It’s Fall, Y’all! (My apologies to you non-Southerners, but it is a pretty great word…) Although stores and radio stations are doing their best to convince us it’s almost Christmas, let’s not skip over the beautiful yellows, oranges, and golds of the season just yet. Fall is the perfect time to bond as a family and be grateful for what you have (before you start making lists of all the other stuff you want). Celebrate fall with your kids by getting them out while the temps are cool but not cold.
- If you’re lucky enough to live where apples are grown, take the kids apple picking. There’s nothing that tastes better in the fall than a crisp apple fresh off the tree. Plus, the photo ops are awesome!
- If apples aren’t an option, search for local farms with activities for kids like feeding and petting animals, riding horses, and navigating a corn maze.
- This is also a great time to visit your local zoo because it’s warm enough for the animals to be out but the ridiculous summer heat that has kept you away has finally dissipated.
- Be sure to check your local area for information on State Fairs – fried Twinkies and candied apples are the perfect menu for fall!
Enjoy the Outdoors
- For family who really loves the outdoors, fall is the perfect time for extended hikes with the added joy of leaf peeping. Collect leaves you find on the ground to make collages or leaf rubbings.
- Speaking of leaves, your kids might be willing to help you rake if you let them jump in piles afterward (Pro Tip: If you do this, be sure to get those jumps on slo-mo video. Trust me – it’s hilarious).
- Camping is also popular this time of year because it’s still warm enough to sleep outside but cool enough to make s’mores over a fire and snuggle close in your sleeping bags. No one says you have to go to the woods – your backyard can be the perfect spot for camping with littles who haven’t quite gotten the hang of peeing outside.
- Stargazing can be amazing this time of year on a clear night. If you have access to a canoe or kayak (oh, and a lake) – kids will love going out on the water with you (of course, everyone should wear a properly sized life jacket. Yes, even you).
Already cold where you live? No problem! Consider fun indoor options, like local children’s museums, science centers, or aquariums; a rock wall climbing place, indoor trampoline park, or a paint-your-own pottery studio (get a jump on Christmas presents for the grandparents!). Of course, there are always the lazer-tag-skeeball-climbing-structure-jumpy-house-play places if you feel like going insane for a couple of hours.
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Kristen Berthiaume is a clinical psychologist whose other day job is as mom to three willing product testers. Find her articles on all things child-wrangling at “Parenting with a Ph.D.” over on birminghammommy.com.