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Autumn Outings with the Family

Autumn Outings with the Family

Autumn--the days are still warm and bright. Leaves are turning from emerald greens to blazing reds, warm oranges and bright yellows. It's time to head outdoors.
Visit an orchard, u-pick patch or farm stand near you. Take along the biggest basket you can find. Select your favorite autumn fruits and vegetables. Get enough for snacking and enough for cooking. Then take a hayride through and around the orchard. You and your kids will have a great time giggling as you bounce on the hay piles; or play "I Spy" for a joyful memory. Make sure you pick up some fresh cider.
Take a walk or car ride through the country and look at the changing leaves. See who can find the most yellow leaves or red leaves. Make a scavenger hunt list before you leave and hand one out to each of your family members...whoever gets all on the list wins a double-scoop ice cream cone!
Autumn gears up your "baking" impulse. No one knows for sure why this happens...but all of the sudden, you feel like baking! Doughnuts, cinnamon buns, cookies, lemon meringues, coconut maroons, peanut butter bars, whatever your're sure to bake more than you can eat! Make a list and head out to your local grocery store for all your baking supplies. Involve your kids...after all...they'll need to know how to go grocery shopping some day. Have them help with everything; putting groceries away, preparing the work area, measuring, stirring, and forming--teach them how to bake their favorite snacks. Then best of all have them help you clean up!
Having fun during the autumn months can be as fun as jumping into an autumn leaf mound in your very own backyard. Autumn isn't complete until this is done at least once. Pile all the leaves into one huge mountain, taking turns jumping in, or separate a pile for each member of your family where everyone jumps in at the count of three.
Visit a local pumpkin patch and take your family on a hayride or wagon ride. Most local farms allow organizations, schools and children's groups to visit and tour their farm. Last year, my daughter's Girl Scout trip took us to such a farm. We rode on the back of a wagon with haystacks attached to a tractor as they drove us along the bumpy, dirt road to their enormous pumpkin patch. Each of the children ran around, choosing whatever pumpkin they wanted, and believe me, there were plenty to choose from--tiny orange globes and even white ghostly ones to the biggest, brightest Jack-o-Lantern you can find on a cool autumn afternoon. Afterwards, they raced through a corn stalk maze.
Autumn is absolutely tantalizing. There are gourds and straw bales and garden decorating and soon assorted nighttime creatures will be lurking around corners and doorways.
Be sure to pick up color mums in yellows, whites, burnt oranges, and vibrant purples.
Whether you are sipping on a warm glass of apple cider or working your way through a corn maze--just make sure that you and your family or friends venture out and take advantage of each and every autumn day. Don't forget to light a campfire or bonfire in your back yard or in a woodsy campground for added fun. Sit on the porch and watch the squirrels scamper around collecting acorns for the winter. With the orange, red, and yellow leaves, enjoy the new festive look of your neighborhood.
The scents of autumn fill the air and the breezes bring new adventure. So don't be afraid to jump in that leave pile like you were a kid again, or to burn your marshmallow to a crisp over an open fire, just remember, that no matter what you choose to do this're making memories.

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