Yes, we can still have fun this fall even in the midst of closures and COVID-19. We are currently living in some strange times for sure, and, if you’re anything like me, patience has worn thin. We continue to wait for our lives to return to the normal festive and busy activities that each season has to offer. However, we continue to be met with the question… “Oh, is that even open yet?” As we head into fall, here are a few ideas that I will be trying out or continuing to do with my family in an attempt to still foster the cozy anticipation season that is fall.
Here are 9 of my favorite fall family go to’s:
1) The pumpkin patch
Yes, most family fun fall festivals and fairs may be cancelled this year. At least many states are allowing pumpkin patch goers. Grab a latte, throw all of the rain boots in the trunk, probably grab a mask, and head over to your local pumpkin patch with the family. This can be a wonderful photo op for your kids or a nice way to get out of the house. Afterwards, this can also be turned into a fun evening of pumpkin carving at home. Don’t forget to roast the pumpkin seeds for a yummy, healthy snack later!
I used my Boba wrap almost exclusively for outings like this in the first three months.
Last year, I enjoyed a sunny Pacific Northwest day with my little one kangaroo wrapped up all cozy as we strolled through the pumpkin patch. As do most three-month-olds, she slept through the whole experience. So, I am looking forward to this year with much anticipation. I recently combed through Amazon for the perfect pair of rain boots for my little toddler. We have already been able to put them to good use during the early fall rain storms. They are incredibly easy to get on and she loves wearing them. She actually will grab them and try to put them on!
2) U-pick apples
Especially in the state of Washington, there are plenty of quaint and picturesque apple orchards that offer U-Pick experiences. These are fun for the whole family. Take the family for a stroll through the orchard in hunt of the perfect bushel and chat about all the delicious things that you can do with the apples when you get home.
It’s also a perfect opportunity to sneak in some learning. Whether it be some basic math, fractions, measurement or quick explanation of how apples grow. Here is a list of some amazing U-Pick apple farms in the state of Washington. I haven’t personally been to all of the farms on this list. However, I can personally vouch for the Greenbluff Growers Apple Festival as it was one of my favorite fall traditions while I was in college.
3) Take a walk through the leaves
If you find yourself with a crisp, sunny day in the fall, find a neighborhood walk with lots of colorful trees. It’s best if there’s even a little wind. The kids can watch the leaves fall and collect some especially pretty leaves for a craft later. Even the babies will find the abundance of color and movement mesmerizing.
That was one of my favorite things to do last fall. I had just returned to my work from home job after maternity leave. I felt cooped up inside all the time, and loved my precious moments with my little one as we strollered through our tree lined neighborhood streets. Follow this link for my favorite tips on making work from home momma life possible with an infant!
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
4) Preserve leaves
Speaking of fall leaf adventures, a quick family walk can turn into a creative family project by preserving the leaves that are collected along the way. This can be turned into so many fun activities and decorations that you and your children can work on together. My favorite as a child was to collect the colorful, freshly fallen leaves in our backyard. Then, we would preserve them by sticking them in books with wax paper. They made great decorations by scattering them around the table at Thanksgiving. It was a great way to involve kids in the Thanksgiving preparation process and also exercise creativity.
5) Go for a drive
If the weather is too rainy or too brisk or if the family just needs a break, everyone can pile into the car with some fall themed snacks like candy corn or kettle corn, turn on some family friendly tunes, and drive until you find some gorgeous fall colorful leaves. Even the baby loves the changing views and magnificent colors. Also, she can’t complain about her snack cup filled with puffs.
The North Cascades Hwy or WA 20 is one of my favorite go to’s. Accessed from I-5 near Burlington, WA, it can be quite the trek depending on your location. However, if you have the time it is an epic array of incredible mountain scenery and vibrant fall colors. This is definitely a must do if you are visiting from out of town. This is just one example of a great fall drive. However, touring fall colors doesn’t have to be a big production. Wherever you are, be on the lookout for beautiful colors and an abundance of trees, even in your neighborhood, and you’ll have the makings of a nice, safe family outing.
6) Make your own pumpkin spice lattes
If you are Team PSL or enjoy a good deliciously-way-too-sweet fall drink, making homemade pumpkin spice lattes can be an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. I love to cozy up under a blanket with my daughter on a cold, windy fall day and watch Sesame Street with my latte and her water bottle.
I don’t know about you, but I cringe when I think about how much sugar is in a pumpkin spice latte. It pains me to fathom putting that amount of sugar in my kids. Here’s a tamed, dairy free pumpkin spice latte option. I will definitely try once my little one is old enough to partake in “lattes”. I would also highly consider it for myself if watching calories or simply feeling a little bloated from the intensity of a PSL.
Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com
7) Make pumpkin bread or pumpkin cookies
This is hands down, one of my favorite internet recipes that I’ve ever tried! This Pumpkin bread is so deliciously moist and scrumptious. The best part is that the recipe is rather easy for this not-so-good-at-baking momma. It never lasts long in my house and every fall my husband will drop all sorts of hints at another pumpkin loaf.
Another fan favorite are my pumpkin cookies. Also a recipe found online that’s incredibly easy and doesn’t require any out of the ordinary ingredients. In fact, if you have the makings of pumpkin pie and chocolate chip cookies, two very common fall recipes, you have everything you need to mix it up with some pumpkin cookies. These tasty treats turn out so fluffy and provoke a very homey, fallish feeling. It’s very easy to eat more than one in one sitting. Plus, they’re super quick to bake.
