Fall Activities for the Whole Family

October 01, 2020

Fall Activities for the Whole Family

Fall is here and with it comes cool weather, all things pumpkin, and a new approach to family time. Spending time together as a family is so important. It’s time to say goodbye to some of your summer favorites. This can be disappointing as summer can be a great time to make memories. However, fall is packed with potential for activities the whole family can enjoy. Here are some family activities for fall.

Family Activities for Fall

Family Fishing 

Fall fishing can be an incredible family experience. As the weather starts to cool down it can be the perfect time to head out fishing together. While fishing is often known as a solo retreat, it can be a fantastic family activity. Not only will you unplug together, but you can teach your children how to fish. Have you been thinking about taking the family fishing? Here are a few tips for planning a family fishing trip.

Tips for a family fishing trip

  • Pick a family-friendly fishing location. - While fishing can be a lot of fun, it is important to pick a fishing location that is family-friendly. This means finding a location with easy access to restrooms, safe places away from the water for children who get distracted, and an easy path to walk.
  • Pack a family fishing bag. - When heading out to fish with the family, you may have to pack more than fishing gear so grab a backpack. Include items such as a first aid kit, snacks or drinks, sunscreen, change of clothes, or something to entertain kids who lose interest in fishing.
  • Take the ages of the children into account. - For younger children, long fishing trips may be too much. When planning for a family fishing trip with smaller children, either plan a shorter fishing trip or plan to have someone in charge of entertaining children who lose interest in fishing.
  • Have realistic expectations. - When planning a fishing trip with kids, having realistic expectations can be so important. While you may want a day out on the lake, it might be wise to start with a shorter fishing trip and work your way up. Younger children may not have the patience for fishing in the way you do. It can also help to have a backup plan if fishing is not as fun for children as you hope.


Grilling Out

Grilling out with family is a great way to spend time together. Fall can be the perfect time to fire up the grill as the weather starts to cool down. Fall grilling can be a fantastic time to try out a new recipe while spending time together as a family. Even better, the cooler weather can mean long days outside. For some added fun, you can even grill somewhere other than home. Here are a few tips for fall grilling with the family.

Tips for Fall Grilling with the Family

  • Try something new. - When you are grilling during the fall months, try grilling something you may not have grilled in the past. Items such as pizza, quesadillas, or even fruit can be delicious on the grill. It’s also a great way to get kids to try something new.
  • Have safety rules. - There are some risks that come with grilling around small children. Have safety rules before heating up the grill to protect children from getting hurt anywhere near the grill.
  • Set up fun things for kids while grilling. - While you are grilling up good food it can help to set up fun things for kids to do outside. This could mean having outdoor toys kids can play with, setting up an area for kids to do sidewalk chalk, or something as simple as a set of cards to play War. So load up your backpack with entertaining but easy to use outside games.
  • Ask the kids for suggestions. - Another way to get kids involved with grilling is to let them suggest what you grill. This might mean grilling up something that you would view as gross to make them laugh or cooking up a favorite food on the grill. When kids get to offer suggestions they are more interested in the outcome.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Not all pumpkin patches are created equal. You will want to research the options in your area before going. Some will let you pick the pumpkin from the vine while others are set up with the pumpkins already cut and ready to go. Heading to a pumpkin patch can be a fantastic family event. Not only will kids get to pick out their fall pumpkin, many of these locations have added options for family fun. Here are a few tips for visiting a pumpkin patch as a family.

Tips for Visiting a Pumpkin Patch with the Family

  • Research pricing before you visit. - Is there an entrance fee? What are the different pumpkin prices? Are there any hidden fees involved with the experience? It can help to have a basic understanding of the pricing structure before visiting a pumpkin patch. Some will charge higher amounts or have different prices based on size. It can help you to manage expectations before heading in by setting a clear budget.
  • Dress for the experience. - Wear close-toed shoes and warm clothes for visiting a pumpkin patch. Not only will you want to get a few nice pictures, you are more likely to get dirty at some pumpkin patches. Dress for the experience and bring backup clothes in an easy to carry backpack if needed.
  • Let children pick their pumpkin. - When visiting a pumpkin patch you will see a variety of sizes and shapes of pumpkins. Let the children have a bit more fun by letting them decide which pumpkin they leave with. This might mean they leave with an oddly shaped pumpkin or one that is smaller than you might have picked.
  • Plan some family time when you get home. - Once you have picked the pumpkin you love, it’s time to head home to decorate your pumpkin. You can scoop out and carve your pumpkin. However, some children prefer to paint their pumpkin or use stickers to decorate it. The options are endless and it’s a great way to spend some quality family time together. 

