Family Autumn Activities

Written by: Emily Rayner

For me, autumn is my favourite time of year. It marks the end of hot, long summer days and the start of the magical run-up to Christmas. The rust and burnt hues, the morning mist and the cosy evenings are just a few of the things I like about this time of year, not forgetting all the autumn decor too!

A crisp autumn day out with my little boy who is 3, wrapped in a chunky scarf and thick coat, is my favourite kind of day out. I have put together some of my favourite family autumn activities, so if you’re looking for some inspiration come rain or shine, put the kettle on, turn on your fairy lights, light a pumpkin spice candle and take a read…

Woodland Walks

A leisurely walk is one of the nicest ways to spend an autumn day, especially if it’s finished with a nice creamy hot chocolate with all the trimmings. Every year, right at the start of autumn, me and my son George go to Studley Royal, a local deer park that is part of the Fountains Abbey Estate. This is also the park our design team used to study and get inspiration for our Studley light up reindeer collection. We can spend many hours pottering around, searching for deer and then watching them in their natural habitat. Every year I take a photo of him in the same spot too, so I can see how much he has grown - something I hope we can do for a long time to come! Toddlers don’t have the best attention spans, so I often take relevant stories with me for short breaks, or create a treasure hunt, ticking off things we see and finding acorns and leaves that can also come in really handy for crafts.

Pumpkin Picking

Pumpkins are the ultimate symbol of autumn. Gone are the days of just popping to the supermarket to collect a pumpkin and carving it, now it’s almost a full-day activity and finding the perfect pumpkin is half the fun. We’re lucky to be surrounded by pumpkin picking spots and many of these are part of farms and other days out. Some of my favourite local spots include Birchfield Farm, Piglets and The Balloon Tree, some of which have tents for carving the pumpkins on-site, meaning the mess doesn’t get made at home which is even better! If you’re looking for some pumpkin carving inspiration, there’s always lots of ideas on Instagram and Pinterest.

Cosy Movie Nights

Unfortunately we can’t always guarantee sunshine for a nice autumnal day out, but a movie day/night is the perfect solution for a guilt-free lazy day. If we've been pumpkin picking already we use some of the harvest we picked up to decorate the room for a super cosy autumnal feel. Make sure you have plenty of snacks at the ready and to make it more exciting, you can create a den, drape string lights and turn the lights out to watch it from there!

Some that are always on repeat in our house are:

- Toy Story 1,2,3 and 4 (I'm ashamed to be able to recite most of the first film now)

- Frozen 1 and 2

- Sing

- Secret life of Pets

And if you're looking for something a bit more seasonal...Hotel Translyvania

Create a Spooky Space

It’s not autumn and Halloween without some pumpkins and spooky lights dotted around. Now my little boy is a bit older he really enjoys decorating the house, and it’s lovely seeing little ones' faces light up as they pass or visit the house for trick-or-treating - I have a feeling next year I will be persuaded to get a Cackling Cathy, but we shall see! We usually do a bit of a toy and book rotation as well, replacing books on his shelves with spookier reads and mixing in some more seasonal toys.