Making Fall Memories

My Top // My Jeans // My Booties // My Belt // Similar Earrings  —  Cole’s Top (Gap Factory, similar here) // Cole’s Jeans // Cole’s Shoes  —  Evan’s Sweater (Zara, similar here) // Evan’s Jeans // Evan’s Shoes

I am someone who REALLY gets into the seasons & holidays, and a large part of that is because I take so much joy in making it fun & magical for my kids. Fall has always been my favorite season, not only because it is so beautiful, but because it really is the kickoff to the whole holiday season and there are so many fun things to do! Every fall we have a bucket list of activities that have become traditions for our family and we do our best to accomplish them all every season!

DECORATE

Right after Cole’s birthday at the end of September, that really becomes the time when we break out all of our fall and Halloween decorations! My kids are obsessed with spooky things and they love our spooky Halloween decorations. Most of our decorations I’ve found at Pottery Barn Kids & Home Goods, but we’ve also found some fun things at Target and even the Dollar Store! This year we also added some tree branches & ravens to the porch after seeing this idea! We always make a fun night of it and turn on a scary movie to watch once the house is decorated…which leads into our next activity!

SPOOKY MOVIE NIGHTS

We try to watch a scary movie or TV show at least 3-4 nights a week during October! If you get the Freeform channel, every year they have 31 nights of Halloween where every night for the month of October they show family friendly Halloween movies. On weekends we will make it more of an event where the kids will wear their Halloween jammies and we have popcorn and/or treats! You can add some extra fun by creating a simple popcorn bar and serve popcorn out of a witches cauldron, and I’m also loving the idea of having a caramel apple bar! Some of our favorite family friendly Halloween movies are: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, The Goonies, Casper, The Corpse Bride, Toy Story of Terror, Hotel Transylvania (1, 2 & 3), Scooby-Doo (1&2), and Monster’s Inc.

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My Top (Madewell, similar) // My Jeans // My Sweater // My Boots  —  Cole’s Sweater // Cole’s Vest // Cole’s Jeans // Cole’s Shoes  —  Evan’s Shirt (J Crew Factory, similar) // Evan’s Vest // Evan’s Shoes

ATTEND A FALL FESTIVAL

We are so fortunate to live in a place where we have so many fun fall festivals happening all fall! One of our favorites is the Idaho Botanical Garden’s annual Fall Festival which we attended last weekend! Crafts, a corn maze, and a scarecrow stroll are some of the highlights of that event. It was one one of the first cool days we’ve had this fall, so we were able to bundle up in sweaters and boots which made it feel even more festive!

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GO APPLE PICKING

About an hour up the road from Boise, theres a small town called Emmett that has a number of orchards! Our favorite is Tyler’s Rocky Point Orchard where you can fill a huge bucket for $12. It’s a great activity that gets us outside for the afternoon enjoying the crisp fall weather and also ties into our next activity…

BAKE A FALL DESSERT

What better use for a huge bucket of freshly picked apples than a homemade apple pie or apple crisp?! Bonus that it also makes the house smell like fall! If pumpkin is more up your alley you can bake a pumpkin pie, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, or these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls which are a huge hit at our house! We also love to make cut out sugar cookies for every holiday and Halloween is no exception. Decorating cute pumpkin sugar cookies is a fun Sunday activity, and my kids love sharing them with friends the week of Halloween!

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GO TO THE PUMPKIN PATCH

Fall is just not complete without a trip (or two!) to the pumpkin patch! Our favorite is The Farmstead, where they have so many fun games, hay rides, activities, and delicious food. We will spend an entire day there making sure we get to do every activity, and at the end of the day we hike out into the field and we each pick our pumpkin that we are going to carve. This is always one of our favorite family activities of the entire year!

MAKE A HEARTY SOUP OR CHILI

As soon as the weather starts getting cooler, that means it’s time to break out the instant pot (or crockpot) and make some hearty soups! Chili is always a favorite at our house, but a few weeks ago I came across this Vegetable Beef Stew recipe, and I’ve made it weekly ever since. I shared the recipe with a friend, and now it’s a running joke of sharing all the nights we have been eating it! It is a perfect weeknight meal as it is done in minutes, and is very hearty yet healthy. I make a few substitutions for mine (sub chicken broth for beef, add extra onion & garlic, eliminate the celery, and add Cayenne), and this is a soup you can definitely play with to make it suit your family’s tastes.

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PLAY IN THE LEAVES

As a family, we love going on a long walk at least once a week, and it’s even more fun in the fall! We love taking in the beauty of the changing of the leaves in the crisp air, and no fall walk is complete without stopping and playing in the leaves. It also makes for a pretty dang cute photo op!

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CARVE A PUMPKIN

This is always an event at our house! A few nights before Halloween we all gather at the kitchen table & carve our pumpkins! It’s always a bit of a friendly competition as to who’s is the best, and of course once they are finished we take pictures with them and display them outside. Last year Evan became super attached to his pumpkin and carried it around everywhere with him for days! It was the cutest thing and so dang funny!

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GO TRICK OR TREATING

Last year’s The Nightmare Before Christmas costumes were my favorite costumes EVER! I think it’s going to be pretty hard to top these – although we do have a fun family theme planned again this year! This year we will be making a lot of our costumes for the first time and I’m anxious to see how they turn out. The kids really love going as a family and having the adults participate in dressing up with them!

HAVE A GRATITUDE TREE

Even at a young age, I think it is so important for kids to learn gratitude and appreciation. Even as adults it is so easy to take things for granted, and forget to pause and appreciate life’s blessings. Throughout the month of November, I love displaying a gratitude tree in our home and have everyone write things they are grateful for on the tree. At Thanksgiving, we all go around the table and read what everyone is grateful for!

GIVE BACK

Whether it is simply helping a friend or neighbor, taking part in a larger community volunteer project, or donating to a food drive, remembering to take time to pay it forward is something we plan for every year. This year we are looking forward to joining a friend to volunteer in the kitchen at the Ronald McDonald house, and hope to make this an annual tradition!

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