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Autumn Backyard Activities


The beautiful weather and gorgeous color palette of fall beckons families outdoors to enjoy time together. The good news is that you do not have to venture far from home for outdoor fun. Here are some great activities you can participate in from the comfort of your backyard.

Outdoor movie night

Enjoying a movie outdoors on a crisp autumn evening is sure to be a hit with your family. Perhaps you have a big screen television you can move to some comfy outdoor space for the evening. If not, you can always project the movie on a white cloth or sheet against your house, pop some popcorn, bring out blankets and pillows and cozy up to watch a family favorite together. You can find reasonably priced projectors that attach to a smart phone to make movie viewing easy.

Flashlight fun

From flashlight tag to shadow charades to a flashlight dance party, a flashlight can provide hours of fun for the entire family. Check out these popular games played with flashlights and prepare for lots of laughter and good times when the sun goes down.

Evening by the fire

On a cool, fall evening, it is hard to beat sitting by a nice fire with your family. Basking in the glowing flames and spending time with people you love are a perfect recipe for a relaxing time. Roast marshmallows, make s’mores, tell funny stories or ghost stories or sing campfire songs to make it an extra special night.

Backyard camp out

After time by a fire, consider extending the evening with a family camp out. Sleeping outside in the fresh air is a great way to appreciate nature. Pitch a tent in your backyard or make your own by tying several sheets together and letting them hang from low limbs on a tree. Use blankets to make the floor and lay sleeping bags on top. Do not forget to bring along a pillow and favorite blanket!

Game day

Gather your family for some old fashioned fun and play games in the backyard. Create an obstacle course, chalk art or hopscotch game, or play horseshoes, ring or bean bag toss, hot “pumpkin” (instead of potato) or musical chairs. A sack race, egg and spoon race and the three-legged race would also be great fun.

Fall scavenger hunt

Make a list of fall-like things that your children can easily find in your backyard. Give each child a basket to collect their items and then challenge them to use the items to create a fall masterpiece.

Here is a free downloadable guide for a nature scavenger hunt.

Fall crafting

Fall is the perfect time of year for crafting. Set up a table outside and have everyone try their hand at making leaf rubs, painting pumpkins or gourds, creating “nature” art using leaves, twigs, small rocks, moss and other things collected from your yard. You can also make a God’s Eye using two sticks and fall-colored yarn. Purchase small clay pots from a discount store and have your children paint the pots in fall colors. After they dry, plant pansies in them and then leave them on neighboring front porches with a note from your family as a nice fall surprise.

Leaf mountains and leaf slide

“Leaf mountains” have been a source of entertainment for children for many years. Give each child a rake and work together as a family to build a giant leaf mountain. Another idea is to “build” a mountain at the end of a sliding board and enjoy hearing your children squeal with delight as they slide into the mountain. After several playtime sessions (you may have to build mountains several days in a row), have everyone gather leaves into clear plastic yard waste bags so they can be recycled.

Build fairy houses

Little fairies may enjoy a warm place to rest this fall, so why not build fairy houses with your children so the magical creatures have a comfy place to land? Join your children for a trek through your yard and gather materials to build your fairy house. Make sure to pick up treasures along the way to help furnish or adorn the creative abode. The fairies will thank you!

Fall picnic

Food eaten outside somehow tastes better, and even more so if enjoyed while taking in views of backyard fall color. Pack a picnic lunch or dinner, spread out a large blanket in a sunny spot in your backyard and enjoy a meal together. To make it more fun, enlist each member of your family to prepare and pack something for the picnic, but let each person’s contribution be a surprise to be revealed at the picnic. You may be amazed at how well the meal comes together.

With the beautiful colors and the perfect weather, fall is simply a delightful time of year. Enjoy time outdoors and create special memories with your family during this wonderful season in your own backyard.

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