By Jodi Hunter
Fall is a great time of the year to enjoy the kids – maybe the best time. School is back in session, but the weather is turning just right for weekend adventures. It’s an opportunity to get the kids out before they burrow in with their electronic devices for the winter.
Of course, what the family can do depends on where you live, but in the U.S., the bite of winter is still weeks away, even in the North. The fall colors are spectacular this year in Colorado, and you can find a cozy getaway in Colorado Springs like the Holden House 1902 Bed & Breakfast Inn.
The first thing that probably comes to mind besides milder temperatures is the change in colors. Nature reserves its most spectacular show for autumn when leaves dazzle with glorious reds, golds, yellows, and oranges.
Take the kids on a drive, hike, or bike ride through the countryside. Do it before the winds of winter whisk the spectacle away. Besides the kaleidoscope of colors, the whole family can benefit from the exercise and crisp autumn air.
New England, especially Maine, is famous for its autumn splendor and The Inn at English Meadows is a great place to start your tour.
The weeks ahead are also ideal for a weekend camping trip. Few things are cozier than snuggling up after an evening of telling stories around a campfire and toasting marshmallows and hot dogs over a campfire. Don’t feel like roughing it with the little ones? Try a weekend cabin getaway in West Virginia. Enjoy the rustic outdoors, and then retire to a warm bed and breakfast.
Fall Break Getaway
With most schools offering kids a week-long fall break, venture into New England to see the fall colors. Bar Harbor, Maine has amazing seafood and family-friendly cottages for rent. Prefer a place on the Pacific Ocean? You can enjoy a mini-vacation without going too far from home. Thanks to bnbfinder, you can easily find a cozy Bread and Breakfast in your neck of the woods, whether it’s New England, California, Florida, or even Alaska!
Another outing your family will enjoy is a trip to a botanical garden. Autumn at the U.S Botanical Garden is a great way to top off your visit to the nation’s monuments. Another must-see garden? The Dallas Arboretum, which features a pumpkin village. These gardens are hidden gems that allow you and your kids to immerse yourself in primal nature.
Ready for Some Football?
Football is in the air, and your alma matter is getting ready for the next big game. Pack up the family for a road trip and teach the kids about tailgating. Try a few backyard touchdown passes before you go. Want to enjoy the action at an Ohio State game but avoid the Columbus crowds? Check out Danville, about an hour away. The White Oak Inn features log cabins that the kids will love. Adults will enjoy checking out the many wineries in town.
Fall is prime time for community events in most towns and cities, so after the game, check out the listings. Chances are good you’ll find hayrides, haunted houses, corn mazes, farmers’ markets, and theme festivals galore.
Put on Your Own Show
Next to Christmas, autumn is the best time to decorate for the season. These are activities everyone can enjoy without leaving home. Fall decorating can get the creative juices flowing. Let the kids try their hand with skeletons, witches, vampires, and of course, spooky pumpkins. The pumpkins can stick around as we head toward Thanksgiving and break out the hay bales, scarecrows, wreaths, gourds, and cornucopia.
Take the Plunge
One activity that all kids enjoy is plunging into a pile of leaves. There’s no better way to get them to rake the lawn than the promise of jumping into the foliage when they’re through. It’s also a great way to teach them the importance of pulling up the dead plants and pruning the trees and shrubs.
Don’t let the season pass you by! Round up the kids and head out for some adventures before winter sends you scurrying inside!
Jodi Hunter is a freelance writer and photographer who enjoys traveling and fishing around the country with her family Her Instagram and Facebook pages are filled with pictures of landmarks, waterfalls, wildflowers, and oh yeah, big fish.