When fall hits Southern California, it’s not always easy to recognize. About the only telltale sign comes thanks to the time change – it gets darker earlier. The weather is often slow to cool, the rain elusive and fall colors tough to spot.
But California’s moderate fall weather has a definite upside – it offers an array of outdoor activities worth enjoying clear through winter. Here are a few ways to get your little ones enjoying the great outdoors this fall:
Hit the trails. Cooler temps are great for hiking. The crowds at local parks and state parks tend to dissipate, making many of the popular spots that much more family-friendly.
Search for fall colors at a park. Fall color changes aren’t as easy to spot in my immediate neighborhood as they are at nearby parks. Go on a color hunt at your favorite park to see how many different colored leaves your little one can find.
Go on a night walk. Our usual after-dinner walks take on an entirely new feel now that it’s dark by the time we head outside. Bring along a flashlight and see what your neighborhood feels like when the sun goes down.
Savor the moonlight. I don’t know what it is about kids and the moon, but both of my sons have loved the moon since before they could talk. Early darkness means we can enjoy the moon in all its splendor. Pull up a chair or lie down on a blanket and check out the night sky. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a few stars.
Get back to the beach. Fall is the perfect time to fly a kite, build sandcastles, search for seashells, chase seagulls, go tide pooling or "bury" each other in the sand.
Find fun on the farm. Fall harvest festivals are fun for kids of all ages. Whether you’re into apple picking or love a good gourd, u-pick farms are a wonderful place to spend time outdoors.
Head to the mountains. Trees, rivers, lakes, meadows and trails all take on a different look and feel come the changing of the seasons. Why not plan a weekend getaway to discover what’s out there this fall?
No matter what the weather is like where you live, get outside with the kiddos and enjoy what fall has to offer!