Fall Family Fun

Fall Family Fun
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Fall Family Fun

Nothing can kick off fall like a trip to an apple farm. At most of them, you can find hay rides, delicious apple cider and doughnuts. Some take it a step further with bands, wine tasting and gourmet foods. If you have the time, these farms are worth the extra time in the car.

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Apple Slicer

Don’t be afraid to pick more apples than you need. Climbing the trees and getting more than you can carry is part of the fun. We picked five bags this year. We made four apple pies, two apple crisps, applesauce and pork chops with sliced apples. We gave apples to our neighbors and pies to our friends.

Tip: Invest in an apple peeler with Vacuum Base. We call it the magical apple slicer, but you can name it anything you want. You can buy it at Bed, Bath and Beyond, but many apple farms sell it as well. Even the three year olds can do it, it is fun to use and it saves tons of time.

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Pumpkin Picking

Warning: you will spend much more money when you pick your own pumpkin, which makes no sense at all. Remember, it is all about the experience. Try not to instruct your little ones on which pumpkin they should choose. They have their own set of criteria. We’ve ended up with some pretty pathetic pumpkins, carried by really happy and proud kids. Even though, you can’t carve them yet, because they will rot by Halloween, you can still have some fun with them. Break out the paints, the markers and the glitter and let your kids go to town.

When it is time to carve, invest in the little carving knives and let little hands get involved. Roast the seeds with olive oil and salt and try your hand at a few pumpkin inspired recipes.

Tip: If you are putting your pumpkins outside, spray them with hairspray to ward off hungry squirrels and chipmunks.

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Football Games

Check out a local football game. You don’t have to buck up for the NFL. Your kids will have just as much fun cheering on your local high school or university. Bundle up, do a little tailgating and make a day of it. What feels more like fall than wrapping your cold hands around a hot chocolate and screaming for a touchdown?

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Fall Scavenger Hunt

Go on an Autumn Scavenger Hunt. This is especially great for little ones. I spent a whole hour with my three year olds yesterday looking for acorns and the “hat” to match. Make a list of simple things you can find on a walk in the fall and bring crayons, so they can draw the things they can’t carry home. Some ideas: leaves of different colors, a tree with more than two different colored leaves, a twin acorn, a chipmunk carrying a nut, the perfect pinecone, a scarecrow, a white pumpkin, etc.

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Make S’mores

Even if camping is out of the question. Do you have a fire pit or a chimney collecting dust. Clean it off, play some music and gather around. If you don’t have one, you can build a small campfire in your yard. Do I have to mention you should be really careful around fire and you should have a fire extinguisher on hand at all times? Here are some tips on building a backyard campfire safely and easily.

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Go for a hike. You don’t need expensive gear. You just need a sense of adventure. Get everyone out of the house for a family hiking excursion. To do it right, wear comfortable footwear, bring water and a few healthy snacks AND leave all your cell phones at home. By choosing the right trail, even the littlest in the bunch can participate. Don’t forget to check for ticks when you get back.

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Channel your inner German and find a nearby Oktoberfest. Expose your kids to a different culture, enjoy some traditional German fare and throw back a few cold ones. Perfect day! Educational and fun. When you get back, try your hand at some German cooking. Who doesn’t love meals made with sausage and beer?!?

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It’s Autumn, and Mother Nature is pulling out all the stops. The changes are beautiful, but they are brief. Before you know it, the trees will be bare and the show will be over. It doesn’t matter what you do. What is most important is getting outside and appreciating, with your kids, how beautiful -- and delicious -- the world can be right now.


Autumn is inspiring. The colors, the smells, the crisp air, the upcoming holidays, the decorated houses ... it all makes me want to do something. Now, I just have to figure out what that something is! Make some plans today for fully enjoying this beautiful season with your family. Bonus, take your camera with you everywhere you go and you are sure to get a great shot for your holiday photo.

Check out the slideshow above for family-friendly fall activities.

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