With autumn starting next week in the Northern Hemisphere and spring start next week in the Southern Hemisphere, what are someone of your favorite autumn or spring activities with your children?
--using fallen autumn leaves in arts and crafts projects
--picking apples and cooking with them
--taking hikes and seeing farther than you can see when the trees have leaves on them
What are yours?
Oh yeah...apple picking is up there! We usually go at least once, and often twice or even three times each September/October.
This year, we will also be celebrating DD's 3rd b-day at a pick your own pumpkin and gourd farm. Her birthday is just a few days before Halloween, and I'm hoping to make it a bit of a tradition.
Now that it's cooler and more pleasant outside, we are also rediscovering the joys of playing outside at the several different playgrounds in our city. This summer was so hot, we stopped playing at the playgrounds that didn't have a wading pool or weren't super shady. And quite honestly, being in my first trimester in this heat was just so brutal, we spent way more time inside than we usually do in the summer! So we are "rediscovering" a few of our favorite spots that have been neglected in the last month!
Definitely. There are some parks around here with no shade whatsoever. It will be great to re-discover those now that the weather is cooler!
Fall is my favorite time to do things with our kids, since there seem to be so many options that are fun for a broad range of ages. We don't have enough weekends to fit it all in!
- Storytelling Festival: Many towns have these and there's often a night, before Halloween, with scary stories. It starts off with campy stories and songs that are fine for little ones and fun for older ones to remember, working up through many hours (and hot cider breaks) to truly scary stories (or a recitation of The Tell-Tale Heart, which I always love), as midnight approaches. Families with little ones can leave when it gets too intense, but you REALLY have fun with your tweens and teens, outside at night, wrapped in a blanket, listening to professional storytellers. This is my favorite.
- The farm where we go apple-picking also has a huge corn maze, with three different paths. We may try all three as a family, or split into groups of two, take different paths and race each other. This outing also involves hot cider. It's kind of a theme.
- Outdoor Expo: It is a mystery to me who puts this on, but I think it happens in various larger cities? One of our smaller state parks is entirely taken over by exhibitors of various outdoor products, camps, scouting groups, the military, etc., etc., etc. You and your kids can ride a canoe down a creek, go trail-riding on horseback or in a Hummer, ride ATVs around a course, shoot bows & arrows or BB guns, cook s'mores, start a fire without matches, launch homemade rockets, climb on hay bales, sit in old Army vehicles, test out camping equipment, do goofy team-building activities...there is more to do than can be done in a day, seriously. And it's ALL free. This year, my kids had an out-of-town cross-country meet and three baseball games during the Outdoor Expo. We were kind of crushed, about missing it.
- Haunted houses: Our Children's Museum has one that's fun for our little guy and kind of fun for the older ones, because they remember going when they were little. Every year, I take our older three to a campy, but still reasonably scary, haunted trail hike at a park. It's really fun. There's a music show on a stage, while you wait in line and snacks and games at the end. My husband takes them to the "real thing".
- Football: I care so little about the sport that I *still* do not know what the rules are. However, my older two go to a small, Catholic high school with a champion football team and *everyone* - families included - goes to *every* game. In the pretty, fall sunshine or at night, under the lights, huddled with your husband and little ones under a blanket with a Thermos of...you guessed it - hot cider...waving at your older kids as they walk by with their friends...it doesn't matter that much whether you understand the game. You can tell when your team's winning. I'd recommend taking your family to a local high school game for the heck of it, whether you have kids there or not.
- Trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, baking pie and decorating the house for Halloween need no explanation.
- Neither does camping.
- Headless Horseman festival: Our local living history museum puts on an Ichabod Crane-themed night with the requisite hot cider, plus storytelling around a bonfire and all kinds of outdoor, old-timey activities, culminating in a haunted hayride where you get chased by and actual "headless" guy on horseback. Somehow, it's scary enough to make my 17-year-old scream, but last year my 3-year-old was OK with it. Hayrides are just fun, that way.
i have to say now that dd is 10 our amount of family activities are going down as she prefers to go do things with other kids.
however having said that our family activities (just dd and me) are now including her friends too.
there are lots of parks and recs stuff happening all over town - lots of fairs and festivals so we shall do them.
of course planning is happening big time about halloween.
we are going to a autumn equinox party next week. we'll have one of our own.
we personally also have a little food ceremony where we say goodbye to summer food and welcome winter food. this gives me an idea too of what dd is going to eat this winter and what she is not.
we hold plein air parties to try to draw bare branches
we have baking parties and welcome warm beverage celebrations. like go for a walk nursing our steaming pumpkin milk.
I love hearing all these ideas and traditions. Keep them coming!
Me too! It seems like an easy time to get together with families with children of different ages.
I've never been to a corn maze, but am hoping to this fall. And hot cider...mmm...one of my favorite autumn and winter beverages. I like to mull it with spices in the crockpot.
That sounds like a lot of fun. Any particular activities you like to do at these parties? I think we might try to do one of a small one of our own.
I'm definitely going to do these.
Tonight, I need to start thinking about how to make DD's Halloween's costume. I find it really fun to make them with her.
Mmmmm, meemee! I'll have to look up a recipe for pumpkin milk!
A couple years ago, the mom of one of my kids' friends organized a family kickball game. She got the local middle school to let us use one of their baseball fields on a Saturday, after the season was over and ordered pizzas to be delivered at the end. The number of families wasn't huge, but several of the families were large, so there were plenty of people for two teams. Kickball requires fewer skills than baseball, basketball, etc. So it was pretty easy for everyone from little kids to Great Aunt Jenny to play. But it was SO much FUN on a nice, sunny fall day! I highly recommend it (and now that I'm writing about it, I'm wondering why I've never organized another one, myself...)
Pumpkin milk sounds great. Basically pumpkin anything sounds good. I love cooking with pumpkin! Fall has so many great vegetables...and so many varieties of apples and pears ripening. Mmmm...
Our favorite season!
Like others, there seems to be so much to do around here; harvest festivals, pumpkin and apple picking etc so we try to do some of those things as a family. There's also the NYC Maker Faire which we go to every year (and my DH loves and looks forward to) and Comic Con (this is our first year, and we are going to the children's day...)
We are Waldorf-y type homeschoolers so we have a lot of seasonal stories and crafts we do, and starting to cook real big warm hearty meals again!
My favorite season too! Today was a beautiful autumn day, cool crisp air and gorgeous blue sky. So wonderful. There's a local farm festival this weekend and I'm hoping that we can check that out.
Visiting salmon streams to watch them migrate. There is a nearby hatchery where we can watch them do their leaps up the fish ladder and attempting to jump the waterfall (which historically has prevented a natural salmon run on that river). Amazing what those fish can do, especially considering how bashed up they are.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
Happy Autumnal Equinox to all in the Northern Hemisphere and Happy Vernal Equinox to all in the Southern Hemisphere! Did anyone do anything special to celebrate the Equinox?