5 Places to Take Your Kids Before Halloween

Family Travel on 09.21.11
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Photos: Britt Reints

Yes, summer is officially over, but there's still plenty of fun to be had in the sun. Need a little inspiration for fun things to do with your kids this fall? Before you're sequestered indoors for months, make a point of taking the family to one of these outdoor destinations. 

1. Local Amusement Park

Things to do in the fall: Amusement Park

Wooden roller coasters and carnival games are memories usually associated with the heat of summer, but many amusement parks stay open through the fall. If you have a small child who has never experienced a theme park, this is the perfect time to take them. Why go in September or October? No lines! You might even save a little off the ticket price. Throw on a sweatshirt and a hat and you can enjoy a full day and night of thrills without catching a chill.

2. State Park

Things to do this fall - State Park

Your tax dollars are hard at work keeping nature beautiful in your own state, but so often my family has discovered these parks are nearly empty when we visit. A state park might not sound like the most exciting place to spend an afternoon, but that's mainly because they don't have mega marketing dollars to spend! Pack a lunch, bikes, hiking shoes and a camera and get one last weekend in the Great Outdoors before ice and snow traps you inside.

3. Hometown Football Game

things to do with kids in fall - football game

Whether your hometown team is the local high school or a Division I college team, nothing says fall like an outdoor game. The rain, snow and cold will make games a drag for small kids soon enough, but a crisp autumn afternoon is a glorious time for a family day at the stadium. Why should you go? The family that cheers together, stays together! OK, mostly it's just a fun activity that you can only enjoy a few months out of the year.

4. Playground


Don't underestimate the simple pleasures of a great neighborhood park; you'll be missing that free entertainment option come November. Mix things up and checkout some parks outside of your own neighborhood. For a truly unique experience, put down the book or the smart phone and get on the jungle gym with your kids. Fair warning from my own mishaps: stretch first if it's been a while since you've swung from the monkey bars!

5. Farm

pumpkin picking

Fall is a great time to visit a farm because you can often eat what's been growing all summer! If you don't know anyone who farms, ask around at the farmer's market to find a local operation that might allow visitors or offer tours. Depending on where in the country you live, you might also be able to tour an apple orchard in the fall and bring home bushels of supplies for pie and cider.

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