Fall Family-Friendly Fun
Autumn tends to be a popular season because school is in session, you see your friends everyday, the pumpkin flavored everything is everywhere, and it the rising action that leads up to the most wonderful time of the year—Christmas and New Years. Between the scarves, fall boots, options for Halloween costumes, menus for Thanksgiving and discounts for presents, it’s easy to get caught up and lose track of family time. Did you know that spending time together as a family can lead to improved long-term physical and mental health? Finding time to foster the relationship with your family does not only affect you but it affects your entire immediate family and generations to come. According to Current Opinion Psychiatry, research studies have proved that a family structure fostered by a strong social support can have a positive influence on our behavior, which builds the foundation of your family’s future generation’s behaviors.
Here are six autumn activities that you can enjoy with your family:
Get Creative in Your Kitchen
Why be basic on Halloween and Thanksgiving Day when you can try out new recipes? My favorite recipes all use the traditional autumn ingredients: apples and pumpkins. I usually like to go to the Farmer’s Market with my sisters and buy all organic. My sisters and I are health freaks so this is a great way for us to bounce off ideas on how to pick the best and healthiest ingredients. We love being in the kitchen because we swap different ways of prepping, cooking, and baking healthy recipes.
Sign up for a 5K
It’s not only fall season but it’s also cross-country season. My Dad is an avid runner so this is a great way for us to spend time together. I have trouble keeping up with him while running because he runs an average of 7 miles a day in 45 minutes. 5Ks are only 3 miles so it’s a happy medium for the two of us.
Go to a Pumpkin Patch
My Mom and I have different ideas of fun than my Dad and sisters, but we always have fun together at a pumpkin patch. There’s much more than just picking pumpkins: farms often have hayrides, a selection of organic fruits and vegetables to take home, corn mazes, homemade autumn essentials, and wine tastings. There is truly something for everyone.
Have a Picnic
Take advantage of the ephemeral fall colors by going to your favorite park and having a picnic. Enjoying the autumn leaves can serve as visual therapy. This is a wonderful way to make memories because you’ll remember what you did this season when autumn comes again next year.
Give Thanks on Thanksgiving
Take an hour or two out of your day to volunteer at a Thanksgiving Food Drive. This is a great way for you and your family to retreat and reflect on the importance of giving back to others. Selfless acts of kindness will benefit your community and strengthen your overall family structure and long-term health, according to Health and Quality of Life Outcomes.
This is one of my favorite activities even though I’m one of the worst artists out there. During group painting activities, a professional artist walks you through how to paint a specific piece. This is a fun and relaxing way for you and your family to spend a good amount of time together. Did you know art therapy is also beneficial to your mental health?
What will you do with your family before the cold winter months arrive?
Reblin, M., & Uchino, B. N. (2008). Social and Emotional Support and its Implication for Health. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 21(2), 201–205. http://doi.org/10.1097/YCO.0b013e3282f3ad89
Turagabeci, A. R., Nakamura, K., Kizuki, M., & Takano, T. (2007). Family structure and health, how companionship acts as a buffer against ill health.Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 5, 61. http://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7525-5-61