Perspectives: 10 Families Share Their Favorite Fall Activities with Kids

Perspectives: Favorite Fall Activities

Christian Alzate / Verywell

For our Perspectives series, we are interviewing diverse families from around the country on how they’re planning to have fun throughout the fall.

As leaves change color and the weather begins to crisp, opportunities for fall activities arise. Whether it is sweater weather in your neck of the woods or not, the autumn season is ripe with fun perfect for kids and grown-ups alike.

Apple picking is top on the list for those with access to farms and orchards that grow the fruit. Choosing the next great pumpkin falls right behind it as a family outing. Those are not the only options, though!

There are plenty of fun activities that keep you closer to home—some even in your very own kitchen. Ahead, 10 families share how they find ways to bond during these autumnal months. Let their ideas inspire you!

Martha Villaroman

Martha Villaroman

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Martha Villaroman

Age: 32

Location: Seattle

Occupation: Travel blogger at Go Places With Kids

Kids' ages: 10 months, 3, 5

What Is Your Favorite Fall Activity To Do As a Family? 

One of our family’s favorite fall activities is leaf scavenger hunts. Once the leaves start changing colors, our kids love going outside as a family to find leaves of all different hues. Once we’ve gathered the most vibrant leaves we can find, we take them home to do activities and crafts, whether it is making leaf patterns or creating fall leaf wreaths. 

Why Do You Look Forward to This Every Year? 

Every year we look forward to the leaves changing colors so that we can go on a family adventure to find our leaves. It is a fun time together as a family to get out and enjoy the crisp autumn air (and maybe a cup of apple cider when we get back). And then having our crafts around our house adds to the festive feeling of fall!

What Is Your Best Memory From This Activity?

I love seeing how excited my boys get to find their favorite colorful leaves. And after our fall scavenger hunt, our kids are always quick to spot colorful fall leaves wherever we go. It is a fun way for us to enjoy fall as a family.

Michelle Mak

Michelle Mak

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Michelle Mak

Age: 39

Location: San Francisco, CA

Occupation: Owner, Mewl Baby

Kid's age: 2 

What Is Your Favorite Fall Activity To Do As a Family? 

We took our son to his first pumpkin patch at Lemos Farms in Half Moon Bay, California. It is a wonderful pumpkin patch for families. There are plenty of photo-worthy decorations to take family photos.

Why Do You Look Forward To This Every Year?

It was closed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are looking forward to taking our son, who is a toddler now, this year so that he can really pick out his first pumpkin for Halloween. After missing a year of this activity because of the pandemic, we are looking forward to it more than ever. Now that he is a little older and more involved in the pumpkin picking process we can decorate them afterwards as a family.

What Is Your Best Memory From This Activity?

We sip on fall favorites like spiced apple cider and our son drinks apple juice. It really rounds out the time of year with the tastes of the season. It is exciting to create these traditions now, when our son is young, and I look forward to seeing how these moments carry out through his childhood.

Gina Skelton

Gina Skelton

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Gina Skelton

Age: 40

Location: Boston, MA

Occupation: CEO and co-founder of The Mom Link 

Kids' ages: 16 months, 7

What Is Your Favorite Fall Activity To Do As a Family?

We love pumpkin and apple picking at one of the local farms near Boston (there are quite a few). And of course, it isn't fall without apple cider and apple cinnamon doughnuts! The kids love it because they know it's a special activity we can only do at this time of year. That alone makes it something we really treasure.

Why Do You Look Forward To This Every Year?

This event is so classically iconic fall! The apples are always so tasty and getting to pick out a pumpkin to carve for a jack-o’-lantern is always an amazing experience for the kids. The crisp chill in the air and a snuggly sweater remind us all that fall is here. 

What Is Your Best Memory From This Activity?

Our best memory is the smile on our children’s faces when they picked the perfect apple from a tree or find the perfect pumpkin in the patch. Those moments are absolutely priceless! They are so proud of themselves. Kids are only small for so long and watching them grow with these traditions is a really wonderful part of raising a family.

