Wednesday, September 15, 2021

An Autumn Bucket List For Families

Autumn is well and truly here (I follow the Gaelic calendar and autumn begins on August 1st for us).

I've witnessed golden leaves swirling in front of me as they fall from their trees, the weather has turned considerably cold and rainy and I'm left trying to resist the urge to turn on the heating and cuddle up on the couch with my fluffy socks and a fleece blanket!

I really do love this time of year and although there's a considerable chill in the air, it doesn't stop us getting outside and having many adventures amongst the beautiful autumn nature.

If you're looking for some inspiration on what to do as a family this autumn then look no further! I've compiled an autumn bucket list for families with 20 fun things to do as a family this season.

1. Gather up a big pile of leaves - either with an actual rake if you have one to hand or scoop them up with your hands and capture some fun-filled family photos of you all jumping in them. This is made even better if you have a tripod to rest the camera on, but fear not if you don't, you can still have fun taking turns of jumping in the leaf piles with the kids while your other half snaps the treasured photos!

2. Roast marshmallows on the fire and dip them in hot chocolate. I think this is an activity best done before bedtime as it's such a cosy treat to enjoy. Fear not if you're like me and don't have a big open fire to roast the marshmallows on, you could always get a disposable BBQ and have a little roasting session outside - gloves may be necessary for protection from the chilly autumn air!

3. Stock up on pumpkins (get to your local store or pumpkin patch early for all the good ones!) and have fun with kids carving shapes and faces into your pumpkins. For a perfect autumn decoration, place your creations outside your front door and fill them with candles, the little ones will love seeing their pumpkins all lit up!

4. Get everyone dressed up for Halloween and go trick-or-treating as a family - yes this does include mum and dad! The little ones will be unbelievably excited at the prospect of the adults dressing up too and will love being accompanied on their trick-or-treat efforts. Plus, you can then enjoy the sweets together knowing you earned them too, kinda...

5. Go pine cone and leaf collecting in the woods. Sometimes it's the simplest of activities that leave the biggest impression on the heart and I'm yet to meet a child who doesn't love a walk in the woods when the multi-coloured leaves are swirling in the air and covering the ground like a carpet. Blundstone has some fantastic options in their kids range for all kids of outdoor adventures. You could even make it into a game to see who can collect the biggest pine cone, the reddest leaf and so on. Who doesn't love a game or two?

6. Collect conkers and put them on string for a good old-fashioned game of conkers - this was such a childhood favourite of mine.

7. Have a Halloween themed movie marathon! Cuddle up with your nearest and dearest, stock up on the popcorn and watch some family-friendly Halloween classics. I used to love Hocus Pocus and Caspar as a child and will be hopefully be enlightening my son to these gems this Halloween.

8.  Collect some autumn-hued leaves and make some pretty autumn leaf garlands with the little ones. Tyler Lee and I had great fun doing this last year, we even got the glitter out! It was lovely having some pretty autumn decor to hang on our garden fence too. You can see our DIY autumn leaf garland if you're in need of some inspiration.

9. Get out - or stock up on if you have none, the autumn/Halloween themed books and have a family story-time. I find that this is best done when the little ones are going to bed and we're big fans of family story-time in our house, it's the sweetest time of the day! I've shared some of our favourite autumn and Halloween themed children's books on the blog before if you're looking for some new titles.

10. Find a field of hay bales and let the kids sit/jump off them. I captured some gorgeous pictures of Tyler Lee on hay bales in his granddads barn last year and I need to get some updated shots this year. There was nothing more fun as a child for me than jumping off hay bales!

11. Bake some autumnal inspired treats. Baking is lots of fun as a family, especially the decorating part and there are so many gorgeous treats to have a go at this time of the year. We're talking caramel apple cookies, pumpkin snickerdoodles and Halloween themed cupcakes. Plus, you all get to enjoy your baking efforts afterwards too!

12. Do some autumn themed crafts. There are so many crafts you can do in autumn and as most of the supplies come from the nature outside, they're relatively cheap to do too. You can hang your creations on string in the home for some fun, homemade autumn decor too.

13. Have a game of apple-bobbing. This was such a treasured Halloween institution during my childhood but I never really hear about it anymore - why shouldn't today's little ones experience the fun? Fill of a big basin with water. Pop some apples in, some with coins and go bobbing to see who can find the money - a simple but fun experience for all involved!

One of my favourite autumn pictures of my little baby Tyler Lee and I.
14. Go apple picking. We love going apple picking every year at a local castle and it's such a lovely activity to do as a family. Tyler Lee loves apples so he's often seen with one in each hand for snacking on as he walks around the orchard!

