The Ultimate Fall Bucket List

October may be coming to a close this week, but fall technically isn’t over until late December. That leaves plenty of time for anyone and everyone to mark off everything from their fall bucket list.

Here are a few ideas for what to do before the season ends.

Corn Maze

There is nothing like getting dizzy with a group of your friends while surrounded by miles of corn. Some options close to Knoxville are Oakes Farm, Deep Well Farm and Kyker Farms Corn Maze. All are relatively low-cost, and feature other activities such as a pumpkin patch, hay rides and petting zoos. Be sure to check this activity off of your bucket list soon, since most of these farms close their fall events at the end of the month.

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

My grandmother always said to eat ice cream when it gets colder so that it takes longer to melt. Which is a great ideology, in my opinion. If you haven’t had the chance to visit Cruze Farm’s new permanent location, you now have a great reason to go. Cruze Farm is offering a pumpkin spice flavored ice cream in celebration of fall. It pairs nicely when swirled with the cake batter ice cream the restaurant also offers. All of the ice creams at Cruze Farm are made fresh daily, so check their website to see what flavors they are offering that day. You can also take a pint of your favorite flavor back to your dorm to help get you through late night studying.

Carve a Pumpkin

Pumpkin carving should not be an activity reserved strictly for Halloween. Why not Thanksgiving pumpkins? Find a cute pattern like this one or this one.  Fall is also a popular season for elections, so remind your roommates to vote with this pumpkin pattern. There is honestly so much artistic and creative freedom with pumpkin carving, so feel free to run wild with the idea.

Relax with a Show

On campus, there is almost always a production running at the Clarence Brown Theatre. Currently, The Blue Window is showing at the Lab Theatre until Nov. 12. Beginning Nov. 22, the annual production of A Christmas Carol will begin at the Clarence Brown. Students can see shows for $5 or free on Preview Days (the first Wednesday and Thursday of a show’s run).

Want something to remind you of your childhood? Disney On Ice is coming to the Knoxville Civic Coliseum with their Reach for the Stars show beginning Nov. 1. If you go on the opening night, you can score tickets for just $14!

Go to a U-Pick Patch

Knoxville is full of different agricultural joys. One of the many is U-Pick patches where you can pick your own fruits and veggies. Some popular choices of the season are apples, apricots, brussel sprouts and carrots. You can spend an afternoon picking your own produce, and then spend the evening making apple pies and warm soups. Learn more about picking your own produce on Pick Your Own’s website.

Take a Hike

Right in UT’s backyard are the Smoky Mountains, and fall is one of the best times to visit. The 816-mile state park has plenty to offer to any outdoors enthusiast. Try the Andrews Bald Trail, a 3.5 mile hike in the Clingmans Dome area with a marvelous view of what nature has to offer. Cades Cove is also fun to drive though to see different types of wildlife. If you’re feeling up for it, try biking Cades Cove’s 13 mile loop. You will have a better chance at spotting any bears at close distances (and you’ll be able to brag to your friends about biking 13 miles for fun).

Root for the Vols

Nov. 4 is UT’s homecoming football game against Southern Mississippi. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. in Neyland Stadium. Get a group of friends together and cheer on the Vols. It is also a perfect wrap up to homecoming week, which began on Oct. 29.

 

Hopefully this list of fall activities has something for everyone. Fall is one of the most magical times of the year, so why should we stop celebrating at the end of October?

 

 

Featured image by Randall Billings, courtesy of Creative Commons

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Advocates for Autism celebrate autumn, raise awareness at fall festival

The Advocates for Autism held their first annual Fall Festival at the University of Tennessee to celebrate the autumn season and raise awareness for autism on Friday, Oct. 13.

The event included activities such as pumpkin painting, square dancing, a s’mores station, live animals and a bake sale. The AFA invited UT students, faculty and members of the Knoxville to attend.

“Last year, AFA had a bake sale in order to raise funds for our community partner, Autism Site Knoxville,” Vice President Ciara Westbrook said. “We wanted this fundraiser to grow and have more of our members and community involved in order to bring more awareness to UT’s campus and more funds for individuals on the autism spectrum. The turnout was great and we are looking to expand even more next year!”

UT students invited their friends to attend. Courtney Beck, a sophomore at UT, attended on the invitation of her roommate.