Bethany Cook, PsD

Bethany Cook, PsD

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Bethany Cook, PsD

Location: Chicago, IL

Occupation: Licensed clinical psychologist and author

Kids' ages: 6, 8

What Is Your Favorite Fall Activity To Do As a Family?

Every fall I make the kids “dinner in a pumpkin”.  I clean a pumpkin out and fill it with a yummy chicken casserole filling and bake it.  They think it is the coolest thing ever to eat a meal out of a pumpkin.  

Why Do You Look Forward To This Every Year?

It marks the start of fall and the beginning of the holiday season for us.  It is a yearly event which makes it even more special. My children are now getting old enough to remember this tradition and they talk about it throughout the year.  So I know it is something they look forward to during the fall season.

What Is Your Best Memory From This Activity?

The look of amazement on my daughter’s face when she was four and I put the pumpkin on the table and lifted the lid to reveal “real food.”  After that, she thought all pumpkins came with “food” inside. When we opened one up to clean for carving she was shocked and bummed it didn't have “dinner” inside!

Jereann Zann

Jereann Zann

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Jereann Zann

Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Occupation: Owner and baker at Little GF Chefs

Kids' ages: 6, 9

What Is Your Favorite Fall Activity To Do As a Family?

We love all of the fall flavors, so we look forward to baking together at home. This year our kids will be taking the lead in the kitchen with the help of our Little GF Chefs baking kits to make pumpkin spice and apple cider donut holes, apple pie, and Halloween treats. 

Why Do You Look Forward To This Every Year?

Fall is the beginning of the holiday season and it is full of special traditions and family time. I always look forward to this time of year and the happy memories I know we will make. Fall baking is a wonderful time to spend time together without screens and other distractions and really bond.

Baking together is not only fun at the moment, but it also helps us create sweet memories. It is fun, delicious, and also a great time to chat and really catch up with each other.

What Is Your Best Memory From This Activity?

Without a doubt, the proud look on my kids' faces when they know they have baked up something really delicious. We are definitely a taste-as-you-go family!

Our kids love to taste test their creations to make sure everything is yummy throughout the process. That being said, when we bake for others we save the taste testing and do that with our guests, and their smiles when they say they made it are priceless. 

Mandy Roberson

Mandy Roberson

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Mandy Roberson

Age: 33

Location: Greenville, SC

Occupation: co-founder of Magic Playbook

Kids' ages: 1, 4, 6

What Is Your Favorite Fall Activity To Do As a Family?

Our annual picnic lunch with friends in a giant sunflower field in Dawsonville, GA is one of my favorite annual fall activities. We load up our car early in the morning with a cooler filled with chicken salad and treats then drive to meet our friends at Fausett Farms. It is the perfect way to spend a day outside, particularly this time of year as the weather begins to cool off.

Why Do You Look Forward To This Every Year?

It signals the start of fall for me as we come back home with a carload full of flowers, pumpkins, and memories of catching up with our friends. The farm has more than 30 acres of sunflowers and it is such a treat to bring some of that beauty home with us after a special day together.

What Is Your Best Memory From This Activity?

I love looking at the pictures each year to see how much closer my little ones are getting to the tops of the sunflowers. It is an annual reminder of how fast time flies when you look at the older photos and see how much they've grown and changed.

Blair Sharp

Blair Sharp

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Blair Sharp

Age: 35

Partner: Rodney

Location: Rochester, MN

Occupation: Psychometrist

Kid's age: 5

What Is Your Favorite Fall Activity To Do As a Family?

We live in Minnesota, so the summers are hot and humid. Once fall comes, we love being outside. We spend more time in the backyard, at the local parks, and going for walks. We like to go to the pumpkin patch and pick out pumpkins to carve or paint.

Why Do You Look Forward To This Every Year?