8) Do a fall craft
With so many fall crafts out there just a quick Google or Pinterest search away, it can be almost too overwhelming. I know that with all that is going on in our personal and work lives this year, simplicity can be a good thing, so here are two of my all time favorite fall crafts that can be repeated year in and year out.
Fun with your children
The first craft involves the kids: create hand turkeys. I love this one because it creates an annual keepsake of their precious little hands. It also makes for cute Thanksgiving table setting decorations or nice gratitude cards for family members or friends. For my daughter’s first Thanksgiving, we made a hand turkey with her little baby hands and it was definitely an instant scrapbookable. I didn’t use a stencil, and simply sketched my daughter’s hand with the help of my husband. Babies are wiggly! Then, I created my own stencil of a turkey body that was proportionate to my baby’s hand. However, there are plenty of stencils and printables out there too if you don’t feel super confident. I’ve also seen the little ones feet turned into the turkey body. So cute!
Also, for older children, this gratitude tree looks like such a fun craft that can also promote wonderful life habits.
Mom’s Night In
For a great mom’s night in, you could try decking out some pumpkins. This was an idea that I got from an event at a winery where we were given pre-selected decoration kits, picked out a small pumpkin, were handed a glue gun, and tricked out our own pumpkin. It was a super fun ladies night and the following year, we attempted to make our own DIY kits. It ended up turning out even better and we all had such a great time because we were able to hand pick each of the little picks and ribbons and things and we were not on a time crunch or event schedule. Plus, we went all out on delicious snacks and beverages.
About a month prior, each one of us went to Joann’s, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby and raided the picks and floral sections. We timed it perfectly with the 50% or more sales, so it didn’t end up costing too much. It was much better compared to the $35 event ticket cost and event priced wine selection. Because we held the pumpkin party with a large group of women, we each brought items to use and to share and in turn had so much variety to choose from.
Our hope is that we will be able to replicate a get-together like this in some nature this year as well, but are still working out the details on how this might go. If anything, this will be a fun activity that my mom and I could do together after I put my baby down for the night.
9) Glass pumpkin patch
Yes, there is a glass pumpkin patch out there, and it resides in none other than the state that Chihuly made his glass creations so famous. Local artists come together in the Tacoma Glass Blowing glass pumpkin patch. These events represent locally blown glass in a variety of fun fall items. Obviously, pumpkins are the king of the show coming in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. However, they also showcase other fun fall items, such as little glass ghosts, snails, slugs, acorns, leaves, and mushrooms. Some of those items sound odd, but they’re actually really pretty and quite popular.
These beautiful, delicate glass decorations range drastically in price. Nonetheless, I felt that with a normal craft fair budget, there was something for everyone to come home with. It has become a bit of a tradition for my husband and I as we have been going since we first heard of the traveling pumpkin patch in the Seattle-Tacoma area in Washington state. Each year we go with anticipation and the purpose to find one pumpkin that we both can agree on and add it to our growing collection.
My four years worth of glass pumpkin patch going.
Still open in 2020
This year, the closures have limited the traveling glass pumpkin patch from holding big nursery events. However, they still plan to go strong with a rented out retail space for 45 days this fall. Each shopper must sign up for a shopping time in order to help promote social distancing. They plan to restock frequently throughout the shopping day so that everyone can have the same amazing experience as if they have had in past years. Here is the link to the website. Also, don’t worry if you are not from the Pacific Northwest. They offer shipping and some browsing on their Facebook page. Just search Northwest Glass Pumpkin Patches.
As the seasons change, don’t let fall pass you by. If you are gearing up for an outing with baby after a long stint at home, be sure to check out my 4 Simple Diaper Bag Hacks for some ideas on how to ensure a fund experience. Also, as we gear up for an interesting holiday season, check out some momma life must-know strategies for maintaining sanity during the holidays. I know that life is crazy busy right now and that the last thing that any of us want is one more thing to make life even busier, but it’s the precious memories with our little ones that we live for. Taking time to slow down, walk through the leaves and cherish being together may seem like a small task now, but it’s those memories that stick out in the long run. It’s those experiences that build relationships, character, and personality in your children and in you. Taking time to slow down and live in the season can mean all the difference as we continue to push on in this crazy momma life with resilience.
The Mama behind Momma Life 2 the Fullest
Hi Mama! I’m so glad that you are here! My name is Ashlyn and I am a wife, full-time mom and full-time university faculty among other less important titles, such as coffee junkie, outdoor lover, craft and Pinterest enthusiast, energetic traveler, activities planner, and to-do list master. I find that my day sometimes feels like a swirl of diapers, meals, meetings, chores, etc. And, I created this blog as a landing spot to share my experiences and purpose to live this crazy mom life to the absolute fullest.
I was born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I was homeschooled for the majority of my childhood, which offered me some unique traveling and cultural opportunities. I earned my degree in English and my Masters degree Instructional Design. Before landing my current, work-from-home job, I also taught in the classroom as a 9th grade English-Language Arts teacher.
When we had our daughter, I knew that I wanted to do everything I could to be as present as possible for my little one, so that’s when I found my current flexible-schedule, work-from-home job at an online university.
Mom life is a true gift from God. We were selected to be our little humans mommies, and that is a tremendous blessing and a huge responsibility. This life isn’t meant to just get by. This life is meant to live to the fullest, and our children deserve the most present, life-breathing versions of us.
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