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Embrace fall with these traditional activities

September 26, 2014

You may have had some fun in the sun this summer, but just because it's fall doesn't mean it has to stop. There are many exciting ways to spend the coming months with your family and friends both indoors and out. Try some of these fun activities that incorporate the changing weather with baking, painting and quality family time.

Pick apples

Not only is it a great way to get outside and celebrate fall, but apple picking is also the perfect family activity that brings all of the generations together. Choose a Saturday that works best for you and your loved ones and head to the nearest apple orchard for some fresh new produce. Plus, the fun doesn't have to stop there. With all of the apples you've picked, you can bring the party home and get your grandchildren to help you make some of your favorite fall recipes.

Carve pumpkins

Much like apple picking, pumpkin carving involves just as much time outdoors as it does indoors. You can spend the whole day at a pumpkin patch picking out the perfect ones with your family and friends. Encourage them to choose all shapes and sizes so that when it comes time to carve and decorate them, you can be extra creative with your designs. When you get back, start carving by cutting a hole in the bottom of each pumpkin. Scoop out the flesh and seeds - a great way to get younger grandchildren involved - and set them aside so you can bake them later and make sure that none of the pumpkin goes to waste. Next, stencil out a design onto the pumpkin and slice it accordingly. To illuminate, Martha Stewart Living recommends using string lights rather than a candle for a safer, longer-lasting glow.

Bake pumpkin seeds

While pumpkin carving may not be a safe activity for your younger grandkids, baking the seeds from it certainly is. Call on their help to sift out the seeds from the flesh and strain in a colander. From there, the food blog Oh She Glows notes that you'll need to boil them in water for 10 minutes to make sure that they don't contain any remnants of pumpkin. Pat dry, place them onto a baking sheet and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. When it comes to the seasoning, don't be afraid to have fun with it. Try setting aside one half for a salty serving, and experiment with sugar and cinnamon on the other. Roast seeds at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, and remove from the oven and stir. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so, and check periodically and break open a few of the shells to make sure they haven't turned brown. Season some more as desired, and enjoy! According to Men's Health, the seeds themselves are a great source of magnesium, and the shells are packed with fiber, making these autumn treats the perfect snack for healthy aging.

Paint pumpkins

Painting pumpkins is a cleaner way of celebrating the new fall season. You can avoid all of the mess that comes with carving them and scooping out their seeds, and it's also much safer, since there are no sharp objects involved. This is the perfect way to include younger children in the activity. To set up, set down an old bed sheet that you don't mind discarding, lay out a few pumpkins, paint and paint brushes, and let them have at it. Try teaching kids a few basic designs, like a witch's face or a black cat, to get started.