Now that it’s officially Fall in North America, it feels appropriate for my editor’s picks to share some of my favorite fall activities and why I love them (with some bonus resources to make the most of fall with your kids!).
I am a sucker for the change in seasons. I chalk it up to where I grew up in the Inland Pacific Northwest of the U.S. (Spokane, Washington to be specific) where there are what I describe as four distinct seasons thanks to the geographic location between the Cascade Mountain Range and the Rocky Mountains. There’s something magical about those transition seasons when you start to get the shift in weather that offers a sense of renewal. There’s nothing more refreshing to me than Autumn when there’s a crisp breeze and you can sip on a hot beverage which brings the coziness up a level.
All of The Fall Harvest Farm Things
Pumpkins, apples, corn mazes, oh my! What is not to like about all of the fall farm shenanigans? The annual U-pick apple-picking and pumpkin-patching stick out to me as one of my favorite activities growing up. It was an annual tradition and I was keen to keep up with my kiddo from a very young age.
What I love about the fall harvest activities is how they are at least one way to connect our kids to the food that they eat. Where we live in Portland, Oregon, there are so many farms to choose from it can be overwhelming. But our favorite farms (Topaz Farm and Mt View Orchard) tend to foster a sense of community where there’s open space for kids to run around and families are encouraged to linger after pumpkin and apple picking over something to drink and eat with beautiful pastoral views.
Hikes/Bathing in the Fall Foliage
Fall is my favorite season for a hike. While rain is always a possibility, the chill in the air makes working up a sweat going up a hill more enjoyable and bearable than on a hot summer day. I also find that my kiddo (whose tolerance for even a short hike is not terribly high) is a bit more chipper when the heat has subsided. And there is honestly nothing more beautiful than a sunny hike among the fall colors.
To help aid our hikes–and honestly to help motivate my kiddo a bit more–we subscribed to the Portland-based Super Nature Adventures subscription packets which are chock full of kid-friendly info and activities to keep my distracted kiddo engaged in the nature around us (sorry non-Pacific Northwesterners, the packets are mostly geared toward this region). For those non-hikers (and non-Pacific Northwesterners), The Nature Atelier has nature-inspired art kits that are perfect to let the season drive the indoor activities. (p.s., the Nature Atelier’s owner, Angela, recently contributed a great article to BBV on visiting museums with a social justice lens!).
Getting Cozy with Cooking
I love to cook. But usually by the end of a season (even summer!) I’m getting tired of the same old recipes limiting the heat output from the stove/oven on hot days. But with fall comes all of the cooking that is inspired by the fall harvest! Winter squashes and soups and fall fruit-inspired dishes are my favorite. And because I want to impart one of my favorite hobbies to my kid, I’m eager to involve him in all of these on the cooler, rainy days indoors.
One of the cookbooks I’ve personally been digging into more is Sean Sherman’s The Sioux Chef, especially as a way for me and my kiddo to learn more about Indigenous foodways in North America. We’ve also gotten really into the eat2explore subscription which features educational information, three recipes, a special cooking tool, and spices from a different country each month. My son calls them his recipes. And to inspire all those cozy fall cooking activities, check out this Splendid Table episode all about dads cooking with their kids.
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