Author Victoria Erikson once wrote: “If a year was tucked inside a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.”
We agree and wanted to give you plenty of ideas — beyond our favorite corn mazes and pumpkin patches — to find your family fun this fall.
Here are 10 ideas for fun this autumn:
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1. Host a soup swap
Host an afternoon at your home when neighbors can stop by to swap soups and recipes. Invite neighbors to make their favorite soup and package in to-go containers for easy swapping.
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2. Make a fall wreath
This is a great project for little kids — collect freshly fallen autumn leaves, then cut a hole in the center of a paper plate and glue leaves in an overlapping pattern to the plate to create a beautiful fall wreath. Add a ribbon to make it extra special. Want it to last forever? You can find artificial autumn leaves at many craft stores.
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3. Organize a fall fun scavenger hunt
This can be done with your family or invite neighborhood friends to take part too! You can give kids a list of items to find — like fall leaves, pinecones, a cat, a puddle, and more. Or hide objects around your neighborhood or in your yard like painted rocks, tiny pumpkins, fake spiders, and whatever else you can find to fit your theme, then let kids find them!
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4. Let the kids decorate!
I don't know about your kids, but mine LOVE decorating for Halloween. Encourage them to make homemade decorations for extra Halloween cheer. Here are five easy upcycled and recycled crafts for fall you can do at home with kids. Plus, three additional ideas to help you get started:
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5. Start a book club
Start one for yourself, or help your kids start one! As the weather gets cold, a book club is a great way for kids (and adults!) to socialize in person or online during the cold weather months. Begin with a book that provides a reading guide — I loved Gretchen Rubin’s "The Happiness Project." You can find a book club discussion guide on her website.
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6. Visit — or build — a little free library
Little free libraries are popping up all over! Don't have one near you? Make one for your neighborhood and let your kids decorate it! It's a great way to share books — and clean out your own family's collection of books. Find plans to build a little free library along with a map of registered little free libraries in each state at LittleFreeLibrary.org.
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7. Host an outdoor movie night
Set up a projector to show a movie on your garage or the side of your home and let your neighbors or friends know when it will start so they can bring lawn chairs and enjoy the show too.
Photo by Sarah Basile
8. Pick apples
Not only are you guaranteed great pictures, but you can also use a visit to a local apple orchard to talk to kids about how important local farms in your community are. Check out our Apple Orchard Guide to find a farm near you! What to do with all those apples? Check out our 4 Of Our Favorite Macaroni KID Apple Recipes.
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9. Run or walk in a local 5K
Many nonprofits rely on the money they make in races or walks as part of their major fundraising campaigns each year. Since the pandemic, many of those organizations also include a virtual option. Sign up to support a nonprofit your family loves — you can choose how you participate and feel good about giving back and staying active with your family! We will be joining Apex Entertainment in Marlborough for a 5k Fun Run this Fall! This run will be in support of The New England Center for Children & The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp.
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10. Jump in a pile of leaves!
Because you're never too old.
Alicia Marshall is the publisher of Macaroni KID Scranton, Pa.