Nine twists on fall traditions

Nine twists on fall traditions
  1. Collect leaves --> Go on a fall scavenger hunt: Take leaf collecting a step further and print out (or create) your own fall scavenger hunt. Kids can arrange their treasures on a large sheet of paper for parents to adhere with a hot glue gun. Pro tip: do this after the cherubs are in bed so you don't burn yourself. #beentheredonethat

2. Pick apples/pumpkins --> Do some apple/pumpkin baking: We all visit the apple orchard and pumpkin patch, and I bet we all bake something with our fall fruit loot. My kids LOVE using the "apple snake" (apple peeler, corer, slicer) that you can buy for $13. And since I don't need loaves of pumpkin bread tempting me, we bake using this pan ($13) and then give individual mini loaves to family and friends.

3. Chug apple cider --> Sip a fall steamer: Don't get me wrong. I appreciate a good mug of apple cider, but it's so much sugar, and my kids and I slurp it down so quickly. Buy a few bottles of Torani syrups with flavors such as Pumpkin Pie and Butterscotch. Steam some milk and add a tablespoon or two for a fall steamer. Add coffee for an autumn latte.

4. Go out for the game --> Create a DIY sports bar: It's fun to take the family out to a restaurant for the Bears game. Wait...what am I saying? No it's not! Avoid the meltdowns and overpriced appetizers by purchasing some frozen snacks at Costco. Throw them in the oven, set up a plastic table cloth near the couch (or ON it, if your kids are like mine), turn on the t.v., and open a beer that you didn't just pay $7 for.

5. Camp --> Camp at home: Once the weather has cooled down, it's nice to bust out the tent...but it doesn't have to be at an actual campsite. Your backyard works just fine (thank you very much). If you're a city dweller, set up your tent or fort inside. While you may not have a campfire, you can provide the other essentials: hot dogs, s'mores, and scary stories. 

6. Read scary stories --> Write scary stories: Speaking of scary stories, why not write some of your own? Bigger kids can do this solo, and for younger kids, you can ask them to draw a picture and dictate the story for you. I guarantee that these stories will be hilarious or exactly the same story that you told your kid two seconds ago.

7. Carve pumpkins --> Put stickers on pumpkins: My kids get pretty excited to carve pumpkins...and then we open them. Without fail, every year, they're offended by the gross stuff inside. If you're tired of this farce, then just go obtain some fun 3D Halloween stickers, let your kids slap them on the pumpkins, and call it a day. Ain't nobody got time for unenthusiastic pumpkin carvers.

8. Throw a costume party --> Organize a costume exchange party: "I want to be Darth Vader! No. Superman! No. A minion!" Sound familiar? Make your next shindig a costume exchange party. Bring a few ensembles that you've collected over the years and have your friends do the same. The kids can try on a bunch of options without their moms breaking the bank. You decide what they get to bring home.

9. Decorate for Halloween --> Enjoy others' decorations: We take weekly trips to Home Depot and local garden centers just to see their decorations on display. When our kids ask for something, we say that they can use their own money, or they can wait until after Halloween. Our family tradition is that, on November 1st, we go to Home Depot and they can each choose a large item that's on super sale. 

What are your family's fall traditions? 

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