Visit a Corn Maze

Visit a corn maze together as a family. This is a time honored fall tradition. There is just something about the crisp air and a walk through a maze that is sure to make some fun memories. The corn mazes you can find will vary based on the area. Some will offer shorter mazes while others are longer. Here are some tips to enjoy a family visit to corn maze.

Tips for Visiting a Corn Maze with the Family

  • Research the maze in advance. - Not all corn mazes are created equal. Larger mazes may be difficult for younger children to enjoy. Take some time to find out how long the maze is, what the typical time to complete it is, and what age ranges it was designed for. Some locations will even offer a smaller kids maze for parents of younger children.
  • Bring snacks and drinks. - Fill your backpack some of your child’s favorite snacks or drinks. There is a good chance they will decide they are hungry or thirsty halfway through the maze. Having a backpack with snacks and drinks can save you from a cranky maze experience.
  • Bathroom breaks are game changers. - Before you head into the maze make sure everyone has a bathroom break. This can be a game changer as most mazes don’t have a restroom in the maze. It is also important to ask for the shortest exit route since sometimes children will still need to use the restroom even if they went before entering the maze.
  • Keep realistic expectations. - Some children may love the idea of a corn maze with the family. They may laugh the entire time and enjoy the adventure. For other children, a corn maze can be a very scary experience. Have a realistic expectation of how the day might go. It can help to have a backup plan if you have a child who is too scared to do the maze. And, remember, laughter and making light of a difficult situation is an excellent coping technique to teach your kids.

Do a Family Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are a great way to spend some time together as a family. Whether you are heading out on a pre-arranged scavenger hunt or designing your own fall scavenger hunt, they can be a fun adventure for the whole family. Some locations will offer a fall scavenger hunt as part of the attraction. Others will offer you the freedom to design your own. Whether you do a scavenger hunt on your own or as a family experience, we have some tips to help you make the most of it.

Tips for a Family Scavenger Hunt

  • Take advantage of location designed scavenger hunts. - When you are visiting a local zoo, park, or attraction, many will offer you a scavenger of sorts designed for younger children. These can include searching for certain types of animals, landmarks, or other things kids would enjoy looking for.
  • Pack a backpack with supplies. - When doing a family scavenger hunt it is important to let kids of all ages feel involved. This might mean filling a backpack with items like markers, crayons, a digital camera, binoculars, or other items that will let kids feel involved. Items like markers and crayons can help even the youngest child mark items off of the list.
  • Find a fall scavenger hunt online. - If you are looking for a scavenger hunt that your family will enjoy at your own pace, head to sites like Pinterest and look for a fall scavenger hunt printable your family can enjoy. The nice thing with printable hunts is that you can customize them to what is easily found in your area or to the age of children you are doing a scavenger hunt with.
  • Add little bits of fun along the way. - As you are doing your scavenger hunt, add little bits of fun. This might mean getting a silly picture in front of every scarecrow you see, or making up a silly story about each pumpkin you see. It could also mean filling up a backpack with a family picnic to enjoy before, during, or after your scavenger hunt. 

Take a Family Camping Trip

As the temperature starts to turn cooler, many will head out on a family camping trip. There’s just something about a cool breeze on an autumn night that brings people to a campfire and the hopes of a s’more with the family. Camping is a family tradition that can help your family to make lasting memories. We have a few tips for making the most of a family camping trip.

Tips for a Family Camping Trip

  • Bring a first aid kit. - While camping can be fun for families, there are some inherent risks. Put together a first aid kit that will include bandages, burn cream, bug bite creams, bandages, alcohol pads, and a variety of other items. Having a handy first aid kit will help you to focus on family fun without worrying about small bumps and scratches.
  • Be intentional in your packing. - When packing for a camping trip it can be tempting to pack less so that there is less to haul to a campsite. While this can be appealing, it’s not always practical with small children. You will want to make sure to bring extra changes of clothing, shoes for the area you will be camping, and food options your child will eat in the backpack.
  • Don’t forget comfort items. - Comfort items such as a favorite stuffed animal or blanket can sometimes get left behind when planning a camping trip. You will find that children adjust better to sleeping in a new location if these comfort items come along. Having them and not needing them is much more valuable than needing them and not having them.
  • Set up a safety plan before going. - This might mean assigning who will handle which parts of safety related issues such as putting out the campfire, putting away food at night, or handling late night bathroom runs. However, it is also important to discuss items like safety around the campfire or the importance of staying with parents around a campsite. These lessons are important to a safe and fun family camping experience. 

