, it got me craving a warm drink, so I came up […]

The post Butterscotch Caramel Coffee appeared first on Living Locurto.

8 Things You’ve Gotta Do, Because It’s Motherf*cking Fall

Okay folks, summer’s over. And just in case this is your first rodeo, I’m going to explain the ins and outs of momming in autumn. There are a few basic things you have to do between now and Thanksgiving, or you risk surrendering your motherhood badge. And it doesn’t matter if you have a 10-year old or a 6-month old. You MUST complete this checklist because it’s fucking fall. So get on board.

1. The obligatory pumpkin patch visit.

Oh, your child is like 11 seconds old and has no idea what a pumpkin and/or patch even means? Too bad. Pack up that diaper bag and fill those sippy cups, my friend, because you’re not really a parent until you’ve paid $10 to push a stroller through the mud so you can take a picture of your baby holding a tiny pumpkin.

Also, there’s a mandatory hay ride. Your kid will hate the hay scratching his legs and will cry and try to jump off as you torture him with this “fun fall family event” for 10 minutes. And he’ll poop himself, but there are only porta-potties that haven’t been serviced since Bush was president. Oh, yeah, and he’ll beg for a candy apple, which you’ll agree to (because you’re FUN, DAMNIT), but the line is like 36 minutes long and when he finally gets ahold of it, he’ll snatch it out of your hands greedily and all the moms will judge you for not slathering him in hand sanitizer because he touched a goat two hours ago.

Side note: Some moms try to get away with an apple orchard visit instead. You may do both (you really should, TBH), but the pumpkin patch is not optional. So don’t try to squeeze in a last-minute apple picking adventure on a Saturday in September and call it good. That shit ain’t gonna fly.

2. Crafting and decorations. 

Come October 1, if there is not a witch or pumpkin or “fall harvest wreath” or “Give Thanks” sign adorning your front door, you can just hang up your mom cleats now because you’ve failed. What, are you NOT thankful? Get your shit together.

Also, while you can purchase said fall/Halloween decor at Target, you really should ensure that your beloved children make some things to hang about the house as well. Like ghosts. Or bats. Or creepy spiders. It’s super easy—just ask Pinterest. Oh, you don’t want to decorate and craft because it fucking sucks? Fine. If the ghosts are too much, you may redeem yourself by putting no less than eight gourds on your mantel, making your kid write down 20 things he’s thankful for, and burning a pumpkin scented candle in the bathroom.

3. Pumpkin carving—guts and all. 

Yeah, we know Melanie down the street just let her kids paint their pumpkins. Well, Melanie sucks and clearly doesn’t love her kids. If you are a real mom, you carve that shit out and roast the seeds so you can all enjoy a healthy snack later that tastes like bite-sized morsels of sadness. Your kids will start off strong, interested, excited about the Belle or Darth Vader face you’re going to carve out, but they’ll get bored (or grossed out by the slimy innards of pumpkins) and go play on their iPads while you finish carving their masterpieces until midnight.

You can’t quit, despite your hand cramping and kitchen being completely trashed, because these suckers are going on the front porch for all the world to see. Will they rot in 48 hours and have to be tossed in the trash? Probably. But this is what motherhood means, people. So roll up your sleeves and get in there.

4. Fall family photo shoot. 

Okay, does everyone have boots? I repeat: DOES EVERYONE HAVE BOOTS? Don’t even try to hire a photographer and drag her ass to the park if you’re showing up in anything else. She’ll walk right out. Oh, your daughter’s new boots hurt her feet? The ones she begged for that cost the price of a trip to Alaska? Suck it up, little girl. Smile through the pain. It builds character. Also, you all need matching fall sweaters (or an orangey-red dress is fine).

For the picture, you’ll need to select an area with lots of trees, so the gently falling leaves will be scattered about your feet. Ignore the mud. I know the boots are brand new and probably ruined. Pretend you don’t know that as you lovingly toss your toddler into the air in his little flannel shirt and jeans that took you 20 minutes to button. This is THE picture you’re sending out as the holiday card, so don’t fuck it up.

5. Preparing for temperature changes. 

When you wake up tomorrow it will be 41 degrees. By 3 p.m., 70 degrees. The next day it’s going to snow. Any good mom is fully prepared for the exhausting temperature roller coaster that is fall, and ensures her car is stocked with back up pants (and shorts), light jackets (and heavy jackets), hats, gloves, snow boots. And bathing suits.

