Get in the spirit: inexpensive ways for Beacons to celebrate fall


Mel Berilo

Carved pumpkin sits on the front steps of a house. Photo by Mel Berilo / Mass Media Staff

Katrina Sanville, Arts Writer

As the leaves begin to change and the weather starts to cool down, the festive fall spirit can be felt all through the air. Between the influx of pumpkin flavored goods in stores and restaurants, horror movies beginning to be released en masse, and the lingering smell of candles with names like “Leaves,” “Harvest Gathering,” and “Cinnamon Irish Cream” hanging in the air, the arrival of fall and all its festivities can be hard to ignore. Though some of these activities come with a fairly steep price tag, many more activities can be done at little to no cost for Beacons on a budget.

For the cost of gas—presuming a car is already accessible—driving around and looking at leaves, commonly referred to as “Leaf Peeping,” can be a great and fairly inexpensive option.  While it may seem a bit touristy, it can still be fun to pack a warm drink or a lunch, dress up and head up north to admire the beautiful fall foliage. As a perk, these leaves can serve as the perfect background for an Instagram photoshoot, as well as add a pop of color to any feed.

Apple season reached its peak in New England in the autumn, so apple picking can be an excellent way to enjoy these fruits and get in the fall spirit. With just a short drive outside of Boston, and a bit of money for bags, apple picking can provide entertainment for a few hours and a great bonding activity for friends or family. In addition, a bag of apples opens up the world of apple recipes. Apple crisp or pie can be easy for even the most novice baker with the right ingredients; recipes such as applesauce and apple butter can allow the fall flavors to continue well into the winter. With a few friends or family members and a large bag of apples, the fun of picking can continue well past the orchard.

Just like apples, pumpkins also reach their peak freshness in the fall. Pumpkin patches can often be found at apple orchards, so a similar experience to apple picking can be replicated for a slightly cheaper price and less waste. Gather a group of people to go pumpkin picking and either pick the perfect pumpkin for each person to carve, or have the group members decide on a pumpkin that best matches each member of the party. After choosing the ideal gourd, head back home to carve or paint the pumpkins—or leave them as is!—and enjoy some roasted pumpkin seeds. If pumpkin patches are completely inaccessible, most grocery store pumpkins do the trick just fine too.

For Beacons willing to spend a bit more money to have a few more thrills, both Canobie Lake Park and Six Flags have their Halloween programs until Oct. 30 and 31, respectively. Both parks allow visitors to enjoy their traditional rides and activities, but also some additional Halloween add-ons such as shows, walk around actors and haunted houses (at an additional cost). Although the tickets can be a bit expensive, these parks do occasionally offer student discounts, so the possibility to get discounted tickets remains for students. One thing to note is that Canobie Lake Park’s “SCREEEMFEST” does require that guests book a reservation to attend, but Six Flags’s “Fright Fest” does not.

The most inexpensive and easily accessible option for fall fun would be to have a movie night. Whether these movies are horror movies or more family friendly films, movie nights can be a great way to get in the fall spirit with a group or completely solo. Though a movie and popcorn is fun on its own, take it one step further by combining the movie night with pumpkin carving, apple dessert baking or a spooky cookie decorating contest.

Whether the festive fall spirit comes in the form of seasonal flavors, cozy sweaters or decorations to fill homes with cheer, autumn festivities can be attainable for any budget and fun for every lifestyle.