By Misti Sandefur
Fall is a great time to enjoy the outdoors with your family. Some outdoor activities you can participate in with your family follows:
1. Take a bike ride. This not only provides time with your family, but it gives you all exercise, and we know exercise is important for your body and your health.
2. Enjoy a stroll in the park. Indiana has many parks and a few of them are the Brown County State Park (Nashville, IN), Clifty Falls State Park (Madison, IN), Harmonie State Park (New Harmony, IN), Indiana Dunes State Park (Chesterton, IN), McCormick’s Creek State Park (Spencer, IN), Mounds State Park (Anderson, IN), Pokagon State Park (Angola, IN), Potato Creek State Park (South Bend, IN), Shades State Park (Waveland, IN), Shakamak State Park (Terre Haute, IN), Spring Mill State Park (Bedford, IN), White River State Park (Indianapolis, IN) and many others.
If you’re not near any of the parks above, then you can always take a stroll in the park nearest you, or if the park is only an hour or less from where you are, make it a family outing.
3. If you have a rather large family, or you are having your annual family reunion, you can set up the volleyball net and enjoy a fun game of family volleyball.
4. Halloween isn’t far off, so why not decorate your yard for the occasion. Take a trip to the store and purchase a few of those bright orange pumpkin bags to stuff with leaves, then return home and rake up leaves to stuff your bags with. Want to make it really fun? Before filling your pumpkin bags, have the family — adults included — jump in the pile of leaves.
Other than filling pumpkin bags and jumping in the leaves, your family can also gather hay or straw, some old coveralls, a straw hat, an old pair of shoes and a couple large limbs or sticks (for arms). Yep, I’m sure you know where this is going. Take all those items you just gathered and make a scarecrow. Next, sit your newly-made scarecrow up against the hay or straw. For the finishing touch, place pumpkins around the hay or straw.
Why not have an outdoor pumpkin carving contest of your own? Have each member of your family carve a pumpkin, and delegate one person to judge the pumpkins. (This person can join the fun and carve a pumpkin too, but his or her pumpkin can’t be entered into the contest.) For the judging, you could have two winners if you like… one for the scariest looking pumpkin, and the other for the most creative or unique design. What about the prize? Simple, let one of the winners choose the next family activity, and the other winner could choose the next family outing.
When Christmas draws closer, make the outdoor decorating a family event. Have everyone in your family participate in hanging outdoor lights and etc. Everyone has different ideas, so you could put all ideas together and you just may have the best outdoor decorations in your neighborhood!
Family fun not only takes place at home, but it can also take place outside of your home. Whether you live in Indiana, or your planning a trip to Indiana, there are many events around the Indiana area your family can enjoy together, and following are a few of those events…
Head to Aurora, Indiana for the Aurora Farmers’ Fair (http://www.aurorafarmersfair.net). This event will begin on October 4 and end on October 7. Aurora Farmers’ Fair will have a variety of fun for your family: Rides, games, a giant parade, entertainment, a pet parade, antique tractor and equipment show, pedal pull, a visit from Quacky the Clown and much, much more!
Seymour, Indiana has hosted their annual Oktoberfest for 33 years, and this year they will celebrate again. Mark your family calendar for October 5 through the 7, and on one or all of those dates head to downtown Seymour to enjoy their 34th Annual Oktoberfest (http://www.seymouroktoberfest.com/)! Seymour’s Oktoberfest will have a big flea market, 5k run/walk/wheelchair, baking contest, talent contest, crafts for the children, clowns, parade, hot air balloon race, carnival, free entertainment, polka contest and lots more. Each day the festival will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will last until 11:00 p.m.
Does your family enjoy gardening and crafts? Then you’ve got to load in the family car and make your way to the Hunter’s Moon Festival hosted by Lanthier Winery in Madison, Indiana. While visiting the Hunter’s Moon Festival, you and your family will enjoy gardening, crafts, tours of beautiful gardens and more. Admission is free. Call 1-800-41-WINES for further details.
The day after Thanksgiving would be a great time to walk off the big dinner you had the day before, and why not do that while you and your family enjoy Christmas in the Park in Brazil, Indiana. Not only will you walk off the “big dinner,” but you’ll also get your family into the Christmas mood.
Christmas in the Park has something for everyone! Some of the fun includes a parade, fireworks, musical events, and decorated homes and businesses.
If you’re not going to be near Brazil the day after Thanksgiving you can join the other Christmas event in Corydon. Corydon will have their annual Christmas on the Square, and it will be held the Saturday after Thanksgiving. All the fun of Christmas will take place on 202 East Walnut Street.
Would you like to beat the Christmas rush? Grab the family and head to the Mansfield Village Old Fashioned Christmas Festival on December 1 through the 3. There your family can get some Christmas shopping done, enjoy eye-catching decorations and lots of lights, and the kids will love the visit from Santa. In addition to all that, there will also be a turkey dinner and horse and carriage rides. If you don’t want to walk, there will be free trolly rides. Hours are: Friday, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Heated indoor space will be available, but limited. For more information call 765-344-1889, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also in December, West Lafayette (downtown) will have their annual Dickens of Christmas. This event will take place throughout the day and includes musical entertainment, carolers, vendors, carriage rides, holiday lighting and much more. Call 765-742-2313 for more information.
With all the outdoor activities and the family events in Indiana you should have no reason why you can’t enjoy quality time with the ones you love. Your family is precious, and they should be your number one priority, so enjoy the time you have with them, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
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Cherish each and every moment, and live every day to its fullest!