6. Cooking shit in the crockpot. 

First of all, if you don’t own at least one Crockpot (or even better, an Instant Pot), stop reading and get your ass on Amazon. Good Lord. What are you doing with your life? You have a few choices, but by fall’s end, you must have cooked AT MINIMUM three of the following:

– chili (extra points if you make three different kinds for a football party)

– hot apple cider

– chicken noodle soup (you may make other soups as a secondary choice, but only after the chicken noodle)

– some sort of beef stew / pot roast with potatoes

– dessert with apples you hand-picked at an orchard

7. Watch football. 

No one cares if you hate it. It needs to be on all day long on Saturdays and Sundays. College, NFL. Whatever. You don’t have to watch if you don’t want to (use this time to make those hanging ghosts!) but this is no time for a Fixer Upper marathon, okay? Be efficient with your time and drag out that Crockpot for game days. Or put out your freshly roasted pumpkin seeds! Your family and friends will love eating snacks that taste like ass, and you’ll be mom hostess of the year.

8. Burn something. 

You must do something with a open flame between now and Christmas. This one’s flexible—roast marshmallows, have a bonfire, roast marshmallows in a bonfire, whatever. Obviously, you need to perfectly time your photos to capture that moment your small child holds his roasting stick just close enough to get an Insta-worthy shot, before he drops it into the fire or you scream and grab him because he gets too close. It’s tricky, especially for first-timers, but you’ll get it.

Side note: This is a good one to loop in with the pumpkin patch visit, as some of them offer small fires for children, but not for family picture day, since melted s’mores will end up all over their clothes. Priorities, Mommy. Priorities.

That’s pretty much the list. Eight small tasks. Not bad, right? Just make sure to get it all done by Thanksgiving though, because the winter holiday list is a real bitch.

The post 8 Things You’ve Gotta Do, Because It’s Motherf*cking Fall appeared first on Scary Mommy.

50 Things You Do If You’re Totally Extra About Your Love Of Fall

Can you feel it? That nip in the air early in the morning that tells you the seasons are about to turn? That’s right, folks. Fall is coming.

I know some are in denial about that fact, but I am not one of those people. My whole life I’ve been a bit extra about fall. Truth be told, I’ve had my fall scents burning since mid-August, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

We feel like we’re getting a fresh start on life as the leaves change, school starts, and pumpkin spice everything makes its way onto the shelves of every store and into our hearts. It’s a truly magical time.

For those of us who celebrate autumn hard, you can probably find us doing some or all of the following:

1. Visiting the apple orchard and getting perfectly posed pictures of the kiddos for Instagram in matching sweaters.

2. Holding a harvest dinner with everything from a roast chicken to apple pie to roasted pumpkin seed pesto.

3. Putting candy corn in a bowl for guests. And in cookies. And melting some in your coffee.

4. Raking a big ass pile of leaves and jumping in them — cue another Instagram photo.

Giphy

5. Making everything apple — apple pie, applesauce, apple dumplings, apple crisp.

Instagram Photo

6. Buying every color of opaque tights.

7. Stocking up on fall-scented soaps, lotions, candles, and room sprays so your family chokes every time they enter the house.

8. Getting your Martha Stewart on and decorating your house in perfect fall colors.

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9. Baking cut-out cookies and decorating them in shades of orange, red, and yellow.

10. Buying all the damn mums.

11. Making the kids matching Halloween costumes since you decided what they’d all be in July.

12. Putting a perfect fall wreath on every door.

13. Stocking your fridge with apple cider and having some simmering on the stove at all times.

14. Visiting the pumpkin patch, taking pumpkins home to carve, and hoping it goes well because you know you’ll be doing all the work.

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15. Buying the fabric store out of burlap.

16. Making and freezing 16 loaves of pumpkin bread.

17. Stocking up on a shit ton of cinnamon and nutmeg even though you have some leftover from last year.

18. Buying a costume for your pet.

19. Getting really freaking excited about dropping the kids off at school so you can buy a Pumpkin Spice Latte and walk around Target alone.

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20. Busting out the boots.

21. Going on a hayride with your family in matching flannel shirts.

22. Getting out the knitting needles to start Christmas projects.

23. Having epic bonfires in the backyard.

24. Going for long bug-free walk in the woods.

25. Stocking up on faux fur throws.

26. Treat yourself to cuddly sweaters in every color with visions of reading by the fire place in said cuddly sweater.

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27. Roasting a chicken and making soup in every Crock Pot recipe you have.

