Life can get crazy at times. For those with school-aged kids, once school and activities really get cranking, life can get so busy it is hard to see past the end of our own noses. Even if you do not have kids, life can get out of control and all of sudden you wonder where the time went. In my house, we try to make the most of the time we have with our kids. This is not always easy. Probably like you, our household is often on overdrive, with multiple schedules and activities to juggle, but we are committed to schedule time for our family to do some fun things together. We want to create good memories and invest in each other’s lives. And for my family, fall break is a great time to do it, even if it’s just for one day. To be honest, we are playing a little catch-up this year because in a week, my kids will be on their fall break and we still do not have any definite plans. I have been busy the past few days thinking of a few ideas we could do as a family without breaking the bank. So, as you can probably guess, this blog is about empowering you with some ideas that you can use to have some fun with your family during this fall season. Here are some ideas…
1. Go to the pumpkin patch
If you have ever done this before, just the mention of it probably evokes all kinds of memories and smells. For me it takes me back to my sixteenth birthday when I unfortunately decided to go against my mother’s wishes and hang out with the wrong group of guys. As fate would have it, I ended my sixteenth birthday having to explain my actions to the local police after being caught throwing pumpkins into the university pond. Lesson learned for sure. But I digress…
Pumpkin patches can range from a field with a drop box for payment, all the way up to local farms that make a huge occasion out of it and offer hayrides out to the fields. Remember my apple picking suggestion? A lot of farmers who sell pumpkins grow apples, too, and they have been hard at work doing the picking. This also usually means there’s fresh cider, cider doughnuts and bushels of apples waiting for you. If you got a hankering for homemade applesauce, ask if they sell “scratch and dent” bushels for less.
2. Make candy apples
My family loves doing this. Anything with the word candy in it is a big seller in my house. They are so easy to make. The directions are right on the bag of caramels if you want to keep things simple, or you can check out Pinterest for homemade salted caramel recipes and all kinds of ways to gussy your candy apples up. My wife recently introduced me to Pinterest. Wow. I never realized all the great ideas for decorating, food and much more, you can get from this App. Good stuff!
3. Go on a nature walk
I love the fall for many reasons but taking time to get away from all the noise by taking a walk in the woods is a personal favorite of mine. The weather is usually crisp and beautiful this time of year, and there is a lot to see. The leaves are changing, and nuts are falling from the trees. If you have not been to a nature preserve that has a lake in the autumn, go. Migrating waterfowl are on their way through, and if you bring a pair of field glasses, you will spot all kinds of birds you have never seen before. Have I convinced you yet?
4. Go to a festival
I know I have mentioned this to you before but let me tell you again, going to a festival can be a great time for your family. No matter how many festivals you think you know about, there are always more. All around the U.S., there is a festival near you. In my area, there are harvest festivals, Renaissance festivals, and festivals showcasing local history and artisanship. There is a huge Halloween festival that actually shuts down a small interstate highway and even a Scottish Highlands festival. Some charge admission and others are free. All of them offer all the delicious food you can shake a stick at, and plenty of activities and exhibits for the whole family.
5. Have a bonfire
Not just any old bonfire, but a HUGE bonfire. Well, not so big that your neighbors will call the fire department, but you get my point. Put a little effort into it; invite some friends and neighbors over to enjoy sitting around telling stories, eat some dogs and s’mores together. If you do not have a big enough yard for an open fire, look into smaller options, like one of those metal fire pits up on legs. Whether you are telling jokes, or ghost stories, or just munching s’mores, you are bound to have a good time.
6. Try a Zip Line Course
If you are looking for more of an adventure and something a little more high speed, you definitely need to try a zip line and ropes course. These courses are popping up all over the U.S. and internationally. I went on a great course when I was in Mexico a few years ago and I have been to a few around Indiana the past couple of years. This can be a lot of fun for the family. I would recommend going to this website – https://goape.com/ to see if there is a goape course in your area. I have been pleased with their attention to detail, safety and professionalism. But there are other options out there. Just try it. You may surprise yourself.
7. Download the Yuggler App
If you are reading this, you get a bonus because you have read to the end of my blog. So I just heard about this App, called Yuggler. Not only is it the most popular app on the App Store for families, it’s also a Parents’ Choice Approved Award winner and a Webby Awards Honoree for discovering fresh ideas for kids’ activities. Now how is that for an extra bonus?
Well hopefully, these ideas will get your wheels turning. I know they have for me. Remember, do not stress yourself out with having to make everything about the fall season perfect. The key is not always, what you do, but that you are making the effort to do it together. Honestly, with the right attitude and perspective, you can make anything enjoyable. And that is a great place to start. Have a fun and make it a memorable fall season.