I have always been a lover of seasons. Each time of year holds a special place in my heart, but autumn has always been my favorite. Cool weather, wooly sweaters, fresh notebooks and the start of the school year—the fall has always made me giddy. As my toddler, Everest, grows older and becomes more aware of the different seasons and holidays, I find myself enjoying the seasonal changes even more.
Similar to what I do in December for Advent, I like starting October with a list of autumn inspired to-dos. I’ve put together some of my favorite fall activities to enjoy with the little ones along with some links to tutorials and recipes I have enjoyed. I hope they inspire you to get festive with your little ones (or all by yourself—because there’s no shame in that).
Bake all the treats
No one really needs an excuse to make treats, but the fall usually has me craving sweets the most. I like to bake with Everest once a week, and I’ve enjoyed finding some seasonal goodies for us to make together. Here are some tasty fall treats we enjoy
- Apple pie
- Pumpkin spice muffins
- Pecan bars
- Candy apples or apple slices with caramel dip
- If you’re looking for something other than dessert, try making some chili with my favorite cornbread or jalapeño cheddar bread
Get to a nearby farm
Farms are great places for fall fun, and visiting a nearby farm is a great way to support local businesses. Even if you don’t live in a rural area, there’s probably somewhere within driving distance that offers a few family-friendly activities. Here are a few we like
- Pumpkin picking
- Apple picking
- Hay rides
- Corn mazes
Take a trip to see the foliage
If you remember from a few weeks ago, our family took a trip to the Aspen area to see the Maroon Bells and the changing Aspen trees. We had an absolute blast while we were there, but the drive out was quite possibly my favorite part of the whole excursion. Grab some cozy beverages, make a playlist with your favorite driving tunes, and hit the road!
Get out in nature
Though summer is usually everyone’s favorite time to get outside, there’s no reason you can’t throw on some extra layers to enjoy the outdoors during the fall. Personally, I prefer the smells, colors, and crisp air of autumn. Nature has so much to offer this time of year!
- Take a hike
- Play in the leaves
- Organize a scavenger hunt (I like to look for specific types of leaves, acorns, pine cones, feathers, etc.)
Sit down for some arts and crafts
Now that Everest is a little older and is more willing to tackle crafts on his own, I have absolutely loved working arts and crafts time into our regular routine. Pinterest is chock-full of fall crafts, and we’ve enjoyed several of them so far this month. Here are a few of my favorites
Read Halloween books
Reading to/with your children regularly is one of the best things you can do for your kids. Not only can it help them build their vocabularies, develop a love of learning, and hone their concentration skills—they’ll look back on those snuggly memories with love. I still remember reading the Little House on the Prairie series with my mum when I was a little girl. This month, we’ve found some Halloween-ish books to read with our little ones.
- Little Blue Truck’s Halloween by Alice Schertle
- What a Bad Dream by Mercer Mayer
- Duck and Goose: Honk! Quack! Boo! by Tad Hills
- Duck and Goose: Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
- Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
- Spooky Pookie by Sandra Boynton
- Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola
Check out a fall festival or state fair
In Colorado, we have Elk Fest, the Pueblo Chile Festival, and Oktoberfest, among other celebrations in the fall. Many states host their fairs during harvest season or offer other fall-themed events, many of which are family friendly.
We don’t own a television and try to limit screen time for ourselves and the kids, but we enjoy a weekly family movie night every Saturday. Around Halloween and Christmas, I usually throw in an extra night a week to soak up some of the classics and our family favorites. We’ve been enjoying a Harry Potter movie every weekend this month.
- Anything from the Harry Potter series
- Hocus Pocus
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Hotel Transylvania (I and II)
So much to do! We hope this list has given you some ideas on how to be festive this autumn. How do you celebrate the arrival of fall?
Jenna is a writer, educator, wife, and mama living in Colorado with her husband and two children. She founded American Ingenue as a personal blog in 2008 after losing her mother to breast cancer, using the forum as a reminder to live life to the fullest. Jenna loves cooking, dreaming, and adventuring with her family. She has been inspired to share her experiences with others as she navigates this crazy life and strives to have "it all."