28. Adding to your scarf collection.

29. Buying plaid table runners, shorts,underwear, and socks.

30. Loving the fact you don’t have to wash your hair because it’s beanie season.

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31. Collecting acorns around the yard to decorate your home and throw in those perfect wreaths.

32. Talking about your love for autumn so much that people start to hate you.

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33. Googling recipes for homemade hot cocoa.

34. Putting flannel sheets on the bed.

35. At the first sign of a cold snap, dressing in corduroys, your favorite scarf, and denim jacket even though you will be sweating your ass off by noon.

36. Putting things like vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg on the stove and simmer all day to get everyone in that fall mood.

37. Pretending wool is not scratchy.

38. Buying seasonal fruits and veggies like squash and pomegranates even if you don’t like them.

39. Taking your kids to the corn maze and buying them a candy apple even though no one has ever been able to eat one of those things.

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40. Seeking out all the places that sell apple and pumpkin donuts so you can decide who has the best ones.

41. Buying flavored coffees and creamers and wondering why you don’t do this all year round.

42. Football!

43. Leaving the windows open to get some of that fall air inside.

44. Taking long rides to go leaf-peeping.

45. Stocking up on new books and relax on the sofa at night during the shorter days.

46. Painting your toenails in shades of orange and brown.

47. Buying bouquets of sunflowers.

48. Packing up your summer clothes willingly.

49. Telling scary stories under a blanket tent with a flash light.

50. Regretting it immediately when your kids can’t sleep because you’ve frightened them to death.

There are many of us who don’t mind the days are getting shorter — there are plenty of things to do during this special time of year. So, pass the candy corn and all the pumpkin shit. Slip on your favorite boots and sweater and let’s watch the game.

The post 50 Things You Do If You’re Totally Extra About Your Love Of Fall appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Pumpkin Cake Mix Cookies

Delicious pumpkin cookies made in minutes! Easy cake mix cookies recipe topped with buttercream frosting and dark chocolate sprinkles. The perfect pumpkin spice dessert for fall.

Pumpkin cookies made in minutes! Easy cake mix cookies recipe with buttercream frosting and dark chocolate. Perfect pumpkin spice dessert for fall.

Fluffy Pumpkin Cookies You Can’t Resist!

‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice and everything nice! I’ve made the best Pumpkin Cookies to share with you today. Yay!

This recipe is a simple four ingredient cake mix cookie recipe perfect for fall desserts. What’s even better, is I ordered all of my ingredients online at through Instacart.com and never left my house all day!

I love shopping at ALDI and am happy to partner with them again to let you know you can now easily order online at Instacart.com!

When you’re a busy mom like me, driving kids all over the place, there is little time to grocery shop. I’m sharing my experience as a first time shopper for groceries online today, along with my favorite new pumpkin cookies recipe. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Pumpkin cookies! Easy cake mix cookies recipe with buttercream frosting and dark chocolate. Perfect pumpkin spice dessert for fall.

How to Shop at Aldi On Instacart

ALDI and Instacart have teamed up to make it possible to get your favorite products without ever having to leave home! Right now, ALDI shoppers in Dallas, Atlanta and Los Angeles are able to order online, and will hopefully be available in other cities soon!

This really couldn’t have been easier for me to make my first order for groceries online, ever. In only a few minutes, I had everything I needed in my cart.

Shop at ALDI on Instacart.com

Imagine how excited I was when I got a text saying Crystal was doing my shopping for me!!! It took me a while to figure out it was a text from Instacart. When I clued into what was happening, I immediately fell in love with Crystal.

When Crystal showed up just a little over an hour at my house with my groceries, I almost kissed her. ha!! It was like Christmas!

Grocery shop at ALDI on Instacart.com

I’m totally addicted to shopping online at ALDI now. If you’ve never shopped at ALDI, read my post all about it here where I share 10 great things to buy at ALDI.

To help shoppers save money, the store carries mostly ALDI exclusive brands, with a few national brands mixed in.

It’s one of my favorite places to shop and I’m saving money and time. YAY!

I’m also addicted to these wonderful Pumpkin Cookies! Be sure to pin this recipe because you’ll definitely want to make them for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Cookies Recipe

This easy cake mix cookie recipe only calls for four ingredients! All you need is:

  1. A box of Baker’s Corner Classic Yellow Cake Mix
  2. A can of Baker’s Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
  3. Simply Nature Organic Cage Free Brown Eggs
  4. Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice

You’ll have fluffy pumpkin cookies in only 10 minutes!

