Ah, fall. The weather is cool but not yet cold, the leaves are changing into a beautiful show of color, and there’s a special feeling in the air knowing the holidays are near. Before the winter chill puts a damper on your outdoor plans, take advantage of everything autumn has to offer. Here are a few fall activities for families that will help you make the most of the season, ensuring the whole family—babies, toddlers and kids—keeps busy and has fun this fall.
Fall Activities for Babies
- Vegetable stamping. Slice a potato (or an apple) in half, dip it in paint, and create a masterpiece with your baby. Let them explore a few different colors with their fingers—it’s a good opportunity for sensory learning (see below for more sensory activities).
- Seasonal sensory play. Let your baby enjoy the sights and sounds of fall! Try out these 11 autumn sensory DIYs to get your baby involved in the season.
- Have a fall feast. Try offering your baby a fall-inspired meal, like Nurture Life’s Turkey Meatloaf, English Pea & Potato Stage 3 Finger Food.
- Go for a long walk. Take advantage of the cooler temps and get together with a few neighborhood parents for a long stroller walk in the autumn breeze.
Fall Activities for Toddlers
- Jump in a pile of leaves. Fall’s crunchy leaves are endlessly fun for young kids. Have your toddler “help” you rake a pile, then let them dive in and enjoy all of their hard work. When you’re finished, stuff the leaves into garbage bags that look like pumpkins for easy outdoor decor.
- Paint a piece of nature. Take a short walk around a local park and collect acorns, rocks, leaves or anything else your toddler finds interesting. Set up a painting station at home to create one-of-a-kind works of art inspired by nature.
- Drink apple cider. Even better, have an apple cider “tea” party. Gather the stuffed animal guests and put an autumn-inspired spin on the classic tea party, serving up local, organic apple cider instead.
- Go for a hayride. There’s nothing quite like a classic autumn hayride. Gather up your little ones and explore local pumpkin patches and apple orchards by tractor.
- Stargaze outside. Fall’s shorter days mean the stars appear earlier—even before your toddler’s bedtime. Take a blanket and a pair of binoculars outside and look up at the autumn sky.
- Make a leaf rubbing. Collect leaves of various shapes and sizes from your backyard or while on a walk around your neighborhood. When back home, get some construction paper and crayons to make leaf rubbings. Help your child place a leaf with the bottom side up, cover it with a sheet of construction paper and then gently rub the paper over the area of the leaf to create a lovely picture. Repeat with other leaves and have fun!
Things To-Do With Kids This Fall
- Apple picking. Visit a local apple orchard and make a day of harvesting apples. (If there’s not an orchard within close proximity, consider making a day trip out of it.) Many orchards have plenty to offer kids, from cider tastings to hayrides. If your kids enjoy being in the kitchen, spend some time baking an apple dessert (see below) or making applesauce with the day’s bounty.
- Bake an apple or pumpkin pie (or both!). Apple and pumpkin pie are synonymous with the fall season. Bake your favorite one with your kids and, if you can’t choose, bake one of each. If you have a neighbor in need, bake an extra pie and deliver some delicious fall cheer.
- Go on a scavenger hunt. Find a printable fall scavenger hunt online and take it with you to a local trail. See how quickly (or not!) your kids can cross everything off the list! You could also collect several leaves, then come home and do some research to identify each one (and use for leaf rubbings, listed above).
- Make apple chips. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, arrange thinly sliced apples on a metal baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle them with cinnamon. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. (They’re done when the apples are dry and the edges curl up).
- Get lost in a corn maze. Older kids love getting lost in a mesmerizing corn maze. Many mazes offer other activities, too, like pumpkin-picking and hayrides.
Fall Activities for the Whole Family
- Turkey handprints. Have each member of the family (baby, too!) dip their hands in paint, then “stamp” them on construction paper to make handprint turkeys. Older kids can decorate theirs with glitter, feathers, and other embellishments, then string them together with yarn to make a turkey family.
- Have an apple taste test. Find as many different varieties of apples as you can, from Gala to Granny Smith, then slice them up to stage a family taste test, complete with a rating system. Baby can participate by enjoying mashed apples.
- Make Thanksgiving placemats. Have each member of the family design and create their own personalized placemat for Thanksgiving dinner. Toddlers or kids will love helping baby make their own.
- Pick pumpkins—at the grocery store. Instead of a longer trip to the pumpkin patch (which might interfere with your baby’s nap time or mood), pick out a few pumpkins at your local grocery store. You might be surprised by the colorful variety they offer, and the shorter trip will keep everyone happy.
- Go for a foliage walk. Take a trip around the neighborhood on foot to see the beautiful fall foliage. Older kids can take their bikes or scooters, and your baby or toddler will enjoy the colors and fresh air.
- Picnic in the park. Picnic at your favorite park and take in the gorgeous fall setting. No need to spend hours making the perfect picnic feast either! Pack some drinks, sandwiches, fruit, crackers and a dip, such as hummus, and you’re good to go. If you have a baby, be sure to bring along his or her favorite Nurture Life meal.
- Plant fall flowers. Dress your home up for fall by filling planters, flower beds and window boxes around your home. Adorn your front porch or walkway with plenty of mums in various colors.
- Eat apple cider donuts. Head to your local orchard and get a dozen apple cider donuts to bring home. Enjoy with a glass of milk or serve at your apple cider “tea” party (above).
- Have a backyard dinner. Enjoy dining al fresco one last time before it gets too cold. Whether you grill or bring food made in the kitchen outside, you’ll enjoy a hearty feast with loved ones in a cozy outdoor setting.
The beginning of fall doesn’t mean the end of fun outdoor activities or creative indoor ones. Whether you have a new baby, a family of five or something in between, use this list as inspiration to fill your autumn with unforgettable memories.