September in the Midwest brings with it a relief from the humidity and a slight drop in temperatures as we meander ever-closer to the beginning of autumn. This gentle change in the weather is the perfect backdrop for a number of activities especially suited to the harvest season. Here are just a few ideas of ways to spend quality time in the great outdoors with your loved ones this time of year.
Sunny fall afternoons offer the perfect excuse to breathe in the crisp air and enjoy some lawn games with your family. Bring out a ball to toss or kick around, or play an old-fashioned game of tag. Outdoor games such as cornhole, which involves aiming beanbags through a wooden target, are a good choice that can appeal to all ages and skill levels. Take time to appreciate the colorful foliage, by letting little ones collect pretty leaves, and perhaps joining them in jumping in a pile.
Chilly autumn nights are the perfect time to utilize that fire pit on the deck or in the backyard. Settle down with your loves ones for an evening of s’mores and sharing your favorite ghost story. Many communities will host bonfires in the fall, often in celebration of back-to-school or in support of a local sporting event. Check local listings for events, and don’t forget to pack lawn chairs. A blanket may come in handy as the temperature drops, too.
Feed your artistic side by carving a pumpkin. While this can be done indoors, it’s often easier to move outside, especially with younger helpers participating! Pick up pumpkins at a local grocery, nursery, or farm, and use your imagination. Kitchen knives work well but specialty carving kits are easy to find, as are carving tips and designs in magazines and online sources such as Pinterest.
If you want to make a pumpkin creation that will last beyond the season, faux pumpkins make of foam, cardboard, and wood are available from your local craft store, and can be decorated with carving tools, paint, and any type of decoration you desire.
Visit a nearby farm. Check directory listings for rural venues that offer special seasonal events. Many of these destinations will feature attractions tailored for families, such as hayrides and corn mazes. Spend an afternoon picking apples, selecting a pumpkin straight from the patch, or wandering through displays of colorful fall flowers. As the sun goes down, warm up with a mug of hot apple cider or cocoa, before you carry your bounty home.
The varieties of activities that are available to make the most of nature and the harvest season are as unlimited as the autumnal colors surrounding us. I hope you can take time to breathe in the cool air, smell the falling leaves, and spend some precious time with your loved ones today.