Twenty Fun Fall Family Activities
It is finally a little cooler temperature and the leaves are going to start changing colors.
It is a fun time of year to plan family adventures. Below there are some ideas to get the fun started. Remember you are able to be creative and add on to each idea to fit your family. Fall family activities are my favorite!
Even if your children are small it is fun to go to an apple orchard and drop down apples for them to gather. I usually take my own baskets for each child or the orchard provided containers. Find out what the schedule for picking is at a local orchard and if you can go during the week it is not as crowded. Make sure you take a thermos of cold water or juice for when the kids become thirsty. A small apple for each child can easily be washed with the water also.
After all that time spent in the orchard is complete it is fun to have a day of cooking to put the apples to good use. We have an apple corer and peeler that attaches to the counter and can be used by our little ones after the apple is placed. Then the apples need to be cut up and placed in a large pot, add some water to get them started cooking and stir occasionally. The apples will cook down into applesauce and it can be frozen in tupperware containers. Add some cinnamon to a few batches for an added treat. While all the peeling and coring is going on soe down and slice some apples thing and make Apple Nachos! Delicious finger food served like nachos but made of apples, peanut butter and mini chocolate chips recipe by Trial and Eater
There is nothing like attending some of the local Fall Festivals to celebrate family and Fall.
Check online for your State Fall Festivals and set up your calendar for the festivals your family wants to attend. There are apples, pumpkins, art, farm animals, churches, kids games and contests, food trucks, fall craft beers, dancing and more depending on the size of festival that you decide to attend.There is usually no cost to enter and the rest you can pick and choose.
Plan to go early because parking is usually limited close by. If you are on a strict budget pack a cooler and bring drinks and sandwiches to snack on at the car and compliment with an apple dumpling from the festival.
If you do Fall cleaning, save some of those clothes you are planning to dispose of and make a scarecrow family, The scarecrow may be hung in the garden or displayed on the front porch.
Remember a scarecrow does not have to be scary it can be fun and have a happy face.
Stuff the scarecrow with hay or newspaper and use an old nylon for the head. Hay Bales can be purchased at the apple orchard or local farmer.A hat can be added to make it more realistic and family member.
A fun Fall activity is camping with the family. You will need to decide if that means a local campground, a cabin or your backyard. Somethings to consider: do you have the equipment to tent camp, do you want to rent the equipment, do you want to rent a cabin or do want to consider a weekend rental of a small RV. The final possibility is not renting anything and camping in your own backyard. If you have an outdoor table, put a blanket over it and use it as a tent. Whatever you decide to do will make a fun family memory. Explore during the day so you collect fall leaves, acorns, sticks, small branches, bugs ( in a bug catcher), do creek walks and identify types of trees. In the evening, catch fireflies, make s'mores, build a fire, cook marshmallows and hot dogs and then settle in the tent or cabin to read a good story. Remember to take a lot of pictures of the fun filled day.
In the Fall many amusement parks are only open on the weekends and offer good prices for a day pass, Check the closest amusement park to see if it is worth a final season visit. I have found some good discounts this time of year and the crowds are not as bad, Family fun rides and a last dip on the water rides will make a day of family fun for all ages,
Go to a pumpkin patch and pick pumpkins. Some pumpkin patches have a corn maze or a hayride that you can participate in before picking your pumpkins. Please check out their events calendar before you go to the pumpkin patch so you may plan the day accordingly. A tip from me to your family: depending on the age range of family members, we plan a day of gathering pumpkins, then draw or paint on the pumpkins to display and then have a day of pumpkin carving. On the exciting day of carving the pumpkins it is a nice touch to roast pumpkin seeds and drink warm apple cider.
This is a day for the family to try everything pumpkin. Since the world has gone crazy with everything pumpkin flavored, plan a Pumpkin Extravaganza day with all things pumpkin.
Start the day with Pumpkin Pancakes, they are delicious and easy to make. Feel free to add a cinnamon butter or special syrup to the morning meal. The recipe I chose is a simple one by Savory Nothings. I add to the day by making Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Latte and this is the one day everyone may drink a little coffee with breakfast. This too is easy to make and tastes delicious with a recipe by Thriving Home and the leftovers may stay in the crockpot on warm for later. My family then heads to the store to do a scavenger hunt for all things pumpkin and bring home up to 5 items.We discovered a Pumpkin Pie Dip that is wonderful on fresh fruit and graham crackers. After dissecting the flavor this recipe by Spend with Pennies is close to store bought and delicious.We have discovered that too much pumpkin flavor in one day might not work well for the kids, So we back some pumpkin cookies or pumpkin bread from new recipes each year as our afternoon extravaganza. However for lunch, hollow out some small pumpkins,
clean out well, bake in the oven with small amount of water and use them as soup bowls for lunch. Then try your store bought pumpkin item in the late afternoon to see what everyone likes.
Finally dinner will roll around on this day filled with pumpkins and my family found a delightful recipe that uses orange peppers, carved with little faces to look like pumpkins filled with Shredded Chicken and Rice Stuffed Peppers, by Everyday Jenny. Warm pumpkin cookies or bread before bed with some leftover pumpkin latte ends our pumpkin extravaganza.
Visiting a Sunflower Farm is a nice all afternoon family activity. Most Sunflower farms also are a working farm so they might have a petting zoo and hayrides as well. Some Sunflower Farms have numerous outside activities so bring a picnic lunch to stay and enjoy the activities. There are usually limited times to purchase any food or drinks but check the website or call before you plan to attend,
Plan a Fall Family Weekend Getaway and make it a tradition to go someplace new every year.
