Fall Fun in Basel (and Beyond)
Updated: Sep 29, 2022
Aaaah, fall. The colourful leaves, hearty soups, warm sweaters and outdoor fun make it my favorite season. Here are a few favorite activities to check out in the Basel region (and beyond):
Mathis Hof Corn Maze & More
Mathis Hof it is perfect for a little fall adventure. Every year from mid July to mid October the farm creates a huge corn maze complete with trampolines, zip lines, picnic tables and more. Beyond the maze the farm offers an extensive pumpkin selection, and flowers as well as natural beef and pork (the meat can be ordered on certain dates). There is also a fun playground/picnic area where you can sit an watch the farm's chickens (and perhaps a wily fox like I did the last time I was there)! Located in Bottmingen the farm is open 8am to 6pm.
Ready to make your first apple pie of the season? Why not pick your own at Obsthof Dreschle. Located just over the Swiss/German border in Grenzach-Wyhlen the fruit farm offers an array of apple and pear types plus you can pick up a variety of juices, jams and even fruitsecco (a delicious sparkling fruit beverage) at the farm store. The farm is open for pick-your-own from Friday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm mid-August to the end of October. In addition to the weekend hours, the farm store is open Tuesdays 1pm to 6pm.
Apples not your thing? How about berries?
Beeriland in Bottmingen offers seasonal pick your own strawberries, currants, blackberries and, in the fall, raspberries. Its hours are Monday through Friday 3 to 7pm and Saturday 9am to 12pm.
Herbstmesse, A Basel Fall Tradition
Herbstmesse, Basel's autumn fair dates back to 1471 and has been delighting visitors with its mix of carnival rides, artisanal offerings, and culinary specialties. From city views from the top of the giant ferris wheel in Munsterplatz to devouring one's first Chäsbängel (essentially fondue in a baguette) Herbstmesse is not to be missed. The fair runs for two weeks (in 2022 it's October 29 to November 13) with activities at 8 locations across the city. Fair hours vary a bit based on the location; but if you can - try to go during the week, and even better during the day if you want to avoid the bigger crowds.
Pumpkin Mania in Seegräben
Jucker Farm's pumpkin exhibition is worth the 1.5 hour car ride (2 hours by train). Each year the farm builds gigantic pumpkin sculptures, that are really impressive. Beyond just taking in this amazing pumpkin artistry, the farm has a lovely restaurant, little playground, apple tree maze, adorable goats who love to be fed and pet, and a beautiful view of the Pfäffikersee.
"Swiss" Style Pumpkin Soup
While taking my morning walk I stumbled upon the delightful autumn pumpkin stand in Riehen. I then found this video that goes step by step through the preparation of 'Swiss style' pumpkin soup. Pumpkin, carrot, potato, onion, sour cream, how can you go wrong? The only thing it is missing is a little cheese. I think I will add some Gruyere because it is my deeply held belief almost any meal is better with cheese :)
Do you have your own favorite Basel fall activity or recipe? Please share them in the comments.