Today is officially the first day of autumn. Crisp weather, orange leaves and early evening sunsets are sure signs that summer is well and truly over as we start the countdown to the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas. The kids are back to school, adults are back to work and the football is back on the TV. With so much going on over the next three months, Autumn tends to fly past in a flash. It’s for this reason that it’s important to take some time out of the regular family routine and get out there and enjoy everything that the season has to offer. Here are some fun and free autumn activities that the whole family will be able to enjoy.
Nothing says Autumn better than baked apples, apple pies and of course cider. Now is the time of year when apples are at their best, and the abundance of them means that they are competitively priced in the supermarkets. It’s much more fun to go and pick your own though – and it’s completely free. Spend a couple of hours on a crisp afternoon at your nearest apple orchard and make precious memories at the same time.
Once you get your haul of apples home there are a number of things you can do with them that the whole family will enjoy. Get the kids involved by baking an apple pie or brown sugar apples. If you need inspiration then Netmums has a great page of child-friendly apple recipes.
Go for an Autumn Walk
Whatever the time of year, if you’re looking for something fun and free to do then going for a walk is hard to beat. Autumn is the season that hosts one of the best nature shows – the changing colour of the leaves. Take full advantage of everything that the season has to offer by wrapping up warm, packing a picnic and taking the family on a short hike through the woods.
To get the kids involved, encourage them to collect interesting pine cones and colourful leaves so that they can use them for their own arts and crafts projects at home. Activity Village has a long list of autumn arts and crafts for your little ones.
If you’ve never heard of Geocaching, then you’re missing out. Geocaching is like an outdoor treasure hunt, but it’s suitable for adults as well as children. It’s been around for a good few years now, so there is an endless supply of caches to find which will provide you and your family with an interesting hobby for many years to come.
The great thing about geocaching is that there is a very large community of people who do it. This means that wherever you live you’re bound to find a few geocaches close to your door. This is ideal if you like the idea of starting but don’t want to go too far out of your comfort zone just yet.
Make a Leaf Pile
Fallen leaves are everywhere in the autumn, and using them to entertain the kids is easy and won’t cost a penny. If you have lots of fallen leaves in your back garden, then why not rake them into one big pile and let the children jump and play in them? You’ll be surprised how long it will keep them entertained for. Not only are you keeping the children occupied but they are also spending time outside in the fresh outdoors and will genuinely be enjoying themselves.
As a bonus, when it’s time to put the leaves away why not tempt the children back indoors with a nice cup of hot chocolate? There are few things that beat the feeling of warming up with a hot chocolate after spending time outside in the cold.
Pick your Own Pumpkins and Squashes
As well as being a great time to get apples, autumn is also the time when pumpkins and squashes are ready to be harvested. Find out where your local pumpkin farm is and chances are that they will have a ‘pick your own’ event that you and the family can attend. Aim to go mid-October time if you intend on carving your pumpkins for Halloween. While you’re there don’t forget to get a couple of unique and different kinds of squashes for your autumn recipes.
When it comes to preparing your pumpkins for Halloween you can download free templates online. These can be traced on to the face of your pumpkin and then coloured in or carved as required.
Get Prepped for Halloween
As well as carving pumpkins, there are plenty of other things that can be done done to prepare for and celebrate Halloween. Letting your kids design and make their own Halloween costumes and start to make them at the beginning of Autumn means that you will have plenty of time to keeps your eye out for and collect the materials you need to make them.
Not only is this cheaper than buying a costume but it’s also a lot more exciting for the children and will keep them entertained for the weeks and days running up to the end of October. The internet is full of DIY Halloween costume ideas. You find ideas for Halloween decorations that can be made and used in your front garden for the big day.
There is no shortage of Halloween-themed movies either, so if you have Netflix then a Halloween Movie marathon is a great way to keep the whole family entertained for an entire day.