5 Unique Family Activities For An Autumn Afternoon


    Fall is a season of beauty! The colors are vibrant, the air is crisp, and everyone seems to be a high spirits. Many families go pumpkin picking (plus they carving them and bake the seeds). Others take a drive to look at the Fall leaves. Some smuggle around a campfire or drink apple cider.

    Is your family looking for new ideas this Fall? Need a fresh way to enjoy the season together? Spend quality time with your family by engaging in fresh, off-the-beaten-path, unique activities this Autumn.

    Unique Idea #1: Make a scarecrow.

    Pumpkins get all of the fame in Autumn. Have we forgotten about scarecrows? They can be the perfect addition to your front porch throughout the whole Fall season!

    Take your kids to a second hand store, like Goodwill, to search for the perfect scarecrow outfit. Typically a plaid shirt, blue jeans, and a straw hat are the attire for life on a stick. While you’re out, pick up a large stick from the store. Better yet, go for a hike in the woods to discover the ideal scarecrow stick.

    As a family, assemble your scarecrow. It may be helpful to sew on his clothing and hat, just in case a windy day comes along. And of course, your scarecrow needs a name! Plant him in the perfect spot in your yard, and allow him to live on your property for the Autumn season.

    Unique Idea #2: Volunteer at a Food Pantry.

    Why not spend quality time with your children while also serving your community? Food pantries are often searching for help during the Fall season as they prepare for Thanksgiving.

    Use this as an opportunity to express what you’re grateful for while also educating your children on the needs of your community. Young children would make great sorters: putting green beans in one pile and cranberry in another. Older children may enjoy bagging together items to make a complete meal. Encourage your teenagers to interact with other volunteers or those picking up bags of food.

    Unique Idea #3: Make your Christmas Wish List.

    It’s never too early to start thinking about Santa Claus! (Well, perhaps that’s not entirely true. However, Autumn is an acceptable season to begin thinking about Christmas.)

    Sit down with each of your children and imagine. Initially, allow your child to dream big! A new car for your teen? The latest cell phone for your tween? A Barbie dream house or race car for your little one?

    Remind your child (and yourself) that anything can go on this list, but that doesn’t mean that you will receive that item. You’ll probably need to draw in the reigns to ensure that there are reasonable, practical and less expensive items included as well.

    After you each finish your lists, share them with Grandparents, Aunts/Uncles, and other family members who celebrate Christmas with you.

    Unique Idea #4: Make homemade ice cream.

    No equipment required. I mean, if you happen to have an ice cream machine, then you should certainly use that to make a tasty treat with your kiddos. But if you don’t have an ice cream machine, no worries. I’ve included both recipes below.

    I love making a simple flavor, such as vanilla or chocolate, and then having a bar of toppings. That way everyone wins with the flavor of their choice! This is easy enough that no one could mess it up, yet involves enough time for your to really engage as a family.

    Homemade Ice Cream (Ice Cream Machine)
    3 cups whole milk
    ¾ cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoons high quality vanilla extract
    healthy pinch of sea salt
    Ice cream salt

    1. Place the bowl of the ice cream make into the freezer and chill according to manufacturer’s instructions (typically a few hours).
    2. Add all ingredients to the frozen ice cream maker bowl.
    3. Churn in the machine until the mixture is frozen. (I like to check every 10 minutes until it’s thick and creamy!)
    4. Pour into a freezer-safe bowl. Freeze 4+ hours before eating.


    Homemade Ice Cream (Without An Ice Cream Machine)
    2 Tbsp sugar
    1 cup half & half (or whole milk)
    1/2 tsp high quality vanilla extract
    1/2 cup ice cream salt
    1 quart-sized Ziplock bag
    1 gallon-sized Ziplock bag

    1. Add the sugar, half and half (or whole milk) and vanilla to the quart-sized Ziplock. Seal tightly.
    2. Place the quart-sized bag inside of the gallon-sized bag. Fill the rest of the gallon-sized bag with ice and ice cream salt. Seal bag well.
    3. Shake continually for 5-10 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened into ice cream.
    4. Eat immediately (right out of the bag!) or save some for later in a freezer safe container.

    Unique Idea #5: Go to an indoor water park.

    The weather is getting cold and winter jackets are being retrieved from the depths of the closet. Before you put away your summer clothing, go to an indoor water park! Grab your swimsuit and beach towels. Head inside for an afternoon of fun splashing, dunking, sliding, and swimming!

    Mom and Dad can join in the fun, friends can be invited, and everyone can be happy with an afternoon inside. Unless you have one of these right in your town (lucky duck), you’ll likely need to drive a short distance. Plan fun games, conversation questions, or riddles for the drive there. Bring a satisfying snack for the ride home, because we all know that swimming makes you extra hungry!


    Don’t let the Autumn season pass you by without fully enjoying it! Go to the pumpkin patch, carve pumpkins, roast the seeds, take a drive to view the Fall foliage, and go trick-or-treating. But when you’re ready for more Fall activities, try out one of these 5 unique things to do as a family in Autumn.