It’s finally fall! With cooler weather in the forecast, fall is the perfect time to take your family outside. We all have a basic need to be outside, and when the weather is cool and crisp, there’s no excuse to lay on the couch and binge on the latest Netflix series.
We have two kids, so we are always looking for a few inexpensive outdoor activities for fall. Here are five family friendly fall activities for you to enjoy.
#1 – Go for a hike.
Being in nature is good for the soul. We don’t spend nearly enough time exploring, and most of our kids definitely don’t get enough unsupervised time in the woods. Hiking is a great activity for the entire family, including your four-legged friends. Plus, it’s free.
If you aren’t familiar with your local trails, or you have time to make a short drive, check out All Trails. You can search by city and find tons of trails along with a description of the hike. Our favorite local trails in Pensacola are the UWF Nature Trails and the Bear Lake Trail.
If you have the time, look for a great trail that is a short drive away. Sometimes, a 2 hour drive can completely change your scenery and make for an awesome adventure.
Encourage your kids to walk ahead a little. Let them stop and pick up leaves and sticks. Find a tree they can climb. Try not to hover. Kids need to be able to explore, and a hike is the perfect opportunity.
#2 – Play at the park.
While playgrounds are great, I’m not talking about an afternoon of swinging and sliding away. Get in some green space. Pack a picnic, bring a ball or a frisbee, and just play. So often, we create such rigid play opportunities for ourselves and our kids. Sometimes, unstructured play is good. While an organized game of kickball or ultimate frisbee definitely makes for a fun day, don’t think that you can’t simply show up at the park with some yummy food and a soccer ball or bocce ball set…you’ll have a great time.
Leave your phone at home or in the car, and simply hang out. Bring a book or a drawing pad if you have an artsy kid. Run and play together. Eat together. Lay down on a blanket and look at the clouds. Then, play some more.
#3 – Visit a pumpkin patch.
Pumpkin patches are a great activity for the whole family. Admission is usually pretty inexpensive, and most places have tons of activities for kids. If you don’t find a pumpkin patch near you that looks like a blast, check out a fall festival, corn maze, or an apple orchard (if you are lucky enough to live near one).
I personally have to have a little chat with the kids before heading to our local farms so that they aren’t asking for every additional item for sale when we get there. Talk it out, and you can have a fun filled day that doesn’t break the bank.
Bonus…if you get a pumpkin, you can spend the afternoon or evening carving it together.
#4 – Check out the farmer’s market.
I absolutely love the vibe at the weekend farmer’s market. It’s eclectic, the produce always looks incredible, and I can almost always find some really awesome baked goods. Fall is a perfect time to browse all of the yummy goodies.
When we go to the farmer’s market as a family, I love to challenge the kids to help us select items that we will have for dinner. When the kids see the farmer and then pick out the veggies or meat, they are much more enthusiastic when it comes time to eat dinner.
Make this a fun late morning activity. Grab a coffee to go, and go spend a few hours checking out the local produce, meat, food products, and crafts for sale. After you get your dinner ingredients, involve your kids in the kitchen. We usually pour a glass of wine, make a “mocktail” for the kids, open the windows, crank up some music, and let the kids help prepare the meal.
#5 – Try your hand at geocaching.
I honestly don’t know much about geocaching, but I am learning. We are new to this adventure, but we are really enjoying it. This is such a fun activity to do together. You have to use some basic skill sets as well as your legs to find your cache.
I found this article very helpful to get started. You can simply create a profile on the geocaching website, and get started. We have the free account, and there are hundreds right near us. We simply use our phones since we don’t have a handheld GPS.
Let your kids try their hand at navigating. Involve them by letting them pick out a few small items to put into the box when you find it. Spending time outside, plus the lure of a treasure box = a clear winner in our household.
Go take advantage of fall!
Just get outside. Just simply being outside provides many health benefits. Step away from the screens (unless you’re geocaching) and enjoy a great day with your family.
Happy Fall Y’all!