Disclosure: Diary of a First Time Mom is proud to partner with Denny’s as a #DennysDiners Blogger Ambassador. Stay tuned for exclusive content and menu news. Although we’re being compensated in some form, all opinion remain our own.

Dear Diary,

Just because the summer season is behind us doesn’t mean we can’t go outside to play. We just need to bundle up a bit. This weekend, the air was cool, but the sun shined, making it the perfect temperature to enjoy an outdoor outing. We headed to a fall festival and took in the fun and flavors of the season. If it was up to me, pumpkins would be served all year round–in my coffee, on my pancakes and even on the side at dinner! Days like that make it not so hard to leave swimming and sailing in the past!

Here are our top autumn activities for kids.


Pick a Pumpkin

Visit a local pumpkin patch and pick a pumpkin with your little one…or perhaps pick a few. One to eat–we love baking pumpkin seeds and packing the seeds for a snack at school.


One to paint–we rarely carve our pumpkins, so painting is a quick, artsy activity. Be sure to wear shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy. And if you have boots, that’s even better, since you’ll trek over vines and through muddy puddles.


Eat an Apple

We couldn’t resist eating the apples we picked at the orchard. We went to Soergel’s in Wexford, which grows dwarf trees. The trees are the perfect height for little ones to reach up and pluck their harvest.


I don’t bake–unlike my sister who owns a cupcake business! But, I can still show up at family festivities with a pecan or pumpkin pie, both on Denny’s dessert menu for the holidays.


Savor the Season

We’re savoring the season and eating at Denny’s! The restaurant is whipping up festive flavors for fall, including pumpkin, cinnamon and caramel. From now through January 4th, Denny’s limited time menu will feature favorite seasonal flavors alongside its new, fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes.

  • New Salted Caramel & Banana Cream Pancake Breakfast:  This delicious seasonal dish features two fluffy buttermilk pancakes with shortbread pieces cooked inside, layered with vanilla cream and topped with fresh bananas, warm salted caramel sauce and even more shortbread pieces.
  • New Pumpkin Cream Pancake Breakfast: Offering fall flavors with every bite, two fluffy pumpkin pancakes are layered and topped with tasty pumpkin cream.
  • New Sticky Bun Pancake Breakfast: Sinfully sweet cinnamon sauce and cream cheese icing are drizzled over two fluffy buttermilk pancakes with glazed pecans cooked inside.
  • New Rudolph™ Pancake Breakfast: Inspired by the lovable character featured in the classic TV special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Denny’s fluffy buttermilk pancake includes turkey bacon antlers and is topped with vanilla cream and chocolate eyes and nose.


View the Fall Foliage

On the way home from Denny’s, take a detour to check out the fall foliage. As the season changes, so does the color of the leaves on trees, creating lush landscapes and scenic road trips. No matter where you drive, check out the crisp crimsons, bright oranges and neon yellows.

Hey DFTM Fam–How are you celebrating the season? Be sure to include Denny’s on your list for delicious and affordable family meals!



About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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