Halloween, besides being possible the most fun holiday of all-time, is a monster when it comes to hogging the fall fun spotlight. Sure, there’s a lot of joy leading up to the fateful, candy-filled night – Deciding on a costume, getting the materials, gluing it together, finally giving up and buying one from the store (or repurposing a formal boy’s suit or girl’s formal dress). And then there’s the amount, and sheer variety, of candy. But this phase of the Earth’s sashay around the Sun has other advantages. Here are a few you probably enjoyed as a kid, and should make sure your kid does, too:
- Bonfires and Marshmallows
It’s a little bit colder out, but keeping warm in a group has been a social activity since the dawn of time. Show your kids how to build a fire. Don’t recall your Girl or Boy Scout days? It’s quite simple. Lean three or four dry logs against each other, making a teepee shape. Stuff some wadded-up sheets of newspaper into the teepee. Add one or two homemade fire-starters (plain ole’ drier lint), and then lean a few smaller sticks and twigs against the teepee. And presto, you’re ready for some flames.
Find some long sticks and a bag of marshmallows to create endless (and affordable) fall fun.
- Apple orchards
Orchards connect us to a simpler time. Participate in the old-timey ritual of gathering a harvest by visiting your local orchard. Find an orchard that offers hay rides, a treat for children who haven’t spent much time on a farm. Show them how to pick a good apple, and enjoy the fresh air and smell of ripe fruit while they tire themselves out looking for the prize-winning apple.
At the end of the day, go home to peel some apples and bake the first pie of the season.
- Fall Colors
Now that the leaves have fallen form the trees, introduce your kids to what is unquestionably the most fun chore in existence. Raking leaves is the only kind of manual labor that also gives you a) a nice landing pad when things get rowdy, and b) the best hide-and-go seek hiding spot imaginable.
- Shop for winter clothes
That wardrobe needs an update, something to keep our spirits up now that the pool is closed and the chill has set in. Everything from bows to suspenders to shoes and socks, not to mention the staple girl’s dresses and formal boy’s suits we’ll need for our classy fall to winter school activity calendar.