When I’m out and about wearing our newborn daughter and “managing” my two boys (5 and 3 years old), complete strangers will walk up to me and say, “You are so brave.” Really? I think what they really want to say, “You are so crazy!” Maybe I’m a little of both. But I want to be intentional about making memories with my kids. So, when I feel nervous about taking my kids somewhere, I remind myself that women have been having children since the beginning of time and by God’s grace they have been getting out of the house and enjoying their families!
So here’s a little encouragement for getting out of the house. Whether you’re a mama to one newborn or to several toddlers, it doesn’t mean that you have to press pause on experiencing new adventures. You can do it! Here’s our family’s fall bucket list:
We live in Los Angeles so we have to drive a few hours to find an apple orchard. Because of this, I had never gone apple picking until I was 35 years old with my kids. I discovered a town in the Yucaipa mountains where there are several apple farms, the leaves turn crimson colors, and there’s even a country hoedown with barbecue, line dancing and singing. The key to making the drive (or any drive for that matter) is to plan for a time where there’s light traffic. The baby falls asleep and the toddlers may even, too, or if they don’t, listen to a digital book to pass the time on the road.
After you’ve picked your apples go home and bake a pie. My sons love using leaf cutters and punching out pie decorations from the crust. Plus, using a roller is a highlight for them. As long as they’ve washed their hands, they’re the perfect sous chefs, and they are so proud of the pie they help make when it comes out of the oven.
Hayride and Farm Visit
Is it really fall if you haven’t gone on a hayride? Every year we visit the same farm. When you get there, they provide a red wagon to transport your kids. You can pick pumpkins or fruits and veggies, and there are tons of animals to feed. But my favorite part is going on the hayride! I wear my new baby in a carrier since this outing requires a lot of walking, and my hands are literally free to enjoy the adventure with my older children.
Halloween Family Dress Up
For the last two years, as a family we’ve dressed up for Halloween. Some of our previous family costumes have included me as Cruella Deville, the kiddos as the cutest Dalmatians, and my husband as the dog catcher. Other themes have included “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “Grease.” It’s fun to dress up for your church’s trunk-or-treat or go door-to-door as a family.
Football Game and Babysitter
I recommend that you take some of your fall adventures just with your girlfriends or husband. Get a babysitter and enjoy some tailgating and football. My husband and I had so much fun at a college football game. Get cozy with some apple cider and a blanket while you cheer on your favorite team together.
There is a whole new world of farms, play museums and botanical gardens awaiting you just outside of your home this fall. So get your brave and crazy on and start checking off your fall bucket list with your kids in tow!
Portia Gorman is a wife and stay-at-home mother to two toddler boys in Southern California. She shares her mom-adventure on food, family and faith through her Inspired Chick blog. Before starting a family of her own, Portia enjoyed a career as a marriage family therapist working with children, teenagers and their families. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication and Broadcast Journalism as well as a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. Portia’s favorite hobby is baking and her desserts have been featured in Good Housekeeping Magazine and on the social media accounts for Essence, Real Simple, Martha Stewart and Southern Living magazine.