Happy Fall, ya’ll! Welcome to our first installment of the Fall Series: Fall Into Family Fun. This year, I’ve decided to quit mourning the inevitable loss of summer and to be all about embracing the fall season. And as I sat down to reflect on all of the fun fall days to come, I was shocked to realize that in my adulthood, I actually love fall way more than summer! I guess I like the ‘idea’ of summer more than the actual reality of it.
Don’t get me wrong; summer is great. There is no shortage of summer fun activities for the family. But today I want to share with you all of the ways that you and your family can make this fall one to remember! Let’s start daydreaming about some of my favorite fall features… football, cozy fires in the living room, pumpkin spice everything, leggings, boots, scarves, the aroma of warm comfort foods cooking throughout the house, yummy spicy scented candles, and oh, did I mention pumpkin spice everything???
This year, don’t let the start of the impending school year and the end of long summer days get in the way of some good old-fashioned family fun! Take some ideas off of my list and Fall Into Family Fun!
FALL INTO FAMILY FUN
Go Apple Picking
Incase you haven’t caught on by now, much of my enjoyment in life revolves around the seasonal produce calendar in my area, and fall is no exception to this! I’m all about the fresh produce, and fortunately my family gets just as excited as me! So although we said goodbye to the days of strawberry and blueberry picking, fall is the perfect time to say hello to apple picking! Find local farms in your area that offer picking, and make it a family affair! Prices are amazingly reasonable and the variety is endless. And the bonus (to my 3 year old) is that most farms encourage sampling your picks!
Visit a County Fair
Truth be told, I’m not much of a ‘fair’ girl. Aside from the salt water taffy, there’s not much that appeals to me. However, once I became a mom I vowed that I would make an effort to let my son experience all of the fun, traditional local festivities. He doesn’t need to miss out just because I’m a stick in the mud! I have since discovered, however, that traditional county fairs have so much more to offer than the typical spinning rides and cotton candy overloads associated with your run of the mill ‘fairs.’
Incase you’re not familiar, real-deal county fairs usually feature a wide variety of local farmers along with their animals, and if you’re lucky, samplings of their fresh produce as well. Many larger fairs also offer plenty of live entertainment as well. So it’s not all about hecklers trying to get you to play their games of ‘chance.’ My son loves checking out all of the animals and you are typically supporting the local farmers through these fairs as well, so everyone wins! And if you’re lucky, you may just go home with a new pet goldfish too! (good luck with that!)
Go To a Fall Festival
Right along the same lines as county fairs are your traditional Fall Festivals. While county fairs don’t excite me too much, I LOVE a good fall festival. The smells alone are enough to get me through the gates! Most festivals feature a wide variety of artists and crafters, plenty of food vendors and all of the sights and sounds of fall. My personal favorite in our area is the Peek n Peak Fall Fest in New York.
Two weekends each fall, the ski resort is transformed into a Fall wonderland. Ski lifts take you on tours of the beautiful fall foliage, pumpkins are shot through cannons, animals are on display, and there is plenty of fun and entertainment for the whole family. There is even a dedicated children’s area for crafts and activities, along with a petting zoo, pony rides, and more. Although you may not be able to visit this particular festival, I’m sure that there is one nearby you with similar activities for the family!
Play in the Leaves
Who doesn’t love a good jump in a giant pile of crunchy leaves??? (ok, maybe my husband, who’s allergic…) But kids love this! And don’t be afraid to join in on the fun, too! We just recently moved and our new house is basically surrounded by a giant forest. My son is already longingly staring out his bedroom window begging me to let him rake the leaves. I can’t imagine his excitement once they have all fallen! Don’t let the work of raking up your giant piles scare you off from having a little bit of fun with this!
Take a Trip to the Pumpkin Farm
Ahhhhhh!!! I LOVE the pumpkin farm! Even before we were a family of three, I was always itching for a trip to the pumpkin farm. The sites and smells of fall are amplified times 100 when you are surrounded by hundreds of gorgeous pumpkins. And pumpkin farms have come a long way since I was a kid; now they are basically little amusement parks for the whole family. Most offer rides, snacks, corn mazes and more. Plus you get to hand pick your very own pumpkins to bring home with you!
Go on a Hayride
You may be able to double up on the pumpkin farm and hayride if your farm offers this. Otherwise, find a place that offers hayrides and have at it! A campground nearby our house even offers nighttime rides which can make it even more fun for the family! Grab a blanket and cozy up and take in the beautiful sites of fall. Just watch the schedule; as Halloween nears many hayrides transition into ‘haunted’ hayrides which may be no bueno for the little ones.
Bring the Best of Fall to Your Home
Surprisingly, my number one favorite thing about fall is just bringing it into our home and embracing it on a daily basis. The smells alone are enough to lift my spirits! Here is your mission:
Go to the store and stock up on…
- Spicy smelling candles (pumpkin spice, cinnamon, baking scents, etc.) Personally, I’m partial to Yankee Candles, but that’s just me!
- Cozy blankets
- Ingredients for some warm comfort foods
- Yummy scented pinecones to decorate your house
- Fall crafts to decorate your house
- Pumpkin spice anything; edible or otherwise
- Ingredients to make/pre-made baked goods
Did I miss anything??? The combination of one or all of these elements is enough to drive my fall spirit into high gear! And an extra bonus is if you have a fireplace in your house to make it extra warm and cozy!
Seriously though, how could you dread cold, damp fall days when you have all of this right inside of your own house to enjoy???
Happy Fall, Y’all!
So there you have it…. some of the very best things about fall that you can share with your whole family! Here in the House, we are all about family time and I am always looking for new adventures for the four of us, so feel free to share some of your favorite fall family traditions!
And be sure to stop back for the next installment of This Happy House’s Fall Series! I’m hoping that with all of the fall fun to look forward to you will all learn to love fall as much as me! (and almost forget that summer is becoming just a distant memory…) I would love to hear about what are you most looking forward to this fall!