Plain Pleasures: Fall Traditions inspired by Amish Heritage

Jayca Pike 02/11/2015

Diving through piles of leaves, stretching for the shiniest apple, inhaling the cinnamon and pumpkin spice in the air — fall captivates your senses like no other season. The Amish have long practiced these kind of simple fall traditions, each growing in meaning as the years pass. Take your family for a whirl with these four fall traditions before you’re snowed in for the winter!

Play in a pumpkin patch.

The iconic orange vegetable is just a hop, skip and a jump (or a buggy ride) away for most Amish community members, and heading to a pumpkin patch to gather the goods for some of their famous down-home baking is less of a social function and more of a necessity.

For you, a pumpkin patch presents an opportunity to pick up gourds, pumpkins, mini-pumpkins and cornstalks to decorate with. Gather an abundance of vegetables in different colors and irregular shapes to make a vibrant autumn display to last through November.


How adorable is this Buckboard Wagon for your pumpkin patch pickups?

Kids in tow? Snap mini-portraits with them frolicking among the pumpkins — as they grow, this fall tradition will be a fun reminder of when they were hardly the size of the pumpkin to when they could lift their very own! Pumpkin patch portraits also make super-sweet Thanksgiving cards for family & friends.

Host a Harvest Party

For the Amish, hosting Church events or community celebrations is a regular practice. Come fall, these get-togethers bundle up a little tighter, but are nonetheless outdoors, full of delicious family-style food and buoyant conversation.

Why not host your own version of a harvest party? Invite your friends and neighbors, and make it potluck-style. Ask everyone to bring a homemade dish to share – bonus points for whipping up family recipes, and for starting a game of touch football!

Speaking of football, you can kick this fall tradition up a notch by hosting right before the big game. Football parties are bound to bring out your most boisterous buddies, and having a dual-function party allows you to invite all ages in comfort – those who want to catch some zzzz’s can head home after the potluck, and those up for the upsets can stay awhile.

Amish Arlington Entertainment Center

The Harvest Party crowd pleaser the Arlington Modular Entertainment Center will make your home an entertainment destination.

Apple Picking!

Here’s another Amish fall tradition that doesn’t have anything to do with looking great on Instagram – but taking your family apple picking? Well, it sure looks good on Instagram!

Bring a picnic basket (and a selfie stick?) to make a day of it, then bring your ripened treasures home for a Sunday of fall project baking. The apples from the orchard are apt to be more unusual in flavor profile than your standard supermarket finds, making them ideal for the grand apple pies, crumbles, Apple Puddings, apple spice cakes, even applesauce that your grandmother spoiled you with as a young ‘un.

Barnwood Farmhouse Kitchen Island

Can this Barnwood Farmhouse Kitchen Island be any more perfect for fall baking projects?

S’More Fun

Bonfires are a staple of outdoor Amish gatherings as the nights grow chilly. While we’ve just past the ideal time to tell ghost stories around a haunting blaze, there’s no reason to give up the fun.

Berlin Gardens Donoma Poly Fire Pit

This state-of-the-art, year-round firepit will forever change your outdoor activities – who’s up for a toasted marshmallow?

The Donoma Poly Firepit by Berlin Gardens is a year-round entertainment magnet. For a rustic night of backyard camping – so much better in the fall  when the weather is cooler — use it roast a hot dog dinner and a marshmallow desert. For a grownup night of feast and fun, turn on the music, pour some drinks and lay out a spread for gourmet s’mores.

gourmet smores

Image courtesy of This Old House, longtime fans of DutchCrafters Amish Furniture!

What fall tradition does your family hold dear?

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