The crunch of crisp leaves under our feet… The signature smells of ginger, allspice, cloves and cinnamon… Rich colours everywhere… Flavours such as apple, pumpkin and cranberry… Autumn is a wonderful season, full of fun, festive sensory experiences.
Why not explore a few of these fall activities with your children?
Throw a themed backyard party
The warm, sunny weather likely won’t last much longer. Take advantage of it before frost by throwing a themed backyard party.
A woodland party in your backyard is easy to plan and set up: hang tulle from a tree, and drape some over a table. Use burlap for your tablecloth, gingham napkins and eco-friendly bamboo plates and cutlery. Use garden gnomes or a scarecrow as decorations; nature will do the rest.
Don’t worry about party cleanup, either. Food waste affords a great opportunity to teach children about backyard composting. If you’re unsure how to get started, look to the City of St. Albert and the City of Edmonton for resources about home composting.
Get a jump on fall
If your children are old enough to help with yardwork, invite them to help you rake leaves into a big pile. You can all delight in jumping into them afterward. If you live in St. Albert, you can set your leaves out for collection: the City of St. Albert will pick up bagged leaves from your curbside!
Get lost (in a corn maze)
If you prefer to jump on a large, inflatable pillow rather than in a pile of leaves, you can find one, as well as farm animals, pedal cars and potato cannons at the Edmonton Corn Maze. Covering approximately 15 acres, this popular attraction is located just west of Edmonton, in Parkland Country, Alberta. Open from August to October, themes centre on a local event or attraction. Alternatively, you can visit the six cornfield mazes at Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farms, also in Parkland Country, or the 11-acre Amazing Corn Maze, located south of Leduc.
Pick your own pumpkin
In addition to corn mazes, you and your family can go on a hay ride, or visit a farmer’s market or petting zoo. You can even visit a pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkin: you don’t have to look far for edible and decorative pumpkins perfect for fall decorating, carving or baking.
Located in Bon Accord just north of Edmonton, Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm is an ideal place to pick produce, including sweet corn, winter squash and over 40 varieties of pumpkins in a huge, seven-acre field. Look for blue pumpkins, striped pumpkins, warty pumpkins, pie pumpkins, and big bruisers for Jack-o-lanterns.
You can also visit Somerset Farms, where prices vary depending on the variety of pumpkin you’re looking for.
Once you’ve found your perfect pumpkin, you can use in in recipes or decorate it as your heart desires.
Use a glue gun, paint, markers, buttons or google eyes to create your own pumpkin character. If you prefer, paint a geometric design on your pumpkin.
Looking for a spooky, Gothic look? Glue a doily or lace on your pumpkin or, if it’s smaller, place it inside a fishnet or similar fancy stocking.
Curl up with a good book
There are myriad children’s books about fall. Why not curl up and read together?
Kids curious as to why leaves change colour might enjoy Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Besty Maestro. This book, appropriate for five- to nine-year-olds, combines graceful text and simple, fun diagrams to help introduce concepts like photosynthesis and different types of leaves. It also includes simple activities to do with leaves, like leaf rubbings.
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, written for five- to seven-year-olds, is a rich introduction to the life of a tree. Author Lois Ehlert uses watercolor collage and pieces of actual seeds, fabric, wire and roots to illustrate the lifecycle. A special glossary explains how roots absorb nutrients, what photosynthesis is, how sap circulates and other facts about trees.
Children in Grades 3 to 7 might enjoy A Tree for All Seasons by Robin Bernard. This eye-catching, large format, 16‑page photographic picture book will delight beginning readers.
Visit a [reportedly] haunted place
Visit a haunted house in your neighbourhood, such as Deadmonton Haunted House.
A number of locations in St. Albert and Edmonton are said to be haunted, including Charles Camsell Hospital and the Edmonton General Hospital, McKay Avenue School, Walterdale Theatre and the Princess Theatre, and the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald.
Do you have a favourite … haunt? What other autumn activities have you tried? Let us know by dropping us a comment. Lift Legal would love to hear from you.