The Cedar Rapids Fall Bucket List

cedar rapids fallIf you’re a basic mom like me, the season of Fall brings out all of the feels. The crunchy leaves, the crisp air, the pumpkins, the apples, the decor, the comfort food, the tailgate and football season; it’s just simply the best. And for those of us lucky enough to call Cedar Rapids area our home, we have a whole lot of amazing autumn-inspired things to do!

Apples, Donuts, and Cider from Allen’s Apple Orchard

Allen’s Apple Orchard is a place where I have been going for years. Located on the north side of Marion, Allen’s is a family owned and operated orchard that not only has amazing apples, but they have activities that make it family friendly and fun. We always enjoy the fall-inspired photo-ops and their cute store that sells merchandise and the most incredible apple and cherry donuts. I look forward to getting my hands on an Allen’s donut every year! They also have apple cider that is to die for!

Make yourself applesauce with apples from the orchard

I really hate cooking and baking unless it is simple and easy, and this recipe is SO easy! With only 15 minutes to prepare and a full day’s worth of warm apple cinnamon scents to fill the home, this recipe gets made multiple times each fall in my house.

  • 3 pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 6 medium apples)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water

Place the peeled, sliced apples into your crockpot. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon on top, and lastly, add the water. Set on LOW and slow cook for 3-4 hours. Use a wire whisk to stir until smooth (or chunky, if that’s how you like it).

Pick out your carving and front porch pumpkins from a local pumpkin patch

Supporting small businesses, having a ton of fun, AND getting the experience of choosing your own pumpkin from the patch is a great fall tradition. The Cedar Rapids area has a few awesome pumpkin patches to choose from! My personal favorite is Bart’s Farm for several reasons. The family that owns the farm are incredibly nice and they do such a great job transforming their yard and their space into a kid-friendly and fantastically fun place to go. They have animals, hayrides, pony rides, tons of photo ops, toys for kids, and a huge pumpkin patch to choose your pumpkins from! We also get little pumpkins and gourds to decorate our front porch. Be sure to spend an afternoon this fall out at Barts, located on the north side of Marion.

Visit the iconic corn maze at Bloomsbury Farm

There are tons of activities at Bloomsbury Farm for the kids. From animals to pet and feed, big slides, and some haunted houses, to hayrack rides, a pumpkin patch and a great gift shop with homemade fudge and wine, Bloomsbury farm is a must-do each fall. My favorite part about Bloomsbury farm is the corn maze. We take our three-year-old in the kid maze which tells you the story of Jack and The Corn Stalk as you make your way through the maze. They also have a few mazes fit for older children and adults that are always a fun challenge.

Have a Haunted House Date Night

If being a little scared in the spooky season is your kind of thing, you’re in luck, because there are some great haunted houses in the area that are perfect for a scary date night! Check out this list of haunted attractions!

Spend a Sunday Afternoon at Sutliff Cider

Cider in the fall? Yes please! And Sutliff Cider in Lisbon is the place to go get it. They are open every Sunday until the end of October and they even have live music and entertainment all October long. And don’t just come thirsty; they have amazing comfort food, too!

Fall family traditions are ones that I look forward to every year. I still remember doing these things myself when I was growing up, and knowing that I am giving my child the same wonderful memories makes my heart really full. Whether it’s with the kids, with your friends, or out on a date night, be sure to spend some time at these local fall gems.

What did I miss? Let us know your favorite fall time traditions!


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Katie Lipsett
Katie is a Marion native, a proud wife to her high-school sweetheart, Curran, and mom to a crazy little girl, Hayden (2). With strong Iowa roots and home-body tendencies mixed with an insatiable desire to travel the world, Katie recently quit her corporate job to become a freelance marketer, allowing her to follow her daydreams. Living by the mindset, “You are the only one standing in the way of your happiness and dreams”, Katie’s mission is to instill the value of hard work, mindfulness, gratitude and patience in her daughter and in those around her. Passionate about fitness and the outdoors, you can find Katie running or biking the local trails, chasing Hayden around farmers markets, or participating in an active event in her favorite local area; NewBo.

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