10 Fabulous Fall Activities for the Whole Family

For everything there is a season — and for every season there are great things to do with the family. Here are ten easy fall family activities.

1.  Go apple picking. There are a number of local orchards to visit. Maryland Apple Orchards are linked here: http://www.chesapeakefamily.com/Kids/Family-Travel/marylandfallactivitiesguide/Page-4. Wherever you go, make sure to call ahead and see what their picking conditions are.  Most apple orchards’ seasons begin in August and run through October or November.

2.  Make your final camping trip. Enjoy the great outdoors after the crowds have dispersed.  Camping the weekend after Labor Day, allows you to avoid crowds, but still enjoy all the conditions of summer.  Check out your favorite campsite now that the season is slowing down.

3.  Bake an apple pie together. Create wonderful memories making apple pies with your family.  Kids can help mix the crust, pat it in the pan, mix the filling as well as work the topping together.  Make several at once, bake one, and freeze the rest.  Simply wrap securely in aluminum foil and place in a Ziploc bag.  

4.  Create a list of movies to watch together
as a family as the days shorten and the time between dinner and bedtime lengthens.  Keep this list handy throughout fall and winter as a quick reference.  Revisit Disney classics such as Old Yeller, Rascal,  and Kidnapped.   You will be amazed that old movies still have their appeal generations later.  Your local library is a great place to get these movies – usually for free!  Using the library’s online services, you can even request a specific movie to be sent to your local branch for pickup.

5.  Collect colorful leaves.
Spend time on a nature walk, collecting leaves.  Once home, position leaves decoratively on a piece of colored construction paper. Carefully cover with a sheet of clear contact paper; then, trim the edges.  Enjoy using these as placemats throughout the fall or hang on the wall as art.

6.  Consider the birds and create homemade bird feeders.
You will need:
Large unsalted pretzels
Strong string
Peanut butter
Plastic knife
Bowl of birdseed

Attach a 2 ft. length of string to each pretzel.  Using plastic knife, allow child to coat it with peanut butter.  Next have child dip pretzel into bowl of birdseed, until all the peanut butter is covered with seed.  Hang from a tree in your yard and watch the birds flock to taste the snack you’ve made for them.

7.  Thank your neighbors.
Create gift packages for the neighbors.  Include those you haven’t met before; what a great way to demonstrate friendship making to your children.  Involve the whole family to bake cookies, draw pictures, or perhaps put together a Caramel Apple Kit, complete with apples you picked yourselves.  Packaging can be simple – a brown paper sack tied with a fall-colored ribbon.  Be sure to attach a note telling your neighbors how thankful you are for them.

8.  Learn to make apple crowns together. These are so simple to make, you’ll wonder why you haven’t had one sooner.  Kids can easily help you prepare them.  Depending on the size of the apples, you may want to share them.  An apple slicer/corer easily cuts the apple into eight slices and cores them at the same time.  

Apple Crowns
Caramel sauce or caramel dip, warmed
Whipped cream
Chopped Nuts
Maraschino cherries

Cut apples with apple slicer/corer.  Remove core and discard.  Place apple on a dish.  Pour caramel sauce over the top.  Top with whipped cream, nuts and cherry.  Enjoy!

9.  Welcome the change of season (and the weather it brings) with open arms.  Purchase a membership to your local science museum, natural history museum or children’s museum.  With that safely in your wallet, you are ready for family adventures, no matter what the weather.

10.  Settle down with a good book to read aloud. Wonderful selections include the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, or The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden.  For more book suggestions as well as information on the benefits of reading aloud, check out the following:  The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson, and Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt.

by Jessica Fisher makes her home in a suburb of Kansas City with her husband and their six children. She blogs at www.lifeasmom.com

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