Other students traveling to and from classes stopped by to pet the animals and grab some apple cider and baked treats. Some stopped to paint small pumpkins with unique designs.

The square-dancing led by Ron Schneider turned out to be a big hit for the students who participated.

“I really loved the dancing. This was the second time I have square-danced and it was literally so much fun,” UT student Kinzee Clark said. “I didn’t expect anybody to do it, and I was just really excited that people were actually dancing.”

Others like UT junior Maggie Fisher also enjoyed the dancing.

“It brought back memories for me of past experiences,” Fisher said.

Organizers enjoyed their events as well, both for the fun and for the benefit to the community.

“My favorite part of the Fall Fest was definitely seeing the children with autism interact with the animals at the petting farm and watching them enjoy themselves as they square danced,” said Westbrook. “It was great to know that with the help of our members and our community, we could bring a smile on their faces. It’s also important that the autism community knows that they do have support and we are here to advocate for them.”

AFA’s four key pillars are to include, inform, collaborate and celebrate in every event they host.

For more information on Advocates for Autism and their events, check out their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages by searching @afautk or visit http://advocates4autism.weebly.com.

Featured Image by Randall Billings, courtesy of Creative Commons

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo and Lexie Little

Advocates for Autism to host Fall Fest

On Friday from 4-8 p.m., Advocates for Autism, a campus organization dedicated to spreading awareness and educating students about autism and individuals on the spectrum, will be celebrating the arrival of autumn with a number of activities at the Humanities Amphitheater on Volunteer Blvd.

Advocates for Autism was founded last year by the current co-presidents Brianna Mason and Terrell Broady Jr. Both are graduate students pursuing their MBAs.

Image may contain: textTheir mission statement reads:

Advocates For Autism aims to raise awareness and educate the campus about autism and individuals on the spectrum. We provide an inclusive environment for students on the spectrum and serve as allies. Advocates For Autism raises funds to provide local students, families, and adults with resources, support, and education.”

From 4-6 p.m., the local Friendly Farm will be provide a petting farm, which will include goats, pigs, sheep and ducks among other animals.

Ron Schneider will lead the attendants in square dancing starting at 5 p.m.

There will be pumpkin decorating, a photo booth, a bake sale themed around fall, apple cider and s’mores throughout the event.

All proceeds from the bake sale, s’mores and any food sold for the animals will go towards their community partner, Autism Site Knoxville, and other fundraising events.

Co-president Mason said this event is going to be a fun way to celebrate the fall season and learn more about autism. 

We hope to have families and individuals with autism at the event to interact with one another and participate in fun activities,” she said. “We also hope to raise awareness about autism because with 1 in 68 children born this year expected to receive a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, the population is growing. It is growing more and more common that you will in someway be affected by autism. It is our job to make people aware and educate.”

For more information about becoming a member of Advocates for Autism, email Mason at bmason10@vols.utk.edu

For more information on AFA events by liking their Facebook page

Edited by Vanessa Rodriguez 

Featured Image by Randall Billings, courtesy of Creative Commons

3 Simple and Cute Treats for Halloween

As Halloween is only two days away, it’s that time to Google late-minute costume ideas, run to the grocery store for candy and most importantly, look for some fun treats to make for your festivities.

But, who really has the time to sit on Pinterest for hours looking for the best sweets the internet has to offer? I have gathered three simple and festive treats for you that will charm your guests and get them in the spooky spirit!

recipe3Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is a delicious dessert that feeds into all of our inner pumpkin spice dreams! You can either put it in plastic cups and serve it as a dessert cocktail, or put it in a pan and serve it for a nice dinner.

Estimated Time: 20 minutes to make and 2 hours to chill in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:
Jello No-Bake Cheesecake and Crust Mix
Pumpkin Puree (15 oz. can)
1 teaspoon of all spice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of milk
3 teaspoons of sugar (Or a sugar substitute)
1 tablespoon of butter
Cool Whip (optional)
Plastic cups (optional)

Steps:
1. To begin, mix the crust mixture with the two tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of sugar. You can add more butter if you like. The Jello box suggests 5 tablespoons, but for this recipe, you don’t have to have the crust moist if you don’t prefer. (I enjoyed the consistency of the dry graham cracker mix with the texture of the pumpkin cheesecake.)

