Five fall activities for the whole family

How to keep everyone moving this season.
Published September 25, 2019

It’s easy to stay active with the whole family in the summer, but what about in the fall?

As the colder months roll around, it can be tempting to stay indoors on the couch rather than go for a walk or play a game outside. Of course, downtime is important, but it’s also important to stay active – and staying active as a family can help promote bonding. Here are five activities you can try out to keep your whole family moving this fall.

“It’s extremely important to take time to disconnect from phones and televisions and reconnect to your loved ones,” says Jim Owen, author of Just Move! A New Approach to Fitness After 50.

Owen cites the emotional benefits of staying active as a family and says he and his wife began going to the gym together about five or six years ago.

“Every time we work out together, we always feel much more energized, more loved and less stressed. As we near 80 years of age, we have never been stronger or closer as we are today as a result.

“Furthermore,” he adds, “by making our health a priority, we act as role models to our children and the rest of our family members. It is important that we demonstrate how to live a healthy, pain-free and independent life for as long as we possibly can. By exercising as a family, you’re instilling the value in taking care of yourself and prioritizing your health.”


1) Go for a walk, hike or bike ride


“The ‘fun factor’ is paramount when choosing what activity to do with your family so it doesn’t seem like a chore,” says Owen. “In my opinion, nothing beats walking outdoors – especially as the weather cools down. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far you go, the point is that you’re moving! Anyone who is mobile can walk, which makes it a great activity to do with the entire family, no matter their ages.”


Depending on where you live, Owen says, hiking may be an option for your family as well. “Being out in nature is [a] big payoff of an active lifestyle.”


And, if everyone is comfortable with bicycles, going for a family bike ride is another fun way to keep everyone active before it gets too cold or dangerous to ride.


While the physical and mental benefits of exercise are well known, Owen also touts the value of the emotional benefits reaped from working out with your loved ones. When his children were three and five years old, Owen and his wife began a ritual of daily walks with them and their dog. “The walks brought us together as a family,” he says. “Fast-forward to today, our kids are now in their mid-30s, but they still talk about the walks that we took as a family, years and years ago with great fondness.”


In addition to nature walks, hikes and bike rides, here are four more family activities you can try this fall, courtesy of homeschool mom and blogger Charlene Hess.

2) Attend a local scarecrow festival or harvest festival
3) Go through a corn maze together
4) Carve a jack-o-lantern together

“Having a family or neighbourhood pumpkin carving contest is also fun,” says Hess.

5) Help a community garden prepare for the winter