Fall is a magical time of year not only because of its crisp air and multicoloured foliage. There are plenty of simple and fun ways you and your family can enjoy the season. Whether you bake up (or just enjoy) the delicious pumpkin, pecan, and apple flavoured treats that come along with the season, you like to get outdoors before winter brings cold temperatures or you want to focus on growth and giving – fall is a wonderful time to spend making memories with loved ones. Make the most of the upcoming autumn season with these family-friendly ideas and activities.
- Visit a local apple orchard or pumpkin patch. This idea might seem typical, but often times orchards or pumpkin patches offer a wide variety of activities for families including corn mazes, hayrides, games, crafts, and demonstrations on how to make apple cider! Be sure to ask for local recommendations from family and friends as well as go the old fashioned route and drive along until you find one!
- Carve (or paint) pumpkins. Depending on the ages of the children in your family, you can paint, decorate, or carve pumpkins! For the little ones, simply feeling the inside of the pumpkin can serve as a great sensory activity. As they get older and their creativity blooms, painting, decorating, and carving pumpkins will give your family hours of fun and (messy) times
- Host a bonfire. Invite your friends and family over for a night of hot dog roasting and marshmallow toasting! You can even spice things up a bit and make the theme of the night a ‘Chili Cook Off’ where guests bring their own family recipes for a contest! You can type up ‘score cards’ based on categories like taste, spiciness, and originality! To close the evening, you can all gather around a fire and toast some marshmallows for a quick and sweet dessert!
- Take a drive. Once the leaves start turning into their bright oranges and reds and even vibrant purples, they turn very quickly! Load up your family into your car and take a long drive through town or through the countryside to look at all of the beautiful nature. You can even make a game with your kids to see which colour appears most often!
- Bake some treats! There may be no better feeling than smelling warm pumpkin bread baking in the oven and wafting through your home. Baking a pumpkin treat like pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, etc. not only tastes great but can create a cosy feeling throughout your home!
- Take family photos. Fall is a perfect time to take family photos! The backgrounds are always so beautiful and uniquely special. You can use the family photos to document this special time in your lives as well as use them for holiday cards!
- Make your own apple cider. It only takes a few ingredients, but it does take a little bit of time which is perfect to bond with your family over the activity of creating something together.
- Rake leaves…for others. It goes without saying that you should take care of your own yard but raking leaves is one of the hardest tasks for elderly people living on their own to accomplish. In Boise we have a city-wide program called “Rake Up Boise” where individuals or teams of people can sign up to rake on one day for anyone who needs it. If your city doesn’t have a program like this I would ask around to see if an elderly friend or neighbour may want some help. Don’t forget – what makes raking leaves exciting is that you sometimes get to jump in the huge piles! Children (and adults) can’t resist the joy that comes from jumping into a huge pile of crunchy leaves!
- Make a Thankful Tree. Making a Thankful Tree is a wonderful activity for families to do in the fall. With your family, gather up leaves that are beautiful, unique, and that stand out to you. Assemble the leaves and glue them to a piece of construction paper where you’ve drawn an empty tree. For each leaf on the tree, write on it one thing that you or any member of your family is thankful for. Continue going around the tree and sharing what makes your family thankful this fall season!
- Visit a farmer’s market. Farmers’ markets are a wonderful weekend activity for families! Seeing all of the fresh produce and handmade items is a wonderful way to support your local farmers and businesses. Also, you might be inspired to make some tasty new recipes with all of the fresh vegetables that you see!
- Volunteer at a food pantry. Fall is considered to be a season of giving, and giving back to your community is an excellent activity for your family to do. Volunteering at a local food bank or pantry will leave you feeling fulfilled and thankful for the opportunity to serve. It also helps your children learn the values of philanthropy and giving to those who are in need.
- Make a bird feeder. Making bird feeders from natural ingredients is an entertaining activity for you and your family, plus it is great for the environment as it reduces the amount of plastic that traditional bird feeders use. And after hanging them up, you can watch the variety of birds that come visit!
- Cozy up together. The best activity to do this fall to spend time with your family is so simple. Grab some blankets, some snacks, and a favourite movie. Then grab the whole family and snuggle up together for a movie night in. Spending quality time together no matter what season is the best activity.
I hope you’ve enjoyed thinking about all of the delightful things to do this fall with your family as much as I have. From exploring apple orchards and pumpkin patches to decorating pumpkins and hosting a backyard bonfire, there are plenty of activities for your family to do this fall that will bring you all together in a s’more-like sweetness.