Fall Traditions for the Whole Family

Fall has always had a talent for sneaking up on us. One minute the world is vibrantly green, the next the trees are bare and the ground is littered with orange, red, and yellow leaves. Fall signifies the dropping of temperatures, the warming up of the football season, and start of it becoming socially acceptable to eat pumpkin pie. It’s also a time for bone chilling outdoor family activities like visiting a local corn maze. In the 15th century garden mazes were created to entertain aristocrats. The British maze craze produced mazes made out of brick, stone, dirt, and even glass. Corn didn’t make its mainstream appearance until 1993, when designer Don Frantz created the first public maize maze in Annville Pennsylvania.

Today in southwestern Alberta, corn mazes tend to be family-friendly destinations, accompanied by petting zoos, pumpkin patches, and scarecrows. Any movie watcher knows a scarecrow is either a lovable best friend who helps you defeat the Wicked Witch or a scary creature who chases you with sharpened pitch fork. In Britain and Europe during the middle ages the role of scarecrow was a job for children. Crow-scarers were small children armed with wooden blocks who would run into fields and scare birds. The population decrease by the arrival of the black plague meant less children. Farmers got creative and constructed scarecrows out of straw, sticks, and old clothes.

Learn more about seasonal traditions and events by visiting Kids Celebrate! the travelling exhibition developed by the Canadian Museum of History now at the Galt Museum and Archives. This diverse exhibit provokes a sense of connection between families and communities using games, crafts, and hands-on activities. Check for program information at galtmuseum.com to learn about seasonal program and activities at the Galt. Admission fees apply.

Your old photos, documents, and artifacts might have historical value. Please contact Galt Museum & Archives for advice before destroying them.

ArticleKayla CraigComment