It is easy to look online for the type of weekend you might want to find. I will use Smugglers Notch, Vermont as my example. This is a resort, geared towards kids and family in the mountains. It has 8 pools, a water park, a kids program, restaurants on site, rooms or cottages, hiking, horseback riding and nightly entertainment. Book a weekend family package deal and do it all in one weekend. They do not pay me to advertise but I was very impressed with what they have to offer.Smuggler Notch.
Fall is one of the best times to volunteer! It is neither hot or cold. Pick a weekend that the family can make a commitment and then decide what your talents might be. It is easy to look online at volunteer opportunities in your area to see what is available and appropriate for the age of your family members. There are numerous opportunities at food banks, highway trash pickup, park trash pickup, soup kitchen, festivals clean up, picking up donated school supplies and sort, animal shelter food drive for winter, walk shelter animals, volunteer reading programs, volunteer in nursing homes, hospital volunteers, Ronald McDonald House volunteer and those only point out a few. Teaching your family to give to others is an important skill to learn and utilize.
Decorate For Fall
Unpack all the Fall decorations from last year and decorate for this year. It is fun to look at Fall decorations from previous years because we do a Family Fall craft each year. Decorate the inside first and then the front porch or entryway. Then decide what you need to spruce up old decorations. Maybe some new Fall color bows or ribbons, new pinecones or acorns, a new wreath for the door, sun catchers for the windows. Look on Pinterest for Fall Crafts and create something with the family that night.
Almost anywhere you live has sometime of maze to wander through in the Fall. It is easy to plan night at the corn maze by taking a snack and a thermos of warm cider or hot cocoa. Preparing the snack at home and then packing up baggies for each person is half the fun. I suggest Halloween Harvest Hash Chex Mix, it is fun to make and delicious to eat with just enough sweet and salty. It is by One Little Project and goes a long way. Enjoy the walk through the corn maze and then people watch as your family has their snack.
Chili Cook Off
We draw names out of a hat to determine what parents team the children are on for this challenge. We also do it on a Saturday so the chili can then be served on Sunday for the big football game. Since we are all proud of our own concoctions of Chili, we have a neighbor judge our chili on Saturday when we ar ready to present our final product. So this fun begins on Friday when we know find out who our partner is and we then look through new recipes so we can purchase our supplies. My children take choosing the yearly recipe quite seriously.So we look online and in cook books together. Then cooking begins on Saturday with each team having a 2 ½ hour period in the kitchen. Then the neighbor comes over at a designated time to test the chili. We eat the second place chili for dinner on Saturday night. The first place winning chili is served in sourdough bread bowls during the game on Sunday. The losing team has to do the dishes from the day of cooking. Set up your own fun rules for a contest if chili is not that family fall meal.
Yard Sale Goodies
Teaching your children about money and its value is fun when you combine it with Yard Sale goodies. Purchase the local paper or search online to discover the locations of some big yard sale. Then set up google maps to get you there. Everyone should have 2-3 dollars to spend and see who finds the best items. We do this early in the morning, even for entertainment on vacation. Then during breakfast everyone has their turn to share what treasures they found.
The final result is we have our own yard sale to resell anything we do not want to keep.
Halloween Exchange Night
We set up a Saturday night with friends and neighbors to bring their last year Halloween Costume to our house and exchange it for a costume someone else had last year. It is a fun way to reuse costumes or parts of a costume and make it new. While everyone is exchanging their costumes with each other i slice up some of our apples from the orchard trip and stick them on some wooden skewers. After the costume selection is over they can help themselves to the Candy Apple Bar, which is comprised of caramel to dip the apple slices in and then dip them in various toppings that are in small surrounding bowls. This is easy to do and a fun way to see friends. I found this recipe from Tasty Tuesdays.
Honor Maple Syrup
Fall is a fun time to learn about Maple Syrup and how it comes from Maple trees. Start on a Saturday morning and read a good book about Maple Syrup. “We Make Maple Syrup” by Karen Mockler, this book is online and free to read to your children with illustrations about a family that
actually makes maple syrup. Then to honor Maple Syrup make either pancakes or french toast and put maple syrup on them or better yet make Maple Apple Cranberry Crumble,
finish the day with a simple vanilla bean ice cream with maple syrup drizzled over top.If the family wants to hear the book before bed it is a nice way touch.
Did you know that in September and October resorts gear up events for Toddlers and Babies to appeal to the family that has preschool children and their focus is not on back to school. There are many resorts that lower their prices during this time but pair with Sesame Street to entertain your children. They offer fun packages and sitter services, Club Med, Sandpiper Bay was Trip Savvys number one pick for a resort catering to the preschool crowd.
I researched the all inclusive prices for vacations and they do drop but add more activities for the preschooler. They build in time for parents to go and have some relaxation and a cocktail.
It is not a bad option to take another vacation after school starts.
Thanksgiving is what you make it! Many families make it about cooking and eating with family.
Some families travel using it as a last holiday away! There is no right or wrong only what your works best for your family. So with that being said, we change back and forth every year.
The one thing that we always do is honor the month of November with a family tree to hang notes on as to what we are thankful for each day. We make some type of tree and then either hang sticky notes on it each day in November or use paper with ribbon to hang on the tree. It needs to be simple because you are doing it everyday. It can be done first thing in the morning or before bed but be consistent. Everyone writes something they are thankful for ( you may write down for a child) then they hang it on the tree. It helps us remember the important things in life and we slow down for a few minutes each day to reflect. ( an example of a tree from
As you get into the end of November it is fair to think the family is starting to think of the Winter Holidays.We have a craft day in November to prepare for December It does not matter what you celebrate, there still is room for a craft day to make items to display in the house.It will only take a few minutes to find some favorites on Pinterest but these are a few favorites of ours to view: Tea Light Snowman by One Little Project; Glittering Popsicle Christmas Trees by One Little Project; Clothespin Snowman by Easy Peasy and Fun