Favorite Fall Family Activities
BY: Marisa Belger
This autumn, make a commitment to have more fun -- family fun. Fall is the ideal season for outdoor family frolicking. Emily Anderson -- author of Eco-chic Home: Rethink, Reuse & Remake Your Way to Sustainable Style, blogger at Good With Style and mother of two -- suggests you try these easy autumn activities for kids and adults. Turn off the TV, throw on a sweater and experience the bounty of the season!
Become a Leaf Detective
“Fall foliage is a perfect way to experience the earth’s natural state,” says Anderson. “Head to the park and enjoy the changing colors of the leaves.” Gather leaves of different shapes and colors, and then learn more about them when you get home by checking out LeafSnap, an online app created by the University of Maryland, Columbia University, the Smithsonian Institution and FindingSpecies.org.
Pick Your Own Harvest
Head to a local farm and pick your own apples, squash or pumpkins. Once you unload your bounty at home, Anderson recommends making an easy recipe together, such as butternut squash soup or applesauce. “Spending time on a local farm is a great way to support agriculture and to teach your kids about where food really comes from,” she says. Check out PickYourOwn.org for farms near you.
The change of seasons is a perfect time to teach your kids about eating food that’s seasonal. Check out your local farmers market for the best of in-season produce that’s been grown nearby. “Eating locally grown food is good for the planet and can be a lot more affordable than the alternative,” says Anderson. “In-season items to look for are sweet potatoes, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, carrots, cranberries, eggplant, kale, leeks and zucchini.” Visit LocalHarvest.org to find farms in your area and check out FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org for fall recipes you can make with what you find.
Consider hosting a fall-themed dinner party that features nothing but local and in-season food. It’s a great chance to bring friends and family together and to teach your kids about cooking with seasonal foods. If you’re not up for hosting, Anderson recommends checking out Slow Food USA, a sustainable and local food nonprofit that hosts local events around the country.
“Use the bounty of fall to get started on your holiday decorations,” suggests Anderson. Acorns, branches and leaves can all become beautiful festive items with a little paint and imagination. Collect items from your backyard or visit a local park, and this Thanksgiving you’ll have nature’s answer to the ultimate holiday table setting.
Photo Credit: @iStockphoto.com/ericmichaud