50 things to do this fall
Halloween in Salem
Like Disney World or the Statue of Liberty, Halloween in Salem is a kitschy spectacle that everyone should try at least once. While most are content with a single night of costumes and binging on candy, Salem treats Halloween as a month-long event. You can hardly toss a roll of TP without hitting a souvenir stand or a haunted house. But there are also less obvious options, including a continuous reenactment of the witch trials, a 6.66 mile road race and a Feast of Samhain. (hauntedhappenings.org)
It seemed like such a good idea at the time. Last year, sitting at the family table, heady from hours of turkey, sides and pie—it just came out: “I can cook next year.” Cut to 12 months later and you’re staring wide-eyed at a frozen beach ball of a bird sliding around on your kitchen counter. Don’t worry, the CCAE is here to help. The classically-trained Dagmar Smith promises to take the stress out of prepping for the big day with a little bit of practice and planning. You’ll learn how to make spiced nuts, scalloped potatoes, pumpkin soup, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and turkey gravy ahead of time, and how to store it so it will be good to go as soon as the plates hit the table. Still anxious about The Bird? You’ll prep and roast one as a class. Bring your festive appetite. $89; Saturday, Nov 12; 1pm–5pm; Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 42 Brattle St, Harvard Square (ccae.org)
Sure, there’s having the freshest apples, running around an orchard and (inevitably) snacking while you work, but let’s be honest: the best part about apple picking is everything that comes with it. If you’re intent on gathering your own, it might be best to do that first. Time flies once you start wandering around the farm store completely overwhelmed by the potential uses for your hypothetical future apples. Let's face it—you're just gonna wind up stuffing yourself with cider donuts and taking a hay ride, so why fight it? The best new is that there are a whole lot of apple orchards there are within an hour of the city. (massnrc.org/farmlocator)
Visit a pumpkin patch
Anybody who’s ever had a childhood knows that picking the perfect pumpkin is a fine art. You don’t want it to be too lopsided, or to have a lame stem. As such, you might as well go on the hunt for your perfect to-be jack-o-lantern while it’s still on the vine. Check out Dowse Orchards in Sherborn (98 North Main St; 508-653-2639, dowseorchards.com), Shelburne Farm in Stow (106 West Acton Rd; 978-897-9287, shelburnefarm.com) or Verrill Farm in Concord (11 Wheeler Rd; 978-369-4494, verrillfarm.com). You might even catch a glimpse of the Great Pumpkin—but it’s probably just a beagle in an aviator’s cap.
Stock up on school supplies
So what if you're now officially a Working Professional? Just because you’re only going “back” to that job you’ve been at all summer doesn’t mean you can’t bring a few new gel pens with you. For the goods, check out the Hello Kitty haven Every Little Thing (163 Harvard Ave, Allston; 617-254-1770). If you’re in the market for something more grown up—like a magnetic thing to maximize your ability to create paperclip sculptures at your desk—try one of Black Ink’s local outposts (101 Charles St, Beacon Hill, Boston; 617-723-3883; 5 Brattle St, Harvard Square, Cambridge; 866-497-1221, blackinkboston.com). After all, there’s nothing like a new pencil case to really brighten your day.
Boston Fashion Week
Boston’s been taking some heat on the fashion front as of late, but true Bostonians know there's much more to this city’s style than frayed Sox hats and puffy white sneakers. Boston Fashion Week offers up all the traditional fixins like big name runway shows, panel discussions and glammed-out afterparties. But there's also some Hub-flavored extras—like DIY little black dress classes at the Boston Center for Adult Education and a new Fashion Trail of special Fashion Week treats and deals. Sep. 23–30; Various locations (bostonfashionweek.com)