When asked what my favorite things about living in Atlanta are, October and March are always high on my list because Atlanta knows how to rock the heck out of fall and spring. They’re our reward for July and August. The good news is that tomorrow is October, and there are tons of “get outside” ways for our families to squeeze every ounce of crunchy-leafed awesomeness out of our great city. Sit down with the family and make a Fall Bucket List of some healthy, positive things you want to do together. Here are some ideas to get the pumpkin rolling…
Pick a patch, any patch.
There is no shortage of pumpkin patches within a short drive of the city, and depending on your choice, you can get your fill of zombie paint-gun games, pig races, and corn cannons at the same time. A day (or half day for the littles) at a pumpkin patch gets the family breathing beautiful farm-fresh air, winding through corn mazes, and jumping on jumpy things — the epitome of fall perfection. You’re spending quality time together and secretly getting exercise. Those corn mazes are no joke!
How ’bout them apples?
Nothing quite says (screams) “fall” like freshly picked apples. Stroll through the orchards, enjoy the sweet aroma, and pick your own food. It’s a great way to talk to kids about the “grow your own” movement, and it’s fun for them to eat food that they picked themselves. When you get home, you can find some tasty new apple recipes to make together. You know what they say about an apple a day.
Take a hike.
Georgia does not disappoint with its hiking offerings, and no, “hiking” doesn’t mean you commit to carrying a 30-pound 2-year-old up a mountain. Just a short jaunt from downtown, you can find a lot of very do-able walks for little ones. The Chatthoochee Nature Center offers regular weekend hikes, and the Dunwoody Nature Center offers night hikes. If you’re up for more of a “trip,” check out the trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains where the views are amazing and family adventures abound. They’ve got geocaching and a Family Adventure Fun game already planned out for you. Whether you make a morning or a weekend out of it, you won’t regret getting your blood pumping on these incredible trails.
Do double duty on the BeltLine.
The BeltLine is way cool for many reasons, but this month’s best reason is the Art on the Beltline exhibit. Where else can you walk, bike, or skate through the city while also checking out incredible art installments? Take a picnic, stop at the playgrounds, and enjoy the city. Culture and exercise at the same time? Yes, please!
Walk and Roll to School.
If your school has a Safe Routes to School committee, you may already know that October 8 is International Walk to School Day. Even if your school isn’t formally hosting an event, trade the carpool or bus stop for a morning of fresh air and walk or bike your kids to school. Starting the day with a family walk does a body good. You might just find that it’s something you want to try more often!
What are your favorite fall things to do in Atlanta? Share them in the comments!
Erin is gratefully living and learning from her adventures with five small children and husband in Decatur, Georgia. A former teacher, Erin now devotes nearly all of her time to trying to figure out how to raise a happy, healthy family. With her husband Josh, she helped start FitWit and The FitWit Foundation.