Autumn is such a special time of year. The pumpkin patch is in full harvest. The natural landscape seems to change daily. The air becomes crisp. The meals are comforting. Apple cider and pumpkin spice make their way into, well, everything. On some nights, it seems as if the moon is at your fingertips. Not to mention the colors! Oh, the colors! The gifts of the season are truly abundant.
There are so many simple ways to enjoy this beautiful season as a family. Here are a few ideas to put on your fall family fun list.
Apples, pumpkins, and gourds are ready and waiting for your family. Head out to literally enjoy the “fruits” of the season. Find a farm with family-friendly offerings. “You’re out in nature, typically in a beautiful setting. It is a great activity that you can involve the whole family in, and kids ranging from toddler to teenager can participate,” said Allen Michael, editor of HomeViable.com.
Our local pumpkin patch has hayrides, farm equipment for the kids to climb on, a corn maze, and warm apple cider to enjoy. If you live in the city, this is an especially lovely way to get out into the country and enjoy fall’s bounty.
Put your fall goodies to use by baking treats such as apple pie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and apple crisp. Make your own apple cider and applesauce, too.
Now that summer has passed, slow-cooked meals such as stew, chili, pot roast, and soups of all kinds make for perfect dinners that comfort and nourish your family.
Collect leaves for leaf rubbings or nature collages. Apples cut in half make great paint stampers. Make your pumpkins and apples the subjects of still-life paintings and sketches. Decorate your home with touches of fall. and of course, carve those pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns.
Find a Festival
Fall is festival season. Check your local newspaper for family-friendly happenings in your area. Festivals can be educational and fun all at once, whether they focus on food, culture, history, or simply celebrate fall. There are usually demonstrations, shows, and all sorts of fun activities to do together as a family. They are great community-centric events.
Whether in your backyard in a simple tent or in an unfamiliar place for a grand adventure, fall is a great time to get out into nature, sit around a campfire, watch the stars, and simply enjoy the company of your family.
Fall is also a wonderful time for a good long walk in the woods. Turn off all digital devices and take the whole family out for a hike. Hit the trails and enjoy the peace and serenity of being surrounded by the calls of the birds, the rustle of the leaves, the loveliness of a cool breeze, and the beauty of the forest.
Hit the Beach
Those of us lucky enough to live in beach towns know that one of the best times to hit the beach is during the fall. It’s too cold to swim and there are no lifeguards, but the crowds have gone and the birds are migrating overhead. Bring a sweatshirt and a blanket, a kite, a ball, a spiced pumpkin latte, a good book or two, and some chairs. Let the kids run around in a ton of open space while you watch the waves roll in.
Go Leaf Peeping
Lastly, head out for a drive (or, perhaps a train ride, cruise, or other guided tour) to enjoy Mother Nature’s beautiful artwork when the leaves are in peak color. Appreciating the natural world around you and sharing it with your children is a practice in gratitude and reverence. It will teach them about more than simply the changes of the season.