Anne of Green Gables once said:
I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
I’m with you, Anne, I am.
Autumn has to be one of my favourite of all the seasons (I know, I always say that – I’m fickle). But crunchy leaves, abundant colour, the seasonal harvest – what’s not to love?
Autumn is also one of the best times of the year for family activities – there are literally hundreds of things you can get up to both inside and out. But unless you want to be here till next season, I’ll whittle it down to twelve of my favourite Autumnal activities.
Grab a spiced pumpkin latte, wrap up in chunky knits and enjoy.
GO ON A NATURE WALK
Autumn is the perfect time to do a bit of family wandering, take in all the glorious colours of nature, and point out signs of seasonal changes. Why not collect pine cones, fallen berries, and crunchy leaves as you meander through the trees?
AUTUMN CRAFTING/ TABLETOP TIME
Once you’ve gathered all those seasonal goodies, how about making them into an Autumn collage or picture? Or what about an Autumn arts and crafts afternoon – think seasonal craft kits, paints and oodles of hot tea.
Autumn evenings are also fantastic for table top activities like lego building, board games and family cards nights. Why not find out what’s gathering dust in your kids’ toy cupboards and enjoy a bit of all-weather Autumnal fun?
GET OUTSIDE AND FORAGE
Autumn is one of the best times of year for foraging, apple picking and enjoying the seasonal bounty. So far this Autumn, we’ve loved heading out in search of seasonal berries and brambles (and in the garden, picking apples that are hanging from the tree). If you are heading out to forage, remember to wear old clothes – rummaging around in bramble bushes can be a messy business. But Autumn’s edible treasures are well worth a few stained fingers, aren’t they? Just grab your family, a container and head out to see what you can find.
…AND MAKE CRUMBLE INDOORS
After all that foraging there’s nothing like a bit of eating, now, is there? And nothing quite says Autumn like home made crumble just waiting to be enjoyed. Crumble is easy, tasty, and a great way of eating seasonal produce (that’s my excuse anyway). If you’d like a recipe for the gluten and dairy free one pictured below you’ll find it in this Little Loves post from 2017.
MAKE SOUP TOGETHER
If you fancy something a little more savoury, Autumn is also a great time to get the whole family soup-making. Some of our favourites at this time of year are warming pea and ham and soups made from lovely seasonal squash. There’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl of soup on a rainy, cold Autumn afternoon now is there? The only downside is figuring out who’s in charge of washing up!
After all that eating you might be looking for something to burn off all that yummy seasonal produce. Why not join in with your local Parkrun, an initiative offering free, timed 5k runs at locations all over the world, every single week. The events are suitable for all ages and abilities – all you need is the desire to get moving. With literally hundreds of Parkrun events happening up and down the country you’re bound to find one close to you. Have a look at the Parkrun UK website here to find out more.
DO SOME FAMILY CYCLING
Family cycling is fun at any time of year, but particularly lovely in Autumn. There’s something about pedalling around the countryside on a crisp Autumnal day that’s hard to beat. You can find some of my favourite family cycling locations (complete with blurry photos 😉 ) in this post from a couple of years ago. Top tips for cycling with young kids: stick to flat routes wherever possible, and remember to stop for picnics. When exercising with children, I find motivation is ALL about the snacks 🙂 .
KICK SOME LEAVES
I don’t know a child anywhere who doesn’t like getting out and kicking some leaves about. In fact, come to think of it, I know a few adults (i.e. me) who enjoy this activity just as much. Leaf kicking is free, fun and the natural equivalent of one of those squeezy stress balls. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself out there and kick up a leafy storm.
One of the loveliest things about Autumn is the chance to collect – and perhaps play – conkers. Who doesn’t feel excited when seeing the first ripe conkers falling from the tree? If you’re looking for conkers, head to the nearest horse chestnut tree at roughly the start of October and wait patiently. If you’re not sure which trees to look for, take note of the pictures below and look for the ones with the matching pointy leaves.
GO TO THE LIBRARY AND HAVE FAMILY READING OR MOVIE NIGHTS
Autumn is a fantastic time to head to your local library and stock up on books for the whole family ( see below for some of our favourites). As the nights draw in, we have ‘family reading time’ where we all sit for half an hour and catch up individually on our books. Family movie nights are also a favourite at this time of year and a great way to spend a cosy evening under a pile of blankets. Why not make some popcorn, dim the lights and make it a regular fixture? A plan to watch every Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Disney favourite over the course of a few weekends is definitely a plan!
TAKE UP A NEW HOBBY
Autumn is a great time to take up a new hobby, and most locations have community activities available suitable for the whole family. Last year we joined a knitting group, this year it’s swimming, next year? – well, we’ll have to wait and see. Why not join a writing group, start a book club or just make a point of meeting a friend for coffee? It’s amazing the difference a bit of real-life, face-to-face connection can make to seasonal off days/rainy afternoon bad moods!
GO TO THE BEACH, WATCH THE SUNSET, AND BREATHE
Autumn is one of my favourite times of year to do some beach walking. Dramatic skies, shorter days – and let’s face it, unpredictable weather, mean you can often get a piece of coastline virtually to yourself. Autumn/Winter sunsets are by far my favourite – who’s up for a bit of sunset salutation? Just remember to take a step back, drink it all in and just breathe for a moment. Savouring the (Autumn) season has never looked this good.
As Anne said, I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
But you know, I’m actually glad I live in a world where there are just SEASONS – all four with something to enjoy.
Spring, Summer, Winter – you know I love you.
But for today at least, Autumn – you’re up there with the best.
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