Except for Halloween and Thanksgiving Day, the autumn season constitutes one of the most depressing times of the year for most families. Your spouse and kids are always melancholically peering out the window, the trees are gradually losing their healthy green foliage, the weather is growing colder and colder and the rain never seems to stop pouring. Although it is pretty difficult to think positively under these circumstances, here are a few suggestions of activities that can ease the transition to the winter season when you can enjoy the falling of the first snows, go sledding, build snowmen and have the first snowball fights of the year.
1. The right time of the year for an apple picking contest
If you live in the proximity of a farm or orchard, then you can always take a trip there and see whether they organize apple picking sessions for the public. Considering that most assortments of apples ripen during early or mid-autumn, this is the best time to organize the excursion. While it is fairly true that you can also get the ingredients for the seasonal apple pies from the store, knowing that you and your family members have handpicked all of the apples will make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable. Not to mention healthier and more delicious!
2. Gathering the most important decoration/seasonal treat: pumpkins
Pumpkin made jack-o-lanterns are the trademark of the autumn season, particularly around Halloween. Just like in the case of apple picking, you can visit a local farm and gather your very own carving pumpkins. Be sure to acquire a few extra practice pumpkins and have at least two for each family member, in order to make sure you get the carving right. Moreover, don’t forget that the pumpkin seeds are edible and, with the proper roasting recipe, they make an excellent addition to the seasonal apple cider.
3. Visiting a local fall festival
Many cities organize fall festivals where local entertainers, merchants and craftsmen exhibit autumn related merchandize/shows on the streets that are closed for vehicle traffic. This is not only a great way to back up local businesses, but you can also partake in incredibly engaging activities and events for free. So why spend your time moping about the cloudy weather?
4. Going to see a high school football match
If you can’t really afford expensive tickets to the major football games of the NFL – and everybody knows that good seats cost an arm and a leg – local high school football matches constitute an excellent alternative. Go see how your old high school team is doing this year! And, on a side note, it can become a tradition that will continue for years as your kids grow up and join the high school football team.
5. Playing in the leaves in your backyard
While some consider the falling leaves that gather on the lawn a nuisance, you can choose to view them in a positive light. Sure, there will be some raking to do, but rather than leave them in sacks on the curb, you can arrange them in neat little piles and jump onto them, just like you would with the snow you’re so anxiously awaiting. Alternatively, if you have the time and patience, you can start a leaf book of collages and make a tradition out of collecting leafs from the trees in your yard every year. Think of all the memories they will evoke when the kids are all grown up and out of the house.
6. Hiking in the wilderness
Planning a hiking trip in the fall is slightly trickier compared to summer, but completely worthwhile nevertheless. Before hitting the trail, you should check the weather forecast as well as pack up appropriate warm/rainproof clothing and footwear, supplies and snacks. Moreover, you can collect “souvenirs” from the hike such as acorns, strange looking rocks, leafs, pinecones, etc. Don’t forget to designate a special container for these keepsakes!
7. Camping in the garden by the fire
If the weather is very unstable, you could always trade the hike for a campout in the garden. This solution is not only just as good – except for the mementos you can pick up – but it is also safer and requires less effort/planning. All you need is a sturdy tent, a place where you can light a fire without burning a hole in your lawn and some marshmallows on the stick. Don’t forget to bring your grade ghost stories for the kids as well as a bottle of Chardonnay and some candles for the moment they fall asleep.
8. Beautifying your home with seasonal decorations
Since it’s autumn and everything else around you is getting aboard with the theme of the season, why should you let the home and yard fall behind. Fall constitutes the best time to plant perennial flowers, add bales of hay and cornstalks in front of the house, slap on a few festive ribbons, so on and so forth. Make the activities of planning and decorating a family event and permit everyone to express his opinion on the matter. These chores will definitely bring you all closer together.
9. Spending the evening by the fireplace
As temperatures are steadily dropping, the yard campout gradually becomes an unfeasible option. However, if your home is equipped with a fireplace, than you can always take the “picnic” indoors. You don’t really need a bear pelt for it, don’t worry. A couple of blankets, a picnic basket and some specially baked treats are all the ingredients of a successful fireplace “campout”.
10. Building your very own scarecrow
In addition to the functional aspect, scarecrows are also part of the mandatory Halloween decorations for your home. However, rather than purchase a premade one from the store, why not design your very own scarecrow using a few sticks, some stuffing – hay will do just fine – and some worn out clothes. And why build only one when you can construct an entire family of scarecrows? In case you don’t know how to build a scarecrow, there are plenty of guides on the internet, especially around this time of the year.