Start today! 13 autumn family traditions that your kids will love 2 weeks ago

Start today! 13 autumn family traditions that your kids will love

Who is as excited about autumn as we are?

The crisp, cool mornings, the cosy nights in, the colours, the pumpkins, the PS lattes – we love it all.

More so, we think it's a great time a year to start some lovely new family traditions – from picking chestnuts at the park and baking apple pie to visiting a pumpkin patch and crafting some seasonal decor, why not make autumn the season you will all look forward to every year?

Don't know where to start? We have created the ultimate family autumn bucket list for you – with 13 great activities and experiences to celebrate this amazing time a year:

1. Get excited about decorating for autumn

No, we don't just mean slap up some decorations (you can do that in a few week's time when we are actually approaching Halloween). Instead, for now, opt for gorgeous foliage, lots of pumpkins (real ones, and no need to carve them yet, that way they'll keep longer) outside your front door and smaller ones on your mantel.

Children love decorating and you can easily make it a tradition to put up some fall decorations a certain date, and then switch to Halloween ones as you get closer to the end of October.

Craft (or buy) an autumn wreath for your front door (this is where Pinterest will come up trumps) and take the kids to the park to pick autumn leaves you can make artwork from.

2. Host a movie (or games) night

Autumn is the season for cosy nights in, and children will love the idea of being able to invite a couple of friends along to a movie night at home. Turn the living room into a cinema with plenty of cushions and blankets to snuggle under, make a huge bowl of popcorn (the old fashioned way, not microwave popcorn), get the ice cream out and turn the lights down.

Tip: How about setting up a popcorn bar – so everyone can help themselves to their favourite movie time treats?

3. Play a game of conkers

Kids love to learn about what games their parents played (even if they somehow manage to make us feel a million years old with their questions about 'the olden days'). Conkers is such a classic autumn game, and the best part? You can actually turn the picking of the chestnuts into an outing on it its own.

4. Host a Halloween party

Make a new tradition out of letting your kids invite all their little friends around for a Halloween party – and go to town with table decor, cookies, cupcakes, and games. As for party bags, this season is so full of sweets, so how about giving every guest a tiny pumpkin to take homw (or some other piece of decor or something to remember the party by)

5. Jump through leaves at the park

Nothing says autumn like getting your wellines on and stomp through fields (or your local park).

6. Visit a pumpkin patch

Bring the family on the most perfect fall day out to a local pumpkin patch and let them pick this year's pumpkin(s).

Many of these farms also have other fun activities on to keep the whole family entertained, such as face painting, corn mazes, treats (hot apple fritters, anyone?) and much, much more.

7. Make Halloween costumes 

Sure the shops are filled with all the costumes money can buy, but Pinterest is chock-a-block with fab ideas on how you can make your own. And we bet both you and the kids will have fun doing it.

8. Make real hot chocolate

Rainy, blustery autumn evening are made for hot chocolate – the real, proper kind, people, not the packet or stir-in variety.

9. Visit a farmer's market and buy locally grown apples

Farmer's markets are happening all over the country every weekend, and, when the weather is nice, they make for the perfect family outing. Not only are they packed with delicious treats, but they are also a great way of teaching children about food and more local and sustainable ways of buying your (in season) vegetables.

10. Bake an apple pie from scratch

Family traditions are often about the little things. And getting in the kitchen with mum (or dad) is often something most children are only delighted to take part in.

Apple pies are maybe the most autumnal dessert there is, and taste even better with apples you have picked yourself, whether at an orchard or at your local farmer's market.

11. Get a pumpkin spice latte

They are a season staple at this stage, in fairness. Or, even better, learn how to make your own (much healthier) version at home.

12. Go for a hike to enjoy the colours

We could all do with being more active these days, and this season really is the most gorgeous time to get out and enjoy nature. Hit up your local forest, go for a hike, explore a grand estate nearby – it doesn't really matter, just pick somewhere really beautiful and make a new tradition of coming back next year and the year after that and the year after that.

13. Donate to a food or clothing bank

Autumn, being harvest season, is a season for giving thanks for all that we have – and also to remember those less fortunate. Get your kids involved in (and excited about) helping out. Have them help clean out their wardrobes and toy boxes for stuff that no longer fit or they no longer play with and donate to shelters or other organisations that help. Do a food shop for a food bank, and for older children, why not offer to help volunteer at a soup kitchen or similar – a lovely family tradition that will hopefully make an impact not only for your family but others too.

What things do YOU like to do in autumn? Anything we should add to this bucket list? Let us know in the comments or send me an e-mail -trine.jensen@herfamily.ie