Fall is coming, the weather is cooling off in many places (still HOT here!), but there’s still lots to do outside as a family. While availability and practicality depends on where you live, there are still a number of outings you can take as a family in the fall.
Obviously, any indoor field trips such as to museums work at any time of the year; what I’m focused on here are more seasonal field trips to consider.
1. Leaf Collecting
Fall is one of the best times of the year to collect leaves. Some leaves turn truly amazing colors, and are really fun for kids and parents to collect.
One important consideration is that you must collect leaves where collecting is allowed. It’s not allowed in all areas. Be aware of any restrictions on collecting leaves in parks and other areas, and of course respect the property of others. It may “just be a leaf,” but if you aren’t supposed to collect it, don’t. Close up pictures of leaves may make a good substitute for leaves you can’t take home.
2. Apple Picking
Apple picking is big in my area. There are some very nice local orchards, and the variety of apples is delightful. The cost to do this may or may not be better than what you’d pay at the grocery store, but you’re having the experience of picking the apples too, which can make it all worthwhile. Some apple orchards also have other activities available.
3. Visit a Pumpkin Patch/Farm
I don’t really mean the pumpkin patch in the city, where it’s all prepicked pumpkins stacked all over the place. If at all possible, go where the pumpkins are grown. We have a truly amazing one by us that grows a lot of their own pumpkin varieties, including some really unusual ones I haven’t seen elsewhere.
4. Other Farms
Take a look at what grows in your area and see if now is a good time to visit. Farms can be very interesting in the fall. Farms can have fun activities for the whole family. PickYourOwn.org is a good resource for farms that allow you to pick your own produce.
5. Go Hiking
Do you have a favorite place to go hiking? Take some hikes during the fall to see how it changes with the weather. This field trip can be done repeatedly to really get an idea of how things change as fall progresses. Make sure to take pictures, especially of places and things you can compare as the weeks go on.
6. Go Birding
Kids love to watch birds, and the cooler fall weather makes for a pleasant time to look for them. While it’s not in fall, consider participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count in February. Now could be a good time to practice identifying local birds so you’re ready.