This past Friday marked the first day of autumn. And I have to be honest, I have usually hated the fall. To me, fall is when everything is dying. We start to see bare trees all around us, it gets cold, flowers wilt and we lose daylight. What fun is that?
Since starting a family though, I can now say that fall doesn’t bother me as much. Granted all of those things I mentioned still happen, there are so many activities that we can do as a family that do make up for it and I very much look forward to it.
One big fall activity for lots of people is apple picking. Find a great farm or orchard and you can make a day out of it. Even if it is chilly out, make sure to dress in layers because sometimes it’s a lot warmer out in the orchard while you’re picking. I love going to places that offer more than just picking apples. We like to take the kids on hay rides and walk through corn mazes. They also love to feed baby animals and if there is a playground area, that’s a plus as well.
What to do with all of those apples once you have them home? Eat them, bake with them and cook with them! You can find tons of recipes that call for apples in recipe books, online or even ask a family member or friend for their favorite recipe to try. Have fun with it and cut them open, get some paint and let the kids make an apple stamp masterpiece.
What comes after apples? Pumpkins! Again, find a great farm or orchard and you can make a day out of pumpkin picking. While you’re in the pumpkin patch, make up some games to play with the kids. See who can find the biggest pumpkin and who can find the smallest pumpkin. Which one would be the best pumpkin to take home and carve into a jack o’lantern. Let each kid pick out their own small pumpkin that they can take home. Pick up some simply craft supplies like paint, googly eyes, felt, pipe cleaners, etc. and let them all decorate their pumpkins. You can then put them out on your front steps as a nice fall decoration. The kids will think it’s great that their artistic pumpkin is on display as well.
A couple of my favorite farms and orchards are: Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Stow, Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro and Smolak Farms in North Andover. Please feel free to comment some of your favorite places for people to check out.
What to do with all of those leaves just laying in your yard? Go outside as a family and rake them all up into a huge pile. Then take turns jumping into it! I’m sure the kids won’t be the only ones laughing. Make a homemade scarecrow with some of Dad’s old clothes. Stuff a pair of pants and a shirt with leaves, decorate a pumpkin for the head and presto! Instant scarecrow!
And what about football? It doesn’t just have to be your Sunday TV entertainment. Get a football, take the family outside and play some ball! Play catch, let the kids chase you with the ball or vice versa or even play a little scrimmage. This is something you can do at a local field as well if you don’t have a yard.
We can’t forget about two big fall holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving! I personally love both of them. I think it’s so much fun to dress up in costume and have a good time. I always give my kids a Halloween costume catalog and let them pick out what they want to be that year. It’s so cute to see what they choose. I enjoy seeing all of the kids dressed up, especially at a Halloween parade or party and on Halloween night, trick-or-treating. I also still enjoy going to Halloween costume parties. Who says you can’t have fun as an adult? Rounding out the end of fall is Thanksgiving. I absolutely love Thanksgiving, not only for the food but for what it represents. We all have so much in our lives to be thankful for, even though we sometimes don’t see it that way and it is such a great day to reflect on that. It is so important that our children know what Thanksgiving is about and I always ask my kids what they are thankful for in their lives.
There are many other events and activities that you can do during fall, so get out there and be active as a family! Fall is still not my favorite season but I definitely have a different point of view on it now and you’ll find me out and about with my family and friends many, many times.