Whether it’s due to the upcoming harvest or holidays or both, autumn tends to be a time when people and families look forward to spending time together and counting their blessings. Cooler temperatures and colorful foliage make us eager to break out the sweaters and cider and look for opportunities to get outside and enjoy the changing of seasons. If you can’t decide where to start with your fall festivities, we’ve rounded up a list of our top 10 fall activities for the whole family!
Hiking can be fun year round, but it is especially enjoyable in the fall when the trees are bursting with reds, oranges, and yellows and the summer heat waves have passed. Tennessee, as well as most states in the US, is home to a wide variety of hiking trails to suit all ranges of age and ability. Do a bit of research, select a trail, and pack up the whole family for a fun adventure outdoors! Consider taking some time beforehand to plan a nature-themed scavenger hunt to keep younger kids entertained during longer hikes.
It wouldn’t feel like fall without a trip to a local pumpkin patch! Taking the family out to pick up pumpkins and supporting a local farm is a must-do tradition for many families. The pumpkin patch experience brings excitement and is a wonderful way to get kids interested in agriculture and learning about the work that happens on a farm during harvest season. Many pumpkin patches also offer food and drinks and additional family oriented activities so you can make an afternoon out of the experience!
There is a reason that many fall candles are bonfire scented. Chilly autumn nights spent next to a warm fire are the highlight of the season for many adults and children. A bonfire is a great way to bring friends and family members together for a few hours of chatter and laughter. It is also a great excuse to unplug from electronics and spend some time stargazing and spotting some nocturnal wildlife. Don’t forget to grab some hotdogs and marshmallows for the full fireside experience!
If fall thunderstorms strike, go check out a local museum or art center! The whole family will enjoy learning about local or national history and culture. Many museums also offer educational programs that you can bring family members of all ages to for an enhanced or immersive experience.
Fall foliage hunt – collect and preserve colors
Take a drive up the mountain for a fall color hunt! The explosion of colors that grace the treetops doesn’t last too long, but you can press and preserve the vibrant leaves and use them to decorate or for crafts. Take buckets or bags for the kids to collect leaves in and see who can find the widest variety of colors!
Plant spring bulbs
Fall is the perfect time to get your planter boxes and flower beds ready for the upcoming spring! Grab some gloves and gardening tools and go clear out the dead plants and leaves in preparation for planting new bulbs that will bloom when the spring comes next year. Some of our favorite bulbs include daffodils and hyacinth but there are many flower varieties out there that like to spend the winter in the ground and produce beautiful blooms in the spring. Consider letting each family member pick their favorite bulb and letting everyone plant their own. Come spring, you’ll have a flower garden that is unique and special to your family!
Just like a visit to the local pumpkin patch, an afternoon spent picking apples at a local orchard is a fantastic way to enjoy the fall weather and encourage healthy habits in your family. Fresh apples have an amazing flavor and can be used many different ways. Turn a bucket or two into pie, applesauce, cider, or dried apple slices!
Haunted or not haunted is the big question when it comes to picking a corn maze adventure. There is something invigorating about stepping into a maze – it brings out the child in everyone and is a great setting for a family weekend activity or a date night! Many mazes offer both haunted and regular experiences (haunted versions usually are available after the sun goes down). Grab a map, put on your orienteering hat and get ready for an activity that is sure to become a yearly favorite!
Go cheer on your hometown sports team under the Friday night lights! Fall football games are great places for the whole family to support the community and spend some time together. Take some blankets and a hot drink and enjoy the high energy environment!
Make a list of blessings
Our list of the top 10 fall activities for the whole family wouldn’t be complete without a recommendation to slow down and take some time to think about and write down each of the things you are thankful for. Making a list of your blessings will help you to focus on the reasons for doing what you do each day and may give you some time to reflect on things that you can cut out of your schedule so that you can make more room for the most important things in your life. Expand your experience by combining list making with some meditation or a family activity where you share with your loved ones all the things you are thankful for!