Take the family hiking.

Hiking can be the perfect fall family activity. With the temperatures coming down, and fall breezes picking up, a family hike may be just what you need. You will also have the opportunity to spend time together as a family. While doing so you can also take in some of the beautiful changes that come with the fall months. We have a few tips for taking the family hiking.

Tips for a Family Hike

  • Bring along a first aid kit. - Fill this with items like bandages, alcohol wipes, bug bite creams, and especially blister cream for those new hiking boots. Having these items on hand can help you to avoid a mid-hike breakdown for a small child who might skin their knee or get bit by a bug that irritates their skin. If you have a child with asthma, make sure to bring along an inhaler or any rescue medications you might need.
  • Pack a hiking backpack. - When hiking with children it is important to include some items in your backpack you might not normally pack. Pack items such as clothing layers for if it gets colder, water, snacks, a sling for baby wearing, binoculars, and items such as diapers and wipes for any trail side diaper changes you might need to do. Having these items on hand will help you to have a smoother hiking experience.
  • Start small. - If your children aren’t used to hiking longer distances with you, it can help to start with a small hike that is close to home. This will let you try out the experience with the kids and troubleshoot any issues that might arise. It is also a helpful way to manage expectations before taking on a larger hike.
  • Take frequent breaks. - While adults can hike long distances fairly easily, children don’t often enjoy longer hikes without breaks. Take frequent breaks to let children explore their surroundings or rest their feet. This may mean spending more time on the side of a trail than walking it. However, taking frequent breaks can free you up to focus on making memories instead of carrying overtired children the rest of the way back. 

 

Do a family staycation

Many people miss out on some of the adventures in their own backyards because they get the itch to travel. Fall is the perfect time to do a family staycation and explore some of the attractions and activities to be found in your own area. This might involve a bit more research. However, there is so much out there to see and do and you are sure to find some new adventures. Here are some tips for a family staycation.

Tips for a Family Staycation

  • Visit a new park or trail. - There are many parks and trails in each area that go undiscovered by locals. Take some time to research parks and trails in your area where your family could have a full day adventure or spend a few hours of fun. The beauty of a staycation is that you don’t have to commit a full day to any one location. Get in the car and head out on a new adventure.
  • Try a new food place. - Some of the best places you will ever eat aren’t popular to everyone. Instead, they are hidden mom and pop locations in your own town you never thought to visit. Whether you choose to dine in or take your food to go, checking out a new food place can be a fun family staycation activity. Pick up food and do a family movie night for a fun twist on trying new food.
  • Let the kids plan the day. - This can be risky but it can also be downright fun. Give the kids the chance to pick anywhere in the area they want to go or any activity they want to do. You may find yourself jumping in a pile of leaves or spending a few hours together at the playground. The thing that is wonderful about this is that you are sure to make your children smile while making some memories. Don’t be afraid to let go and laugh together on a kid planned day out.
  • Have a home day. - So often people are running out to find adventure and excitement. However, there’s something to be said of a movie night at home or a day spent building a puzzle together. It can help to ask the kids what they have wanted to do at home with you. You may be surprised to find that much of what they want is simple family together time that is sure to leave you grinning from ear to ear.

Find ways to give back. 

The fall months typically focus on ways to give thanks for the provision of the year. This can be an ideal time to find ways to give back as a family. Whether you are giving to a local mission, serving food to friends, or gathering items for a holiday toy drive, you are sure to make memories and change the way your children see the world. Taking some time to focus on others can be a fantastic fall activity for the whole family. Even better, you can tailor it to the causes you believe in most. Here are a few tips for giving back this fall.

Tips for a Family to Give Back

  • Inquire about specific charity drives that are already running. - Do you have a favorite cause or charity? Reach out and find out if they are currently offering and drives or fundraising opportunities your family can join in.
  • Join in a community clean up project. - Many communities have fall clean up projects. Kids can easily put on a pair of gloves and help to clean up their area. Reach out to your community center or check their social media to see when they are having a local clean up event.
  • Adopt a child for the holidays. - If you are looking for a way to give back, inquire about local toy drives that will give you the chance to shop for a specific child. Doing this as a family can help to encourage your children to see the needs of others and help to meet them.
  • Clean out on purpose. - Fall is the perfect time to do a deep cleaning of the house. Cleaning on purpose means taking time to bag up toys, items, and clothing for a charity or cause you believe in helping. Children are usually more inclined to give something up if they believe they are giving it to someone who needs it more. 

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