Who doesn’t love autumn in Australia? Sure, it’s a little sad to say farewell to long days of endless sunshine, but as the air gets cooler, it’s still the perfect opportunity to layer up and enjoy some stunning landscapes of reds, oranges, and yellows. In addition to that, there are so many activities for you and your family to enjoy, whether you’re the outdoorsy or indoorsy type.
Care to bask in the leafy autumn breeze? Here are our three amazing ideas to get you inspired and make beautiful memories before the Autumn season slips away!
explore your green thumb
Turns out you don’t need to venture too far to breathe in some crisp, fresh air and have fun bonding with your family – as your back yard will do just fine!
For the littlies, simply pop on gumboots, rake up some leaves, dive into the pile… and repeat! For the bigger kids, how about exploring your green thumbs? Most of us associate Spring with gardening and planting, but there are so many plants, including herbs and vegetables, that can also thrive through the cooler months too.
Autumn is a particularly good time to plant and grow immunity-boosting foods that will be ripe for the picking, just when your family needs them most! For super-healthy salads? Carrots, snow peas and cherry tomatoes grow well in cooler seasons. For sizzling stir fry? Try growing some onion, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and Chinese greens in your veggie patch.
Did you also know that good bacteria in soil have been found to release mood-lifting hormones that boost immunity? Amazing, right? Not to mention the joy of bonding and banter as you dig and sow and play.
There are even calming benefits to gardening - from patiently waiting and watching as your plants sprout and grow. Exploring your green thumbs presents a great opportunity to teach kids to care for and nurture their plants. And how the final product can be a great eco-conscious alternative to store-bought foods!
take your littlies camping
There’s nothing like the feeling of immersing yourself and your family in the stillness of nature. Imagine kicking back in your camp chair on a cool and frosty morning – with the sweet smell and sounds of a crackling fire. When you can feel free to unplug: with no phone, no alarm, no tv and ... no iPad! Where you can unwind without running around trying to find the other soccer boot or preparing snacks for a full day out!
When the weather begins to change, the scenery in camping grounds and national parks are the perfect backdrop for a family camping trip! A beautiful way to bond as a family by spending a weekend internet-free … by soaking up the sights and sounds of nature and fresh air.
For the littlies? Simply walking and exploring is enough to stay happy. For the bigger kids and more adventurous-at-heart? There are many outdoor activities that your family can enjoy, like hiking, tree-climbing, kayaking, zip-lining, and fishing – just take your pick!
At nights, toasting marshmallows around a campfire is a must, along with stargazing. In the business of life, we rarely get the chance to sit in our backyards at night and look up at the sky. Kids will be amazed at the stars above, and you’ll be mesmerized by the serenity this activity brings!
If off-grid camping seems too intense, perhaps a holiday park is more your thing. Big 4's across Australia cater to all things camping – including glamping, cabins and more! There may be restrictions on what you can do, like having open fires, but the trade-off may be worth it for the facilities and equipment that you won’t have to source and bring yourself.
Whatever works for you, the key here is simply getting your family out of the house, away from the routine and back into nature!
visit a museum
As the weather can get cooler in Autumn, you might be looking for more rainy-day activities for your family to enjoy. So, number three on the to-do list? Takes us where it’s warm and wondrous … at the local museum. Ideal for kids of all ages to explore, play-and-learn museums offer a myriad of programs and benefits. They provide memorable, immersive learning experiences; trigger imagination; explore new thoughts and concepts; and offer educational environments for quality time with the family.
There are so many types of museums to explore, whatever your interests! There are plenty of options and interactive experiences for the whole family. Little explorers will think the science museum is mole-cool! Little rev heads will be anything but side-tracked at a train or auto museum. And budding little artists will love the chance to brush up on their knowledge at the art gallery!
Too cold to venture out? Hooray for the digital era, now you and your family can explore everything from museums, aquariums, and art galleries via a virtual tour. Many collections and tours are available online, just google one that interests you like Van Gogh Museum or New York’s MOMA or Sealife Aquarium and away you go. There’s something there for young and old.
indoor rock climbing
Got some little spidermen on your hands? Why not take them to an Indoor Rock-Climbing Centre, where they can not only be true-blue rock climbers, but can also strengthen their range of motion – harness, headgear, and all! Like budding mountaineers, they can tackle a myriad of challenges on every wall for all ages and abilities!
And if parents want to join in on the fun? It is also known to be a great all-over body workout too, that can condition the upper and lower parts of your body. So, go on and try those high ropes. Be a modern-day Ninja or Tarzan, and just have a whole heap of fun!
Longing to visit the country for the day, and eat some seasonal produce? Why not visit an orchard or vineyard near your local city? Whether its strawberries, raspberries, cherries, or blueberries, it's worth paying a farm a visit – just to experience the fruits of Mother Nature's labour!
