Kimberly Blaker, contributing writer
Summer may be seen as the outdoor season, but autumn also offers lots of opportunities for outdoor fun. Try some of these close-to-home family activities and fill you and your kids’ senses with delight.
ENJOY A COLOR TOUR
The mountains are the places to be in the fall. With canyons surrounding Cache Valley, you have your pick of scenic drives to take in the colors of the season. Pack up the car and take a ride or plan a hike for an amazing view.
HOST A CAMPFIRE COOKOUT
Have the kids round up neighborhood friends for a cookout. Hot dogs, hot chocolate, marshmallows, and s’mores are a traditional way to top off the season. Have everyone take turns telling stories around the fire. Tell spooky stories, or if you have little ones, check-out library books with autumn themes to read aloud.
ATTEND A FOOTBALL GAME
Nothing quite says fall in Cache Valley better than a football game. Gather your family and head to Maverik Stadium for an Aggie game or to any of the high school fields for some local action. Take along a bag of popcorn and thermos of hot cocoa, then snuggle up and get ready to cheer on your favorite team.
VISIT A FRUIT FARM
Take your kids berry picking at Mt. Naomi Farms in Hyde Park, or stop by Zollingers in River Heights for locally grown apples and the most delicious cider you can find. Bring it home with some doughnuts for a classic fall evening!
MAKE A SCARECROW
What’s fall without a scarecrow on your porch? It’s easy to make. Just buy a couple of bales of straw, then have each family member gather some old clothes and hats. Stuff it using string to tie off the hands, feet, and head.
Do you remember diving into the crisp fall leaves when you were a kid? Grab some rakes, and have your youngsters pitch in. Pile up the leaves to jump in, build a fort, and even have a leaf fight.
VISIT A PUMPKIN PATCH
Begin a family tradition of picking your pumpkins from a patch. After cleaning out the pumpkins, make roasted pumpkin seeds, a yummy treat that kids love. Rinse the seeds, pat them dry, and coat with melted butter. Spread the seeds on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 350 until golden brown. Be sure and stir them occasionally.
GO ON A HORSEBACK RIDE
Beaver Creek Lodge in Logan Canyon offers exciting horseback adventures through groves of aspen and pine trees to the top of a mountain ridge — the views are absolutely unbeatable!
SHIFT THROUGH A CORNFIELD MAZE
Kids delight in finding their way through cornfield mazes. Our local favorite mazes are at the American West Heritage Center and Little Bear Bottoms in Wellsville.
PLANT PERENNIALS AND BULBS
Let your kids try out their green thumbs. After all, fall is the time of year to plant perennials and flower bulbs. Check out local expert Mark Anderson’s tips for success in this issue.
MAKE A BIRD FEEDER OR HOUSE
Kids will enjoy the carpentry experience and marvel at watching birds make use of their creations. Kits are available in hobby stores and online for making bird feeders. To make one from scratch, visit your library and check out a book on how to build a birdhouse, or find free instructions online.
TAKE A RAILROAD EXCURSION
With the colors of fall blazing under bright blue skies, a scenic railroad excursion is a sure bet. The Heber Valley Railroad in Heber City is a hidden gem that offers incredible views of the Wasatch mountains and the wide-open vistas of Deer Creek Reservoir.