We look forward to spending time outside because the weather is cool and tolerable. We know that winter is coming soon so we try to appreciate the nice fall weather while it is here. Minnesota winters are known for being severely cold so it is important to us to bask in the fresh air while the temperatures are comfortable.

What Is Your Best Memory From This Activity?

One of our favorite memories as a family is going to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins. My husband and I love to see our son's eyes light up and the excitement that he has over the little things, like having the opportunity to choose the pumpkin he thinks is perfect for decorating.

Melissa Bowley

Melissa Bowley

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Melissa Bowley

Age: 37

Location: Newport, RI

Occupation: CEO and Founder, Flourish Fund

Kids' ages: 4,7

What Is Your Favorite Fall Activity To Do As a Family?

We have many favorite fall activities up here in New England but my favorite would have to be soaking up every last bit of outdoor fun we can before winter sets in. We have a small sailboat that we love to take out until late October to look at the leaves and enjoy the crisp air while cuddling under blankets as a family.

Why Do You Look Forward To This Every Year?

It is an amazing way to disconnect from technology and the work to build our company, Flourish Fund. It allows us to reconnect as a family and really enjoy our time together. There is nothing quite like getting cozy and having fun together while you are out on the water.

What Is Your Best Memory From This Activity?

My favorite memories are actually camping out on the boat after a day of sailing and leaf-peeping. We get to watch the sunset all together and the kids love the adventure of sleeping on the boat. It's one of those memories I hope they'll cherish when they're older. I know I will.

Thomishia Booker

Thomishia Booker

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Thomishia Booker

Partner: Chris

Location: Concord, CA

Occupation: Author, CEO of Hey Carter! Books, and a licensed therapist

Kids' ages: 18 months, 5 

What Is Your Favorite Fall Activity To Do As a Family?

Our favorite activities to do as a family are going to the pumpkin patch and dressing up for Halloween. We love getting creative with our costumes and with kids it makes it so much fun! 

But our absolute favorite activity to do during the fall months is to travel. We love escaping the chilly and rainy weather of fall and winter. 

Why Do You Look Forward To This Every Year?

When the weather changes there isn’t a lot to do outside. The pumpkin patch is an opportunity to get outside, get moving, and have some much-needed fun. We love Halloween, so getting our pumpkins early is a must for our family.

My birthday is also in October and it is a month-long celebration for mom! We start planning our family Halloween costumes early in the year and our son Carter usually picks out what we are going to be. 

What Is Your Best Memory From This Activity?

My best memory would have to be in 2019 when we went to a local pumpkin patch that also had a petting zoo. Carter, who was 3 at the time, had a great time feeding the animals and making animal sounds alongside them.

It was fun and hilarious to watch him try to carry the big pumpkins on his own. My husband and I also have a pumpkin carving contest between the two of us and he always wins. We dressed up as Power Rangers this year. 

Rachel Roff

Rachel Roff

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Rachel Roff

Age: 40

Location: Charlotte NC

Occupation: CEO and founder of Urban Skin Rx

Kid's age: 9

What Is Your Favorite Fall Activity To Do As a Family?

The quintessential fall activity, which we absolutely love, is picking out pumpkins together. Once we have found the perfect pumpkins, we have our own little carving contest at home. Whether it is chilly or not, we always treat ourselves to hot chocolate while we carve. It is such a simple tradition but often those are the ones that feel the most special.

Why Do You Look Forward To This Every Year?

I love tradition. This activity is one of my favorite things to do because it was something we did as a family every holiday season when I was a child. In this day and age, being able to carry those things on to my child makes me feel like I am being a great mother.

What Is Your Best Memory From This Activity?

Once we have had our pumpkin carving contest, the competition isn't over. The next contest is to see whose pumpkin gets moldy first. It is silly but it does keep the fun going. It also means it is a little less disappointing when the pumpkins do inevitably get moldy and have to be tossed.

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