We’re heading into the season of fuzzy sweaters, cozy boots, hot chocolate, and soft blankets. As the leaves gently float to the ground and the temperatures start to drop, you may find yourself snuggling into the couch with a warm blanket or perhaps tucking into bed a little earlier. It’s the perfect season to slow down and enjoy each passing moment, but it’s also a great time to have some family fun.
Fall is the best time to enjoy some outdoor activities because you don’t have to worry about children or older members of the family overheating. Even the family pet can participate without as much worry over hot pavement and dehydration. Enjoying a little fun time outdoors can solidify family bonds and keep children healthy with all the fresh air.
We put together a quick list of fall family fun activities to help you make the most of the season whether you prefer to stay indoors and out. The holiday bustle will soon hit, so now is the time to take it easy and try something new together.
1. Explore Your Local Hiking Trails
Do you have a state or national forest near your home? What about county or community parks and recreation areas that have wooded areas with paved hiking trails? You can explore the parks in your area online, and most have websites that make it easy to determine the length and difficulty of hiking trails.
Family hikes are peaceful adventures that allow you to enjoy the beautiful fall landscape while exposing children to a new environment. They may see everything from squirrels and birds to rabbits and deer in addition to waterfalls, creeks, and mountaintop views.
Make sure to bring warm outerwear because it often feels cooler when you slip into the trees. Snacks and drinks are a great idea as well. Start with shorter trails without a lot of incline when hiking with children.
2. Visit a Local Orchard or Farm
Orchards and farms have all the goodies in the fall. Look for you-pick farms that allow you to pick fresh apples, perhaps discovering new varieties that you haven’t seen in the local grocery store. Wander through the pumpkin patch, go on a hayride, or try to find your way through a corn maze. Some farms also have weekend festivals in the fall, and you can pick up homemade goodies like fresh apple butter.
Consider making fresh applesauce with the apples you bring home. It’s a fun activity that kids of all ages can enjoy, and you’ll have a healthy snack or side dish on hand for some time to come.
3. Make Christmas Gifts Together
The best holiday gifts are those that come from the heart. Fall is a great time to get a jumpstart on the giving, and it may save you a lot of money when it’s time to start wrapping. Set some time aside on the weekends or in the evenings to do simple crafts that your children can gift to one another, other family members, or even their friends and neighbors.
Bookmarks are easy for kids of all ages to design. You can use cardstock, markers, stickers, printed images, and many other materials easily found at local dollar stores. Add a ribbon at the top, and you have a great gift for the bookworms in your life.
If you visit local arts and crafts stores even big box retailers like Walmart, you’ll find a variety of wooden pieces that are ready for paint. Look for photo boxes, frames, and wall hangings that your family can paint and then pass on as loving gifts without a substantial investment.
4. Schedule Your Fall Photoshoot
What do you do with those amazing photo frames your children just painted? If you have a fall photoshoot, you can add your favorite shots and wrap them up as gifts.
Fall is the best time to take family photos because you get them out of the way before the holiday season begins. Imagine having adorable photos of your family ordered before the turkey hits the table or the Christmas tree goes up. You can use those photos to create memorable holiday gifts like customized throw blankets, pillows, and cups.
If your kids aren’t natural posers and photoshoots are often more work than fun, there are some ways to make the experience more enjoyable. Start by thinking about the bold colors that come out in the fall and how you can use them to create one-of-a-kind photos. The leaves are changing to bright orange, burnt red, and various shades of brown. They’re floating from the trees and landing around the mums as they bloom in bright yellow. Even a tree that has shed all its leaves is a beautiful backdrop for unique photos.
You can get your kids more involved by allowing them to select an outfit, wear a costume, or bring a prop. Your Life365 photographer can help you find even more ways to bring some fun to the fall photoshoot.
5. Collect, Paint, & Hide Rocks
Have you ever found a kindness rock? People around the country are painting rocks with colorful images and inspiring messages and then hiding them in plain sight. The goal is to allow someone to find them at random, spreading a little kindness, hope, and joy in a fun way.
This is a great fall family fun activity because kids of all ages can enjoy the excitement. Spend an afternoon or full weekend painting rocks and then take a walk through your neighborhood to spread the joy. You can collect rocks from outdoors or buy them at local stores in bulk.
Look for local rock painting groups on Facebook that serve your area. If you put the group name or Facebook URL on your rocks, finders can report back when they’re discovered. It’s often amazing where the rocks are found as multiple people find and re-hide them in new locations.
6. Make a Leaf Collage
Get the family outdoors in a location with a lot of trees shedding leaves. Give the kids a challenge of finding as many leaves as possible, varying the size, shape, color, and texture. They can use plastic grocery store bags or even their Halloween treat buckets to collect their leaves.
When you get back home, break out the paper and paste to create colorful leaf collages. Each child can select their favorite leaves to create a collage of their own, or you can use one long strip of paper to create a large hanging for the wall that represents everyone’s favorites.
You can add glitter, stickers, and other add-ons, or just use the colors of the leaves to create stunning designs.
7. Dissect and Grow Sunflowers
Sunflowers are one of the most magical representations of late summer and early fall. If you can get your hands on a large sunflower head, consider giving your children tweezers or other safe utensils to take it apart one petal and seed at a time. It’s a fun experience that can teach even young children about the various parts of a flower.
Collecting the seeds is the best part because your family can plant some of them in the spring to see giant sunflowers come to life at home. If you don’t want to throw away those beautiful petals, use them to create collages, decorate photo frames, or combine them with fresh fall leaves to create beautiful pictures.
8. Plant a Fall Garden
As food prices continue to rise, a fall garden is the perfect family fall fun activity this year. There are so many fresh, healthy vegetables that you can grow, including Brussel sprouts, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, and cucumbers. Everyone can enjoy fresh produce right from the garden, and you can learn to can or freeze the extras for winter meals.
If you don’t have room to plant outdoors, consider a container garden on your porch, patio, or deck. You can even plant an herb garden inside the kitchen. Give the kids their own job in planting and caring for the plants, and then use the herbs to dress up your meals.
9. Make Pudding Slime
Pudding slime is easy to make, and your kids can taste it all they want. You can do it with simple ingredients like chocolate pudding mix and cornstarch and adding gummy worms and other gummy shapes will make it even more fun. Try putting the pudding in small plastic cups and letting the kids decorate with sprinkles, worms, and other goodies.
10. Do a Peeps Science Experiment
It turns out there’s a whole lotta fun you can have with those Peeps, even if your kids don’t enjoy eating them. For instance, what can you do to make Peeps sink instead of float when placed in water? What do you need to dissolve them, and what form do they take at that point? Whether you heat them up or catapult them at one another using popsicle sticks, Peeps science experiments are tons of fun for the entire family.
We're Ready For Fall Photos When You Are!
While you’re enjoying the fall weather and bonding with the family, don’t forget to schedule a fall photoshoot with your favorite photographer at Life365. It’s the perfect season to bundle up and snap some amazing pictures.