Autumn Family Fun
by Linda Shapero
Frugal Fall Home Decorating with the Kids
Rediscover Everyday Joys
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Are you looking for some autumn activities for the whole family that won't cost a mint? Are you racking your brain trying to come up with autumn family fun ideas suitable for your three-year-old, as well as your 12-year-old?
Autumn is a great time of year to get outside, take in the crisp fresh air, admire the beautiful foliage, and appreciate the mild weather while it's still with us. What better time to make a family date and do the following fall-like activities:
- Visit an apple orchard and pick your own apples. You can make a day out of this by not only picking apples but packing a basket and finding the perfect spot for a family picnic. First, plan to also visit the orchard's country store (if they have one) to pick up some apple cider or other fall treats to add to the picnic basket. Don't forget to store apples in a cool, dark place when you get home. Later on, you can have fun making caramel apples and apple pies.
- Invite friends and family over to have a raking or yard cleanup party. Ask everyone to bring their favorite seasonal dish and have a potluck while you're at it. (Of course, you'll want to coordinate this aspect of the party, as you don't want to end up with four dishes of homemade applesauce.) This is not only a great way to clean up and winterize your yard but have a fun get-together at the same time.
- Take a nature walk in the woods and point out interesting trees, plants, and wildlife. If you're not up on the names of trees and plants, you can check a book out of the library that will serve as a guide. Encourage everyone to pick up leaves to press later on. They can make collages or all kinds of pictures and crafts from them. (One year for an autumn-themed birthday party, we used pressed leaves under a clear table covering for an impressive look.)
- Likewise, make a trip to the pumpkin patch and then bake your own pumpkin pies. This is great fun for the kiddies, and they'll enjoy baking and eating the pumpkin seeds, too. It's the perfect time to begin teaching little ones about cooking and measurements, as well.
- If the kids are a bit older, consider taking a longer hike. Make sure everyone has the proper clothing and footwear, as well as food, snacks and drinks. It's a great way to commune with nature and get out in the open. It's great exercise, too!
- Get together with friends for a once-a-month (or more) autumn potluck. Make a heaping batch of beef stew, chili, or your favorite big batch meal, and call several family friends to join you with side dishes. Next month, let someone else do the same, and keep it up. Just think, if you do it more often, say once every two weeks, that cuts down on cooking for everyone!
- Research museums in your area. Plan a day trip to one that you've never been to before. This is an especially helpful hint for those rainy weekends that creep up during the autumn months, and it's educational. It can also lead to new interests and new field trips.
- If you live anywhere near a farm, arrange a hayride for your family and friends. Later, bring them back to the house for hot cider, popcorn, pumpkin pie, and any other fall goodies you can dream up.
- Find a local festival or fair. These are always fun for everyone with all the sights, food and activities to partake of and they are almost always on a weekend for your convenience.
- Check out school and church bazaars as early as October and November to find very affordable holiday gift items. You'll be surprised at some of the terrific sales you'll get at these holiday markets. The children will be so pleased when they can find items that will fit in their budget, plus it makes for a fun day for everyone.
Autumn goes so quickly, so be sure to make the most of it by getting out and participating in some of the above activities.
Take the Next Step:
- Autumn is a wonderful time of year, but it passes quickly. Start making some plans now, so you'll be ready when the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. There are many wonderful things to do. Maybe you'll want to try one of the above activities or ask around and see what's available in your neck of the woods.
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