As fall settles and the leaves change color, opportunity abounds for outdoor family fun. The mild weather facilitates long hikes and and the falling leaves beg to be collected. The harvest is ready and there are celebrations to be had. Make the most of these fall days with these 10 Thrifty and Green family activities.
1. Fall Family Gardening – It’s time to turn to the winter garden. If you live somewhere prohibitive of winter planting, get ready for next year by saving seeds and consider growing greens inside with either an herb garden or a sprouter.
2. Make Lanterns – The shorter fall days are perfect for enjoying homemade lanterns. With young children, Jelly Jar lanterns are easy and fun. Older children might enjoy trying their hand at something more complicated. Halloween themed perhaps?
3. Preserve Fruits & Vegetables – Whether you freeze, can or bake with seasonal local produce, take measures to make the abundance last.
4. One Last Picnic – The cooler weather is perfect for family picnics. You can fly a kite or kick a ball free of prohibitive heat. And since it’s harvest time fresh local fruit and vegetables are readily available.
5. Paint Rocks – Kids love to paint on unconventional surfaces and rocks are free! Enjoy this outdoor craft before the weather turns.
6. Visit a Farm – No matter where you live, there is some form of local agriculture to explore. Pumpkin patches, corn mazes and apple orchards are popular in the early fall – but there is something to enjoy and to learn on any farm.
7. Outdoor Movie Night – This one takes a little planning, but if you can swing it, the pay off is worth it. Invite the neighbors to pull up a blanket and bring a picnic to your outdoor theatre. A projector and a white sheet are all you really need. We like Charlie Chaplin – if the sound isn’t really loud enough, it doesn’t matter.
8. Splatter Art – Take advantage of the last sunny days to spread large canvases and make some Jackson Pollock inspired splatter art. The kids love it. The pictures are almost always wall-worthy. It’s fun, messy and cheap – and inevitably leads to a little cultural education.
9. Hit the Farmer’s Market – We often think of the market as a summer activity, but most markets extend well into the fall. The harvest, after all, is most plentiful in September and early October.
10. Make a Terrarium – It’s time to say goodbye to the snail farm, but the kids will delight in their own indoor mini-ecosystem!