If the thought of crisp leaves and pumpkin pie doesn't get you excited about the start of the fall season, perhaps the thought of apple slingshots and squirrel Olympics will do the trick for you.

The two popular events will be featured Saturday, Sept. 24 at the New Canaan Nature Center as part of its kickoff of the Cider Harvest Season.

The event, which will run from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., is the center's traditional kickoff to the fall season, and is the lead-up event to October's annual fall fair, an event that has been a tradition at the New Canaan Nature Center for 42 years.

"It celebrates the season of harvest," Director of Education Keith Marshall said. "A lot of people come out."

The Cider Harvest Celebration, which costs $10 for individuals and $15 for family admission, will feature a pumpkin scavenger hunt as well as bake sales and lots of fall goodies, including bake-your-own apples and harvest crafts. The day will also feature activities such as squirrel Olympics, an apple slingshot that will allow participants to fire unsalable apples donated by an orchard at targets, and cider press demonstrations at the on-site orchard.

"It's a big rickety thing, and you turn on the grinder and it makes a lot of noise," Marshall said. "We make it a lot of fun."

On Oct. 15, the center's 42nd annual fall fair will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and typically draws between 2,000 to 4,000 people, Marshall said. The event will feature live music and lots of food, including barbeque corn and other fall favorites. For the kids, the fair will feature games and activities such as inflatables and pony rides, as well as apple cider tasting and pumpkin carving.

"The fall season is a lot of fun at the nature center," Marshall said.

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