October 4, 2020

By: 
Sara Rusniak

Running with Rusniak: Fun and Safe Fall Activities for Preschoolers and Their Parents

fall activities

A topic that my husband and I agree to disagree on is the best season of the year. My husband finds the current time of year—the end of summer—to be depressing. I have to admit, I kind of get it. I mean, things ARE dying. Regardless, fall is and always has been my favorite season. Maybe it’s because the season begins with celebrating my birthday. Maybe it’s because the heat of summer lets up, but it’s not yet so cold that heavy coats and scarves are a necessity. More likely, it’s a combination of things, including the rhythm that fall brings back to my life. (As an absolute Type A personality, even in the face of the global pandemic, I thrive on structure.) The plethora of family-fun activity options in fall is another reason why autumn is my jam!

Back to School

The start of fall and the cooler temperatures that come with it are synonymous with the back-to-school season here in Central PA. School puts the more demanding members of our families…ahem, our children…on a schedule and brings welcome structure to weekdays. That’s a refreshing change from the “I’m bored, what can I do?” days of summer. Although my daughter is not of school-age yet, we were planning to send her to preschool twice a week this year, before learning that the school is closing its doors until Spring 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis.

While back to school looks much different in 2020 than in years past, I believe there are still many welcome activities that accompany the annual process. The symbolic start of a new season of learning seems to energize me and my almost-four-year-old daughter. She has ambitiously decided that we are going to play “school” a few days a week, in lieu of physically attending a preschool. I have become “Teacher Mommy,” and we spend time together in a pretend classroom with rules, completing worksheets and doing other educational activities. It’s a productive part of our morning routine, and I’m enjoying the nostalgic feel of playing school all over again.

Pumpkins, Apples, and Leaves…Oh My!

The seasonal temperatures that accompany this beautiful season make outdoor activities comfortable and enjoyable. We live in Lancaster County, so there is no shortage of opportunities for us to get outside and visit a pumpkin farm, an apple orchard, or a rail trail decorated by the natural autumn foliage.

I encourage you to find time and ways to get outside now. As the temperatures continue to drop, it will become more challenging to find activities outdoors.

Where to Find Fall Activities for Preschoolers in Lancaster County

Do any of the reasons I adore fall resonate with you? Below I’ve shared a list of some of my favorite places to go and things to do during this season.

  • PBS Kids Sesame Street Autumn Hay Maze
  • Go for a walk and use this Scholastic Books Worksheet.
  • Local Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze – Last year, we really enjoyed all of the pumpkin- and corn-related activities at Oregon Dairy. This year, the corn maze will be open on September 25, 26, and 27 and every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October.
  • Local Apple Orchard – I’ve never visited Cherry Hill Orchards to pick my own apples, but I’ve heard great things from families who have.
  • Local Bike Trail – There is a great trail with free parking that my family recently explored at Warwick Municipal Park, 315 Clay Road, Lititz, PA 17543. The trail extends almost a mile from the park into Lititz on one side (completely paved, it’s perfect for young biking enthusiasts) and extends almost seven miles in the other direction (ideal for active families). There is even a bike share at the park for people who don’t have their own bicycles. The trails are also walker- and jogger-friendly.

What fall activities do you love most? Please leave a comment here to share them. I’m always looking for new ways to celebrate my favorite season!

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