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It’s that time of year- the kids are back in school, daylight is getting shorter, and temperatures are gradually getting cooler. Before we know it, leaves will be turning that beautiful shade of red, orange, and yellow. Fall is here! And Mt. Vernon has plenty to offer for fun family fall activities.

Marlow’s Pumpkin Patch – 14003 N. Harmony Ln., Opdyke, IL

Marlow’s Pumpkin Patch, less than seven miles outside of Mt. Vernon, encompasses a day full of fall activities! Purchase pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and colors. Take a ride on the Pirate Ship Hay Ride through fields of unique, hand painted cartoon and Disney characters. Slide down the tall silo slide. Visit the farm animals. Take home beautiful mums for your front porch. Let the kids roam free in the extensive kids play area with swings, slides, and other hand-built play equipment. Admission is free, however there is a small fee to go through the maze, haunted barn, or hay ride. Marlow’s is open Sept. 16th- Oct. 31st and holds seasonal special vendor events, as well. Field trips and birthday parties are welcome at the patch.

Farmers Market | Times Square Mall Parking Lot, Mt. Vernon, IL

The Mt. Vernon Farmers Market runs Tuesdays and Fridays, May through October. This means you still have some time this fall to shop local produce and other hand made items. Farmers bring the best of their crops and there are often miscellaneous food trucks and baked goods vendors, too.

Hawkin’s Orchard | 20791 IL-37, Dix, IL

Hawkins Orchards is just outside city limits, but easy to get to! They have a great selection of seasonal produce and products. In the fall, their orchard apples, homemade  apple cider slushies, and delicious cider donuts are all a must try! Hawkins also sells baked goods, jams, and jellies. Walk in and smell the yummy scents of fall!

3rd Saturday Flea Market – Sept. 16th & Oct. 21st, 8am – 2pm | Times Square Mall, Mt. Vernon, IL

Fall is the perfect time for shopping crafts and flea market finds! The third Saturday of every month, including September and October, come inside the Times Square Mall and find many unique goodies. Vendors will have everything from flea market items, crafts, collectibles, small business products, fun foods, and more. Take a stroll through the mall and shop till you drop!

Mt. Vernon Fall Fest – Sept. 29-30th | Downtown 9th St, Mt. Vernon, IL

Fall Fest is the largest seasonal celebration in Mt. Vernon! Two days of free entertainment, dozens of vendors, festival food, huge parade, car show, kids zone, and more! Fall Fest is affordable for all families with free parking, free admission, and no tickets required for any of the entertainment. Listen to headliners Vertical Horizon and Deana Carter. Enjoy the Sweet Home Mt. Vernon Parade with over 100 entries and a marching band competition. For more information on everything going on Fall Fest weekend, visit Mt. Vernon IL Festivals on Facebook!

Downtown Mt. Vernon Trick or Treat – Oct. 25th, 5pm | Downtown Mt. Vernon, IL

More than 30 businesses will be downtown handing out candy to all trick or treaters. Find the full list of which stops are participating here. Dress up with the family and get a head start on Halloween candy!

Walking Trails | Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mt. Vernon, IL

The grounds at Cedarhurst Center for the Arts set the perfect fall background for an outdoor stroll. The 80-acre sculpture park is heavily shaded and surrounded by trees. Visit walk the trails on to see a map of the three walking trails on Cedarhurst’s campus. The map even includes step counts and the outdoor trails are pet friendly!

Fun Family Fall Craft – Leaf Rubbing

A family craft that’s so easy, anyone can do it! All you need are leaves, thin paper, and crayons. Collect fall leaves of all shapes and sizes. Lay the leaf face down, with its bottom side facing up. Place the sheet of paper over the leaf. Rub the side of a crayon gently over the area of the leaf. As you do, you’ll start to see the shape of the leaf! Continue rubbing over the entire leaf. And that’s it! Now you have a beautiful fall craft.

Halloween Recipe

These mummy dogs are adorable for a Halloween snack! And, they are easy to make, so even the kids can help. All you need is a can of crescent rolls, hot dogs, American cheese, and candy eyes. Click here for the full recipe.

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