Fall– Temps start to cool down, kids return to school, leaves start falling, football starts and obviously pumpkin spice and those Sanderson sisters return with a vengeance. Although I’d consider Summer my favorite season and I never want it to rush by. Fall, and all those wonderful things that come with it, is definitely a close second. It’s hard not to like Fall with all of the fun activities and the anticipation of the holiday season. If you’re holiday-obsessed like me, the moment August ends (even though summer is not officially over), I’m digging around in my basement finding all of my fall/Halloween decorations to get myself in a fall mood. Once my house is decorated, it’s time to do ALL the fall things!
The following is a list I’ve compiled of traditions that I like to do each year that revolve around the season, some are places my family visit, while some are fun activities to do around the house.
Places We Visit
My daughter and I also enjoy making a trip or two to this little family farm that happens to be pretty much right down the road from us. We like to get a few pumpkins here, look at the animals, play in the kiddie area with corn kernels and toys, and just walk around. Our favorite part? The delicious apple cider slushies and the donuts that they bring in fresh from the Next Sweet Thing bakery. They also have an area where you can build-your-own flower bouquet and on the weekends offer hayrides.
Tip: Be prepared with cash or check if you come here since they do not accept debit or credit cards.
They are located at 13639 Mulberry Rd, Ottawa Lake, MI 49267 (don’t be intimidated by the Michigan address, it a quick hop over the border).
This place is similar to Gust Brothers, but there is a little more to do for the kids in the big barn that they have. These activities include a mini corn maze, kid’s straw maze, and a straw climbing tower. They also have $1 hayrides, a $1 one-acre corn maze, and a $2 five-acre corn maze. They also have yummy goodies available for purchase. Bonus: Fleitz is dog-friendly if you want to bring your pup(s) along on your trip!
Fleitz Pumpkin Farm is located at 7133 Seaman Rd, Oregon, OH 43616
Apple picking is THE quintessential family fall activity. We do it every single year. A ½ bushel is the smallest quantity you can “you-pick” and it is honestly too many apples for us as a small family. That doesn’t stop us though, we just let our extended family know that they’ll be benefactors of our trip so that the apples don’t spoil. MacQueens also makes DELICIOUS donuts and the best apple cider. The you-pick apple season runs from mid-September to the third week of October.
New this year to MacQueens is pick your own pumpkins. This is great if you don’t have time to make a separate trip to a pumpkin patch/farm, you can get it all in one place.
MacQueen Orchards & Farm Market is located at 7605 Garden Rd, Holland, OH 43538.
Going to the local parks is by no means only a fall thing, but it’s definitely something we like to do a lot of in the fall, and probably the season we visit parks most. In summer, we like to spend time at the pool, and honestly, the equipment can get too hot if you don’t go early in the day/later in the evening. Don’t even think about winter, I HATE being cold for longer than I have to be. Here is Toledo Mom’s park guide if you need ideas about where to go.
Activities We Do
Pinecone Collecting and Painting
We did this for the first time last year and look forward to doing it again this year. It combines a search outside, a fun craft project inside, and possibly can even be utilized as fall décor in your home. We actually saved one or two and made them into ornaments for our Christmas tree. You can look for pinecones solo or make it part of a nature scavenger hunt.
Want something super EASY your kids can help with? Insert pumpkin (yes, I’m a tad basic, I love almost all things pumpkin) muffins- All you need is cake mix (I pick yellow or spice), canned pumpkin, optional choc chips/cinnamon sugar topping. We make a bunch and freeze them and pull them out as desired. I generally follow the cupcake instructions on the box and just eyeball them in the oven to see that they come out at the consistency that I like.
Dollar Store Crafts
This is pretty straight-forward. We are at the dollar store a LOT. It’s one of my daughter’s favorite stores. During the holidays, they have lots of little projects you can pick from. Better yet, do some research in advance, and find exactly what you are looking for, and it’ll be a cheap budget! Bonus- we actually picked out a few decorations at the Dollar Tree recently, they had some CUTE stuff.
I love this because although we do the traditional carving, we go to so many places, and get pumpkins of all sizes, and like to utilize them in other ways. Painting is something that is fun, and even the younger kids can do their very own. For young kids, I recommend paint sticks (we use Kwik Stix in our house).
What are some of your family’s favorite places to go during the Fall? Favorite traditions or activities? Share with me, because I always like to experience new fun seasonal/holiday things.