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Fall Activities for the Whole Family

29 Oct 2014 – 11:40 AM EDT

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With the heat of summer gone and the chill of winter on its way, fall is a perfect time to enjoy nature with your family before everyone has to bundle up for a few months. Take advantage of the brisk weather and get outdoors on the weekends with these fun fall activities for all ages.

Apple Picking Fall is the harvest season and one of everyone’s favorite fruits is ready and ripe for picking in orchards all over the country. This is the fall favorite for me and my kids. Apple orchards at Pick Your Own farms give you the opportunity to take your kids right to the trees. Picking apples isn’t hard, and many trees are low enough that even toddlers can reach the fruit on their own. It’s such a classic family activity that many farms also offer other family friendly offerings like playgrounds, hayrides, and petting zoos. If you don’t know a farm near you, check this state by state list.

Pumpkin Fun First pick your pumpkin, whether you head out to a patch or grab one at your grocery store. Then clean out the pumpkin, let kids get grossed out while they scoop out the innards. Roast the pumpkin seeds for a snack, that’ll come in handy while everyone sits down to draw a design for the pumpkin. Older kids can carve, younger kids can draw or paint their pumpkins, and the littlest ones can use stickers.

Collect Autumn Leaves Start with a nature walk to collect leaves, one of the traditional fall activities for kids. Gather all different shapes and colors. At home you can sort them and then press them or use them in art projects. Colored leaves, some glue, and a paper plate can make a simple fall wreath. To press, find your favorite leaves that are flat and dry. Put the leaves between two pieces of wax paper and sandwich that between two rags or towels. Iron on high, not pressing too hard, until you see the paper beginning to seal. Then press hard over each leaf for a few minutes to completely seal it in the wax, it’ll look clear when you’re finished. Let them cool and then cut out into leaf shapes. Pressed leaves can be used in all kinds of decorative crafts and will last much longer than regularly dried ones. They can be hung in the window, or used to make these beautiful lanterns.

Plant Spring Bulbs Fall isn’t the busiest time for gardening, but it does give you an opportunity to plant spring bulbs that kids can wait for and see bloom in the spring. If you don’t have a garden, you can force bulbs indoors by recreating the cold weather of winter in this simple tutorial. Not only will you have beautiful spring flowers, but you’ll have the opportunity to learn some Science and Biology with your kids. A book from the library on gardening can also help educate.