10 accessible activities for enjoying autumn
1. Check Out a Garden Center
This is probably your local garden center’s favorite time of year. It’s time to bring in all the local honey, the garlic, the corn stalks and hay bales, the craft artisans and the pumpkins.
Garden centers often have themed events and free or inexpensive activities for kids. Some might hire live entertainment for the afternoon or bring in the animals for a petting zoo.
2. Throw a Harvest Party (or find one to go to)
The choice is yours. You can go big or scale it down. Getting together with friends and loved ones in the autumn season feels fresh and exciting. The holidays bring on a ton of added stress, but meeting up before all that kicks off is a great way to connect with others in a low-expectation setting.
Just make sure there’s warm apple cider, baked treats and some kind of group activity. We found this fun emoji-Pictionary game on Etsy for you to try with your group.
3. Take the Grandkids to an Agritainment Park
A lot of family farms turn into agritainment centers in the fall. For many of them, it’s actually a way to keep their farms financially afloat with hayrides, corn mazes, petting zoos and lots of other fall activities. So just by going, you’re helping to preserve legacy farms.
Many are free to get into; the more elaborate ones charge entry fees. Before you go, call ahead to see whether they are mobility-device accessible. If you ride a scooter like the Go-Go Sport 4-Wheel, unpaved or grassy terrain should be easy enough to manage. If you don’t have a scooter with a suspension system, see the next idea.
4. Visit Harvest Festivals and Street Fairs
If you rely on a mobility device, harvest festivals and street fairs are usually the best option compared to garden centers and agritainment parks. You have the benefit of riding on pavement, and vendors set up their stalls close to each other.
5. Celebrate the Season at Home
You don’t actually have to leave your home. Bake pie (then eat it), watch horror movies, make crafts, have a campfire and sit outside while the sun sets, wrapped up in your favorite quilt. Maybe these activities feel like obvious ways to celebrate the season. The key is you’ll be setting aside time to acknowledge the changing seasons and soak up the moment. After all, winter is coming.
6. Make a Summer Scrapbook
Time for a recap of everything you did this summer! Time to prowl social media for all the times you got tagged in photos. Ask your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews for their favorite summer memories and print them all out for a scrapbook. You and your loved ones will appreciate a keepsake you can all hold in your hands and remember together.
7. Let Go of Things You’ve Grown Out of
Let’s get deep for a second. While you’re enjoying the deep exhale the world takes in autumn, do a little breathing out of your own.
Just because we’re older doesn’t mean we’ve stopped growing. If there are things in your life that no longer suit you, maybe habits, routines, ways of thinking or even relationships that are getting tired — gracefully part ways. Trees need pruning to produce the most fruit; a grain harvest needs winnowing before it goes to the mill. We all need a little purging every once in a while to be at our best.
8. Make Your Own Halloween Costume
This is more fun if you have little ones in your life to do it with, but it can be just as fun on your own. A little costume makeup, a straw hat with some hot glue and colorful leaves from the backyard go a long way to transform you into a scarecrow.
In the same spirit (pun intended), you can use your costume makeup, a blank wide-brimmed hat with craft pom poms glued around the brim and wrapped in ribbon to become a Día de los Muertos mariachi.
9. Dine on the Season’s Menu
Squash, pumpkin, apples, pears, plums, cherries, corn. They’re all in season now and at their ripest. Incorporate seasonal ingredients into your cooking where you can or try something new.
10. Write Your Own Personal “Harvest” Inventory
While the farmers bring in their crops, take stock of all the great things in your own life with a personal inventory. On a quiet morning, grab some paper and a pencil and list all of the things you’re grateful for. Mental health experts say practicing personal gratitude regularly helps all of us focus more on the good things we have, and by extension less time on the things we lack.
Harvest season is about enjoying abundance, and if all of us stop long enough to look, we should find plenty of reasons to feel grateful.