As the air gets crisp and you don sweaters and boots, you may be lamenting all the fun your family had last summer! Trips to the pool, beach days, afternoons at the park, running through sprinklers and fun in the sun dominated your summer days; it may be that family fun seems a thing of the past. Rest assured, there are plenty of ways to enjoy fall as a family! You may not be jumping into the lake, but don’t let the chilly weather bring you down. Here are 10 fun family activities for fall.
1. Pumpkin picking. It may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s something satisfying about finding that perfectly shaped, perfectly colored pumpkin. Running through the patch with your kids and helping them haul their treasures back to the car can create lasting memories.
2. Apple picking. Much like pumpkins, picking your own apples is a fun and satisfying treat. Find an orchard that will allow you to pick your own from the tree, rather than simply buy them by the bushel. Show kids how to find the best apples, decide which varieties you all enjoy, climb and hunt for the perfect specimens, and most importantly make apple pie when you get home!
3. Bike ride of colors. Look on the internet or on local maps to find the best public forests – try state and national parks. Look for areas with many different trees so you can enjoy the various turning colors. Pack your bikes and helmets and take a bike trail through the falling leaves.
4. Fall picnic. Picnics can be just as fun in the fall as they are in summer! Pick a spot that gets a lot of sun so you won’t be too cold. Dress everyone in layers for warmth, so they can remove clothing if they get too hot. Be sure to pack all your favorite fall treats – you can use a thermos for hot chocolate or soup, take along pumpkin or apple pocket pies, and find fresh produce like pears, apples, squash and sweet potatoes prepared in a variety of ways. Don’t forget to pack the flannel blankets!
5. Make your own cider or apple sauce. It may take a bit of prep, but you can buy a cider press or check your local listings for options to rent one. You could also call around to local orchards as some offer cider-making as an activity. Making apple sauce is quite a bit easier, as you only need a stove and blender or food processor (try this recipe from The Pioneer Woman). Cooking together can bring everyone closer and kids love to help creating in the kitchen.
6. Corn mazes. This is likely only available in certain areas, but if you live within driving distance a good corn maze can’t be beat! It’s a fun, lively activity they’ll love running through, and young ones will be amazed at the height of the corn! It’s also a great way to get their brains moving as they try to solve the life-sized puzzle. Plus, they’ll work on interpersonal skills like team work and cooperation. Check out these famous corn mazes. Or check online for corn mazes in your own state.
7. Leaf pressing. Go on a leaf hunt with your kids. Take them to a particularly treed park, or a state forest. Find leaves of different colors and shapes and collect them gently in a box. Be sure to collect leaves that are still pliable, not dried and crunchy. Don’t crumple them in a bag or pocket. When you get home, place the leaves individually between the pages of a large, heavy book (like a dictionary). Keep them this way for for a few weeks, then take them out and use them for a mobile or other fun craft.
8. Leaf jumping. Turn a boring chore into piles of fun! Give everyone a rake and make a giant pile of leaves. Take turns jumping and throwing. Have a contest to see who can jump the farthest or fanciest!
9. Have a campfire. If you’ve got a fire pit in your yard, now’s the perfect time to roast marshmallows or sing some camp songs! A campfire is a great way to get cozy and warm on a chilly night. Don’t have a fire pit of your own? Visit a friend or family member with one – or spend the evening or weekend at a nearby campsite!
10. Make garlands of dried fruit like apples and oranges to string along the mantel, windows or doorway. You can find directions here. Or make pomanders with citrus fruits and cloves, as shown here. It’s fun to create together, and it will make your house smell delicious!
Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com