Fall Fun and Family Activities

Hello Readers!  Well, Autumn officially began last Thursday, September 22nd, and my favorite time of the year kicked off without a hitch!  I love Fall!  It’s full of pumpkin and spice and everything nice!  The leaves are beginning to turn color, and the weather is getting cooler.  And everything begins to slow down for a moment before the holidays kick off.  And best of all, pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING is out right now!

Okay, so not everyone loves pumpkins as much as I do.  My sister abhors pumpkin flavors, and my husband Ryan isn’t as excited about the season and I am.  Of course, he bases his seasons off of the sports playing.  Come to think of it, his favorite season has also begun; college football has kicked off.  And his least favorite season, baseball season (my favorite sport!), is about to end.

But anyway, this is about the time that I turn my attention to the Family Fall Bucket List.  You will recall my post on Summer Fun for Free in which I discuss the Summer Bucket List for my family.  Well, it’s now time to start thinking about our Fall Bucket List.  This is always a great time to enjoy having kids because there are so many family-oriented tasks you can do, and a lot of them can be done for free or for very little!  Here are a few of our favorite tasks to do at this time of the year.

  1. Visit Apple Hill
    We are blessed to live within driving distance of a region nicknamed Apple Hill.  The El Dorado hills of Northern California are about a two hour’s drive from our city, and the region is filled with apple orchards and farmer’s markets.  We also have a couple of vineyards and wineries the adults can visit if there are no kids around.  But this is the time of year that apples come in season, and we can typically get bushels of apples for dirt cheap!  I mean, I can get a 5 lb box of apples for about $5.00 at Apple Hill, and they last forever because they are so fresh and have been picked from the trees within the last month.  As an added perk, most of the orchards are independent and buying from them is supporting small businesses and farms.  What we love about this is that there are typically hayrides and markets and great food at the different orchards, along with kid-centered activities like face painting and whatnot.  And it’s fresh air and rural settings that make it perfect for kids to learn about farms and orchards.
  2. Visit a Pumpkin Patch
    We actually have a couple of pumpkin farms in our city, and every year they have a pumpkin patch at each of the locations.  Pumpkins, gourds, squash, and other fall melons are on sale at these locations for very cheap, and it’s so much fun to watch kids pick out their own pumpkins to carve for Halloween.  And there are hayrides, corn mazes, and other fun activities for families and kids to do.  A few of our local ones will have bounce houses and some will kick off with carnivals.  Either way, this is always a family favorite because of the different activities that are directed toward Fall holidays.
  3. Visit a Haunted House.
    So, if you’re like me, you probably love everything about the Fall, even the scary parts like Haunted Houses and Scary Movies at Halloween time.  But, you may have little kids and don’t want to scare them too much.  But this is always a fun activity to do, although I wouldn’t recommend taking little kids with you.  However, there are other things you can do to celebrate the Halloween holiday with your kids that are fun while still fun for adults.  But for older kids, preteens, and teens, this might be a fun family activity.
  4. Carve Pumpkins.
    I love carving pumpkins, especially with kids!  This is a fun activity to do for a family because it’s so easy, and it can be fairly cheap.  We really start to see pumpkins go on sale and come in season in October, so I recommend doing this with your kids.  It takes a little effort, but it’s definitely something that kids enjoy.  As a bonus, you can wash and roast the seeds for an extra treat!
  5. Go on a Nature Walk/hike.
    Yes, this is a great time to take your kiddos for a walk or a hike in a nearby canyon.  If dressed warmly, it can be a great experience for them.  And, they can learn about the seasons by seeing the leaves changing colors.  You can even make them a scavenger hunt list with items like leaves in the different colors, twigs, rocks, pebbles, and whatnot; or you can create a family activity of collecting a couple of fall leaves per person of their choice to use in a Fall craft or scrapbooking activity.
  6. Watch Halloween Movies.
    Our family loves Halloween movies, and we own such classics as the original Frankenstein, The Wizard of Oz, Dawn of the Dead, Ghostbusters (the classic), and the Halloween collection, to name a few.  We love to watch Halloween movies, and I highly recommend this.  If you don’t want to watch scary movies because of little kids, but you still want to celebrate the holiday, I recommend watching classics like Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Nightmare Before Christmas, the ever favorite Hocus Pocus, and Casper.  Most of these movies will become available on Netflix in October, if they aren’t already there.
  7. Attend a Football Game (American), Wrestling, Bowling, etc.
    So, when I asked my husband Ryan for some input on our Fall Bucket list, his first choice was to attend a football game.  And he is right.  This is a great activity to do with kids, and there are always games going on.  From Tiny Mighty games for the kids to the Professional games in corporate stadiums, this is always going to be a family classic.  Even though I’m not one for sports, I do enjoy attending football games with my husband and my family.  We have attended college games, which are great to show your school pride for your Alma Mater, but I highly recommend attending High School games and Tiny Mighty games with your kids.  If you have little ones, like I do, I would stick to attending a Tiny Mighty game or an early-season football game for High School or College, especially before the weather turns too cold.  A couple of weeks ago, Sean and I went to support my niece as she cheered for a Tiny Mighty team, and a woman had brought her eight week old infant to the game.  They can never be too young to learn about team sports and activities.
  8. Thanksgiving Traditions and Activities.
    Even though it seems early to think about this, you might want to think about your Thanksgiving plans to avoid the last minute stress of trying to do it all with no time or energy.  Do you like to visit family at this time of year?  Do you stay home?  Do you travel for the holiday?  Whatever your plan, double check it with your family now to make sure they keep it free and start checking into airfare/travel accommodations.  As a bonus tip: most airfare is cheapest on Tuesdays around 2:00 pm two weeks before your trip.  But, a lot of airlines do book up fast for the holidays, and tickets may be more expensive than imagined.  Look into your travel expenses now in order to save and prepare at the holiday time.  Oh, and be sure to clear your browser history after checking; airlines and travel companies leave cookies (or a trail) in your browser history, and they use these cookies to increase the price with each search of prices.  The more you check, the more you could wind up paying.
    Regardless, make sure you plan out any Thanksgiving plans with family and friends now so that you know what to prepare for later on.  And, you can enjoy the holiday rather than scrambling last minute for it.  Bonus Tip:  America’s Test Kitchen is currently showing on Netflix with their 14th Season.  In the 9th episode of said season, they recreate Julia Child’s Roast Turkey recipe and they show a much easier and simpler way to prepare this turkey.  I highly recommend checking it out on Netflix.  However, if you don’t have access to this, check out their website here for the recipe, as well as their recipe on Turkey Gravy.  Warning!  It only comes with a 2 week trial membership before you have to pay, so be forewarned that you may have to wait until just before the holiday to check it out or print it off and save it for later use.
  9. Veteran’s Day.
    This task is a must for our family.  Last year, we attended the Veteran’s Day parade in our downtown area with Sean when he was just a couple of months old, and we plan to attend again this year.  Honoring our veterans is always important, and this is one holiday we will always celebrate with our Vets.

And these are just a few of my favorite Fall Bucket list additions.  So, tell me Readers, what activities have you included on your Fall Bucket List?  I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,

-BBM

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