So, dress warmly, grab a basket, and fill it to your heart's content! Not only will you fill your tummies with the natural, taste of fruit, but your kids can climb up some of the trees (with a parent watching of course) and closely examine the process of how fruits are grown too! A learning experience for the whole entire family!
design a leaf maze
Other than encouraging your youngies to jump into piles of leaves in autumn for immense joy, did you know that dried leaves can also be raked and turned into a leaf maze or mandala for hours and hours of challenging outdoor entertainment?
Get your littlies busy by working their brains and their muscles in the fresh autumn air, by boosting their creative thinking skills! The activity of building a maze has educational benefits as well. It develops a child's spatial awareness, it teaches them to think ahead, and it jolts their thinking when planning their every move, especially when coming face-to-face with pesky-looking roadblocks and dead-end corners!
To start, set up a space in your backyard or local park, rake up the leaves (preferably near the trees for easy access) and show the kids a pattern you’ve designed on paper.
Then direct the kids to rake up the leaves into lines, starting from the center outwards, then show them how to leaving little openings here and there for them to navigate through. Not only will this activity give the whole family a digital detox, but it is a great problem-solving activity for busy little thinkers!
craft some leaf confetti
Have some fairy princesses in the house, raring to get go and fly around the backyard? Get your kid’s imagination going and create some heart-shaped leaf confetti, to decorate your table with; or to create a heart-driven fairy path with - that will lead you to a magical backyard destination! Just grab a few baskets, go to your local park, collect some dried leaves, and carry them home in bundles to get the magic started!
With simple tools like a heart-shaped hole puncher, a recycled roll of paper and a few reusable garbage bags, collect a full bag of multi-coloured dried leaves, empty them on a long table covered with a recycled roll of paper, and carefully, and with assistance, start punching heart-shaped holes in the leaves.
Careful to use the whole leaf, and then discard the rest into a reusable bag, to then disperse back into its natural environment - and you've just created the perfect fairy craft activity for the kidlets!
take a trip to the zoo
Autumn can be a great time to plan a trip to the zoo, as animals tend to come out of their shelter in as the weather gets cooler.
Going to the zoo is a great way to educate your kids about the environment, and about the importance of protecting wildlife, not to mention learning about where the animals come from around the world.
Hosted by wildlife guides who are passionate about animals, they will warmly greet you and encourage the whole family to be more empathetic and compassionate about conservation, and that animals too have feelings and emotions just like humans do!
go tree climbing
Tree climbing is a great thrill-seeking autumn activity, especially for kids with lots of energy, and who are keen to take risks! Not only does this activity challenge kids but climbing can boost their confidence and resilience; improve their focus; and get more in touch with their strength, limitations, and sense of self.
Keen to let your kids climb trees, but with some safety measures in place? Why not visit a tree climbing adventure park, where you can be harnessed and helmeted on a self-guided ropes course with zip lines and various obstacles to complete? It’s a whole day activity for the family to enjoy!
create a leafy spoon village
Tired of watching your kids cooped up inside and glued to their screens? Why not help them create a nature-filled spoon village on your front lawn? Collect all your old wooden and silver spoons, collect some twigs and pieces of bark from the back garden – and get your imagination going! Create spoon nature-inspired spoon families, wearing dried leaf outfits, decorated with twigs, and acorn hats.
You can even collect all kinds of leaves and carefully glue and paint them on the spoons with different characteristics showing, with plant-friendly paint powders and googly-eyed stickers. Even better - create a fairy-led scene - with your leaf confetti leading the way there, for an earth-bound touch!
Not only can this activity boost your child's creativity and imagination, but it can also make them appreciate the benefits of celebrating the beauty of the planet.
learn about gratitude
Let’s not forget, Autumn is also a season that represents change. As the leaves turn colour, swirl through the air and then fall on the ground, it is important to teach our children that change is everywhere, and in ourselves too. Change is all around us, all the time, and as the seasons change right before our eyes, it challenges us to grow, learn and appreciate our lives minute-by-minute: by having gratitude.
Gratitude is a warm feeling of appreciation that expresses thankfulness towards everything we have in our lives. This warm feeling keeps us in a happy state-of-mind, that if practiced, can filter through us from the moment we wake up, to the moment we fall asleep at night.
So, perhaps try an activity with your kids and list what you are thankful for in a journal, or on a little note of paper and drop it into your gratitude jar to be read back later, or even in a silent prayer before bedtime. It improves our lives greatly when we practice having gratitude!
Autumn is a great time to get out and about with the family. Whether you choose to go on an adventure, or just have a chilling day close to home, may you make this special season memorable!