At The Conference Center at GTCC, we are all about planning events. While we love planning large corporate events for hundreds of people or small workshops for a dozen attendees, we also enjoy planning events for our own families. With the beautiful weather and gorgeous color palette that fall brings, it is the perfect time to plan fun outdoor events and activities for the entire family to enjoy. Here are some ideas that are easy on the planning and big on the fun.
Outdoor movie night
Enjoying a movie outdoors on a crisp autumn evening is sure to be a hit with your family. Project the movie on a white sheet against your house, pop some popcorn, bring out blankets and pillows and cozy up to watch a family favorite together. You can find reasonably priced projectors that attach to a smart phone to make movie viewing easy.
From flashlight tag to shadow charades to a flashlight dance party, a flashlight can provide hours of fun for the entire family. Check out these popular games played with flashlights and prepare for lots of laughter and good times when the sun goes down.
Backyard camp out
Sleeping outside in the fresh air is a great way to appreciate nature. Pitch a tent in your backyard or make your own by tying several sheets together and letting them hang from low limbs on a tree. Use blankets to make the floor and lay sleeping bags on top. Do not forget to bring along a pillow and favorite lovey! Before turning in for the night, enjoy family time around a fire and make s’mores, tell kid-friendly ghost stories, jokes or sing campfire songs.
Fall scavenger hunt along the Greenway
Greensboro is home to more than 90 miles of trails and greenways for biking, hiking and walking. Nature lovers will love the paths lined with trees full of gorgeous fall color and along serene lakes. For more information about the greenway, visit the Greensboro Greenway page. For added enjoyment on a family walk on the greenway system, plan a scavenger hunt. Make a list of fall-like things that your children can easily find. Give each child a bag to collect their items and then challenge them to use the items to create a fall masterpiece. Here is a free downloadable guide for a nature scavenger hunt.
Fall is the perfect time of year to do crafts. Set up a table outside and have everyone try their hand at making leaf rubs, painting pumpkins or gourds, creating “nature” art using leaves, twigs, small rocks, moss and other things collected from your yard. You can also make “Eyes of God” using two sticks and fall-colored yarn. Purchase small clay pots from a discount store and have your children paint the pots in fall colors. After they dry, plant pansies in them and then leave them on neighboring front porches with a note from your family as a nice fall surprise.
Leaf mountains and leaf slide
“Leaf mountains” have been a source of entertainment for children for many years. Give each child a rake and work together as a family to build a giant leaf mountain. Another idea is to “build” a mountain at the end of a sliding board and enjoy hearing your children squeal with delight as they slide into the mountain. After several playtime sessions (because you may just have to build mountains several days in a row!), have everyone gather leaves into clear plastic yard waste bags so they can be recycled.
Build fairy houses
Little fairies may enjoy a warm place to rest this fall, so why not build fairy houses with your children so the magical creatures have a comfy place to land? Join your children for a trek through your neighborhood and gather materials to build your fairy house. Make sure to pick up treasures along the way to help furnish or adorn the creative abode. The fairies will thank you!
Fall picnic in the park
Food eaten outside somehow tastes better, and even more so if enjoyed while taking in views of fall color. Pack a picnic lunch or dinner and head out to one of the many awesome parks in our area. To make it more fun, enlist each member of your family to prepare and pack something for the picnic, but let each person’s contribution be a surprise to be revealed at the picnic. You may be amazed at how well the meal comes together.
Since the pandemic may alter the way Halloween looks this year, consider making your own Halloween fun at home. Create a “neighborhood” in your backyard by setting up “houses” for your children to visit for trick-or-treating. Use your imagination to set up a variety of “houses” for your children. Ideas for “houses” can be a large cardboard box with “owners” who “pop” out of the top with a bowl of candy when your children ring an imaginary doorbell, a tablecloth over a table that is moved to reveal the “homeowner” sitting underneath the table with candy in hand, or a tree with low branches sturdy enough for the “homeowner” to sit on while awaiting trick-or-treaters. Please know that parents may need to play multiple “homeowner” roles and be prepared for children to take several trips around the backyard “neighborhood,” but the experience will be fun for all.
Without a doubt, fall is a delightful time of year. With a little planning, you will enjoy fun times outside with your family while taking in the natural beauty of the season.