Fall Fun for Families

Fall is my favorite time of year. While I am not what anyone would call an outdoorsy type of person, there is something about fall’s cool weather that makes me long to get outside and do something active. Since it coincides with school going back into session, fall is also a time when I feel extra pressure to try to come up with things we can do together on the weekend after being separated from each other all week. I hope some of these suggestions inspire you:

Take a Ride

Fall is by far my favorite time to ride bikes with the kids. While I favor the Horizon Fitness ex-59 elliptical trainers at my gym during much of the rest of the year, biking is the thing for me during the cool autumn days. If you live near us, where the winters are cold, you will find me working out in our home with our Schwinn recumbent bikes. We love the recumbent bikes for their comfort and steering ease.

Pick Some Fruit

Unless you are in the hottest parts of the Deep South, fall is harvest time. Depending on where you live, you could easily spend an afternoon picking apples, pears or peaches. And, of course, no fall harvest is complete without a couple of pumpkins. We always try to create a pumpkin “family,” with each of us choosing and decorating a pumpkin or gourd that best reflects our looks and personality. Just walking through a pumpkin farm discussing which pumpkin looks most like a family member is sure to stir up a lot of laughs and leave great memories.

Rake and Bake

If your local ordinances allow it, try this way to deal with all those dead leaves. Rake them up into the tallest pile you can, taking care not to include any stick or rocks, and then let the kids take turns jumping in them. Sure, you’ll have to rake them again. But there are only a few years when you get to experience the joy that comes from watching their unadulterated joy.

After they’ve had enough fun, rake the leaves up again and thoroughly wet down the ground around them. Throw a few pieces of firewood on top and throw a match on the pile to create a brief but impressive inferno. Then bring out the marshmallows and sticks for some good, old fashion S’Mores. I promise that, even if they are all burned, they’ll taste better than the best dessert you’ve ever eaten at a restaurant.

If your local codes prohibit fires, you can still enjoy the jumping. Then make S’Mores on your patio or deck, with a few large candles substituting for the fire. Or, you can save the S’Mores for the first really cold day and do them around the fireplace indoors. The goal is not what or how you do something with your family. It is just that you take time to do it. That’s what makes the memories that will last forever.