15. Build an indoor fort and tell ghost stories by torchlight. Obviously this is best done at night and is probably an activity older kids would enjoy a lot more than smallies but still lots of fun. I used to love hearing ghost stories as a child, even if some did scare the bejaysus out of me - I still shudder at the thought of the Headless Horseman!

16. If you have one in your local area visit your local pumpkin patch - a perfect place to stock up on pumpkins and capture some gorgeous family photos too. I am still trying to find a pumpkin patch near us, hopefully this year will be the year!

17. Decorate the house for Halloween. You can go as elaborate as you want with this but getting the little ones to do some Halloween themed crafts and drawings will really add a personal touch to your decor. I know I loved helping with setting up the Halloween ornaments and lights when I was younger, kids always love to get involved with decorating!

18. Have an autumnal picnic. I'm a firm believer that you can have a picnic at anytime of the year and what better settings that a gorgeous woodland covered in autumn leaves or a corn field on a lovely sunny day? I love having picnics with my family and we'll definitely be having one this autumn.

19. Take a nature walk and write out a list of things to look out for. I find that having nature walks not only gets my son interested in nature but myself too. Writing out a little checklist of things to spot like flowers, leaves, insects, and rocks will keep everyone interested in the walk. You can also add extra fun by letting them collect these items and then later on having them discover what these are made of using an easy-to-use kids microscope. This activity is a great way to explore and learn about the natural world around us.

20. Have a family bonfire. Why not get everyone together and have a family bonfire - obviously doing this in a big open space. Sitting around the fire, having sparklers and refreshments for all to enjoy can be a lot of fun on an autumn's night.




  1. I always remember as a child collection carrier bags full of conkers. My grandma and grandad had 5 conkers trees right outside their house. I never did anything with them just used to love collecting them up. Brings back lots of memories. Were big into Halloween too. Love going out trick or treating. Last year was Little Mans first year.x

  2. I love this time of year so much! I've also posted my Autumn bucket list recently.
    I agree - no mater what the weather may be, you can always have a picnic! And I like the idea of hay bales, I'm going to see if we can find a hay bale field. Living in the countryside, this shouldn't be hard.. xx

  3. Oh, this is lovely. Your children must be so happy with family time like this :D

  4. Aww I love Autumn so much too! It's a lovely season for the family. Great tips that are useful for everyone :) x

  5. This is such a great list! I have so many happy autumn memories of family times from when I was younger.

    C x | Lux Life

  6. Love, love, love this Fi :) I love Autumn too, you have a fantastic selection of family activities here, I'll definitely be referring back to this again. Love that photo of you & TL too.
    Nicola xx

  7. Fi these are great, just love them, lots of good (and free) ideas. I too love Autumn. That transition to being all snuggly and not feeling bad for switching on the heating! I've always loved winter though. I don't think the summer suits me and my pasty skin!

  8. I love these ideas!!! Autumn gets me so excited as I just love Halloween and Bonfire night, and it means christmas excitement isnt far away!!
    We always used to play duck apple as kids - which was basically apple bobbing but youd get your head ducked under! My family were quite vicious haha!
    I have never heard of putting a coin in some of the apples, what a great idea! I`m going to suggest that for our family Halloween this year!
    I also love going trick or treating and am dressing up with Tyne this year! And I love watching Halloween movies...I love Hocus Pocus but Id forgotten all about Caspar! Must order that! xx

  9. Some lovely idea. I absolutely love Autumn. It's my favourite season. I love the changing colours of the leaves and the crisp morning air. Work isn't quite so fun though, getting up at 5.20am in the Autumn/Winter isn't nice!

    Cat x

  10. This will come in real handy when bump arrives and we are going out as a family. Munch can entertain herself by searching for pine cones whilst I take it easy pushing the buggy! Oh and lets not forget marshmallow toasting!!

  11. I absolutely love Autumn, there is nothing nicer than the colours and the leaves falling off the trees, def going take your advise on the picture taking in the leaves and we love roasting marshmallows in the b&q when camping so will move this indoors to open fire

  12. This has got me really excited about the next few months. I love autumn and these are lovely ideas. I can't wait for Halloween and bonfire night xx

  13. These are brilliant ideas Fiona. We do a lot of them in the Autumn but I've never been apple picking before! I'll have to see if I can find somewhere to take the kids to pick apples this Autumn :D

    Louise x

    With love from Lou

  14. What a great bucket list! I definitely need to do some of these this year! I love Autumn but never fully appreciate it! Thanks for the motivation! x

  15. I prefer the summer to autumn but I do love being able to layer clothing during fall. Upon reading your blog I think I need to stock up on some pumpkins ready for Halloween.

  16. Lovely list, I definitely feel I need to get out and do more now we have a little one. Time to get the carrier and go for some autumn walks! Xx


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