Fall is in the air! The days are getting shorter, the leaves are starting to turn, and the weather is becoming crisper. This year, many autumn traditions like apple picking, hay mazes and harvest fairs are postponed or reimagined due to the pandemic. But that should not stop families from having healthy fun! We put together a list of safe activities to enjoy this season — we hope you use it as just the start of ways you can get outside and relish autumn in New England!
With all activities it is recommended you call the venue before you go and ask when the best time is to visit to avoid the crowds. Keep distanced from other visitors, bring your masks, hand sanitizer and sense of adventure! Happy fall!
- Pick pumpkins and carve jack-o'-lanterns — This is a great tradition that you and your family can still enjoy! Check in with your local pumpkin patch to find out more about the COVID-19 policies. Local to Emerson, Verril Farm in Concord offers weekend pumpkin picking, a farm stand, picnic area, and offers delicious sandwiches.
- Explore a Farm — Discover a hidden gem close to home! Some farms are still allowing visitors to tour their farms and pick crops. The Littleton Community Farm has partnered with the New England Forestry Foundation to lease a portion of Meadow Forest. Visit the Littleton Community Farm at 7 Wilderness Road in Littleton for a walk around the fields, an easy hike around the forest, and don’t forget to pack a picnic! Dogs are allowed, but are not permitted within the growing field.
- Leaf picking — Research a photo of different types of leaves in your area. Go in your backyard or to a park and try to find them all! Make a leaf pile and go ahead and jump right in it. Bring some leaves home and color or craft with them; the creative fun you can do with leaves is endless!
- Apple picking — Always a New England favorite! Check the farm before you go to see if you can buy tickets in advance.
- Scavenger hunt — Come up with a list of favorite items that reflect the season. Go outside and see if family members can find them all.
- Nature hike — With all of the beautiful autumn leaves, hiking will sure to please. Don’t forget to bring water and snacks!
- Bake fall-inspired treats — Use the fresh apples you picked or buy pumpkin puree from the store. Baking is fun for all ages and autumn treats are especially delicious.
- Help others — There are so many ways to help others.
- Make cards for local seniors or residents at a local nursing home.
- Clean out your bookcases and donate books to your library or other literacy organization.
- Organize your pantry and have each family member choose some canned food to donate to your local food pantry. Be sure to check that the expiration dates aren’t sometime soon. Pro tip: Many pantries are in dire need of toiletries. Donations of toilet paper are accepted and highly appreciated!
- Contact your senior center and see if you can become pen pals with a senior citizen.
The opportunities for helping others are truly endless. Just be mindful that some organizations have updated policies to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. It is best to check first with the organization and find out the safest ways to help.
- Have a picnic — Fall offers beautiful weather to enjoy a snack or meal outside with your family. Liven up the picnic with a game of Frisbee!
- Plant tulips bulbs for the springtime — Everyone can help plant and take care of the tulip bulbs, and fall is the perfect time of year to plant them in the ground. Then watch closely for them in early spring as the bulbs push their way from the ground and start to bud — always a thrill for little ones to see!
- Foliage drive — A great way to get your family out of the house is to go on a drive near the woods or up a mountain. The views should be spectacular in October and early November. The Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire always makes a breathtaking car ride.
- Create fall decorations — Have a crafting day or evening. Research online or talk with your neighbors to come up with some creative ways to beautify the neighborhood.
- Game night marathon — Dedicate a night to playing board games! You can play spooky games to get in the Halloween spirit without ever leaving your living room. Put some hot chocolate on the stove, play some favorite tunes and you have a fun, easy, educational, cozy family night.
- Create a fall family book club — Choose a book everyone in the family might enjoy and pick a date to discuss it. The book can be themed for the season to get you in the autumn spirit.
What are you doing for safe, family fun this season? Please share them with us on Facebook or Instagram @EmersonHospital, we would love to see!
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