Pumpkin Cookies! Easy Cake Mix Cookie recipe for fall.

I love pumpkin and chocolate desserts, so I topped my pumpkin cookies with homemade buttercream frosting and sprinkled them with pieces of a dark chocolate bar.

Pumpkin Cookies! Easy Cake Mix Cookie recipe for fall with chocolate sprinkles.

They turned out amazing! Even my picky kids loved them!!

I’m so excited to shop ALDI online now, and will be making these cookies often no matter what time of the year.

Pumpkin Cookies! Easy Cake Mix Cookie recipe for fall or Christmas cookie exchange.

See how soft and fluffy they turn out? YUM! I hope you enjoy them. Be sure to visit Instacart.com and shop at ALDI.

How to make the best Pumpkin Cookies! Easy Cake Mix Cookie recipe for fall or Christmas cookie exchange.

ALDI Products that I used in my recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 Box of Baker’s Corner Classic Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 15oz can Baker’s Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
  • 1 SimplyNature Organic Cage Free Brown Egg
  • 2 Teaspoons Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice

Frosting

  • ½ Cup Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, softened
  • ¾ Teaspoon Stonemill Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups Baker’s Corner Powdered Sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Friendly Farms 2% Milk

Topping

  • 1 Bar Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate (This is amazing!)

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cookies | Easy Cake Mix Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Delicious pumpkin cookies made in minutes! Easy cake mix cookies recipe topped with buttercream frosting and dark chocolate sprinkles. The perfect pumpkin spice dessert for fall.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 15 oz can pure pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


  • Frosting:
  • ½ cup salted butter softened
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk


  • Topping:
  • 1 bar dark chocolate, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the cake mix, pumpkin, egg, and pumpkin pie spice until it is all well combined.
  3. Spoon generous spoonfuls of batter onto a cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Make sure they are at least 2 inches apart. Swirl the batter with your spoon to make them more round.
  4. Tap the cookie sheet a few times to smooth out your cookie batter.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Move the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
  6. In mixing bowl, whip the butter for a few minutes.
  7. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk. Beat for 3-5 minutes, adding in another tablespoon of milk if the frosting needs to be thinner.
  8. Cut chocolate bar into pieces.
  9. Place frosting in a piping bag and pipe onto the cookies.
  10. Sprinkle the top with dark chocolate pieces. Store in refrigerator or air tight container.

PIN IT…

This post was sponsored by ALDI. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make this website possible.

The post Pumpkin Cake Mix Cookies appeared first on Living Locurto.

15 Pumpkin Spice Treats You Need Right Now

This is your comprehensive guide to everything pumpkin spice.  These fifteen products are the pumpkin spice treats that you need right now.  Because if we’re going to go beyond the standard Starbucks Frappuccino, we might as well put a little bit of pumpkin in everything (except for these things).   Here’s a few of our favorites, and some fun ideas about how to enjoy them!

1. Pumpkin Spice Jello

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

This stuff is actually delicious and layers amazing in a graham cracker crust with cream cheese jello.  It’s the easiest pumpkin cheesecake you’ll ever make!

2. Pumpkin Spice Cheerios

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

My children cannot get enough of these.  If you love Cheerios, you will love this autumn twist!

3. Jack Skellington Lip Balm

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

This is my personal favorite!!  This lip balm is the cutest and the fact that it’s pumpkin spice just makes it that much better!

 

SEE MORE:  20 Fall Treats That Aren’t Pumpkin

 

4. Ghirardelli Pumpkin Spice Caramels

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

These are the classic decadent Ghirardelli milk chocolate squares but with a hint of fall.  I love them.

5. Pumpkin Spice Milanos

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

I have a weakness for Milano cookies.  I love the buttery shortbread and this sweet layer of pumpkin spice with the usual chocolate is lovely,

6.  Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

What is better than hot chocolate on a crisp fall morning?  Hot Chocolate with pumpkin spice biscotti!

 

SEE MORE:  Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

 

7.  Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

Pour this all over oatmeal pancakes.  You will thank me.

8. Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

You had me at Spiced Vanilla Glaze!

9. Pumpkin Spice Yogurt Pretzels

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

I’m a sucker for a good yogurt pretzel and these look amazing.  The cherry on top would be mixing these with a bag of chocolate yogurt pretzels!

10. Pumpkin Pie Sauce

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

Grab a cheesecake from Costco and just smother it in this sauce.  Top with whipped cream and you are a chef now.

 

SEE MORE:  Pumpkin Spice Caramel Popcorn Recipe

 

11. Pumpkin Spice Almonds

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

For when you need a fall snack on the go!

12. Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cookies 

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

I love these.  These are also the perfect crust for a pumpkin cheesecake.  Just crush a bag, add some melted butter and smash into a pie tin.  Delicious!

13.  Pumpkin Pie M&M’s

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

Anyone else keep getting hooked on all of the fun M&M flavors?  This one is particularly good, but I do miss the pumpkin spice latte ones from last year!

 

SEE MORE:  10 Ways to Decorate Pumpkins Without Carving

 

14. Werther’s Original Pumpkin Spice Caramels

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

This way you can get Grandma on board with the pumpkin spice trend.

15. Pumpkin Spice Instant Oatmeal

Your guide to all things pumpkin spice

I love this stuff.  Chop up some pecans or walnuts and mix with whole milk and you have the perfect Saturday morning breakfast.  It is so yummy!

What are some of your favorite Pumpkin Spice Treats??

See more at TodaysMama!

The Best Pumpkin Muffins

15 Must Try Pumpkin Recipes

10 Things to Add to Your Fall Bucket List with Kids

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Cheesecake Mousse

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Caramel Mousse! A delicious and easy no bake dessert! Perfect for a fall party or Thanksgiving.

I finally came up with the most delicious pumpkin spice recipe! Even though I’m not a huge pumpkin fan, I’m jumping on the pumpkin craze and sharing this VERY GOOD, easy to make no bake Pumpkin Spice Caramel Cheesecake Mousse. You will absolutely love this, I promise!

Lately, I’ve been baking and cooking like a mad woman! I mean, have you seen my new white kitchen??? You would too if you were me right? If you haven’t taken the new kitchen tour, check out my before and after photos–> here. I still pinch myself that I live in all of that happy white space!

I’m also incredibly happy to have a functional kitchen just in time for the holidays. We have been dealing with construction and eating out for months. What a crazy summer it’s been! Now the fall whether is rolling into Texas and we’re getting out our boots and sweaters. Who else loves this time of year? I LOVE IT! So, I can’t wait to make this pumpkin spice recipe again.

If you need a simple dessert recipe for Thanksgiving or a holiday party, try making this whipped mousse. It’s made with homemade whipped cream, pumpkin puree, ginger snap cookies and caramel. All of my favorite fall flavors.

Head over to the Oriental Trading Company’s blog to get the entire recipe. I love writing for them and would love to hear what you think of this tasty dessert! Thanks ~ Amy

Click here –> for the Pumpkin Spice Caramel Cheesecake Mousse Recipe

I hope you enjoy it. Have you liked my Facebook page yet? If not, I’d love for you to head over HERE and join the fun. I’m going to start doing more LIVE craft and food videos. FUN!

 

You might also like these favorite fall Thanksgiving recipes:

Cute Turkey Cupcakes for a creative Thanksgiving dessert! Wow your dinner guests with this simple pull apart cake recipe idea. LivingLocurto.com

 

A quick and easy homemade breakfast in less than 25 minutes! Pumpkin Spice Latte Cinnamon Rolls make any morning feel special! With a hint of coffee, cream cheese and pumpkin spices, your taste buds will jump for joy.

Butterscotch Caramel Coffee Recipe. Perfect for a cold night! LivingLocurto.com

Chocolate caramel pumpkin cobbler dessert recipe in a jar with free printable tags for gifts. LivingLocurto.com

Pumpkin Bacon Goat Cheese Dip - Easy Appetizers drizzled with Honey and topped with Apples & Walnuts. #Recipe by LivingLocurto.com

Family Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes. LivingLocurto.com

Scarecrow Veggie Tray and Dill Dip Recipe at LivingLocurto.com

 

The post Pumpkin Spice Caramel Cheesecake Mousse appeared first on Living Locurto.

10 Things to Add to Your Fall Bucket List with Kids

Fall is here, which means it’s time for pumpkins, apple picking, corn mazes and fun fall festivals around every corner. If you’re still putting together your plans for the season, we’ve got more than a few ideas to complete your running list of fantastic fall events for families.

Kids at Richardson Farm in front of the world's biggest corn maze. (Courtesy Richardson Adventure Farm)

Kids at Richardson Farm in front of the world’s biggest corn maze. (Courtesy Richardson Adventure Farm)

Take a look at our ten must-do’s to add to your fall bucket list to enjoy the season with the kids.

