10 Meaningful Ways to Bond as a Family This Fall Season
School is back in session. Bedtime and mornings are starting earlier, and everyday chaos is starting to rob you of opportunities to connect as a family. When the weather is cooling down and the days are growing shorter, what can you do to connect in ways all of you will love?
Here is my personal bucket list, to help me be more intentional with my family this fall!
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#1 Visit a Pumpkin Patch Together
Locally, we have a few churches and schools that offer annual pumpkin patches. Usually, you can make a small donation, and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate together as a family while picking a pumpkin. Some even offer fun extra-activities like face painting or hay rides! A pumpkin patch is the perfect place to do an impromptu family photo shoot, and enjoy the changing weather with kids of all ages!
#2 Check with Your Nearest Zoo for Fall Activities
Many zoos offer extended hours in October, with discounted prices for their members! Some of them include not-so-scary haunted houses, and up close meet and greets with slithering snakes, and other silly animals. It can be a fun opportunity to spend time together outdoors when it is already dark outside. As a bonus, if you have a costume loving little one, they can dress up and fit right in with the wildlife!
#3 Check out Movies and Books at Your Local Library
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a favorite of most families, and available in many libraries! Pick an afternoon to go to the library and pick out some fall-themed media. A few of my favorites include:
#4 Go on a Family Train Ride
Every year in November, our community begins to offer family train rides to fun destinations. Some of them are just normal train rides to a cool area. Other’s are themed train rides – like Polar Express Pajama Parties! Most of the options are pretty affordable, quick, and fun. As a bonus, children under 2 usually can ride for free! Check out your local newspaper for fall family train rides and book yours today!
#5 Check out Nearby Historical Areas for Interactive Tours
We are really lucky to live close to an American Heritage Village, they have historical reenactments and memorable tours of old colonies. Most towns and cities have something comparable close by. Check out your local historical areas and see what they offer. Many will offer “First Thanksgiving” experiences that depict early thanksgiving in America. It is both fun and educational!
#6 Plan a Family Trip to the Local Farmers Market
Harvest season is the perfect time of year to make your way over to the local farmers market with your family. Allow your child to pick out a new vegetable or fruit they want to try, and then come home to discover a new recipe you can cook together! The most important thing to remember when doing this, is that it is about memories, and not perfection. I struggle to cook with kids when I know I could do things faster and more accurately. But that is not the point here. Allow your kid to test the ingredients, get messy, and have fun.
#7 Do a Family Run for Charity Together
Running Season is upon us, and you don’t have to be a runner to participate! Find a 5k that supports a cause that you care about, and do it together as a family. Most 5k’s have stroller lanes for families and walkers, and some have bike lanes, to allow older children to follow. A 5k is a great way to get blood pumping, and spend time outdoors bonding together. If you walk an entire 5k, it should take less than an hour to complete, and will provide lots of opportunity for talking.
#8 Find a Small Coffee Shop and Go Play Games
I know, it’s basic. But fall really is a flavorful time of year at coffee shops! If you are looking for a fun family date idea that won’t break the bank, an awesome option is to go to a local coffee shop. Allow everyone to choose a small coffee (decaf, or apple cider for the kids!) bring a small tabletop game, and enjoy an hour or two of distraction-free togetherness for well under $20!
#9 Volunteer as a Family
Often, when we hear volunteering – we think of soup kitchens. If you live in an area with a high homeless or elderly population, this could be a great idea! If you don’t have local soup kitchens in your area, there are still tons of opportunities to serve your community. School often need help insulating their plants with straw and mulch. Nursing homes are always eager for people who are willing to come play cards with their patients. Find something you can do that is outside of your comfort zone, and do it as a family. It is a great way to teach your children how to value others, and I can guarantee it will be one of their favorite memories this fall.
#10 Schedule a Date with Your Spouse
I know, I know… It is a lot easier said than done, finding time, finding a baby-sitter, and focusing on yourself. If it has been awhile since you and your spouse had a date together. Make it a priority to this fall. Choose something interactive to do together. Like an escape room, or metal-working classes you can take together. These things typically need to be booked in advance, and will give you both something to look forward to!
So there you have it – my fall bucket list this year. What activities will you do as a family this year to be intentional in your relationships? Share in the comments below!