(Photo: Yogendra Singh)
Fall is around the corner, and it's time to start planning your activities. Sure, you and your kids might want to spend a few days snuggled up on the couch watching movies. But with the crisp fall weather and gorgeous colors, you should aim to get more ambitious.
There are so many fun fall activities your family can take advantage of. From visiting a pumpkin patch to cooking together as a family, here are five ideas for having more family fun this fall:
1. Go on a Hike
After this summer's often torrid temps, you're probably looking forward to the cooler weather that comes with the fall season. Why not take advantage of it as a family and spend time outdoors?
Hiking is a great fall activity. Not only can it help your family stay active, but spending time outdoors has several benefits. For one, sunlight gives your body vitamin D, helping to build strong bones and support your immune system. Being around nature can also lessen anxiety and improve sleep.
Regardless of where you live, you're probably not too far from a hiking trail. With that said, you'll want to make sure the trail is kid-friendly. AllTrails is a fitness and mobile app that will show you nearby hiking trails, ranking them based on difficulty.
You might also consider buying your children a kids gps watch. These watches can keep track of their steps while on the hike and help them stay motivated. And since these watches don't allow internet access, you won't have to worry about monitoring their online activity later on.
2. Visit a Farmers Market
With the bevy of autumn produce available, farmers markets are popular attractions during harvest season. Another reason for their popularity in the fall is that the weather is perfect for walking around. You and your family might even need a jacket to enjoy the day.
Before going to a farmers market, do your research on what's available. You might think every farmers market is the same, but vendors can vary. Butternut squash and fall gourds might be your jam, but your chosen market should offer things your children will enjoy, too. For example, look for farmers markets that feature bakers, artists, and maybe even pet adoption booths.
Once you find the right market to attend, come prepared. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and make sure you bring reusable bags to store all your goodies.
3. Make Fall Treats
After you score a bag of Newtown Pippins, what could be more fun than baking them up in an apple crisp or pie? Baking together as a family is a great activity for kids who don't have too much food prep experience. Making something simple and sweet might encourage them to spend more time in the kitchen.
Thankfully, there are several kid-friendly fall recipes to choose from. From pumpkin french toast to apple cider donuts, you won't struggle to find a tasty recipe. Chili is another dish you should consider creating. What's nice about chili is it doesn't usually require a strict recipe. You can just throw ingredients in there based on what you and your family like.
Teaching your kids how to cook is more than just a fun fall activity, it's an important life skill. The more time you spend with your children in the kitchen, the more they'll observe and learn. That way, they'll be able to cook for themselves at some point.
4. Read a Book
According to experts, most children learn how to read between the ages of six and seven. Reading helps children learn about language, from what words mean to how they sound. If your kids are younger, read books aloud to them this fall to help their brains develop.
There are so many kid-friendly books available that your children will probably enjoy. Cuddling up with classics like "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Goodnight, Moon" will become a treasured childhood memory. Before choosing a book, make sure it's at your child's reading level. Luckily, most books provide that information on the cover. If not, you can double-check the reading level with a librarian.
It's also a good idea to look for topics your kids are interested in. For instance, if your son is obsessed with aliens, look for a science fiction book. If your daughter loves dressing up as a princess, seek out fairy tales. The more interested your kids are in a book, the more likely they'll stay engaged from start to finish.
5. Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkins and fall pretty much go hand in hand. Chances are, you and your family will be buying a few pumpkins during the season. Instead of picking them up from a grocery store, consider taking your family to a pumpkin patch this year.
Visiting a local pumpkin patch is a great way to spend the day. Regardless of where you live, you're probably not too far from one. A quick Google search can help you find the best patch for you.
Not only can you buy pumpkins, but you can also use the backdrop to take some fun fall photos. If that's your plan, dress accordingly. Aim for a festively casual look but take warmth into account as well. Most pumpkin patches start opening in September, which might be a chilly month where you live.
Fall is a great time to spend time outdoors and try new things. The tips above are only a few fall-inspired activities you and your kids should try this season.
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