Although the wonders of fall are (temporarily) overshadowed by the loss of summer and the start of school, it really is a great season! For many of you, the weather gets more reasonable and frankly it’s a great season for the senses–there are leaves turning beautiful sunset colors and crunching beneath your feet, apple cider gushing out of the cider mill, pumpkin bread being cooked…I’m getting excited just thinking about it!
I have a huge list of things my family loves to do in the fall. Whether or not you “do” Halloween, here are ten of my favorite ways to make fall special.
1. September 19 – International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Ahoy Matey! It’s Talk Like A Pirate Day!
Pirates are very popular these days thanks to the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Make a treasure chest, have a scavenger hunt, dress up like pirates, eat pirate food and watch pirate movies, like Hook or Peter Pan. Silly Jokes has some great pirate party ideas, too.
2. October is the Month of the Holy Rosary
The Feast Day of the Holy Rosary is October 7 and the whole month is devoted to it. There are lots of things you can do as a family. If your children are older, you could make cord rosaries and donate them. Catholic Culture has a great article about starting a family rosary no matter how old your children are and how to bring the mysteries home to their hearts.
3. Apples, apples, apples
You can do anything with apples! Visit an orchard (go here to find one near you). Make some cider. Buy a few bags and put up applesauce. Cook with apples–apple butter, apple crunch, apple pie, apple muffins, spiced cider, caramel apples…the list goes on and on! Don’t forget to wash well–they are on the dirty dozen list.
If you are really on top of things, find a farm before they harvest all the pumpkins and get kids pictures in the pumpkin patch. Go pick out pumpkins for carving–I found some great prolife pumpkins on the web last year. After you carve your pumpkin, try your hand at making pumpkin seeds.
By now I sound like a farmer. I’m not–I just like food . Besides, by the time fall comes, the corn is harvested anyway. But, for you lucky folks some corn wasn’t harvested and you can go through a corn maze. Check out this site to see if there is one in your area. No corn maze near you? Make these cool Tissue Paper Indian Corn Cobs or this cute Indian Corn Pony Bead project.
6. Donuts & cider
We LOVE donuts & cider. During cider season we buy gallon of it and if you know where to go, you might even find it unpasturized which is out of this world. And for the perfect paring try a cake donut–my hubby’s favorite is a sour cream donut with glaze. If you know of a great recipe for that, my husband would be eternally grateful!
Going on a hayride is something you can do no matter how old your kids are. If you can’t find a hayride, you might be able to find a regular wagon ride at a farm or orchard. Many areas even have a fall festival and they often include a wagon ride of some sort.
8. Walk through the woods
Walk through the woods at the peak of the colors. See who can find the biggest leaves or the best yellow, orange, or red leaves. Observe the trees that are turning or bare first.
9. View the stars & full moon.
With all the leaves gone & it getting dark sooner, it’s a great time to study the heavens with a cup of hot chocolate. If there is an observatory near you, see if they have public viewing times. If not, find a telescope or get a book about constellations and see what you can find in the night sky. Keep looking up!
10. Family night.
Soup or pizza. Movies or games. Popcorn & hot chocolate. If you already have a family night, change it up. If you don’t, start one! Cozy up with your family for some fun when the dark comes calling early.
The greatest part about all of these ideas? None of them have to break the bank and very little has to be on a schedule. That’s my kind of fun!
What fun things do you do to make fall special?
Jen can be found writing at Happy Little Homemaker.