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Filed in Kim's Corner — September 12, 2016

As seen in the November 2012 issue of Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine…

Fall is here, with delightfully crisp air and gorgeous scenery. This year, inspire your whole family to get outside and get moving with our Fall Family Activity Challenge. How many activities can you complete?

The leaves are changing. There’s a chill in the air. Soon, we’ll be raking leaves and carving pumpkins. Yes, fall is officially here. And, with it comes some of our region’s best weather, most stunning scenery and tastiest seasonal treats. Why not get the whole family outside and having fun with our Fall Family Activity Challenge?

Here’s how it works. Between now and Thanksgiving, challenge your family to complete at least half of the 22 activities below. Once you’ve hit your goal, treat yourself to something fun that the whole family will enjoy.

At home:

Leaf maze: Rake your leaves into a crazy pattern to make a maze in your own backyard. Run or bike through the maze. Can everyone figure it out?
Leaf pile: Once you’ve solved your maze, rake the leaves into a big pile. Go ahead. Jump in those leaves. Have a blast before cleaning them up for the year.
Fall cleaning: Pick a single room in the house for a fall makeover. Work together as a family to get it clean and organized. You may want to focus on a room that’ll see a lot of use in the winter, like your basement or living room.
Football or soccer: Invite over some family and friends, and enjoy a fun game of flag football or soccer in your backyard.
Bonfire: After the game, gather the group together for an evening bonfire. Roast some marshmallows and tell ghost stories. After all, with Halloween just around the corner, ‘tis the season for spooky stories.
Wash the cars: Give your cars a little TLC before winter arrives, and it’s too cold for hoses and water fun. Pick a sunny day and get the whole family involved.
Decorate for fall: When is the last time you made a scarecrow or carved a pumpkin? Here’s your chance. Collect your supplies from a local farm or store, and spend the day creating fall decorations with the whole family.

On the road:

Hit the trail: Autumn in Virginia is one of the nicest seasons for a hike or stroll through the woods.
Grab the bike: Want to move a bit faster? Hop on the bike for a ride around town or through the country. If you don’t own a bike, you can usually rent one from your local bike store.
Take a hayride: Farms are packed with fun activities for the fall. Visit a local pumpkin patch to pick your own Jack’o’lantern. Take a stroll through a corn maze. Visit a haunted house.
Pick a peck o’ apples: Autumn means apples. Visit an orchard and spend the day picking the tastiest fruits from the trees.
Turkey Trot: Register the whole family to participate in a local running or walking event, like the Turkey Trot.
Hit the links: Golf season is almost over. Head out for one last round on your favorite course, or hit a bucket of balls at the local driving range. Take along the kids too!
Rainy day fun: Keep active even when the sun isn’t shining. Take the whole family out for a day at the local health club, pool, bowling alley or climbing wall.
Plan ahead: Start planning now for a fun family activity for Thanksgiving day or weekend. After all that turkey, you’ll be happy to get out and get moving!
Volunteer: Pick a local cause — a food drive, for example — and get the whole family involved with volunteering.
Don’t forget the pets: Take along the dog when you hit the trails. Or, maybe trying teaching them a new trick.

In the kitchen:

Roast pumpkin seeds: Save the seeds from your Jack’o’lantern. Toss them with a bit of olive oil and salt, and roast them in the oven for an easy and tasty treat.
Get creative: Fall is wealthy with delicious seasonal ingredients. Try a new recipe featuring apples, pumpkins, winter squash or cranberries. Enjoy the harvest!
Visit the farmers’ market: Get to know your local farmers. Ask them about their produce and meats, and try a few things you’ve never tried before.
Eat some eggs: Buy a dozen local, pastured eggs at the farmers’ market. Ask your farmer how they raise their chickens, and how their eggs are different from the ones at the grocery store. Then, take them home and cook them up. Can you taste the difference?
Enjoy a local, family dinner: Pick one night a week for a family dinner featuring some of the local fare you found at the farmers’ market. Be adventurous with your ingredients. You may find a new family favorite!

We’ve offered you 22 activities here, but there are countless ways to get outside, get active and have fun during the autumn months. Try some of our suggestions, or create some of your own. Whatever you do, focus on sharing healthy foods and fun activities with your family, and everyone will feel better, inside and out!

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