American Fall Activities and Traditions
It’s September and fall is fast approaching and although some days are still warm enough for T-shirts you would have noticed subtle changes beginning to take place. Officially fall begins on September 23rd – the fall equinox but that doesn’t mean you can’t already start enjoying American fall traditions.
What is it with fall and pumpkins?
If we look back hundreds of years, fall marked the end of the Harvest. It was a time when people would prepare for the winter. Of course, foods that would stay fresh during the long cold months were favoured by Native Americans and settlers. Pumpkin is native to North America and is ready for harvesting in mid-fall. Once cut from the vine a pumpkin can keep for up to 3 months making it the perfect fall fruit (yes, that’s right! Technically pumpkins are fruit!).
For non-Americans, the obsession with pumpkin is both puzzling and intriguing! I remember the first time I saw a “pumpkin-spiced latte”. I had no idea what to expect – would my coffee taste like pumpkin? Why would I want that? However, my curiosity got the better of me and I ordered one from Starbucks. After the first sip I was relieved it didn’t taste like vegetable coffee. After the second sip I was hooked. Now I love just about everything pumpkin spiced!
These days you can buy a wide range of pumpkin spiced foods during the fall months. Things like Pop Tarts, Special K, peanut butter and coffee creamer at most supermarkets. If you love to bake, you can easily turn your favourite brownies, cakes or muffins into fall treats by buying pumpkin spice to add to your recipes. You can find this at the store in the spice section or sometimes with the baking supplies (or if you like online shopping it’s very easy to find). Pumpkin spiced food has definitely become a modern American fall tradition!
While we are talking about pumpkin, why not visit a pumpkin farm? Visiting a pumpkin farm is an importan American fall tradition, usually done when kids are small. With the rise of instagram, pumpkin farms have become popular again for people of all ages. See all different types of pumpkins, eat delicious fresh farm snacks, or marvel at the size of some of the extra large pumpkins on display. Fill your instagram with amazing fall themed photos and experience a truly American fall tradition. There are literally tons of pumpkin farms not too far from Zoni. There is even one on Staten Island so if you haven’t been yet, this is the perfect opportunity to do two things at once! More information on the best pumpkin farms near Zoni can be found here.
So what other American fall traditions are there?
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year! The leaves turn the most spectacular colors and because it is cooler you can actually go outside to enjoy them! Marvelling at Fall leaves is an unofficial American fall tradition. Even without realizing it, everyone does it this time of year! Fall leaves are said to be at their best in late October in the New York Metropolitan Area. There a number of great places to see the fall leaves at their best and most are within easy reach of Zoni’s campuses.
With over 20,000 trees Central Park is a must see! If you head to the reservoir in the middle of the park you can also see the magnificent reflection of the trees in the water. Free guided walking tours run through the fall, so why not join one for the insider tips on the best views.
Fort Tyron Park is another fantastic place to see the fall colors. Located alongside the Hudson river, and also home to the Cloisters Museum, the park’s Linden Terrace gives you views across to the Palisades. From Penn Station catch the A train (blue line) to Dyckman Street. It takes about half an hour and from the station it is a short walk to the park.
The holiday season begins!
Starting in September, with Labor Day, fall brings with it a long line of holidays and celebrations. From Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Columbus Day, Halloween, Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving, there is certainly a lot to celebrate!
On top of all of this, Zoni also hosts its famous boat party! This year it will be held on Friday, September 20th. The party includes food, drinks, DJs, dancing and spectacular views of New York and New Jersey. Talk to your campus manager to reserve your ticket.
F is for football!
Fall is also football season! Starting on September 8, Sunday afternoons become all about football! It doesn’t matter if you understand or even like football – the atmosphere and yummy food that go along with it are just as important (and fun). Get some friends together, make your favourite snacks and watch the games at home. Better yet, head to a sports bar and order things like buffalo wings, Jalapeño poppers and burgers. Or why not go to a game?
Zoni students based in New York or New Jersey are lucky to have 2 NFL teams to choose from; the New York Giants and the New York Jets. Tickets are not cheap unfortunately. In 2019 the average ticket price is $80. However, that does not mean the all tickets are that much. In fact, it is possible to find tickets a lot cheaper! You just have to plan ahead and book as soon as you can.
If I could recommend a game to watch this year, I would tell you to see the New York Giants play the New York Jets on November 10. Whether you watch it in a bar or at the stadium, the atmosphere will be something you never forget!
On the other hand, if you want to see a game and don’t want to pay a lot for a ticket, games in November and December are much more affordable. Just remember if you go to a game that late in the year, you will need to wrap up warm! Although games officially last 60 minutes, American Football has a lot of stops. This means that the games are easily 1.5 – 2 hours long and sometimes even longer. You will absolutely need a jacket, hat, scarf, thick socks and a bit of cash for a warm drink and something to eat.
That sounds fun but I’m not a Zoni student yet. Is fall a good time to enrol?
The short answer is YES! In fact, it's always a good time to enrol at Zoni but if you are interested in an academic year or preparing for college, Fall is the perfect time to start! In the United States, all schools, from elementary to high school, and most universities/colleges begin in fall. This means, if you wanted to polish up on your English before going to college, starting now would give you a full year of preparation. You can learn about our courses here or contact us here.
So, are you ready for fall?
Fall is a great time of year, the weather is usually still good enough to get outside and really enjoy the changing leaves, or to head to your favourite coffee house for a pumpkin spiced latte (or any other Fall treats). The best thing about fall is that you can enjoy it without spending a lot of money (unless you buy football tickets to a big game).
We encourage all Zoni students to make the most of it and experience American fall culture and activities – you won’t regret it! And… Don’t forget to get your ticket for the boat party – it is truly unmissable!