Perhaps one of the reasons I favor autumn so much over the other seasons is because some of my most treasured memories include family outings in the crisp cool air of fall. Fall just says family to me. What about you?
My fall favorites include trips to the North Georgia mountains to see the seasonal foliage, bonfires in my family's picked-clean garden, football games where my parents came to see me march in the band, camping trips, and, later on, tailgating parties before University of Georgia football games. For the most part, at least in my memories, the air was crisp and cool, the soundtrack was filled with laughter and crackling fires, and the taste buds were delighted by delicacies containing especially autumnal ingredients like caramel and apple and cinnamon and pumpkin.
So, as we enter into the fall months and pray for fall-like weather, I thought I'd offer a few potential autumn outings you might enjoy with your family, depending on your location, stage in life, and personal preferences, of course. And as you enjoy one or any of these little suggestions be sure to praise the Lord for the wealth and warmth of family and His beautiful creation during this magical time of year.
- Pick a bushel! Even here in Arizona we have apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Spending a day picking apples from a tree or pumpkins from the ground teaches your children the much needed lesson that food doesn't come from the grocery store or McDonald's; it comes from the ground, the vine, the tree. And, oh my! There are so many wonderful truths you can teach your child about God's bountiful provision and faithfulness in the orchard.
- Pitch your tent. In both my family of origin and my family of hubby and children some of our most memorable moments have been sponsored by Coleman.*wink* Nothing builds family bonds and creates laughable recollections like surviving the elements and all the possible mishaps...in a tent!
- Get in the kitchen. Fall is a great time to make seasonal favorites like apple cake (here's my recipe!), butternut squash soup, pumpkin biscotti (here's a recipe from a favorite blogger), banana nut bread, or caramel apples. And something in the air just prompts you to share your fresh concoctions with friends and neighbors.
- Help out a neighbor. Speaking of neighbors, why not see if an elderly neighbor needs their leaves raked? Personally, I'd send the kids and hubby to do that while I cooked them up a pot of vegetable soup to take over afterward. :)
- Play with those leaves. If you're fortunate enough to live in an area with beautiful fall foliage, take advantage of those plentiful leaves. Gather them as a family and use the leaves to make pretty centerpieces or let the kids do crayon rubbings with them. And of course there's always just raking and jumping in!
- Take a hike! I have discovered that there are absolutely beautiful hiking trails literally everywhere! Pick a hike that suits your family's level of expertise and ability and make it a day long affair, packing a simple picnic in a back pack. Be sure to pack out what you pack in!
- Host a potluck. Fall is a great time to throw a party and tell everyone to bring their special...soup, chili, pie, casserole, chips and dips, comfort food, etc. There's just something about the fall air that causes cooks to create especially warm and flavorful dishes. And don't you just love getting together with other families?
- Carve a pumpkin. You don't have to create a scary face. There are all sorts of ways to carve a pumpkin on Pinterest!
- Take a picture. Autumn is a splendid time to take family photos in the great outdoors. The lighting is a little softer than in the summer, and the scenery and your complexion takes on a warm glow. I suggest you find a friend who is just beginning her photography business and help her out by hiring her for the occasion.
- Saddle up! You've just got to be outdoors during this wonderful season. So why not find a local horse stable that offers trail rides? Find a reputable stable with mild horses for younger children. This is an outing everyone can enjoy, or you could make it a date for just you and your honey.
What do you like to do with your family during the crisp, cool days of fall? I'd love to know!
- Visit your alma mater. Most colleges and even high schools have homecomings, alumni days or family days during the fall. The weekend might include tours of the facilities, tailgating, a ballgame, a concert or a barbecue. If you haven't been back in a while, this could be the year to take the family.
Labels: family, just for fun, recipe