Family Fun and Fitness: Fall Action

5 Fun Fall Activities for the Whole Family

School is in session, and between homework and extracurricular activities, family time can be hard to find in the fall. But autumn is ripe with opportunities to spend fun time together and sneak in a little fitness, too.

1. See Seasonal Staples

Pumpkin patches and corn mazes are just the start of your autumn activity options. Look for events in your community or seek out hayrides, apple orchards and festivals that fit your family’s interests, and voila – you can spend the day enjoying each other’s company doing something unique to the season. You’ll also get plenty of exercise exploring the open fields on a farm or the plentiful booths at a fair.

2. Plan a Park Day

The park is a great choice for family fun and fitness any time of the year, but fall offers a particularly strong lineup of activities. An open lawn is perfect for a game of touch-football, soccer or catch for the athletes in your family, and the windy fall weather is ideal for flying – and running with – a kite. Make a full day of it when you bring bikes and a picnic of energy-boosting snacks and healthy lunches. And when it’s time to take a break, see if you can catch a flock of geese flying south for the winter.

3. Make a Family Meal

Autumn may be the start of comfort food season, but there’s plenty of healthy fun to be found in fall recipes – and a little fitness, too, if you do it right.

Start by bringing the whole family to the farmers’ market to pick out fresh fall produce. Take your time walking around the market; you may want to use this opportunity to teach your child about choosing nutritious food. Whether you’re making homemade pumpkin bread, tailgate chili or apple chips, there are ample chances for healthy substitutions. When possible, skip the mixers and machines in favor of a little elbow grease.

4. Hunt for Crafts

Fall weather can be a tad chilly but generally still nice, so crafting can be the perfect middle-ground endeavor: an indoor activity with lots of outdoor involvement. Plus, with so much nature to use, it’s economical too.

Visit your favorite park, take a walk in the woods or explore your own backyard to scavenge for colorful leaves, pinecones and other interesting bits of nature. Let your children loose – the outside adventure will help them expend some energy before sitting down to craft. Bring your haul home and set to work with rubbings and prints for a range of crafts, from cards and placemats to garlands.

5. Leverage the Lawn

We mentioned yard work as a sneakily fun and fit spring activity, and the same chore-spinning opportunity exists in autumn.

There is, of course, the work of changing the decorations – including those recently made crafts – for fall and, when the time comes, the holidays. You can also recruit your family to rake leaves, allowing plenty of time for leaf jumping. Then, use the leaves and twigs — and maybe even wood chopped by mom or dad — as bonfire fodder. S’mores are the perfect treat after a day’s work.