Stepping out for the holidays

Adkins Fall Family.bridge

In my family, “Over the river and through the woods” are not just lyrics to a quaint song. These words paint a fairly accurate description of how we spend Thanksgiving Day.

Since the early years of my marriage, my family has bundled up assorted children to walk the mile-long path leading from my in-laws’ house to a local playground. Past thickets, young forest, and native meadow, the walk includes several family dogs and at least a hundred geese floating on the nearby Corsica. (Water dogs and geese—always an entertaining combination.)

By the time we return to “grandmother’s house,” evening is near, and the late-fall light shines off the water. We are cold, rosy-cheeked, and ready for a Thanksgiving feast. The children, tuckered out from fresh air and exercise, have even been known to display a degree of decorum at the table.

This November, whether on Thanksgiving Day or not, consider taking a family nature walk. Stepping outside of the holiday bustle provides an opportunity to remember what the holidays are truly about: peace, home, and the joy of being together.

For a truly unique holiday experience, ring in the season at Adkins Arboretum’s Candlelit Caroling Celebration on December 14. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a wine bar, accompanied by live musical performances by Driven Women, Bells of Praise, and Dovetail. Arboretum docents will lead candlelit walks along woodland paths, stopping along the way to sing carols and sip hot cider by a roaring bonfire. A Delmarva Stargazer will be on hand to uncover the mysteries of the winter sky. Top off the evening with a winter hayride around the meadows with a stop for hot chocolate, cookies, and tree decorating. To learn more, visit

by Jenny Houghton
Youth Program Coordinator


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