By Shannan at ChubbieChica
Are you looking for some autumn activities for the whole family that
won’t cost a mint? Are you racking your brain trying to come up with
autumn family fun ideas suitable for your three-year-old, as well as
Autumn is a great time of year to get outside, take in the crisp fresh
air, admire the beautiful foliage, and appreciate the mild weather
while it’s still with us. What better time to make a family date and
do some of the following activities:
- Visit an apple orchard and pick your own apples. You can make a day out of this by not only picking apples but packing a basket and finding the perfect spot for a family picnic. First, plan to also visit the orchard’s country store (if they have one) to pick up some apple cider or other fall treats to add to the picnic basket. For a listing of local apple orchards, click here. Don’t forget to store apples in a cool, dark place when you get home. Later on, you can have fun making caramel apples and apple pies.
- Take a nature walk in the woods and point out interesting trees, plants, and wildlife. If you’re not up on the names of trees and plants, you can check a book out of the library that will serve as a guide. Encourage everyone to pick up leaves to press later on. They can make collages or all kinds of pictures and crafts from them. (One year for an autumn-themed birthday party, we used pressed leaves under a clear table covering for an impressive look.) You can find your closest National park here. Click here for links to State Parks, and more information for planning a visit.
- If the kids are a bit older, consider taking a longer hike. Make sure everyone has the proper clothing and footwear, as well as food, snacks and drinks. It’s a great way to commune with nature and get out in the open. It’s great exercise, too!
- Likewise, make a trip to the pumpkin patch and then bake your own pumpkin pies. This is great fun for the kiddies, and they’ll enjoy baking and eating the pumpkin seeds, too. It’s the perfect time to begin teaching little ones about cooking and measurements, as well. Click here for a great listing , by state, of the local pumpkin patches.
- Get together with friends for a once-a-month (or more) autumn potluck. Make a heaping batch of beef stew, chili, or your favorite big batch meal, and call several family friends to join you with side dishes. Next month, let someone else do the same, and keep it up. Just think, if you do it more often, say once every two weeks, that cuts down on cooking for everyone! If anyone is looking for more information on this there is a book in print, here.
- Research museums in your area. Plan a day trip to one that you’ve never been to before. This is an especially helpful hint for those rainy weekends that creep up during the autumn months, and it’s educational. It can also lead to new interests and new field trips. Museums USA has a wonderful listing of all the museums in the US.
- If you live anywhere near a farm, arrange a hayride for your family and friends. Later, bring them back to the house for hot cider, popcorn, pumpkin pie, and any other fall goodies you can dream up. Check Local Harvest for farms near you and call to check on other festivities
- Find a local festival or fair. These are always fun for everyone with all the sights, food and activities to partake of and they are almost always on a weekend for your convenience. Check your local paper, local tourism department, local Chamber of Commerce or Parks and Recreation Department for local events. There are a few databases you can search online as well: Festivals.com and Festivals and Events.com
- Check out school and church bazaars as early as October and November to find very affordable holiday gift items. You’ll be surprised at some of the terrific sales you’ll get at these holiday markets. The children will be so pleased when they can find items that will fit in their budget, plus it makes for a fun day for everyone.
Autumn is a wonderful time of year, but it passes quickly. Start making some plans now, so you’ll be ready when the leaves start to change and the temperature starts to drop. There are many wonderful things to do. Maybe you’ll want to try one of the above activities or ask around and see what’s available in your neck of the woods.
To learn more about saving money and time take a workshop! Click here to learn more.