Happy Fall, y’all! It may not seem like it, but summer is over. While the temperature may not be cooperating, that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the autumn spirit and make some great fall memories with your kids. And the great news is, the opportunities are endless! We’ve put together the ultimate fall bucket for First Coast families. How many activities will you and your family do?
Fun Fall Events
Find a Fall Festival
There’s something about fall that makes festivals even more appealing than usual. Maybe it’s the cooler weather, but fall is prime festival season, and the First Coast does not disappoint. So get your kids ready and hit up one of the many offerings in Jacksonville, where you can enjoy some good food, listen to music, and have an all-around great time! Find out when the next fall festival will be here.
Explore a Corn Maze
Imagine the excitement on your kids’ faces when they see their very first corn maze! There’s nothing that says fall more than getting lost in a maze carved into a giant field of corn. And the good news is, there are plenty of local offerings.
Run a Fall Race
There are lots of fun family races you can run with your kids all year long, but only in fall can you dress up in costume! There are so many awesome offerings for family 5Ks, with themes that range from kid-friendly zombies (really) to costume contests and pumpkin runs. Which one will you take on? Find your favorite fall 5K here.
Pick a Pumpkin
Carving pumpkins may be a Halloween activity, but you don’t need to wait until the end of October. Pumpkin patch season starts September 30, so head out to your favorite spot and have a fun afternoon exploring, taking pictures, and at many locations, even more fun activities — bounce houses, hay rides, petting zoos, and more!
Go on a Hayride
Hayrides are the quintessential fall activity, and for kids, they’re even more exciting. So head on over to a local farm and climb aboard a tractor loaded up with hay and get into the fall spirit!
Have some Halloween Fun
Trick-or-treating isn’t the only thing you can do to get into the Halloween spirit. And the First Coast has a LOT of great Halloween events to take advantage of. You can wander through a haunted forest, go on an enchanted quest, meet the Minions, and more! Check out the entire list of Halloween events in Jacksonville here.
Every parent knows this one already, right? Halloween isn’t complete without getting your kids dressed up in some adorable costumes and getting as much Halloween candy as you can. But do you know where the best trick-or-treating spots in Jacksonville are? Here’s a hint: there are a lot more options than just going door-to-door in your neighborhood. From trick-or-treating at the zoo, to trunk-or-treating at a fall festival and boo bashes at your local mall, the opportunities are endless!
Fall Fun At Home
We may not have leaves that change color the way they do up north, but they still fall down. Raking leaves isn’t necessarily a fun activity, but why not make it fun? Let your kids help, and turn it into a great family memory. See who can make the biggest leaf pile, and then let the kids jump in!
Make Caramel Apples
Apples are in season, so take advantage! Head to the grocery store and stock up on a caramel apple kit (or learn how to make them yourself here). Your kids will not only have fun making the caramel apples, they’ll love eating them when they’re done. Yum!
Bake a Pumpkin Pie
Let your kids help you make a fall staple: pumpkin pie! Highlights has an excellent kid-friendly recipe you can use. So stock up, and then have a fun afternoon making a big mess in the kitchen before digging in.
Donate to a Food Bank
Fall is the time of year to be thankful for what we have, but it’s also a good time of year to be aware of those who have less than we do. Help your kids get into the giving spirit. Let them pick out a few canned goods, or some non-perishable food, and then go together to your local food bank and make a donation. It’s a fun fall activity, and a way to instill some good values into your kids.
Is there anything better than s’mores during fall? There are so many ways to have fun with it, too. It’s super easy: just build yourselves a bonfire, get your s’mores supplies, and get to roasting! You’ll want to help the little ones roast their marshmallows, but they’ll love the results.
Watch a Halloween Movie
There are SO many great Halloween movies for kids! So get a big blanket, turn off all the lights, and cuddle together on the couch. There are some great animated offerings (It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, The Nightmare Before Christmas) and some great live-action choices (Hocus Pocus, Casper).
Make a Thankful Tree
A fun activity for the days leading up to Thanksgiving is a thankful tree. You can let your kids cut leaves out of construction paper, or you can do it for them. But once the leaves are made, you all write the things you’re thankful for each day, and then hang the leaves up on your “tree.” It’s a great way to remind the kids of all they have to be thankful for in their life, and it makes a great fall decoration as well!
Make Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Everyone loves pumpkin spice everything, right? Moms look forward to fall the entire year just so they can start indulging in pumpkin spice everything! Get your kids into the pumpkin spice spirit with some delicious pumpkin spice pancakes. You can get a great recipe at The Comfort of Cooking.
Fall Leaf Prints
A super cute craft that kids will love is fall leaf prints. All you need is some paint and leaves out of your backyard. It’s a fun activity for the little ones that also gives you some beautiful fall artwork that everyone in the family will love. You can find a tutorial here.
Make Pine Cone Bird Feeders
Remember making these in school? Get some peanut butter and birdseed, and then send the kids into the backyard to find a nice, big pine cone. Let them coat the pine cones in peanut butter, and then roll them in the bird seed. Attach some string, hang it in the backyard, and then watch your kids’ excitement at seeing the birds enjoy their special treat.
Bob for Apples
Kids will love this classic fall activity. All you need is a big tub of water and a lot of apples, and your kids will be thrilled to get soaking wet while trying to nab a few apples! You can find a tutorial here
What fall activities would you put on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments!