Family Life

10 Essential Fall Activities for Families

Welcome to fall! I love this time of year. I know that some people view the season with mixed emotions, but to me, fall is magical. It marks the transition from the long sunny days of summer to the darker half of the year, and signifies the beginning of new and exciting endeavours.

Fall is filled with unique smells, sights, tastes, and a beauty all its own. It’s a great time to get outside with your family and explore the changing season! Capture the spirit of the most beautiful season of the year by taking in some of these fun fall family activities.

1. Go Apple Picking (and Tasting!)

Be sure to make time this fall for a family outing in the country to pick apples. Most orchards offer more than just apple picking, so you’ll likely have other family activities to choose from like a guided orchard tour, farmer’s market, or a horse-drawn wagon ride through the orchard. Don’t forget to bring home some of those delicious apple goodies for later like apple jelly, apple cider, apple pies, apple jam, and more.

2. Take a Hike

Around here, once autumn hits the air is cool and crisp and the colourful leaves turn our trails and forests into breathtaking autumn wonderlands. Take the kids out and discover some of those hiking paths and trails around your community. Let them wander, discovering the beauty of the season in both the small and big things. How about a game of tag through the leaves or a fall-themed scavenger hunt?

3. Play in the Leaves

Nothing says fall more than jumping in a big pile of leaves! If you find yourself with a yard full of leaves just dying to be raked, make a huge stack and invite the kids to leap in. Better yet, have everyone grab rakes and gather two large pile of leaves. Form a team around each pile and have a leaf fight. The first team to have no leaves left in the pile wins. Losers get to rake the leaves up for another round!

4. Create a Halloween Costume

Halloween is creeping up on us! If the kids haven’t decided what they want to dress up as for Halloween yet (or – ahem – if they keep changing their minds), look for inspiration in their favourite stories, movies, or games. If they’ve already settled on a costume, now’s a great time to start working on it. Spending time together making inexpensive homemade costumes is a great family pastime.

5. Visit a Fall Fair

Fall fairs offer tons of fun activities like midways, games, parades, entertainment, petting zoos, and so much more. There is quite literally something for everyone to enjoy. Check out your community listings for a schedule of fairs and festivals near you.

6. Collect Fall Leaves

Capture the beauty of fall by collecting and saving some of those colourful leaves. Head to your nearest park or forest and gather up a collection of fallen leaves. Make sure the leaves are dry and the edges aren’t curling up, then place them in between two pieces of newspaper. Put heavy books on top of the leaves and allow them to dry and flatten for at least 24 hours. Once dry, use your beautiful pressed leaves to make art pieces, craft projects, or simply place your leaves in a photo album for safe keeping.

We made a book out of ours! See how to make your own leaf book here.

7. Head to Farm Country

Get outside and enjoy some clean country fun at a local farm. Many working farms are open to public visitors and offer special fall activities like picking a pumpkin from the patch, getting lost in a corn maze, or going on a hay ride. Try searching terms like “farm visit”, “farm experience”, or “farm attraction” along with the name of your city or town to see what’s nearby.

8. Make Fall Recipes Together

Think pumpkin loaf, cinnamon buns, old-fashioned fudge, pumpkin pie, applesauce, hot apple cider, and more. Get in the kitchen and have some fun with the kids while you make fall treats at home. Your house will smell delicious and you’ll be making fun fall memories together that will last a lifetime.

9. Carve a Pumpkin

Head to your local pumpkin patch to choose this year’s pumpkin(s). Carve out your favourite spooky, cute, or funny designs and set them out on the front porch. If you want your pumpkin to last longer, you can skip the carving and decorate your gourd with paint, stickers, markers, or melted crayon wax. You could even turn your pumpkin into a Star Wars diorama!  The possibilities are endless.

10. Host a Harvest Dinner

The fall harvest is worth celebrating! Check out your local farmer’s market for newly arrived fall fruits and vegetables. Think seasonal favourites like nuts, pears, apples, grapes, cranberries, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and corn. With Thanksgiving on the way, think beyond turkey and mashed potatoes. What about a fall barbecue instead? Decorate the table with a fall-inspired centrepiece and celebrate a bountiful harvest together!

I hope these ideas help inspire some fall fun with your family! What are some of your not-to-be-missed fun fall activities?

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  • Thanks for these great ideas. We do many of them already. Fall is my favourite season. I love the crisp mornings and warmer afternoons. One thing I love doing in the fall that I would add to the list is to go cranberry picking. 🙂

  • I’m having trouble tearing my son away from xbox and convincing him to go on a hike with me 🙁 but I think apple picking is going to happen this year – I have been wanting to go for years!!!!

  • I love your Star Wars diorama!! One of our favorite fall activities is getting fresh cider and apple doughnuts from the local orchard. And I love that we can be outside without worrying about excessive heat.