Fall is a season that cries out for fun outdoor activities. The days of sweltering heat are gone, the cold of winter is yet to come, and nature is alive with the colors of changing leaves and fall harvests.
Now is the perfect time to take the kids outside as much as you can to explore nature, enjoy seasonal bounties, and find other fun fall activities for kids. And the best part: Many of these fall activities encourage kids to learn and explore. Read on for ideas for fun things to do with kids this autumn.
- Go apple picking
There is a reason why apple picking is a favorite fall activity for families. It's not only fun (kids love spotting the apples they want and using apple picking poles to pluck their finds), it's also a great way to get everyone running around outdoors in the fresh air. And when you’ve picked all those bags of delicious apples, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor by just biting into some and taking the rest home to make pies, apple sauce, and other delicious apple-themed dishes.
So find an apple orchard near you and pick some apples. Many orchards also offer pumpkins and other fall crops so be sure to pick your Halloween pumpkins while you’re there.
- Go for a walk or a hike
Fall is the perfect time to take the family for a walk or a hike. The air is crisp and cool and the leaves are turning colors, giving nature a chance to show off her beauty. Find a state park or nature preserve near you that offers some walking trails and take the kids for a day hike.
As you walk, be sure to take the time to notice the beautiful things in the woods like different plants and trees, insects, birds, and other wonders of nature. And pack lots of snacks and a healthy lunch; all that walking and fresh air will definitely make kids hungry!
- Collect leaves
The gorgeous fall foliage that surrounds us is one of the most beautiful things about autumn. As leaves begin to fall in your area, go out with your child and collect them. Challenge yourselves to see how many different types and colors of leaves you can find.
Kids can save leaves in a scrapbook and draw pictures of the varieties they collect. Older kids can look up pictures of leaves and identify different types of leaves and learn about the trees they come from.
- Take photos/draw animals in the park
As you explore nature and enjoy walks outside, you can bring a camera and/or a sketchpad and colored pencils and record the many things you see. Kids can record what they see by taking pictures or sitting down and drawing wildlife and plants. Anything they see can be drawn and/or photographed, from ducks in a pond to birds in trees to flowers, trees, and foliage.
You can also pack a nice picnic and have kids work on drawings or make observations in a journal while they have lunch. Observing and recording wildlife and plants is one of the most fun fall activities for kids, and it can help them appreciate nature and spark curiosity about the world around them.
- Do some fall and Halloween crafts
When it comes to fun fall activities for kids, fall and Halloween crafts are definitely on the top of the list. Simple, easy, and yet spook-tacularly fantastic crafts kids can make include a cute paper jack o' lantern wreath, festive hanging paper fans, and pop up ghost Halloween party invitations. These crafts are not only fun to make, but they can be used to decorate the house for Halloween, too!
- Go to a farmers' market
Fall brings a cornucopia of wonderful veggies, fruits, and delicious offerings to farmers' markets. You can find everything from fun-shaped gourds, delicious pumpkin and apple baked goods, and fall harvest crops like squashes, turnips, cabbages, potatoes, and more. Find a farmer’s market near you and pick out your favorite produce with kids. (An added benefit: Buying or growing fresh fruits and veggies with your kids is a wonderful way to set healthy eating habits in your child.)
- Cook and bake yummy fall harvest foods
Once you get beautiful fall fruits and vegetables like apples, pumpkins, and squash, you can get cooking! Fall is a wonderful time to make warm and comforting foods like apple and pumpkin pies, butternut squash soup, pumpkin ravioli, and mulled apple cider. Fill your home with the smells of wonderful fall foods and you’ll feel cozy and happy with autumn’s bounties.