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Steven (left), Lisa and Nathan Smith enjoy a sunset canoe trip at the Eden Mill Nature Center.
Steven (left), Lisa and Nathan Smith enjoy a sunset canoe trip at the Eden Mill Nature Center. (Xavier Plater / Baltimore Sun)

Searching for an outdoor experience the whole family can enjoy? This fall you can go on a canoe trip, take photos in a local sunflower field and celebrate Halloween at a “trunk or treat."

Go on a canoe adventure

Discover the grounds and animals of the Eden Mill Nature Center by water with a guided sunset canoe trip on Deer Creek. The experience is focused on environmental education provided by a volunteer naturalist who takes the group through the course.

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“We try to get both children and adults engaged in nature and appreciating what they see,” said Gerry Schmitt, a Eden Mill Nature Center volunteer and canoe trip guide.

The excursions are geared toward ages 6 and older and no prior canoe experience is needed. Everyone gets a five-minute lesson before heading out.

Everything is included in the price of the exploration including the canoe rental, life jackets and tour guide. Schmitt says that there’s always an element of surprise with each trip as there’s no guarantee as to which animals, birds and other creatures are going to be out and greeting canoers.

“It’s always exciting to look around and point out the nature that’s all around us,” Schmitt said. “Just in the last few weeks we’ve seen a bald eagle, blue herons, wood ducks and a beaver kit.”

Sunset canoe trips at the Eden Mill Nature Center are held Thursdays at 5:45 p.m. through August and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:45 p.m. in September and October. Cost is $8 per person for non-members and $5 per person for Eden Mill members. 1617 Eden Mill Road, Pylesville. 410-836-3050. edenmill.org.

Take a family portrait in a field of sunflowers

A field of blooming sunflowers not only provides a fun backdrop for a new family photo but it also will help the community through a local fall-themed fundraising project.

“Sunflowers in Jarrettsville” kicks off the last week in September and features food, face painting, a photo opportunity and the option to purchase sunflowers to bring home.

All of the funds collected through the event will be donated to local organizations to help those in need in the community. Funds have previously been used to help pay mortgages, make home repairs and provide hotels for the homeless.

“It’s really a beautiful sight to see when you walk up to the field,” said Nancy Rose, a volunteer with Sunflowers in Jarrettsville. “We enjoy seeing all of the people come out to enjoy and in turn to help make lives in the community brighter through sunflowers.”

The sunflower fields are expected to be open Sept. 27 through the first weekend in October. Cost is $5 per car. Sunflowers can be purchased for $1 per flower or six flowers for $5. 3767 Norrisville Road, Jarrettsville. https://www.facebook.com/pg/Sunflowers-in-Jarrettsville-Md-1960954814118058/posts/?ref=page_internal.

Dress up and collect candy

A safe and festive Halloween trick-or-treat adventure is the goal for the Havre de Grace Housing Authority with its fall “Trunk or Treat.” The free event features decorated vehicles and is sponsored by local organizations who will be handing out candy as well as festive non-food items in the spirit of Halloween.

“It’s a great event for parents to spend some quality time with their kids without having to spend a lot of money,” said Shannon Scott of the Hagerstown Housing Authority.

The housing authority is collecting new and gently used costumes through the day of the event to provide to families in the area so that local children have costumes this Halloween.

Last year, the Havre de Grace Housing Authority alone handed out 1,000 pieces of candy.

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The group’s idea is to provide an event for families to connect with local organizations and take part in trick-or-treating.

“Halloween has always been a favorite holiday of mine and I wanted it to be a fun time for our entire community,” Scott said. “It’s safe and fun for the entire family.”

“Trunk or Treat” with the Havre de Grace Housing Authority will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 27. Admission is free. Somerset Manor parking lot, 101 Stansbury Court, Havre de Grace. 410-939-2097. hdgha.org.

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