Enjoy this fall post which originally ran in October, 2022!
Fall is a beautiful, magical time in our city.
It can also equally become ridiculously overwhelming if you try to do every activity St. Louis has to offer. Mamas, repeat after me: “Committing to going to every fall event will not make me a better mom, just a more tired one.” Children are amazed by the smallest things. We don’t have to exhaust ourselves trying to do “all the fall things” because simple is usually better. And bonus, it makes us less stressed out!
Here are some of our favorite yearly family traditions!
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
This is a no-brainer, right? We commit to at least one pumpkin patch a year. Some years we hit up more, some years we only make it to one. Our personal favorites include Daniel’s Farm and Greenhouses (my kids LOVE the straw maze and corn boxes, and who doesn’t love corn? #tiktok) and Thieis Farm’s play area! Every pumpkin patch has its own special charm, and all are worth the trip! You can check out the details in the St. Louis Moms Fall Guide!
We all want to bottle up the smell of fall and keep it in a jar, right? If you’re a cinnamon or apple girl, this one’s for you. My fall stovetop potpourri is simple – apples, oranges, fresh cinnamon sticks, rosemary sprigs, and cloves. Throw everything in a pot, cover with water, and let it simmer! The sweet smells will fill your house so quickly, you’ll want to cozy up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket immediately. Letting your toddlers throw the “recipe” in the pot or having your teenagers make potpourri ingredient mason jars for their teachers is a great way to do this together!
My kids are obsessed with crafting. If it was possible to cover every square inch of our place with paper concoctions, they absolutely would. Guided craft activities are fun because they make such nice keepsakes year after year! We’ve done skeletons with q-tips (get a black piece of paper and cut out a white skeleton head, then glue q-tips to make a skeletal body), Halloween painted rocks, toilet paper mummies, and different kinds of pumpkins! The possibilities are endless. If coming up with ideas isn’t your thing, the Mondo Llama brand at Target has a lot of affordable craft options!
Have a Picnic
We are so fortunate to have such a beautiful fall season! While the weather is nice, it’s the perfect time to get out with the family and enjoy nature! We love going to Shaw Park and collecting leaves of different colors. Scavenger hunts are also so fun! Pack a picnic lunch or dinner and spend some time unplugged with the family.
Boo at the Zoo
This is one of our favorite events! We normally eat a quick dinner after school and then drive straight to the zoo. The hours are 5pm – 8:30pm, and don’t forget it gets dark quicker in the fall! By 6pm, it’s perfectly dark, lit up by beautiful Halloween lights, and such a treat for the whole family. Moms, this doubles really well as a good evening walk to get your steps in! 🙂 There are, of course, so many opportunities for fun fall events. This is just one of our traditions!
I’ll be honest; I have not yet tackled carving pumpkins with little ones. Painting though? That’s our jam. On a beautiful fall day, put some newspaper outside, lay down the pumpkins you picked out at the pumpkin patch or the grocery store (no shame in the pumpkin game), and let them paint! I love to have baby wipes handy for quick clean-ups. Glitter is always fun to add, and you can glue googly eyes on the pumpkins when they’re dry!
Nothing screams fall like witches, monsters, and of course, Jack Skellington. Pop some popcorn (we love melting chocolate over it with spooky sprinkles), dim the lights, put some fall candles on, and turn on the flicks! Some family favorites include Harry Potter, Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, Disney’s Zombies, and the Nightmare Before Christmas!
One of my favorite traditions is to grab a mason jar and label it your family’s Thanksgiving “Gratitude Jar.” Last year, we found little trees at target, and each day my children attached a leaf to their tree. I’ve also seen variations with adding feathers to a paper turkey. You could Pinterest search for ideas! Each day, your family will write on little slips of paper what they or who they are grateful for, what they enjoyed during that day, or something kind they did. Then on Thanksgiving, we gather around and read them aloud! Be warned, answers can vary from “I’m grateful for cooking with my mommy” to “Robots and Spiderman.” Same little man, same.
Remember, mamas, it isn’t about how many things you do. It’s about the quality of the time spent together. No matter what your family likes to do in the fall, being together and creating those memories are the best part that they’ll remember forever.