By Monica K. Guthrie

Toward the end of August a friend of mine asked on Facebook for people to share their favorite fall activities. She said she was putting together a list of things to do with her family this fall but that thus far all of her activities had to do with cooking. She needed help.

“Girl,” I thought to myself. “I don’t even cook. I definitely need some help doing fall things.”

I’ve never been into “fall.” I don’t like pumpkin spice (I don’t even like coffee), I don’t really like pumpkin at all – except for the seeds. I’d much rather throw my efforts into a holiday like Christmas (helps my birthday is in December so I feel the extra joy of the season). But something inside me said “if you want to be a good mom, you have to like fall.” I know it wasn’t true, but I felt pressured. I want to make lists of fun things to do with my family.

So… you figured it out (in fact, many of you probably just skipped the entire intro and went for the list – I’m not mad) – here is my list of fall things to do this fall (from now until Thanksgiving Day) divided by categories like “food” and “crafts.” Check it out and then add yours in the comments below!

Food

  • Make s’mores
  • Bake a pie (it’s not limited to pie, you could make a cobbler, just bake something).
  • Make a pumpkin dish
  • Bake a pumpkin pie
  • Make pumpkin rice crispies
  • Roast pumpkin seeds
  • Warm apple cider
  • Food canning
  • Make chili (or have a chili cook-off with friends)
  • Have your own Oktoberfest with brats and pretzels (I found a great pretzel mix in the baking aisle near the box cakes)
  • Caramel apples – I plan on making mini ones (make sure you dry the apples a LOT)
  • Make popcorn balls
  • Bake cookies
  • Make a fall soup
  • Make butternut squash soup (I just recently discovered butternut squash – it’s SO good!)
  • Decorate a haunted gingerbread house
  • Enjoy hot chocolate
  • Make snacks to take to police station or military base
  • Find a new way to cook leftover turkey

Crafts

  • Pumpkin carving
  • Paint leaves/leaf paint art
  • Make a candle
  • Make a pinecone birdfeeder
  • Make a leaf wreath
  • Find a stick and paint it / make a journey stick
  • Find a rock and paint it
  • Go on a leaf hunt (by color)
  • Knit a scarf - I do finger knitting, it’s the only thing I have the skills to do (thanks YouTube!)
  • Make fall/Halloween cards
  • Make a Halloween costume (see previous article!)
  • Make a centerpiece for Thanksgiving
  • List the things you’re thankful for
  • Draw or paint a hand turkey

Outdoors – try these outdoor adventures!

  • Pumpkin picking
  • Corn maze
  • Build a bonfire
  • Go on a hayride
  • Go for a fall walk
  • Go for a fall hike
  • Go to a fall festival
  • Run a race
  • Go to a farmers market
  • Tour a winery
  • Feed geese
  • Go to a family farm
  • Find a chocolate or candy factory
  • Go to a parade
  • Go fishing
  • Go to a haunted house
  • Rake and jump in leaves

Activities

  • Watch football
  • Participate in Operation Christmas Child
  • Watch a Halloween movie (Heffalump, Hotel Transylvania, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest)
  • Attend a Comic Con
  • Donate to a good cause (food banks, organize a coat drive)
  • Have a sleepover in the living-room
  • Do a scavenger hunt (indoor or outdoor)
  • Read some Halloween stories
  • Do a Halloween photoshoot in costume
  • Take fall photos
  • Go to a concert
  • Burn something for Guy Fawkes Day
  • Fall cleaning
  • Create fall playlist
  • Buy a scented candle
  • Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade
  • Be thankful

They aren’t all specifically fall related but they are all something you can do to make your fall memorable. And who knows, maybe your non-fall activity will become a family tradition, moving it from the mundane to the memorable. Happy fall!

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Monica K. Guthrie is an Army brat, an Army veteran (Rock of the Marne!) and now an Army spouse with two boys. She is currently the media relations officer for the public affairs office at Fort Sill, Okla., and writes a weekly column called the Okie Bucket List. She also has a photography and graphic design business, Pro Deo Creations, that she maintains between potty training and kissing scraped knees. 

 

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