Favorite Fall Traditions

Fall has always been my favorite season.  Living in the Midwest for most of my life I got so excited as the signs of fall arrive.  Some of my favorites are the chill in the air, the sound of leaves crunching under my feet and the smell of campfires.  

  • Tanner's Apple Orchard - We went to the local apple orchard every year for over 25 years.  We would pick apples (and have apple fights while in the orchard - shhh that was against the rules), eat apple cider donuts, and feed the farm animals.  It was a huge highlight of every year. 
  • campfires and smores - we look for every opportunity to build a campfire throughout the fall.  We tell stories (every year the kids want to hear my husband talk about "Old lady chop top"), reminisce, and eat smores.  I love the thrill of building a great fire and can sit for hours just staring at it.
  • candy corn mix - last year our youngest daughter and I decided to make a fall Chex mix and divided it into cute bags with festive ribbons. We took it around to our neighbors and made new friends.  
  • hike with a best friend - for as long as I can remember, my best friend and I have gathered our children and hiked at Forrest Park Nature Center as soon as the leaves began to change colors.  When this tradition began, our youngest children weren't even born and now we both have married children.  It was fun letting the kids choose the trails and navigate the way back to the trailhead.  We saw our kids strengths and weaknesses in a fun and adventurous way.  
  • camping trip - I heard an amazing idea from one of my clients years ago.   She and her husband began an annual camping trip when their kids were very young, and now the tradition continues as they go with their children and grandchildren.  I thought the idea was so amazing that it would overcome my husband's dislike for camping.  I was wrong.  He begrudgingly went along for about three years.  Then we moved the camping trips to my parent's back yard where he could go in and sleep on a bed when he got to the point of "being done."
  • Weekend getaways & family football games - When the camping trips fell short of being the fairytale experience I had made up in my head, we compromising by taking an annual weekend trip to Big Cedar.  It was a great balance of hiking, celebrating fall, and family football games.  The football game became a huge favorite for our kids.  It has been fun to watch them grow through the years of learning to play and now outplaying us.  We have grown this tradition to include extended family and friends.  The kids love it.
  • pumpkin bars - No other treat says fall better to my family than pumpkin bars.  My mom began the tradition when I was in high school, and it went with me when I got married.  I love seeing my son get as excited as my brother used to when I mention that I am going to make pumpkin bars.

As we transition to life in Northern California, I miss so many of our fall traditions that were a part of life in the Midwest.  We now have the opportunity to make new traditions.  I would love to have your help.  Would you share your favorite family traditions and inspire our family and others with new possibilities? 

Julia WoodsComment