Is it just me or is every activity in October centered around treats? By the end of October, the average family could open their own candy store. In past articles, we have talked about the bad ingredients in Halloween candy and about how to keep the fun in Halloween with the Switch Witch. This time let’s talk about fun, fall activities for families that aren’t all about treats.

These fun activities are perfect for building memories and for building healthy habits. As we head into cold and flu season many people don’t realize how some activities leave us more susceptible to illness. It’s too much sugar, not enough sun, and too much stress season. These fun, fall activities can help you avoid those bad habits.

11 Fun, Fall Activities for Families

1 – Find a New Trail

Even the trails that were hiked and biked during the summer are new as the seasons start to change. Every trip can look different so get out and enjoy. It’s also a great time to explore new trails. Find a new destination like a different park or maybe a waterfall to explore. It’s a beautiful time to get outside, get active, and soak up some vitamin D.

2 – Make a Scarecrow

You don’t have to have a garden to make a scare crow. They make the perfect decoration for your front yard. It’s a fun way to get creative and recycle some materials from around your house. Will your scare crow be hanging around? Sitting in a chair or riding a bike? Your scare crow can be simple or complex depending on your level of craftiness.

3 – Get Lost in a Corn Maze

This is the time of year to find a corn maze and get lost for a little while. Some farms have extras like hayrides, petting zoos or other kid’s activities for a fun afternoon of making memories. If your kids are a little older then find a haunted corn maze or haunted house. And as long as we’re talking about haunted houses…

4 – Tell Ghost Stories Around a Bonfire

Here’s another way to have fun enjoying the spooky season. Crisp fall nights just beg for a nice warm fire to sit around telling ghost stories. Add in a nice cup of our healthier apple cider or try some healthier s’mores options.

5 – Have a Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt can be tons of fun and a reason to explore the neighborhood. You can make it easy by printing off a list of items you will find around the neighborhood, or step it up with some tricky clues that lead your kids to a fun prize.

6 – Get Crafty with Leaves

When you are out on your hike or on your scavenger hunt collect items in nature to make crafts. Leaves, nuts and twigs all make interesting elements for a fun craft. You can look for ideas for crafts using fall items and materials you have around the house.  Better yet, dump all the materials in the center of your table and let your kids build their own creations.  Let their creativity amaze you!

7 – Decorate Your House or Porch for the Season

Let your children help you decorate for the season. Maybe it’s spooky skeletons, silly ghosts or classic pumpkins with cornstalks. Your new tradition might be making memorable decorations.

8 – Try Horseback Riding (Or Another New Outdoor Hobby)

If your kids are school age or older, try hitting the trails to admire the fall colors in a different way. Many stables have options for all levels of riders and will show you everything you want to know. Horseback riding doesn’t sound like the right activity? That’s okay, there are plenty of other outdoor adventures or sports. Maybe it’s hockey or football. Or my favorite – golf! You could also try kite flying, kayaking or ziplining through the trees.

9 – Visit an Apple Orchard or Pumpkin Patch

Finding an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch is the classic autumn adventure. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures! If you find an organic apple orchard, make sure to pick plenty of apples so you can make this apple butter recipe and still have some left to dip in this caramel dip.

10 – Make Time for Cooking or Baking

Cooking or baking with kids isn’t always easier but it is definitely memorable. Children can help in so many ways by getting things ready or measuring things out. While cooking with your kids you teach them how important cooking with healthy ingredients is. For fall kitchen time try some of our healthy soups like Bulgarian lentil soup, butternut squash soup, or dairy-free potato soup. If baking is more your style, then try this healthy pumpkin pie or pumpkin chip bread.

11 – Get Cozy for a Halloween Movie Night (Or It’s Never Too Early for Christmas Movies)

After a day of fun fall activities, it’s nice to chill as a family. I love watching movies with my family and what a great way to spend a fall night. Stay in with some healthy snacks or pack some snacks for the drive-in. Some drive-in movie theaters are bringing back Halloween classics like Hocus Pocus or Gremlins. If scary movies might leave you with sleepless nights, there is always Halloween cartoons, or remember it is never too early for Christmas movies!

Family Fun for a Healthy Lifestyle

These fun, fall activities aren’t just for passing the time. They will help you build memories with your family and build a healthy lifestyle. Don’t fall into the too much sugar, not enough vitamin D, and too much stress season. You could fall into some healthy traditions that will last for years to come.

Written by Dr. Patrick Flynn