Summer may be seen as the outdoor season, but autumn also offers lots of opportunities for outdoor fun. Try some of these family activities, and fill your kids’ senses with delight.
Enjoy a color tour. Banff National Park and near-by forests are the places to be in the Fall.
Host a campfire cookout. If outdoor fires are permitted in your area, have the kids round up neighborhood friends for a cookout. Hot dogs, hot chocolate, marshmallows, and s’mores are a traditional way to top off the season. Have everyone take turns telling stories around the fire. If you have little ones, check-out library books with autumn themes to read to the youngsters.
Attend a football game. Gather your blankets and head to the stadium. High school, university, and pro football games are great fun for kids and parents alike. Take along a bag of popcorn and a thermos of hot cocoa, then snuggle up and get ready to cheer on your team.
Visit a U-Pick-it Farm or a Farmers’Market. Check online to see which fruits and vegetables are coming into season and make a day of it! Take your bounty home and bake a pie or make dinner together to celebrate the harvest.
Make a scarecrow. What’s Fall without a scarecrow on your porch? It is easy to make. Just buy a couple bales of straw, then have each family member gather some old clothes and hats. Stuff it using string to tie off the hands, feet, and head.
Walk in the woods. As flies and mosquitoes retreat, it’s the perfect time of year for a walk in the woods. Look for animals scurrying about gathering for the long, cold months ahead. Don’t forget your binoculars.
Leaf fun. Remember diving into the crisp Fall leaves as a kid? Grab the rakes and have your youngsters pitch in. Pile up the leaves to jump in, build a fort, and have a leaf fight.
Find a festival. Fall harvest festivals and sales are found this time of year featuring food, arts and crafts, kids’ games, wagon rides, and more. Visit the calgaryschild.com events calendar online to see what’s coming up.
Visit a pumpkin patch. Begin a family tradition of picking your pumpkins from a patch. After cleaning out the pumpkins, make roasted pumpkin seeds, a yummy treat that kids love. Rinse the seeds, pat them dry, and coat with melted butter. Spread the seeds on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 350 until golden brown. Be sure and stir them occasionally.
Bird migration watch. As Fall fills the air, many birds begin to head south. Grab your kids, binoculars, and head to the country.
Shift through a cornfield maze. Kids delight in finding their way through cornfield mazes.
Plant perennials and bulbs. Let your kids try out their green thumbs. After all, Fall is the time of year to plant perennials and flower bulbs. Let your kids choose some plants from the gardening store, and give them the opportunity to help design the garden. A hand-painted rock or two adds color until the Spring blossoms bloom.
Hold a pumpkin sale. If you have little entrepreneurs, have them set up a pumpkin stand in your front yard. Find an orchard where pumpkins are cheap, then have your kids purchase a small stock to sell for a higher price. Hot cocoa, baked pumpkin seeds, or doughnuts make good commercial additions to the stand.
Horseback rides. Head to the stables and enjoy the Fall colors on horseback.
Make a bird feeder or house. Kids will enjoy the carpentry experience and marvel at watching birds make use of their creation. Kits are available in hobby stores and online. To make one from scratch, visit your library and check-out a book on how to build a birdhouse, or find free instructions on the Internet.
Kimberly is an author and freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in more than 200 newspapers, parenting and women’s magazines, and other publications.
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