With the autumn upon us and the half term holiday approaching quickly, you may be thinking of ways to keep the kids entertained throughout their school break and some fun things to do as a family. We have narrowed down our top five favourite autumn family activities that are always a hit with our families.
1. Pumpkin Picking and Pumkin Carving
Whatever the ages of the kids, Pumpkin picking is a fantastic activity to do as a family. My kids, who are now 21 and 16, still beg to go Pumpkin picking and it is one activity that the whole family can agree on and really enjoy. So why not get your wellies on, wrap up warm, and find your nearest pumpkin field, to choose the perfect pumpkin to take home. To find your nearest pumpkin farm just type in “Pumpkin picking near me” or visit The Days Out With The Kids website, they have a great list of the best pumpkin picking venues around the country. Once you’ve picked your pumpkins and taken them home, you can have great fun carving or decorating them. You can either go freestyle with your decorations or there are loads of templates that you can download online. You can also could cook them up into a pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, or some delicious Pumpkin and Feta Muffins.
Trick-or-treating is a hugely popular activity for kids to do during the autumn half term. This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved with the kids as you can help them choose a costume or even better, help them make their own. Plus you can have great fun with face paints. A lot of schools organise lots of guided Trick or Treat walks, which visit local houses where the residents have said they are happy to have trick-or-treaters visit. Alternatively, you could set up your own walk to friends and neighbours who have said they are happy for you to visit. As a rule of thumb, houses with decorations or lit pumpkins outside are generally happy to welcome trick-or-treaters.
At this time of year, the weather isn’t always great for being outdoors so the autumn and in particular half term, is a great time to stay inside, warm and cosy, and do a bit of baking with the kids. We particlarly love getting creative with gingerbread biscuits, decorating them as skeletons or mummies and here at Katie Bakes, we have a great Halloween Gingerbread baking kit which contains everything you need, plus lots of other fun baking kits. Decorating cupcakes is also a great activity for keeping little ones entertained. If you are short of time you could even buy some ready baked plain cupcakes and lay out with, some icing and a host of decorations so little ones can get creative. Plus, the best thing about baking is that afterwards you get to enjoy the results.
4. Attend a Fireworks Display
The sky being lit up with colourful fireworks is a magical sight to see, and in the autumn there is something magical about dressing up warmly, wrapping up in hats and gloves and heading outside to a local firework display or even into the garden to watch fireworks. Doing a display at home is great fun and my kids have happy memories of eating hot dogs, toasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate whilst enjoying the display. Obviously safety is paramount and Junior Magazine has put together some great tips for hosting a safe and fun firework party which you can read here. My other top tip, especially for little ones, is to stick sparklers into the end of carrots which create a safe handle for holding them and also have a bucket of water handy to put the spent sparklers into.
5. Autumnal Walks
Getting outside is always a great activity and going for a family walk around your local woodland park and enjoying the changing colours of the leaves is a fun thing to do? To make things more fun, you could create a treasure hunt, getting the kids to collect different things on their walk, conkers, different leaves etc and then give a little prize if they manage to find everything. You could also collect beautiful coloured leaves and then make into garlands when you get home. If your little ones are reluctant to get outside you could always resort to bribery and offer the treat of a delicious hot chocolate, with cream and marshmallows when you get home. We love this reciepe for Hot Chocolate from Hungryhappyhealthy.com which you can pop in the slow cooker before you head out so it will be all ready for you on your return.
Whatever you do this autumn, it is a great time to make magical memories, through very simple and cheap activities, so why not get out there and enjoy the season, whatever the weather and if you need a bit of inspiration for Halloween you might like our Halloween Blog.