Fall is so much fun for our family. We love being in the outdoors and exploring nature. Whether we are playing in the leaves, sipping cider, picking apples or just watching the colorful leaves fall we enjoy this season every year. One of the best parts of autumn for our homeschool are the field trips. Some of them are unique to only this season.
Historical Re-enactment Events
The kick-off of the season for us is the River of Time re-enactment event along the shores of the local river. Soldiers, Native Americans, explorers, and merchants representing different eras can be found encamped for an entire weekend at the end of September. There are battles, drums, lessons, and plenty of fun to be had during this event. The eras span from before the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War. We have spent many educational and enjoyable hours exploring, talking, and experiencing what life was like before our time. There is also a Colonial Camp re-enactment and a historical living farm exhibit in different towns close by. The kids love visiting these each year and have fun finding new things to check out.
Football, soccer, and bowling all find a place in the fall lineup of sports for our area. There are five local high schools that play football in our city. At least one of them has a home game that we can go to each Friday night. We usually go to the high school closest to us once a year to watch a game. The kids decided they wanted start doing this a few years ago, since some of the players actually live in our neighborhood. It can be fun and exciting but the kids get their fill with just the one game. The schools also have fall soccer leagues too. Games are typically on Saturday and the kids have gone to watch but haven’t been interested in play themselves yet. Bowling leagues start up each fall for the kids in the area but we prefer the kids’ late night glow bowling as a field trip. We usually have a larger group in the fall, around 12 to 20 kids, that have a great night.
Nature Trails & Nature Centers
Fall brings an amazing change to our local woodland areas, lake fronts and marshes. We have migrating birds and ducks that visit the waterways. Squirrels and chipmunks are busy stashing food for the upcoming winter while scurrying around being silly. The leaves change, the acorns fall and the light turns golden in the afternoon too. Local nature trails and nature centers offer guided tours of the area to show off all the activity taking place within the woods and along the shores. These might include getting a glimpse of the beavers’ dens, the eagles’ nests and possibly an evening tour to listen for the owls at dusk.
Picking apples right off the tree is one of our favorite autumn activities. We have an apple tree but it is more fun to visit one of the orchards we have near by. Many of these offer tours of the entire operation, from harvesting to washing to packing to making cider. We even have an orchard with animals to pet and hay rides through the orchard. Our favorite has a garden sitting area to enjoy cider, or cider slushies, and a donut or two.
Squashes, pumpkins, cornstalks, and hay bales all are displayed to their best advantage at the pumpkin patches at harvest time. Some of our pumpkin patches have mazes, you-pick-pumpkins and yummy pumpkin donuts to enjoy. Our favorite pumpkin patch to visit has a trebuchet to launch pumpkins through the fields. This is an event that the kids love to see every year. We purchase cider and donuts, sit on the sidelines and watch the fun.
Craft and/or Folk Art Fairs
Our area has plenty of craft fairs in the fall that offer local handmade crafts and folk art to purchase. An annual Folk Art Fair is held in a nearby town that try to make each year. The kids love the chance to talk to artists and creators of all types. Admiring the artists’ efforts and hearing the explanations, how-to’s and stories are what makes it so fun for the kids. Each year is a different theme and we love seeing all the unique items from a variety of artists.
A huge selection of freshly harvest produce is readily available at our local farmers’ markets in the fall. We are fortunate to have a number of them in our town and others close by.The farmers actually love to talk to the kids. They answer questions and discuss what they grow, how they grow it, and how we can help our local farmers as consumers. It is always an educational trip.
My kids and I love field trips and really look forward to the ones we take in the fall. Do you have any fall specific field trips your homeschoolers enjoy? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to sign-up for the Homeschooling With Tea’s mailing list. Receive the free, exclusive “Homeschool Art Journal Pack” now and tips, resources, how-to’s and extras in the future.