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Though she has been offered a leaf blower, my dear friend chooses to rake her leaves the old-fashioned way --- because she wants to be sure to hear the melodious, rattling trumpet-like call of the sandhill cranes as they fly over! She doesn’t want to miss a single awe-inspiring moment of these majestic birds.


Thanksgiving week is full of activities between cooking, eating and starting your holiday shopping. But if you’re looking for more to do this week – either for grown up fun, entertaining visiting friends and family or just something to keep the kids busy during the long weekend – we got you covered!


Who doesn’t love strolling around a quaint little market on Saturday morning? Picking up the freshest ingredients for tomorrow’s dinner and moseying through tents filled with artisan foods, flowers, crafts, furniture, you name it. You could easily spend the better part of your morning making your rounds of the many tents and trucks at the Chesterton European Market held in downtown Chesterton.


Nothing feels more like fall than walking outside on a cool, crisp morning to find hints of orange and yellow leaves scattered throughout the green trees. No matter how cold it will be soon, I still love every bit of fall and everything that comes with it. Bring on all the apple-cinnamon donuts, pumpkin beer, apple picking, and haunted houses, because it is spooky season!


There has been a lot of rain in this area these past two months. A lot of rain. Outdoor adventures I’ve been wanting to go on had to be put on hold. My poor dog has been so bored of late because of this. So, when I woke up last Saturday morning to sunshine, I had to take advantage of the nice summer weather. One of my favorite things to do with my dog is to go hiking and so we choose the Lemon Lake County Park in Crown Point, Indiana as our designation. 


Photo credit: Tall coreopsis with an orange sulfur butterfly, taken by Jeanette Jaskula.

Yellow does for September what orange does for October. It makes you feel that all is well and right, and that summer is coming to a close. The end-of-summer prairie is filled with many different hues of yellow. My favorite yellow is that of tall coreopsis (Coreopsis tripteris), now in bloom at Kankakee Sands.


Traveling through the South Shore, you’ll find homegrown foods and handcrafted drinks at local wineries, restaurants and attractions

Harvest season brings vibrant yellows, oranges and reds to the leaves and also juicy crisp apples. From early September to October the trees are ripe with dozens of varieties of apples including: Gala, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious and Pink Ladies.


 

If you’re looking to experience a new apple orchard and pumpkin patch that’s not that far from home, then consider County Line Apple Orchard in Hobart, Indiana. Last year, my cousins who live in the Chicago area asked us if we’d like to visit and of course I said yes. We had such a great time, that we made plans to go back again this year. But, we stepped it up a notch.



Photos from the Indiana Dunes National Park. View more on their Flickr account.

If you’re looking for a hidden gem in Northwest Indiana or if you’re a history buff you may want to visit the Century of Progress Homes at the Indiana Dunes National Park. These five homes were originally built for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, showing off the modern architectural design of the time. The homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and once a year there is a ranger-led tour of the five homes.