Fall is here! The days are shorter, the leaves are nearly off the trees, and the weather is getting colder. 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. Consider wearing masks if there are crowds, and bring hand sanitizer and a sense of adventure! Happy fall!
- Explore a Farm — Discover a hidden gem close to home! 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. Other local farms also permit visitors; check websites for the latest information.
- Cheer on the Hometown Team — Most public high schools have athletic, performing arts, and other events that are open to the public throughout the school year. Visit the websites or social media pages of your local high school to find out when events are being held. This is a great way to introduce young children to new athletic and other pursuits such as music and theatre!
- 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 jump right in it. Bring some leaves home and color or craft with them; the creative fun you can do with leaves is endless!
- 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 beauty in autumn, hiking will sure to please. There are many local trails and new places to explore within an easy drive. Don’t forget to bring water and snacks!
- Bake Fall-Inspired Treats — Use the fresh apples and pumpkins you picked or buy applesauce and pumpkin puree from the store. Baking is fun for all ages and autumn treats are especially delicious.
- Learn About SAD and How to Alleviate It — Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can impact many people, starting when the days get shorter. Learn about this mental health condition and ways to reduce the impact. Talk with family members about it and keep an eye out for your loved ones’ mental health. For more on seasonal affective disorder, listen to our Health Works Here podcast with Sid Pani, MD.
- Music Soothes and Heals — It is proven that music has many benefits for physical and mental health. Introduce your family to a new genre of music by playing it on your family smart speaker, reading about it, and even discover a movie that incorporates the genre. Start a nightly dance session in your kitchen during dinner clean-up — it might become a fun, healthy family tradition! Learn more about music and medicine and attend a chamber music concert in Concord on November 12. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: concordconservatory.org/events/music-medicine.
- Help others — There are many ways to help others:
The opportunities for helping others are truly endless. Just be mindful that some organizations have updated policies to keep everyone safe. It is best to check first with the organization and find out the safest ways to help.
- Make cards for local seniors or residents at a 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 diapers and toiletries.
- Contact your senior center and see if you can become pen pals with a senior citizen.
- 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 — Family members can help plant and take care of the tulip bulbs, and fall, especially before the first frost, 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 people of all ages to see!
- 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! 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 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!
Health Works Here Podcast
For many people, with fall comes allergies. Listen as Sara Narayan, MD, an allergist with Allergy West, explains the difference between allergies and COVID-19.
Subscribe to the Health Works Here Podcast on Apple Podcasts
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and wherever podcasts can be heard.
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Thank you for reading our article on family activities. As a community hospital we rely on the support of our community to continue to provide our local health care needs. We welcome your help in fostering a healthy community. If this content has helped you in an way, please consider making an online gift to Emerson Hospital so that we can continue to support our community’s health needs.