Autumn is a funny time of year - it’s not always cold enough and wet enough to warrant staying indoors all day, but it’s sometimes the chill and the rain does come, and you’re struggling to keep the kids entertained indoors all day. We’ve compiled an alphabetised list of things you can do as a family - both indoors and outdoors to keep the whole family entertained.
A - Apple picking
‘Tis the season for apple picking! There are a number of apple orchards across the country which allow you to rock up with the family and collect your own apples. Set a competition to see who can pick the most apples, and take your winnings home to create something delicious in the kitchen. Apple crumble springs to mind...
B - Bonfire
There’s nothing better than snuggling up around a bonfire on a cool Autumnal evening, is there? Take your wine cooler outside with you to store snacks and drinks, and ultimately - marshmallows to toast.
C - Conkers
Is it even autumn if you haven’t been conker collecting? Get wrapped up and head to your local woodland area to search for and collect conkers. Make the search worthwhile when you get home, and thread some string through your conkers, so you can play conkers against each other. Depending on how competitive you’re feeling, there’s even a World Conker Championship who have published the official rules…
D - Dia de los Muertos
Or as it’s known in English - the Day of the Dead! It’s not as sinister as it sounds; this celebration on 2nd November is a Mexican tradition. Teach your kids about the meaning behind it by getting together and watching the Disney hit, Coco.
E - Explore a national park
There are plenty of wide open, beautiful spaces to explore - so grab your wellies and head out into the fresh air to kick your way through the golden autumn leaves! take your cooler in the car to keep drinks and snacks cool for when you return!
F - Fly a kite
Before the winter chill hits, take the kids out to your local park or beach and take advantage of the brisk, autumn wind. Just don’t forget your gloves!
G - Go stargazing
As the evenings get darker, take the opportunity to go outside and experience the stars! How many constellations can you spot? If you’re struggling for date ideas, this could be your answer. Pack a romantic picnic and some champagne in your cooler table, head out to an open spot and lay a blanket down to watch the stars.
New to stargazing? Sky and Telescope have some great resources to help you get to grips with everything.
H - Hocus Pocus
You can’t go wrong with this classic Halloween family movie. Not sure what it’s about? Here’s a quick synopsis...Three witches resurrect after 300 years to exact revenge and begin a reign of terror after Max, a young boy who moves to Salem with his family, lights a cursed Candle of Black Flame. Sounds good, right?
I - Indulge in Halloween treats
Or more specifically - treat yourself to some new flavours from some of your favourite chocolate and sweet brands. With everything that’s going on in the world, taking the kids trick or treating might be on hold. So head to the supermarket and stock up on Halloween treats. We highly recommend the new Orange Twirl from Cadbury’s!
J - Jump in leaves
This might sound simple, but get outside and jump and kick your way through the fallen leaves. It’s quite the mood booster and has been known to release stress for us on more than one occasion…
K - Knit
Teach yourself how to knit. There are tonnes of tutorials on YouTube and online, and it’s the perfect indoor activity for when the weather’s not on your side. You never know, you might be able to make some of your Christmas gifts this year, too!
L - Learn a new skill or hobby
Take some time this autumn to learn a new skill or hobby. Pick that guitar back up, grab the pencils and pencil crayons to get arty, or master that recipe you’ve been eyeing up all year. Encourage the kids to get involved, too. Ask them what they’d like to learn and take this time to teach them.
M - Make Halloween decorations
From paper ghosts, to pumpkin bunting, there are a whole host of halloween decorations you can get creating for your home. Make it a family affair and set an afternoon aside around the dining room table to create decorations together.
N - Navigate a maize maze
There are a number of maize maze’s you can try across the country. Take the littler kids to a family friendly maze in the day, and let them navigate you around. If you’ve got bigger kids who fancy a fright, there are nighttime maize mazes which may have a few spooky surprises on each corner...Make sure you pack a picnic for either, and don’t forget to take your cooler to keep everything fresh.
O - Organise your wardrobes
It’s officially time to pack the summer gear away, and make way for those cosy winter garments. Let’s be honest - the kids won’t fit into any of their summer clothes next year, so either organise their shorts and t-shirts for charity, or pack them away for when it’s time for hand-me-downs for the younger kids!
P - Plant seeds for spring
Just because summer is over, it doesn’t mean the gardening has to stop! Get prepared for spring and plant seeds for next year. The best time to plant tulip bulbs is in the autumn, and you’ll be really pleased after a dreary winter when you see the beautiful, colourful flowers cropping up in the springtime.
Q - Quilt/duvet day
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a duvet day. Create a comfortable haven in the living room, with quilts, blankets and cushions; encourage everyone to pick a film each, and spend the day enjoying the warm, cosy surroundings with some of your favourite films.
R - Run!
Autumn weather is the perfect climate in which to run. Grab your running shoes and head to your local park to enjoy the cooler temperatures. Parkrun’s are back in full swing, so there’s every opportunity to run (at a safe distance) with other people. Parkrun events usually have a shorter route for kids, so drag them out for some exercise, too.
S - Scarecrows
It’s definitely scarecrow season, and scarecrow festivals have become popular once more. Whether you’re up for creating your own scarecrow for your garden, or you just fancy a walk to go scarecrow spotting; the kids will love this autumnal tradition.
T - Toast marshmallows
Not just for camping trips, nothing beats a freshly toasted marshmallow. Keep it classic, or serve as smores. If you’re outside in the garden, take your drinks cooler outdoors with you to keep refreshments cool.
U - Unplug for the day
Encourage the whole family to switch off devices for the day, and spend your time reconnecting. Cook a delicious meal together, make a bonfire or head out for a long walk. Whatever you do, you’ll feel refreshed from being screen-free for the day.
V - Visit the cinema
It's a pastime we tend to forget about in summer, but a cinema visit should definitely be on the cards this autumn. Cinemas are back open and social distancing measures are in place, so either ditch the kids for the evening and head out for a date night, or take the kids along for a family cinema trip. No arguments over the film choice, though!
W - Warm up with a soup
Nothing is nicer after a cool autumnal day than a homemade hearty soup. Get the kids involved at the supermarket and get them to pick a vegetable each to include in the soup making process!
Y - Yearbook
You might think this is something which should solely be reserved for school and university leavers, but why not create a yearbook for your family? Ask each family member to provide their favourite memory from the year so far, and collect some photos from the past few months. Leave a space for the remainder of the year, and continue to add to the book with each year that passes. You'll enjoy looking back on your time together as a family and remembering some of the things you've done together, which you might have otherwise forgotten.
Z - ZZZ
This one's simple. Sleep. To say this year has been unexpected would be an understatement. It's taken a toll on us all and we must remember to look after ourselves. So to finish off this A-Z, this is your reminder to get some sleep! Everything seems more manageable once we've had a good night's kip, so if you can...do it!