2. Mix the cup of milk with the cheesecake mix. After you have thoroughly mixed those two ingredients, add the pumpkin puree.

3. Add the 1 teaspoon of all spice, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of sugar to the cheesecake mixture.

4. Lastly, gather the plastic cups or whatever you would like to put the cheesecake in, and layer the crust at the bottom and cheesecake mixture on top. For reference, I put two tablespoons of crust on the bottom and then two tablespoons of cheesecake mixture on top; but, if you like a less even ratio to crust-cheesecake, then add more or less of the crust and cheesecake! Then place it into the fridge for a couple hours to let it chill.

 

Pumpkin Patch Dirt-Cakerecipe1

Reminiscent of my elementary school years, this is a must-have for my friends and I at all of our Halloween parties. This is the quickest and cheapest of the three recipes, but the taste is still as heavenly. Good for Halloween parties for five-year-olds and college students, this recipe is a win-win all around.

Estimated Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
Oreos
Chocolate Pudding (You can either make your own or buy pudding that is already made.)
Pumpkin Candy Corn
Green Sour Patch Straws (optional)
Plastic Cups

Steps:
1. If you decided to make your own pudding, then you would just need to prepare it first so it has time to chill in the refrigerator or freezer.

2. Crush the Oreos. If you can find pre-crushed oreos at the grocery store, this will save you a lot of time as this is the most time-consuming step. What I initally did was put the oreos in a ziplock bag and used the end of a screwdriver to crush them, but I found if I put the Oreos in the plastic cups and used the end of a utensil to crush them that it was quicker. There are other methods on the internet to crushing oreos if neither of these work for you!

3. Layer the oreos and pudding in an order and ratio that you like. I layered the oreos first, at the bottom, and then the pudding with a ratio of 2:1 oreos and had two layers of each. Lastly, after layering your oreos and pudding, just place your pumpkin candy corn on top and add the green sour patch straws!

 

recipe22Halloween White-Chocolate Bark

I vote this one as the most fun and frustrating to make. The decorating part is very gratifying, however, the waiting for the chocolate to melt part is quite the opposite. If you are trying to challenge yourself and work on your patience, this is perfect as that is exactly what you will need for when you are melting the chocolate. If you also just want a cute treat to sit on your counter at your party, this is perfect, as well. Easy to make look good and simply delicious, this is definitely one of the best Halloween treats out there!

Estimated Time: 30 minutes to make and 20 minutes to chill in freezer.

Ingredients:
White Chocolate Chip Morsels
Orange Food Coloring
Candy Corn
Assorted Chocolate Candies (I used Snickers, M&M’s and Kit-Kats)
Sprinkles

Steps:
1.  Heat the white chocolate. This is a tedious step and you will have to keep a watchful eye. Take a glass bowl and place it on top the pot on the stove. This creates a double barrier for the chocolate to warm and making it less likely to burn. Set the stove on medium heat and put the chocolate in the glass bowl. Stir the chocolate throughout the entire process, like I said, you will need to keep a careful eye on the chocolate as it can burn very easily. It will take 15-20 minutes for the chocolate to fully melt. You can add a dash of milk to help the chocolate to melt, but add the tiniest bit because adding too much will make the chocolate difficult to freeze.

2. Add the orange food coloring to the chocolate while it is still on the stove. It is important that you do not remove the chocolate from the stove before you are prepared to do the future steps, as the chocolate will harden very quickly. Add as much food coloring as you wish, the more food coloring the darker the orange of the bark will be.

3. Once the chocolate is melted and the food coloring is added, prepare what you will lay the chocolate on. I put wax paper down on a plate, but you can also use Pam to spray a plate or baking sheet.

4. Take the glass bowl off of the stove and pour the chocolate onto your platter. Smooth the chocolate out into any shape you would like, but I will warn you that the bark does not cut off clean so your shape may not remain.

5. Lastly, the fun part! Decorate your bark any way you like, just try and do it as quickly as you can! I added chocolate sprinkles, Kit-Kats, Snickers, M&M’s and candy corn to mine! Make sure to press your decor down hard into the chocolate so it will not fall off later, and then place your bark into the freezer for twenty-thirty minutes!

Images by Kayla Marcum

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo