Fun Autumn Outings For Any Age

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Autumn is in full swing. I know it has been for quite some time, but it never fully hits me until Halloween or just after. The changing leaves, need for jackets, hot apple cider, pumpkin bread and scarecrows always make me remember being a child. Now that Halloween and baseball are over, focus is on the season until Thanksgiving comes around.

The most classic and most celebrative traditions of Fall are the festivals. There are a plethora of pumpkin and Autumn festivals. No matter what the name of it is, it will definitely include squash bread, apple pie, hot chocolate, hay stacks, face-painting with corn and pumpkins everywhere. Some will obviously have more than others such as train and wagon rides, animal petting zoos, cake walks and other things of this nature. The great thing about festivals is that they are everywhere. Living in Los Angeles, I found at least 10 festivals/farms within 1½ hours of me. This is guaranteed to be great, outside, small town fun for everyone.

Also possibly found at festivals/farms or on their own are mazes. Mazes are a favorite for Halloween activities, but it’s always a fun thing to do in the Fall. Mazes come in two forms: hay mazes and corn mazes. Hay mazes are constructed, and corn mazes are cut out. I personally prefer corn mazes, because they are more authentic to me. It’s in an actual field and you actually do have to find your way out. In hay mazes, it’s more of a cute obstacle course. Either way, it’s assured that you will have a blast. You’ll feel a rush like a kid running through a towering maze with your friends or family.

A superb activity for families (especially young children) is apple picking. Find an apple orchard near your house that allows picking apples. This simple task proves to be age-old amusement for everyone. The greatest part comes after the apple picking is done. At home, you can bake with your kids a variety of tasty treats. The most obvious are apple pie, apple cider and applesauce. Another simple and exceptional delight is cinnamon-spiced baked apples. It’s easy for kids to do with simple ingredients and (for mom’s concern) it’s a healthy dessert.

For most of the US, Autumn is the trigger for cold weather. Unfortunately, living in Los Angeles, I don’t have this luxury. By November, many areas have snowfall or frost at the very least. This usually means the opening of ice rinks (yes, we still get to have these in Los Angeles). Ice skating will make any evening romantic and make you feel like a kid again. Pair this up with hot chocolate and you have a memorable night planned. This cheap, easy wholesome fun fits for family, friends, dates or any other outing. Like festivals, ice rinks are found all over the US beginning in autumn. If you can find one in LA, you can find one anywhere ;)

The last activity is for kids wanting to help out and decorate for Thanksgiving. Give your kids some supplies and have them make a placemat for each guest at the Thanksgiving table. This will be a cute keepsake for years to come and can be a fantastic yearly tradition. It can simply be done with some sturdy construction paper or poster board and markers/paint. If you want to get more creative, you can include leaves, feathers, cotton balls and anything else in your child’s imagination. One thing that is for sure with this project is that it will get your kids in the mood for Thanksgiving and keep them busy for some time :)

Grab a jacket and the family and go out to enjoy the autumn weather, because it will pass all too soon.


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