The past Saturday, my entire family had a day without any plans. To welcome the first official week of fall, we decided to dedicate a whole day to some family fall activities.
I feel it’s important to honor change and make it exciting and associated with good feelings. My children will experience change their entire lives and I want them to greet it with bravery, excitement and curiosity. The changing of seasons is a simple way to instill these feelings into the younger crowd.
I personally struggle as a mom by the overwhelming need to make things over the top in order to be deemed significant. For this family fall day, I made a conscious effort to ditch my expectations, keep it low key and find ways to enjoy the new season for just a small amount of money, and no pressure on time. The result? One of the best family days we have ever had!
Our Fall Family Day
- We started our day with a family run at Lake Hefner. I believe it’s vital to fill your own cup before taking on the needs of your family. Investing time in moving helps my husband and me be more patient, less uptight and all around more enjoyable parents. We pushed the girls in our jogging stroller around the lake so we could point out the changing leaves, the ducks and the cool breeze, all signs of the new season. The girls got to indulge in some donuts for being team players during our long run.
- Then, Andrew and I headed straight to Starbucks for some pumpkin spiced coffee. We always treat ourselves after a hard workout and anything pumpkin flavored seemed fitting for a fall-themed day.
- We desperately needed to shower and the girls needed a nap. I was feeling uneasy that we hadn’t done “enough” fall festivities yet, but I reminded myself of my intention for the day. Andrew and I decided to get out our fall and Halloween décor and decorate the house while they napped. Friends, if you haven’t surprised your kids with a decked-out holiday home I highly recommend it. They were elated when they woke up! It was a great memory for us all.
- After the newness of the décor wore off, we headed to a late lunch. As you know, Oklahoma is still HOT in September but we wanted something to go along with our fall theme. We decided to hit up our favorite Pho restaurant, Pho Lien Hoa, for some yummy hot noodles. It hit the spot and the girls had a blast learning to slurp noodles and twirl them on their forks.
- Next we went straight to the king of all things pumpkin: Trader Joes. Our experience was nothing short of comical. Our whole family was picking up anything with a pumpkin on it and throwing it in the cart. We got pancakes, cookies, butters, breads, pumpkins, sunflowers and wine (for mom and dad!)
- We hauled our groceries back home where we decorated the porch with our new pumpkins. The girls drew on small white pumpkins with dry erase markers that can be wiped off and reused all season. I made a charcuterie board for Andrew and me while he built a gingerbread Halloween house from Trader Joes with Ellis and Vivian.
- We ended our memorable fall day with a big pallet on the living room floor to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s one of my favorite movies to kick start “holiday row” season. The girls helped me make oven-cooked s’mores, which were a hit.
My Mom Takeaway
Our day was intended to be a “perfect fall day in OKC.” I initially wanted us to hit up a bunch of local spots, but with kiddos aged 2 and 4 and a lifestyle that can already benefit from slowing down, it was really refreshing and enjoyable to make these simple activities follow a theme and to experience them all together.
(Editor’s Note: A great place to start planning your perfectly imperfect family fall fun is with MetroFamily’s searchable calendar and festive fall guides. We’ve done all the hard work and rounded up dozens of fun things to do this fall.)
Madi Pontikes is an early childhood educator, personal trainer and the creator and owner of Move by Madi. She creates workouts that fit into the modern mom’s daily routine, sheds light on the real aspects of healthy living and parenting, and is passionate about promoting a mindset of loving your body for what it CAN do. Connect with Madi on Instagram @movebymadi or on her website movebymadi.com.