Between Halloween and Christmas, we can get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of shuttling kids to and from school, tying up projects at work, and getting dinner on the table that we rush through the entire fall season without appreciating the little things that make it so special. But we truly believe that when things feel the most hectic, that’s when we need to slow down the most and make time to get back in touch with nature, the seasons, and ourselves.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in mom-ing that we forget about ourselves. And we’re firm believers in the idea that you have to fill your own cup first before you can show up as your best self for anyone else, including (maybe especially) your children.
But we get it. Having littles running around doesn’t exactly make it easy to live your easiest soft life era and it doesn’t always leave a lot of time or budget to invest in a fall lifestyle that meshes realistically with mom-life.
That’s why we created the ultimate list of some of our favorite fall activities to inspire you to slow down and make romanticizing fall doable, whether you’re solo for the day or with the whole crew.
Romanticizing fall can take a little more planning when you have littles running around. That’s why we crafted this list as a bit of a choose your own adventure with an option for enjoying the autumn season solo or with your kiddo!
So put on your coziest sweater and keep reading to discover 20 ways to embrace the fall and all of the autumnal changes before they’re gone.
Light Up a Candle To Set the Fall Mood
Solo version: Nothing screams soft life aesthetic like lighting up a pumpkin spice candle and filling your home with the scent of fall.
Kid-friendly version: Let your child make their own candle. Or, if you’re worried about an open flame sitting where your rambunctious child may bump into it, try a simmer pot instead. Just boil a pot of water and add some apple, orange, cinnamon, and cloves and your home will be filled with autumnal aromas in no time!
Warm Up Your Wardrobe
Solo version: Think cozy flannel pjs, chunky sweaters, and killer boots. Consider dressing in autumnal colors to really get in the mood for the season.
Kid-friendly version: Same thing! With summer in the past, it's time to make sure they’re cold-weather ready with gloves, coats, and ear muffs so they’re nice and cozy jumping in those leaves.
Stock Up On Fall Spices
Solo version: Incorporate fall spices into your cooking and baking. Go through your spice cabinet and stock up on warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
Kid-friendly version: Search for fall recipe ideas and bake a fall treat together. Think cinnamon apple crisps, apple cider doughnuts, and pumpkin pie! If you don’t already have a family recipe, choose one of your own to start a new tradition
Get Out in Nature
Solo version: Go on a hike in the woods or park and take in the colorful leaves as they change.
Kid-friendly version: If your little is too young to walk far, do outdoor fall activities like a short nature walk instead. You can even create a checklist for a fun scavenger hunt.
Have a Seasonal Sip
Solo version: Grab your favorite mug and treat yourself to a warm cup of tea, latte, or apple cider.
Kid-friendly version: Swap out the coffee for hot cocoa! Add some marshmallows and sip it during a family movie night.
Get Lost In a New Story
Solo version: Curl up with a good book. With the chilly nights, it’s the perfect time to get cozy inside with your favorite quilt and get lost in a new story.
Kid-friendly version: Curl up together for family story time!
Forget Spring Cleaning
Solo version: Fall cleaning. With the amount of time spent indoors, now is a great time to organize your living space so your time spent indoors is cozy, not cluttered.
Kid-friendly version: Get the kids involved by switching up their chores for the week to include seasonal responsibilities like raking the leaves and swapping out their summer clothes for fall clothes.
Go Crazy With Fall Decor
Solo version: Decorate the house! Nothing sets the tone for fall like gourds, wreaths made out of red and orange leaves, and scarecrows. The fall decor ideas are endless!
Kid-friendly version: Let your kids make some of the decorations and hang them around the house. They’ll get a kick out of seeing their creations throughout the season.
Enjoy Seasonal Activities While You Can
Solo version: Try local seasonal activities like apple picking at an apple orchard, pumpkin carving, going to a fall festival, or visiting a corn maze. Just do a search for “fall activities near me” to see what’s happening in your community.
Kid-friendly version: Same thing! Seasonal activities are great for the whole family. Nothing sets the tone for fall like strolling through a pumpkin patch in search of the perfect pumpkin.
Shop Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
Solo version: Visit your local farmers market and shop seasonal fruits and vegetables to embrace the special fall flavors. It’s the perfect time to enjoy warm meals and try some new fall dinner ideas!
Kid-friendly version: Get them excited to try new tastes by letting them help look for fall meal ideas and help cook seasonal meals so they can try their own masterpiece! We love making caramel apples with our freshly picked autumn apples. Or make a delicious pumpkin pie for after dinner.
Have Some Fall-Inspired Screen Time
Solo version: Watch your favorite fall-inspired film or t.v. show (Gilmore Girls is a great one if you’re looking for cozy fall time vibes) under your favorite cozy blanket.
Kid-friendly version: Same idea, just pick a show or film the whole family can enjoy.
Soak In Some Warm Suds
Solo version: Take a warm bath. This is soft life tips 101. Pamper yourself with bath salts, bubbles, and a fall-scented candle.
Kid-friendly version: If your child is the right age, try a bath time sensory activity like this pumpkin bath for a learning experience that also embraces fall life and will warm your little up before bed after a chilly autumn day.
Check In With Yourself
Solo version: Journal your thoughts, feelings, or even what you did during the day – fall is the perfect time to slow down and check in with yourself.
Kid-friendly version: Have your kids write a fall or Halloween-inspired story and let them take turns reading their story to the family.
Have a Photoshoot
Solo version: Capture the fall vibes in town by having a little photoshoot as an inspiration to explore new places.
Kid-friendly version: Get the whole family involved by having a family photo shoot or letting your kids shoot their own pictures with disposable cameras.
Warm Up With Some Soup
Solo version: Look up some fall soup ideas and whip up a large batch of warm soup and freeze for dinners throughout the season. There's nothing like coming home to a nice warm bowl of soup for dinner.
Kid-friendly version: Let your child get involved in the cooking process to get them more excited to try new tastes and textures.
Go On an Autumn Road Trip
Solo version: Go on an autumnal road trip out of town or visit a friend over fall break and be intentional about noticing the fall foliage and changing leaves from the car.
Kid-friendly version: Can’t squeeze a full trip in with school and after school activities? Go for a shorter drive down tree-lined roads in your own city and appreciate the gorgeous foliage.
Plan a Bon Fire or Host a Potluck
Solo version: Invite friends or family to catch up and stay warm and chow down around the fire pit for a perfect end to a chilly fall day.
Kid-friendly version: Add some smores to the mix to get them pumped. You can even set up a tent and let them camp in the backyard after.
Create a Fall Soundtrack and Pretend You're In a Movie For a Day
Solo version: Create the perfect fall playlist. Put away the pumped up summer jams and make the perfect romanticizing autumn playlist with soothing sounds. Or set the vibe with fall ambiance videos and fall noises.
Kid-friendly version: Find fall-inspired kids songs like Way Up High in the Apple Tree by The Learning Station and Autumn Leaves are Falling Down by The Kiboomers.
Hold a Game Night
Solo version: Host a game night with friends. With the hustle and bustle of mom-life, nights with friends can feel few and far between. Make time to catch up over a fun night of games.
Kid-friendly version: Put away the technology and have a family game night with family-friendly games the entire family can enjoy.
Find Fun Indoor Activities
Solo version: Visit that new exhibit you've been eyeing at a museum or go to a bookstore to find your next read.
Kid-friendly version: Tweak your plans to include fun fall activities that take place indoors like a children's museum or a book reading at your local bookstore or library. With the summer warmth and light waning, it's the perfect time to try new indoor activities!