Fresh Fall Festivities

These six unique activities are sure to be more pleasurable than simply passing out candy on Halloween night.

Olivia Shubak, Staff Writer

As the fall season comes and goes, so do the same-old events and repetitive occasions. It is not that these classic fall festivities are unenjoyable, but there is a multitude of other options that still fit the mood of the fall season, including both new events as well as things that simply slip under the radar year after year. Trick or Treating is out of the picture for most NASH students, so what else can be done? 

Offered by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, “Hauntings of Pittsburgh” is a program that covers spine-chilling stories from the Pittsburgh area. This year’s reading took place on Saturday evening, consisting of a telling of ghost stories by professional storyteller Alan Irvine.  In case you missed it, you can learn more about Irvine’s work and future events here.

There are also showings of the play Frankenstein at different venues in the city starting in early November. This well-known story by Mary Shelley is synonymous with Halloween featuring a mad scientist and his creation of the famed monster. So buy your tickets and get ready to be entertained by this electric show.

Just outside of Pittsburgh is McConnells Mill State Park, a popular spot for hiking. With the changing ambers and crimsons of falling leaves, and the babbling brooks that spill into Slippery Rock Creek, the park’s various trails are all ideal for a leisurely stroll. Within the park are a historic mill and scenic waterfall, which are both beautiful places to take pictures and enjoy the sights. The mill itself has a small museum inside that visitors are able to walk through and see the inner workings of the machines. The museum includes information about the mill’s operation and the interesting background of its original owners. 

Antiquing is another great fall activity that many may forget about. While most people love shopping, it is even more enjoyable to browse through vintage trinkets until one finds the special object that piques their interest. There is an inherently eerie quality that stems from sifting through old belongings as well, adding to why this activity will get anyone into the spooky mood of the season. Above all, it is not only the act of buying an item– it is also about making memories, as antiques often hold sentimental value to the purchaser.

While some of the best places to antique are in Pittsburgh, including a store that specializes in vintage clothes, the small village of Volant in Lawrence County has a great selection of shops. The drive is the perfect opportunity to listen to music and take in the scenic country view. The quaint village has multiple antique shops, a candy store, and Miss Scarlet’s Gift Parlor, a cafe featuring their homemade baked goods.

There are always Pittsburgh’s annual haunted house favorites such as Cheesemans, Scarehouse, and Kennywood’s  Phantom Fall Fest. However, there are many more haunted houses that are largely unknown. One website lists more than 50 scare houses in the Pittsburgh area alone. There are also family-friendly options such as ZOOBOO at the Pittsburgh Zoo, which has a trick-or-treating walkthrough of the zoo and a costume contest.

Hopefully, these fresh options keep you busy this autumn. Perhaps a new family tradition will even be found, one that provides a new alternative to the tried-and-true routine of fall.