Sunday, November 28

Best way to spend fall break is to take a break

By Betsy Reason

We’re already into the second week of Noblesville Schools’ fall break.

While I know some families have traveled far away from Noblesville, I know many folks who stayed home during our two-week vacation.

We’re one of those families who stayed home.

It’s probably the first fall break that we haven’t traveled in many years.

For us, it’s been nice to just sleep in and not have to be anywhere every day.

Our first week flew by. My Noblesville High School sophomore daughter the first couple of days caught up on missing schoolwork. Then she met friends at Russell Farms Pumpkin Patch in Noblesville for a fall afternoon of games, rides and corn maze activities, and shopped with her friends around the Hamilton County Courthouse Square in downtown Noblesville.

She is also spending seven evenings over break putting her Conner Prairie youth volunteer skills to use as a Brom Bones chorus singer to entertain guests in the Headless Horseman hayride lines. We also absolutely love to attend Headless Horseman as a family a few times during the season. And we try never to miss the C.R. Ryan (Carmel High School grad Ryan Demler) and his sons, Braden, 17; Owen, 13; and Liam 8, at their two magic shows at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. during Headless Horseman.

We’ve also shopped for new high school show choir shoes and jazz shoes for NHS’s fall musical production of “High School Musical,” which will be on stage Nov. 18-20.

We’ve dined out for Mexican food a couple of times and enjoyed take-out from local eateries. We’ve also made dinners at home.

And we watched the 2004 movie, “Napoleon Dynamite,” a goofy and peculiar story about a socially awkward teenager named Napoleon and the relationships he navigates during high school.

Wondering what other people are doing, I went onto the local Noblesville School Community Facebook page, where a member of the private Facebook group asked others what they do with teens all day to keep from boredom.

Bake, play cards and read books not required for school were among the responses.

Other ideas? Check out the local library for fun activities. Or maybe a visit to the very cool Fishers AgriPark.

Do crafts. Take teens to Strawtown Koteewi Park, which has horseback riding, archery, ziplines, trails and a fishing lake.

Other ideas: explore the small towns in Hamilton County and nearby.

One family planned an ‘80s night with old-style TV dinners, Totinos pizza and high school movies, like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (Rated PG-13).

One reader said, “Give them chores to do… rake leaves, organize closets, clean windows. Learn to cook/bake. Have them cook an entire meal.”

And another mom said she lets her children be bored. “Boredom leads to creativity. Downtime is important.”

The greatest idea was to “quite literally take a break.”

I do admit it’s nice to have two weeks off for spring break, fall break and holiday break. But the days off are definitely a good break.

Contact Betsy Reason at

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