It’s that time of year again–the beach towels are packed away, the empty sunscreen bottles thrown into the recycling bin, our tans slowly fading with the daylight. Another summer has passed and the kids are back in school, meaning less time for them to get outdoors and enjoy all that nature has to offer–or does it? Autumn is one of the best times of year to get outside, and we’ve compiled a list of ways to keep your kids (or your inner child!) moving in the fresh air.
Family Bike Rides Along Our Counties’ Various Trails
Bucks and Montgomery counties offer miles of bike paths. The Perkiomen Trail, Valley Forge, the Green Ribbon Trail, the Delaware River Water Trail, and many more offer scenic cycling routes that are fun for the whole family. Given the abundance of our country’s history in this area, it is also a great way to teach children about their surroundings and to broaden their understanding of the past, all while enjoying the view of the changing leaves. (Heritage Conservancy is hosting a bike ride on October 26th. Click HERE to learn more.)
What better way to get outside than to reap the benefits in the form of food? Apple picking is the perfect outdoor activity for kids and adults alike. Solebury Orchards, Tabora Farm & Orchard, Shady Brook Farm, and Styer Farm, to name a few, all offer apple picking this time of year. Manoff Market Gardens, which is on a Heritage Conservancy preserved property, harvests apples and opened a cidery on-site. Better yet, turn one activity into two by baking an apple pie afterward. A tasty ending to a fun day outdoors!
Raking leaves doesn’t have to be a chore, and for children it can be anything but! Many of us have felt the joy of hopping into a pile of leaves, so why not enhance the experience by creating leaf mazes and obstacle courses for your young ones? Of course, some re-raking will have to be done, but at least the kids will sleep soundly after an afternoon of physical activity in the crisp autumn air! It also leaves room for a bonus educational opportunity: leaf identification. There are a few apps, like TreeBook, that offer a thorough index of leaf and tree types that can be pulled up anywhere. This app is even handy on the aforementioned bike ride!
Just Get Outside
Most importantly, when we make an effort to get outside, our children follow suit. Going for walks, playing hide and seek, exploring a new park–or even a familiar park–are all simple, straightforward options that get our children moving. When we make it our priority, it is our children who reap the benefits, as they witness first hand the value of open air and exercise. By incorporating a bit of history and nature in the process, the entire family can learn something new about our surroundings, and it starts by getting outside.
Click HERE to explore some of Heritage Conservancy’s nature preserves.