 

Spend Time with Muggles at the Harry Potter Festival

Meet your favorite Harry Potter characters at the Harry Potter Festival. (Courtesy Chestnut Hill Visitors Center)

Meet your favorite Harry Potter characters at the Harry Potter Festival. (Courtesy Chestnut Hill Visitors Center)

Harry Potter fans of all ages will go mad for the family-friendly Harry Potter Festival taking place just outside Philadelphia October 21-22. There will be muggles, of course, but there will also be loads of hands-on activities, fortune tellers, face painting and the J.S. Jenks Firebolt 5K. The annual event even includes a Quidditch Tournament. Wear your robes and bring along your copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to prove you’re a true Potterhead. You’ll love all the different fall events for families during this Harry Potter weekend.

Get Lost in a Corn Maze

A kid-friendly fall activity that’s an absolute must-do is venturing out to a corn maze to spend quality family time working your way out, like the one at Richardson Farm near Chicago, Illinois. This maze is the world’s largest maze, and as a bonus, the theme celebrates this year’s 50th anniversary of Star Trek. Another great maze can be found at Temple Hall Farm in Leesburg, Virginia. Solve trivia challenges to successfully exit the maze, which is consistently ranked among the best in the Washington, DC area.

Go to an Oktoberfest Celebration

Oktoberfest in Helen, Georgia comes about as close as you can get to celebrating in Munich, Germany. Running through October 30, kids and families will love the German music, foods and dancing in Helen, which year-round looks like a traditional Alpine village. There will be plenty of oom-pah music too. If you can, go on Sundays when admission is free. Look for family-friendly Oktoberfest celebrations across the country, including the Alpine Village Oktoberfest near Los Angeles, which runs through October 29. Another good one is Leavenworth Oktoberfest in Washington.

Experience Fall Foliage on a Zipline

Zip line with Bretton Woods Canopy Tour at Omni Mount Washington Resort. (Courtesy Omni Mount Washington Resort)

Zip line with Bretton Woods Canopy Tour at Omni Mount Washington Resort. (Courtesy Omni Mount Washington Resort)

A fun way to experience the colorful fall foliage of the season is on a zipline and one of New England’s longest ziplines can be found at Omni Mount Washington Resort. The Bretton Woods Canopy Tour offers unsurpassed views from high up in the trees as you take on a series of ziplines and suspension bridges. Or, head to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania to zip over the mountains for a birds-eye view of the colorful leaves. Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Vermont also offers canopy tours and a treetop obstacle course in the fall.

Go Brick-or-Treating at LEGOLAND Resort

On October weekends, head to LEGOLAND Florida for Brick or Treat, a Halloween-themed celebration for the whole family. Go on a scavenger hunt at MINILAND USA, trick-or-treat along the Brick or Treat Trail and meet up with costumed LEGO characters, like the Mummy and the Mad Scientist. You can even take selfies with the world’s largest LEGO pumpkin before settling in for the evening fireworks show. Meantime, LEGOLAND California is holding Brick or Treat Party Nights on Saturdays in October. These fall events for families are perfect for kids of all ages.

Experience Howl-O-Ween at Great Wolf Lodge

Celebrate Howl-O-Ween at the Great Wolf Lodge. (Courtesy Great Wolf Lodge Garden Grove)

Celebrate Howl-O-Ween at the Great Wolf Lodge. (Courtesy Great Wolf Lodge Garden Grove)

All 13 Great Wolf Lodge locations, including the recently opened one in Garden Grove, California, are hosting Howl-O-Ween festivities throughout October. Pack your costume and plastic pumpkin pail for a mini family vacation at the resort that includes Halloween-themed storytimes, a Monster Bash Dance Party and trick-or-treating along the Trick-or-Treat Trail. There’s even a costume parade, and of course, all you can splash time at the on-site waterpark. Don’t forget to wear your wolf ears while exploring the resort, including the mini golf course and bowling alley. Settle in for the night in one of the themed rooms, like Wolf Den Suite.

