little girl throwing leaves into the air


COVID Restrictions And All, My Family Is Still Finding Fun This Fall

Oct 19, 2020

There is no doubt that you can count on the fabulous fall colours to be as vibrant and bright this year as they have been in the past. Watching the leaves change colour, smelling the autumn air or getting sunny outdoor moments in nature will continue to happen. Staying cozy inside, baking anything with apple or pumpkin or crafting festive items are activities to look forward to every season.

There may be a few more restrictions this autumn, but finding fun this fall can still happen with minimal stress and maximum connection with your family. 

Sweaters, Road Tripping And Apple Picking

One of my favourite fall activities is going apple picking with my son. It’s become a fall tradition and we have been going every year since he could walk. The results are always delicious. Whether you’re trying them fresh from the tree, making a pie, applesauce or cutting them into slices with a sprinkling of cinnamon for your kid's lunch, you’ll have lots of options. Not to mention the apples we pick are farm to table, so even if we're paying a little more per apple, the shelf life is much longer than purchasing apples that have been imported to the grocery store.

"We can unplug and enjoy every part of our fall tradition."

Apple picking is a great reason to plan a road trip. We enjoy taking in the scenery as we drive through the countryside. We’ll go right when the orchard opens for business to ensure we find parking and avoid disappointment by having a good choice of apples to pick from. Going to the orchard is more than harvesting apples though; you get to really connect with your family. We can unplug and enjoy every part of our fall tradition.

Even the little ones can get in on the PSL action this fall with this kid-friendly pumpkin spice latte.

We pick out our favourite sweaters and boots to stroll around the grounds in comfort. There is always enough space to move around and choose the perfect apples. We sometimes make a game out of it, to try to find the biggest and smallest, reddest or greenest apples on the trees. It’s fun learning about different types of apples. We learned last year that each variety of apple has its own mini season, so depending on what types we like, we know when to go.

Many apple orchards offer pumpkin patches as well. We’ll often grab a pumpkin to carve later in the month along with a butternut or acorn squash or two. We enjoy taking the time to figure out what we can carve our pumpkin into — it could be a witch's hat, a funny face or an abstract design. Whatever we decide, we look forward to scooping out the pumpkin seeds and toasting them in the oven with salt and pepper. And you can do so much with squash, we roast ours in the oven with brown sugar, or purée it to make soup with coconut milk and ginger or even stew it with curry powder and serve it with rice.

Why not try and see if your family can complete everything on this printable fall bucket list.

Hikes, Crafts and Scavenger Hunts

If you can’t get to an orchard, there are so many walks and hikes where you can watch the leaves change. These days we’ve been visiting some of our favourite spots, but also have been more adventurous; checking out new parks and conservation areas nearby. My son loves the sound of the leaves crunching below our feet, or pushing a pile of leaves together and jumping into them. Some days we’ll design a scavenger hunt when we are out for a fall walk or hike, and look for as many colourful leaves, acorns and pinecones we can find. It’s always exciting finding something unexpected like feathers, a piece of quartz or a giant spider web.

Print these sheets out before your next family walk for a fun fall scavenger hunt.

With our collected items, we either leave them as fall souvenirs or turn them into crafts at home. We might use leaves for leaf rubbings or make cards out of them to give to friends. We’ll paint acorns and turn pinecones into little characters or decorations that we’ll use for Christmas. When the weather becomes more brisk, we’ll warm up inside, and drink spiced apple cider or hot chocolate (but maybe you prefer something with pumpkin spice), and talk about our adventures. We remind ourselves how much fun can be had by just being out in nature.

Finding fun this fall is an easy way for my family to keep connected to each other, and enjoy spending time together. It’s also a great reminder that we can navigate everything we are going through, if we do it together.

Article Author Vanessa Magic
Vanessa Magic

Vanessa Magic is a writer, award-winning costume designer and musician. She loves making up magical stories and singing songs to her adorable four-year-old son. When she is not in mama mode, she facilitates workshops with Inclusive Stylist Toronto, an initiative she co-founded that encourages inclusivity within the film industry for costume design and wardrobe styling. Currently, she is a participant in the BIPOC Film and TV Kids writing workshop where she is developing an afro-futurist science-based show.

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