Autumn is a season of entertaining outdoor adventures.
As the weather cools, the beach is abandoned in favor of woods, fields and farms. Many attractions of the season are geared toward older audiences, but that does not mean that families with small children cannot enjoy the season. The autumn holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving each provide opportunities for imaginative play, but each holiday only lasts a single day. Through the entirety of the fall, there are several ways to engage and inspire young audiences with family activities.
Hiking is a particular favorite for young children, and it requires very little preparation.
Children are naturally inquisitive about the world around them, and nature hikes expose them to sights that they may not usually experience in their daily routines. Journals and crayons can be brought along so that kids can trace or draw things that they find along the way. A small paper sack can hold interesting rocks, leaves and other found treasures for later observation.
Beginning around Labor Day, many apple orchards open public picking hours that can become an exciting day-long family event. Orchards charge per bushel of fruit picked. These prices come at a considerable discount compared to grocery store prices. Some offer horse-drawn wagons to cart harvesters to their destination in the orchard trees. Kids may be exceptionally enthusiastic about picking, but there are many options for the fruit after it has been picked. After children help make snacks like applesauce or pie, excess fruit can be made into stamps, dolls, puppets and candle holders.
Pumpkin farms also open their doors during fall hours.
Children can select pumpkins in a variety of sizes and shapes for later carving or painting. Many patches have a variety of activities for young kids including petting zoos, hayrides and corn mazes. Some patches offer a selection of gourds and dried corn that can later be used to craft centerpieces, wreaths and other autumn crafts.
Fall is a traditional time for community fairs and festivals.
Featuring rides, food, games and vendors, fairs bring fall adventuring to the height of fun. Many fairs run over the course of a week or long weekend, giving plenty of time to explore the many stands and attractions. A parade is a staple event for most fairs. Many feature school marching bands, local fire and police stations, dance troupes and more in a marching procession that is certain to delight children and adults alike.
A family need not leave their property to enjoy autumn together. Leaves can be raked into piles in the back yard for jumping into or hiding objects to be found in a scavenger hunt. Stuffing leaves into old long-sleeved shirts and jeans can make a scarecrow’s body. A pumpkin or old pillowcase can be fashioned into a head for the scarecrow, and he can be displayed against a light post or in a chair on the front porch. Autumn is also an excellent time to enjoy outside artwork. Kids can depict their fall surroundings on the driveway or sidewalk using brightly colored chalks and chalk paints.
The author of this post is Holly Adams, a writer for Coupon Croc. Planning an autumn getaway? Book with a Hertz discount code and plan a road trip for you and your family.