Nothing like the hint of fall in the air to lift your spirits. I mean what could be better for your soul than sipping a pumpkin spice latte in front of a fire pit on a crisp evening?
What? You don’t like pumpkin spice anything? No problem. There are plenty of other activities you can do with your family to create fun during this fall season.
Here are 25 suggestions to get the pumpkin (I mean ball) rolling on your fall activities:
- Gather pine cones, slather creamy peanut butter on them, roll them in birdseed and hang them outside your window so you can watch the birds. OR give them to older folks in your neighborhood who can’t get out, but would enjoy seeing the birds.
- Once the leaves have fallen off the trees, gather the entire family to rake leaves into a huge pile. See how high and wide you can make the pile and then jump in it. An alternative could be that a couple of you make the pile and then hide in it until other family members walk past it. Then you jump out of it. That should make for a great game of chase. 😁
- If you’ve got littles, take them outside to gather different color leaves and then press them between two sheets of wax paper or put them underneath paper and let them rub crayon over the leaf to make an etching.
- Learn about vegetables that grow well in the fall and plant a fall garden. Let your kids educate you about how to do the planting, how many plants you need, how to care for the garden, and when things are ready to be picked.
- Take advantage of the clear nights to throw a blanket on the ground and do some stargazing. You can go old school and use a book or high-tech and use an app to find all the constellations. If you prefer to do something during the day, look at the cloud formations and play I Spy for formations that look like a horse, Barney, a tree, or leaves… you get the picture.
- Pack a picnic and head out for a hike to look at the fall colors and picnic at an overlook.
- Make a list of all your family’s favorite fall foods like pumpkin spice cookies, caramel apples, popcorn balls, pumpkin bread, apple pie, and apple spice cake. Let the baking be a family affair. Keep some and give some away.
- Find an older person who needs help with their yard. Take a day and work together as a family to spruce things up.
- Make leaf shapes from paper and have everybody write down things they are thankful for. Put them in a bowl, then open them up and read them at Thanksgiving dinner.
- Go old school and teach your kids games you used to play when you were their age—Kick the Can, Freeze Tag, Four Square, Jax, Marbles, Hop Scotch, Duck Duck Goose, Monkey in the Middle, Jump Rope or Double Dutch, Spud, Horse, Red Light Green Light, Freeze Dance, and Wiffle Ball ought to give you enough to keep them engaged for a while.
- Go for a walk and gather all kinds of things that are signs of fall like acorns, leaves, sticks, pine cones, seedpods, and nuts. Then make a fall wreath out of what you found.
- Create a fall yard display complete with a scarecrow.
- Have a contest to see who can come the closest to replicating their favorite fall drink.
- Build a fire in the fire pit and roast marshmallows and/or make S’mores.
- Since it gets dark earlier, go on a flashlight hike and see what kinds of things you can spot. You never know when you might encounter a raccoon, opossum, or skunk. (Pepé Le Pew!)
- For your little ones, trace their hand on a colorful sheet of construction paper and help them make a turkey out of their hand.
- Have a watercolor painting night for the family with a fall theme.
- Learn how to make bread. There is something about the smell of bread baking when you walk through the door that wakes up those taste buds. The best part though is eating it warm out of the oven. Pure happiness.
- Have an ongoing board game competition with your family during the fall months. Maybe the overall winner gets their favorite meal made and served by everybody else.
- Decorate your bikes and go for a bike ride through the neighborhood.
- Choose some of the old-fashioned relays like the wheelbarrow race, three-legged race, egg/water balloon toss, egg and spoon relay, and crab race. Gather some of your extended family or framily (friends who are like family) and head to a large field where you have room to spread out and let the games begin.
- Visit an apple orchard and sample all the goodies. Take the apples you purchased and bob for apples with your feet.
- Create an outdoor obstacle course for the entire family to complete. Think Slip ‘n Slide meets mudder run and you’ve got some serious fun in the making.
- Make homemade hot chocolate complete with marshmallows and whipped cream and see who can make the best mustache while drinking it.
- Pitch a tent in the backyard. Hang a sheet from a tree and watch a movie OR learn how to make shadow figures.
All of these are pretty simple and fun things you can do with your family.
The best part though is that in the midst of creating all of this fun you are also teaching your children, listening to them, letting them lead, laughing together, modeling how to be a good loser and a humble winner, how to share, what to do when you disagree and how to be a good team player—just to name a few.
It’s been a year, to say the least. We all could use some fun right about now. So, work can wait. Put your phone down—except to take pictures of course and go all-in for some fall family fun and activities. You won’t regret it.