Ahhh fall, we love you. Maybe it’s a Midwestern thing, but fall always seems to breeze in like an old friend. It reminds us it’s almost time to snuggle up and settle in for winter, so we better get outside while the weather is crisp and the outdoors are colorful. Even my daughter said today, “It smells like fall,” and I knew exactly what she meant.
Many of us will probably be doing some quintessential autumn activities, like heading to an apple orchard, picking out pumpkins, and prepping costumes and front stoops for Halloween. While we love all the fall fun, the other beauty in the change of season is the much-needed pause between the hectic back-to-school time and the holiday chaos we know is on the horizon.
We hope this fall bucket list sparks some easy ideas to slow down and savor this in-between time with your family.
1. Take a fall colors nature walk without your phone
Play eye-spy or look and listen with your kids as you crunch through the fallen leaves and take in the color-changing trees around you. Enjoy the moment without the pull of your phone to capture everything and allow yourself to be fully present.
2. Collect outdoor finds for a fall art project
While you’re on a nature walk or hike, bring a bag and help your kids collect leaves, sticks, pinecones, and more to help them create some nature-inspired art when you get home. Pinterest has so many leaf art ideas like toddler-friendly leaf rubbings, leaf-animals, and more.
3. Deliver a dozen donuts to someone special
A dozen donuts are a relatively inexpensive way to surprise someone with a little love. Some recipients could be a local senior living center, a home for veterans, daycare workers, NICU nurses, or the local firehouse. Brainstorm with your kids to see who they think you should surprise with a treat and let them help deliver the donuts.
4. Make a Crock-Pot recipe bucket list
Our family has some slow cooker staples like shredded beef tacos, Crock-Pot whole chicken, and chicken pot pie. Collect recipes from around the web you want to try this fall and plan them out. An additional plus side to Crock-Pot meals? There are (almost) always leftovers.
5. Attend a fall festival
Fall fests are great for families, often with kid-friendly music, crafts, food, and more. My plan is usually to go early before the crowds get too thick for a stroller and the spiked cider hasn’t yet been flowing through the other attendees all day.
6. Have a Friday night football movie marathon
Cook up some chili, and stream some back-to-back football flicks. Some of our team’s favorites include Rudy, Remember the Titans, Little Giants, and The Blind Side.
7. Collect fallen acorns and make a path for squirrels
Grab a pail and have your kids collect acorns from around your yard or the park. Then, make a pathway for the squirrels or chipmunks. I remember doing this as a kid with my brother, and we’d go check our line later in the day to see if any of our acorns had been nibbled.
8. Try a new way to decorate pumpkins
Channel your inner Martha Stewart and explore a new non-carving way to decorate pumpkins. Ideas are just a Google search away, but some of our favorites are toddler-friendly finger-painted pumpkins, heirloom pumpkin towers, and painting the pumpkin stem with sparkles. Consider also painting one pumpkin teal to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project to bring awareness and inclusion to food allergies.
9. Make soup from scratch
Take your kids to the local farmers market or grocery store to shop for the ingredients together. Some of my family soup favorites are bacon cauliflower chowder and old- fashioned chicken noodle soup. Pro tip from our team: make extra and freeze it for an easy meal later in the season.
10. Snuggle up for outdoor storytime
Get on your comfy cozy clothes, and sit outside snuggled in a blanket to read a few books. Take a moment to lay back together, look at the sky, and maybe if you’re lucky, watch a few leaves fall down around you.
What are you adding to your fall bucket list?