By Pam Molnar
Fall always seems like the shortest season. There are so many fun things to do, but with the kids back in school, there is never enough time to get it all done. Here are 26 bucket list items to enjoy with your family this fall. Can you get them all done before the holidays are here?
- APPLE picking with the family is a great way to spend the afternoon outdoors this fall. Use your bounty to make applesauce, apple pie and apple chips.
- BONFIRES are a fall staple on a cool night. Grab your hoodies, hot dogs and roasting sticks for a casual dinner over an open flame.
- CHILI COOK-OFFS are popular neighborhood gatherings in the fall. Each family will vote for the best tasting chili and the winner won’t have to shovel his driveway this winter.
- DRINK hot cocoa, but go beyond the powdered kind. Host a cocoa tasting party with different chocolates, syrups and dippers.
- Your END of summer party doesn’t have to happen before school starts. Celebrate the changing of the seasons on the Autumn Equinox, September 22nd.
- Take your fall FAMILY PHOTO. The changing leaves are a great backdrop for your family photo for holiday cards or just to frame over the fireplace mantel.
- Play GAMES with a Halloween theme. Fear Factor, Minute to Win it, Escape Room Kits and Family Feud are popular entertainment at parties every fall.
- Visit a HAUNTED HOUSE. Venues are available for all age and fear levels. You can even make one yourself and see if you can spook your friends.
- IMPLEMENT a gratitude text that you can send in a family group text each night. If your kids are too young for phones, try filling a jar with notes you make before bedtime.
- JUMP into a pile of leaves. If it has been dry, blowing the leaves into a pile versus raking them makes the job easier.
- KEEP the birds fed this fall by making them homemade suet packs. Melt lard and peanut butter and then mix in bird seed. Pour into baking sheet, freeze and cut into squares.
- LIBRARY programs include fall crafts, movies, history lessons and reading time. Check out what your local library has to offer.
- MIX up some popcorn balls similar to Rice Krispy bars. Add food coloring and form into balls. Let cool and share with friends.
- NAVIGATE your way through a local cemetery scavenger hunt. Create your own list or find one online.
- ORGANIZE a food drive. As we approach the holiday season, more people need assistance. Check the pantries’ most needed list online for suggestions.
- PUMPKIN SPICE everything! You can put it in coffee, donuts, butter, cakes, salad dressing, pancakes, cookies, ice cream – the list is endless.
- Try QUILTING your history. Use the dozens of event t-shirts your kids wear once and grow out of to make a nice family quilt for the long winter ahead. Look for classes or beginner DIYs.
- RUMMAGE through your closets for things that you can donate. Kids outgrown their clothes and fashions change. Pass the items your family no longer uses to give them renewed life.
- SOUP always tastes good as the cold weather blows in. Why not make a double batch to freeze or share with a neighbor?
- TREAT the family to a hayride. Rides can be found at pumpkin patches and self-pick orchards or even as a haunted ride through the forest at night.
- UTILIZE your fall harvest to eat home grown veggies all winter long by canning and freezing items from your garden. Not that much of a green thumb? Pick up tomatoes by the bushel at your local farm stand.
- View the VIBRANT colors of autumn leaves on a nature walk. Pick up a few of the most beautiful colors and make artwork to display in your house.
- WATCH football on TV or get tickets to your favorite stadium. You can even play touch or flag football with the family.
- X marks the best pumpkin the pile! Check out the pick-your-own pumpkin patches for the best pumpkins to decorate.
- YAMS, squash, pomegranates, pears and cranberries are wonderful seasonal produce to add into your meal rotations this fall.
- ZIGZAG through a corn maze. While some are meant to be a leisurely stroll, others are designed as a race as long as a 5K.
Pam Molnar is the mother of three who enjoys everything about fall. She has added all 26 of these activities to their family bucket list this fall.