As much as we love summer, those cool autumn days are right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited. We might close the pool and pack away our swimsuits and cover-ups, but that doesn’t mean that the fun with our grandchildren is over.
When fall comes around, it’s time for apple orchards, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and all the other autumn activities that we look forward to throughout the year. If you’re not sure about the best activities to do with kids in the fall for some family fun, read on to learn more!
Where Can You Find Out About Local Events and Fall Family Activities?
Before we get into our suggestions for some great fall family-friendly activities, you might be wondering where you can learn more about events happening close to you. There are a few places that you might want to check before choosing your next fun activity.
Your Local Library
Depending on your town or city, you may have a wealth of information at your fingertips through your local public library. Libraries typically have a children’s section and a teen room, and many times, they will have a handout or calendar that can tell you about happenings in the community and the library itself.
Your Town’s Community Center
Does your town have a community center? If it does, it almost certainly has a bulletin board with all kinds of info about what fun family activities might be available near you. If you don’t have a community center in your town, try the town hall or city hall.
Social media is a great way to learn more about community events. If your town has a Facebook page, join it! You might even find that there are parent or grandparent groups local to your area.
Even though you are no longer a parent of a young child, parent or mom groups are a fantastic resource for learning about local events for kids.
Word of Mouth
Nothing like good old-fashioned word of mouth to learn about what fall events are happening in your area! You might find that there are annual fall boat shows or pop-up markets that you never knew about.
Talk to the cashier at the grocery store, the server at the restaurant you frequent, the neighbor who complimented your favorite swimsuit coverup in the summer, or your mailman. They might have valuable information.
What Are Some Great Fall Activities for Young Children?
What is there to do with those little balls of energy that you have the privilege and the task of babysitting? Here are some fall activities that are specifically geared towards the five and under crowd.
1. Indoor Swimming
Even when the weather gets colder, you and your grandkids can still enjoy swimming by heading indoors. If you’re visiting a fall resort like Great Wolf Lodge, you might even have the chance to enjoy aquatic activities like floating on an indoor lazy river or some fall kayaking in the great outdoors.
2. Autumnal Science Projects
After you’ve raked up those leaves, consider breaking out a magnifying glass (or a microscope, if you’ve got one) and looking at them. Notice the individual plant cells in each leaf and how different leaves have unique appearances.
3. Fall Crafting
Grab a pack of construction paper, a pair of scissors, and a glue stick, and you have everything you need to make a fun fall craft! You can have the kids create fall trees and glue real or paper leaves to them or make some good old-fashioned hand turkeys.
You could even carve pumpkins to make jack-o-lanterns, giving each grandkid their own pumpkin to work on.
This could also be a great opportunity to have a little autumn scavenger hunt to find little treasures to glue to paper to make a collage. Kids can have a blast collecting acorn shells, leaves, and other trinkets.
4. Story Time at the Library
Libraries are some of the most valuable community resources we have, and their events are almost always free!
Check out those event calendars we mentioned earlier. Your library likely has a weekly — or even daily — storytime for young kids in their children’s room. There’s something magical about being read to, and all young kids can benefit from an activity that explains interesting subjects in fun ways.
5. Plant Spring Bulbs
Though we love the fall for its changing leaves and cooler temps, it’s also nice to think ahead to the flowers we will be seeing in the spring (and the swimsuits to wear in the summer). Get the little ones involved in nature, and nurture a love of gardening in their hearts.
Planting spring bulbs that you pick up from your local farm or farmer’s market is the perfect opportunity for littles to learn about how to plant flowers and the plant life cycle. It’s also a favorite fall activity because it’s a manageable task that the kids can handle.
Plus, it can provide an added opportunity for fun when you’re babysitting the little ones this spring.
6. Have an Apple Taste Test
If you live in an area like New England, where apples are abundant in the fall, then you know that there are so many different and delicious varieties of apples to try.
It could be so fun to try a bunch of different types of apples — or apple pies — and hold a contest to see which apple variety comes out on top as the favorite. Fall is the perfect time of year to enjoy activities like this, as it’s only possible for a few months before the last fall leaves drop off the trees.
7. Create Some Fun DIYHalloween Costumes
This might be mom’s territory, but if you get the OK to help out, you could have some fun designing and crafting Halloween costumes with your grandchildren, whether they’re preschoolers or teenagers. Even if all they want is to be a classic sheet ghost, they can still have fun working with you to cut out the eyes!
What About Activities That Are Good for the Whole Family?
If you are a grandparent of older grandkids, you may have noticed that they have gotten a little harder to impress over the years. Well, the tweens and teens will be singing your praises and begging to go to grandma’s thanks to these fall family activities!
As a bonus, the little ones will have a great time, too.
1. Local Fall Festivals
Fall is one of the best times of the year to enjoy a local festival. The weather is cooler, the leaves are changing, and it’s perfect for walking around and seeing the sights. Fall snacks like caramel apples, funnel cake, warm apple cider, and cider donuts are just another benefit!
2. Make Caramel Apples
Speaking of fall snacks, you could make some of your own! Making caramel apples is easier than you might think. You can personalize the experience by including a little caramel apple bar with various toppings like nuts, sprinkles, and mini chocolate chips.
Just make sure to double check on the kids’ food allergies, if they have any.
3. Go for a Nature Walk
If you live in an area where there is some nice fall scenery, a short hike is something that the whole family can enjoy. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there is definitely a stroll, walk, or hike that would be perfect for you and your family. The autumnal colors are a perfect backdrop for your adventure!
You don’t need to go too far from your front door to cross a nature walk off your fall bucket list — the local park is perfect.
4. Enjoy Some Apple Picking
It might seem like a bit of a cliche, but apple picking never gets old, especially for kids. Apple picking has become so much more than just a fruit harvest.
In the year 2022, you may find that your local apple farm has hot food, live music, hay rides, face painting, and even beer and wine.
This one is a twofer, because once you’ve picked apples, you could use them to make those caramel apples we were talking about. You could also share your family recipe for apple crisp as you do some baking with the family. This is perfect if you have a weekend with the grandkids and want plenty of mileage out of one activity.
5. Have a Spooky Movie Night Outdoors
What was once only available at the local drive-in is now available in our own backyards, thanks to technology. Projectors and screens to go with them are not that expensive, and they are a gift that keeps on giving.
As Halloween draws nearer, have a fire and roast some smores. Then, settle in for a scary movie outside in the dark. What could be more seasonally appropriate? Just don’t forget to remember the target audience’s ages when choosing the spookiness level of the movie.
If you don’t have an outdoor projector, you can always just tell some ghost stories outside while enjoying some fall snacks — we recommend heart-healthy pumpkin seeds!
6. Get Cozy With a Chilly Cold Night on the Porch
When the apples have been picked, leaf piles jumped in, movies watched, and the artwork crafted, there’s nothing better than snuggling up on the porch with a cup of hot chocolate and a fuzzy blanket.
That fall chill in the air makes for perfect cuddling weather. Is there anything better than cuddling with your grandchildren? After a perfect fall day, wrap them up and hug them tight. They’ll never want to leave grandma’s!
Although fun with the grandchildren is certainly a year-round affair, there’s just something special about the fall season that makes it that much better.
Continue all of your family traditions, and try some of our fun ideas. From apple picking to porch snuggles to taking a fall trip, you are bound to make some happy fall memories with your grandkids.