Autumn is an ideal time for having fun as a family, presented by Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital.

Fall Leaves - Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital
Photo courtesy of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital

School is in session, and between homework and extracurricular activities, family time can be hard to find in the fall. But autumn is ripe with opportunities to spend fun time together and sneak in a little fitness, too.

  1. See Seasonal Staples
    Pumpkin patches and corn mazes are just the start of your autumn activity options. Look for events in your community or seek out hayrides, apple orchards and festivals that fit your family’s interests, and voila – you can spend the day enjoying each other’s company doing something unique to the season.
  2. Plan a Park Day
    The park is a great choice for family fun and fitness any time of the year, but fall offers a particularly strong lineup of activities. An open lawn is perfect for a game of touch-football, soccer or catch for the athletes in your family, and the windy fall weather is ideal for flying – and running with – a kite. Make a full day of it when you bring bikes and a picnic of energy-boosting snacks and healthy lunches. And when it’s time to take a break, see if you can catch a flock of geese flying south for the winter.
  3. Make a Family Meal
    Autumn may be the start of comfort food season, but there’s plenty of healthy fun to be found in fall recipes – and a little fitness, too, if you do it right. Start by bringing the whole family to the farmers market to pick out fresh fall produce. Take your time walking around the market; you may want to use this opportunity to teach your child about choosing nutritious food. Whether you’re making homemade pumpkin bread, tailgate chili or apple chips, there are ample chances for healthy substitutions.
  4. Hunt for Crafts
    Fall weather can be a tad chilly but generally still nice, so crafting can be the perfect middle-ground endeavor: an indoor activity with lots of outdoor involvement. Plus, with so much nature to use, it’s economical too. Visit your favorite park, take a walk in the woods or explore your own backyard to
    scavenge for colorful leaves, pine cones and other interesting bits of nature. Let your children loose – the outside adventure will help them expend some energy before sitting down to craft. Bring your haul home and set to work with rubbings and prints for a range of crafts, from cards and placemats to garlands.
Little Girl Playing In Fall Leaves in Autumn
Photo courtesy of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital
  1. Leverage the Lawn
    Yard work is a sneakily fun and fit autumnal activity. There is, of course, the work of changing the decorations – including those recently made fall crafts. You can also recruit your family to rake leaves, allowing plenty of time for leaf jumping. Then, use the leaves and twigs — and maybe even wood chopped by mom or dad — as bonfire fodder. S’mores are the perfect treat after a day’s work.
Raking leaves - Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital
Photo courtesy of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital

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For more information on Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital and other locations near you, visit

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital
660 N. Westmoreland Road
(847) 234-5600 | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Pinterest

Disclosure: Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital is a Little Lake County paid advertising partner. 


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About Loralie 341 Articles
When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home. She is the Features Editor and Marketing Director at Little Lake County.

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