Whether you have loved the heat of summer or have been waiting for the mercury to drop for months now, there is no denying there is a sense of change in the air. The seasonal switch from summer to fall is arguably the most dramatic of them all; gone are the long days and golden sunshine and in come the darker nights and lower temperatures that signify the transition to the cooler months of the year.
Fall is a season that creates a number of opportunities for families to spend time together. There is, of course, taking walks to see the leaves change, delighting in the wonder of nature and the warm red, yellow, and orange hues. Later in the season, there’s Halloween to anticipate, a holiday dedicated to exploring the fun and spooky side of life, and there’s the annual visit to the pumpkin patch to anticipate.
However, as wonderful as fall is, it does have its downsides: primarily, the weather. After a long, hot summer, the transition to fall is a marked one. The nights begin to start earlier in the day, the temperature drops, and the wind and rain that you’d largely been able to forget existed through the summer months makes its return with a vengeance.
As a result of the often-difficult weather of fall, family days out can be a little more complex than you may expect. Walking in the woods as the leaves change and heading to a pumpkin patch are wonderful activities, but if the rain is sheeting down, these choices rather lose their appeal.
If you are planning a family day out in the fall, below, we’ve put together a number of considerations that take into account both the benefits and the limitations fall offers. Read on to find out more…
The key to a pleasant family day out in fall is to start early, preferably around the same time your children would be getting up for school. While the summer solstice is in June, the shorter days do not usually become overly noticeable until September or early October, as the change is so gradual – which runs the risk of cutting your day out short. By starting your day early, you can be sure to enjoy as many hours of daylight before retiring home to relax and enjoy a cozy fall evening in together.
Plan a day of two halves
If you are contemplating spending time with your family during the fall, it can be useful to plan a day of two halves. One half of the day should be dedicated to an outdoor activity such as going for a bike ride or visiting a pumpkin patch, while the second half of the day is dedicated to an indoor activity such as an escape room experience or a visit to a museum…
This split of the day means that you can plan in advance, but that you already have an alternative if the big day dawns to adverse weather conditions. If this happens, you can simply focus on – or extend – the part of the day that was scheduled for an indoor activity, postponing your outdoor activity for a day of more favorable conditions. If the day arrives and the weather is on your side, then you can continue with your original plans and divide the day neatly in two between “indoor” and “outdoor” portions, allowing for a diverse day that the whole family will enjoy.
Keep outdoor activities in the middle of the day
An additional point to keep in mind when planning your fall day out – or the “outdoors” portion of it – is to try and schedule outdoor activities according to the temperature. The best time to be outside in the fall is early afternoon; the chill of the morning will have been swept away, but you’ll still have a number of hours of daylight to enjoy before night draws in.
Don’t purchase tickets for outdoor events
If there is a fall festival or fair that you wish to attend, you may be tempted to purchase a ticket in advance – this just seems like good planning sense. However, if the day of the fair dawns and is a washout, the chances are that none of your family will be particularly interested in attending. While it can be more expensive to buy on-the-day rather than in advance, this will usually be cheaper than buying tickets that don’t actually get used at all.
Fall is a wonderful season, but it can also be problematic if you are planning a family day out. By keeping the tips above in mind, you should be able to formulate a schedule for an enjoyable day out with your family that is suitable come rain or shine while still allowing you to make the most of the season.