 

(MORE: Celebrate Howl-o-Ween This October at the Great Wolf Lodge SoCal)

 

Go Fall Camping at Jellystone Park

Fall is a great time to go camping as a family. Whether you prefer to sleep in a tent or book a cabin,Jellystone Park has a lot to offer families, especially on fall weekends. Kids will love raising the flag to start the day with Yogi Bear and getting hugs from Boo Boo and Cindy Bear. In between, there are outdoor family-friendly movies, bingo, jumping pillows, face painting and horseshoe tournaments, even bingo. Many campgrounds even offer themed weekends with plenty of fall events for families. For example, Jellystone Park in Luray, Virginia has unique Halloween-themed experiences every weekend in October.

Get Picking at an Apple Festival

Fall is prime time for apple festivals and you’ll find them all across the country, like the Springville Apple Festival in Central California that runs October 15-16 and the Peddler’s Village Apple Festivalnear Philadelphia, which takes place November 5-6. You’ll find games, kids’ activities, face painting, and of course, apples. Many times the family-friendly festivals are located on farms so you can also pick your own apples. Drink hot apple cider or eat a warm apple cider donut, both of which are perfect on a cool fall day when you’re out enjoying various fall events for families.

Spend the Day at a Pumpkin Patch

Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch at the Dallas Arboretum. (Courtesy Dallas Arboretum)

Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch at the Dallas Arboretum. (Courtesy Dallas Arboretum)

You can visit a small pick-your-own pumpkin patch or you can go all out and explore a larger than life pumpkin patch that boasts pumpkin pie eating competitions, hay bale mazes, pony rides and climbing walls. One look at the farm map for Vala’s Pumpkin Patch in Gretna, Nebraska and you may think you’re at an amusement park rather than a pumpkin farm. There are 50+ kid-friendly attractions, including Graveyard Golf and Stalk Cars, as well as multiple live shows, like the Pigtucky Derby Pig Races. Or, head to Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch in Dallas where 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash create Pumpkin Village.

Go on a Family Bike Ride

Go online and browse dozens of suggested family-friendly bike rides for enjoying the fall season. Bicycling.com features a Fall Foliage Ride Guide, touting cities like Aspen, Colorado, and Angel Fire, New Mexico, as great places for exploring fall colors by bike. It’s also fun to explore the new season from an urban perspective. Rent bikes or go on a guided bike tour with Bike and Roll, which offers bike tours in various cities, including Chicago and New York. Children’s bikes are available from Bike and Roll, as well as trailers and trailer tandems so little ones can ride no matter how small they are.

 

Erin Gifford of Kidventurous contributed this to MiniTime.

10-things-to-add-to-your-fall-bucket-list-with-kids

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Family-Friendly College Towns to Visit This Fall

Ann Arbor, Michigan is a great college town to visit in the fall. (Flickr: Jeffrey Smith)

Ann Arbor, Michigan is a great college town to visit in the fall. (Flickr: Jeffrey Smith)

College students have it made. Depending on the university, many students live near the beach, mountains or happening downtown areas crammed with amazing eateries and kid-friendly attractions. College-bound kids should visit several campuses before making a commitment to a university (and city) that will be home for about four years. Make it a fun family trip with kids in tow. After all, chances are you’ll be visiting your son or daughter in his or her new digs at least a few times.

Universities and college towns vary; some are laid back and funky while others offer many cultural and enriching experiences. Whether you’re checking out prospective colleges for your child or visiting him in his new space, a family vacation to a college town is an educational experience for all ages.

 

Enriching Experiences in Ann Arbor, MI

Founded in 1817 in Detroit 20 years before Michigan became a state, the sprawling University of Michigan is a destination in itself. Wear your walking shoes and get an early start to visit iconic landmarks. These include the University Museum of Art, Gerald R. Ford Library, campus public art, and the Big House, the largest stadium in America. Take a kid-friendly tour of the stadium and watch a Wolverines game. In Ann Arbor’s cozy downtown, you’ll find small art galleries, toy stores, shops and eateries. Unique to Ann Arbor are a series of small fairy doors (a type of installation art) found in the baseboards of some buildings. Bend down to look through and see miniature objects. Inquiring young minds will love the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum featuring interactive science, math and technology exhibits.

Beach Fun in Santa Barbara, CA

The beaches and historic buildings of Santa Barbara are worth a visit this fall. (Flickr: Damian Gadal)

The beaches and historic buildings of Santa Barbara are worth a visit this fall. (Flickr: Damian Gadal)

The beautiful city of Santa Barbara is the coastal stomping grounds for several academic institutions. It’s home to University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), Santa Barbara City College (UCSB’s original campus) and Westmont colleges. Autumn is a wonderful time to visit this college town, when the weather is warm enough for pleasant beach outings. Located in the heart of the city, the Fess Parker resort is across the street from East Beach and walking distance to downtown and Stearns Wharf, home to restaurants, shops and the Ty Warner Sea Center. Fourth graders studying California Missions may get inspired at Mission Santa Barbara. It’s a short drive to the Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens where home 500-plus animals live in natural habitats.

