25 Fall Family Activities to Do Before Thanksgiving

leavesThere are so many reasons to love the fall. It marks the first bit of relief from the sizzling summer heat, all the leaves start to turn an amazing array of colors, and, perhaps most exciting, it means the start of the holiday season. It's also provides the perfect opportunity to spend real quality time with the kids, whether you are bundled up for a day outdoors or huddled around a nice warm fire with cups of cocoa.

Here are 25 fantastic fall activities the entire family will love:

Image via simonnjulia/Flickr

  1. Find your Great Pumpkin. Forget picking up one from the market. Go to a local pumpkin patch and instruct everyone in the family to find the perfect pumpkin. Once all the candidates are in, take a vote for which one to take home.
  2. Fawn over the fall foliage. If you live in a state that has real seasons, this is one of the most incredible sites to take in. Drive the family to an arbor or tree lined park and count all the spectacular color combinations. 
  3. Load up on apples. What's better than hot apple pie and apple cider when the fall chill sets in? Take the entire clan along to stock up on apples from a nearby orchard.
  4. Take a hayride. It's a great way to relax and take in the scenery.
  5. Have a garage sale. Make everyone part with the junk they don't use. With the cash you make, the family can go out to a great dinner or put it toward the next vacation.
  6. Brave a haunted house. There is something so fun about being scared. Plus, the memory of seeing mom and dad scream their heads off is priceless.
  7. Carve a pumpkin. It's one of the biggest traditions of fall. Have everyone work on one big pumpkin or make a contest out of it, have each person carve up their own and vote on the winner.
  8. Tailgate at a football game. Even if everyone in the family isn't a sports nut, everyone loves having a good time. Cookout, toss around the pigskin, and meet new people.
  9. Go trick or treating. Who says their is an age limit on trick or treating? Have the entire family dress up in a theme (like superheros) and make the candy rounds in the neighborhood. 
  10. Take a flying leap into the leaves. Sure, you will ultimately have to rake them up again, but it's so worth it.
  11. Get lost in a corn maze. Losing you way during a cross-country drive -- miserable. Getting lost in a corn or
  12. Buy matching flannel PJs. Nothing better than cozying up on a cool night in warm jammies. Buy matching sets for the entire family and have a popcorn and movie night.
  13. Pour the squash soup. Fall veggies make great soups and are the perfect warm-up on a chilly day.
  14. Make s'mores. It's not just for summer time. It's a fun and easy activity with a delicious pay-off.
  15. Collect fall leaves. Relive the season any time of the year with a cool catalog of the most colorful leaves.
  16. Make a pot of hot cocoa. We don't mean mix an addictive-filled powder or syrupy substance in milk. Go old school and melt real cocoa into hot, frothy milk on the stove top.
  17. Make Rice Krispies treats. Just one word sums up this easy and beloved recipe -- YUM!
  18. Eat candy apples. This is the perfect fall treat. For a gooey sweet, try caramel dipped Granny Smiths.
  19. Whip up a big batch of chili. Just the smell of it cooking takes the chill off.
  20. Start your Christmas wish list. Yes, it's a bit early but how fun is it to write up a dream list.
  21. Make Halloween costumes together. The perfect costume is not guaranteed, but good times are. Be creative and come up with outfits the entire family will love wearing.
  22. Have a family fright night. Watch your favorite scary movie on Halloween.
  23. Go sweater shopping. The cool weather staple comes in so many styles these days, there's a look to fit everyone's taste. Hit the mall as a family and everyone can pick up an awesome new knit.
  24. Attend a fall festival. With music, games, and great food, these events are usually a hit with the entire family.
  25. List what you are thankful for. Part of the spirit of the season is to be grateful for all the wonderful things in your life.

What are your favorite fall traditions?

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