Funky Santa Cruz, CA

College town Santa Cruz is beautiful and full of things to see and do in the fall. (Flickr: Dale Cruse)

College town Santa Cruz is beautiful and full of things to see and do in the fall. (Flickr: Dale Cruse)

Nature loving youth will embrace the woodsy UC Santa Cruz campus with pathways and streams, offering plenty of quiet places to study. Young kids visiting older siblings in this college town can scamper through the onsite arboretum (free admission the first Tuesday of the month). At the off-campus Seymour Center Long Marine Lab, families can explore the working marine laboratory’s touch pools and exhibits. A short drive away is the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  It boasts numerous kid-friendly rides including a Ferris wheel and a historic Looff Carousel. More fun things to do with kids include riding bikes along the coastal West Cliff Drive that meanders by Seal Rock (notice the seals and sea lions!).

Buff up in Boulder, CO

Boulder, Colorado is full of fantastic outdoor as well as indoor activities. (Flickr: Yuya Sekiguchi)

Boulder, Colorado is full of fantastic outdoor as well as indoor activities. (Flickr: Yuya Sekiguchi)

Active students at the University of Colorado Boulder can enjoy sports and an outstanding hiking club, which brings members to the Rocky Mountain Region and wilderness areas in nearby states. Fall is also a great time to visit your son or daughter in this college town. Catch a Colorado Buffaloes football game and watch Ralphie, the live mascot buffalo, run into the stadium to kick off the game. Attend the Pearl Street Stampede in downtown Boulder the Friday night before each home game to cheer on the team and marching band on parade. More campus family fun includes bowling and watching films at the Fiske Planetarium. Off campus, learn about rain, clouds and tornados at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Lastly, win great prizes at the Gateway Park Fun Center arcade.

History and Culture in Boston, MA

Boston is gorgeous in the fall. (Flickr: Soe Lin)

Boston is gorgeous in the fall. (Flickr: Soe Lin)

 

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Pumpkin Spice Caramel Popcorn Recipe

I’ve grown very particular about caramel popcorn-I only like it soft and completely saturated in caramel.  I don’t have time for that crunchy stuff, or for not enough caramel!  Adding pumpkin pie spice to my favorite caramel corn recipe just made sense…but if you’re not in the mood for the extra spice, this recipe is delicious without it!

Pumpkin Caramel Popcorn

Soft Pumpkin Caramel Popcorn

1 CUP Butter

1 CUP Corn Syrup (can be replaced with 1/2 CUP Honey)

3 Bags Popped Popcorn (or 1 CUP in a popper)

2 1/4 CUP Brown Sugar

1 CAN Sweetened Condensed Milk

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Popcorn

Stir together butter, corn syrup and brown sugar in a saucepan over med-high heat until warmed through.  Take off heat, add sweetened condensed milk and stir until smooth.  Add to bowl of popped popcorn, 1/2 cup at a time and gently stir.  Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice as liberally or sparingly as you please!

This is best eaten as soon as it cools enough to eat it!

EXPERT TIP:  Be sure to separate and toss out any kernels you have left in your popped corn so they don’t incorporate with the caramel-your teeth will thank you!

See more at TodaysMama.com!

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Chalk Paint Pumpkin Planter – Upcycle DIY Craft

Easy Vintage Inspired Chalk Paint Pumpkin Planter - Upcycle those plastic pumpkin buckets with this fun DIY craft! Makes great fall planters, Thanksgiving or Halloween party centerpiece.

I love this stylish vintage looking craft idea for how to upcycle a plastic pumpkin bucket! For just a few dollars, you can have a beautiful fall Pumpkin Planter that’s perfect for your front porch or party centerpiece.

Thanks to our newest contributor Pamela Smerker Designs. I’m so happy to have Pam on the Living Locurto team and looking forward to her creative ideas! Enjoy this fun craft! ~ Amy

Easy Vintage Inspired Chalk Paint Pumpkin Planter - Upcycle those plastic pumpkin buckets with this fun DIY craft! Makes great fall planters, Thanksgiving or Halloween party centerpiece.

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