Fall Bucket List! 25 Can’t Miss Things to Do with Kids

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The leaves are turning colors and kids everywhere are reaching for their sweatshirts. That means that fall has arrived. Read on for our best fall activity ideas from how to see the fall foliage to where to find the best pumpkins.

1.See Roer's Zoofari in a different light. Starting October 15th the LuminoCity Festival will bring the zoofari alive at night. Although the sheep and goats will be there, the life-size dinosaur and glowing panda bears will steal the show. 

2. Fall foliage in DC is a bright, beautiful sight to behold. Go on a kid-friendly hike in Rock Creek park or head to one the many regional parks in the area to take it all in. Make your hike a color hunt and look for leaves in every color of the rainbow.

3. Fall is pumpkin season! Head to one of the many pick-your-own pumpkin patches in the DC area to stock up for Halloween and to make sure your fall décor is farm-fresh. 

4. The DC area has no shortage of Fall Festivals! Many have corn mazes, hey rides and apple cider donuts that are worth buying by the dozen. Summers Farm has been hosting their Fall Festival for 25 years and counting! You can even rent your very own campfire site at the farm. 

5. Find your zen before the rush of the holiday season. Check out one (or all) of these kid-friendly places to watch a gorgeous sunset or take a family yoga class. 

6. Head to a children's theatre to see a Fall show. Adventure Theatre is showing Luchadora! and Imagination Stage is showing S.P.I.E.S. and The Lost Treasure of Atlantis

7. Enjoy the beautiful fall days that are too brief between DC's scorching hot summers and epic snowfalls. Jump in a leaf pile, make s'mores or check every activity off of our list 50 Fall Activities for Families

8. Farm animals become more active in fall. That makes it the perfect time to visit one of the DC area's many petting zoos

9. Zoo animals are also more fun to watch in fall. Plus, cooler temperatures means it's easier to walk up and down the National Zoo's hills. Check out our Ultimate Guide to the National Zoo and make a plan to visit before temperatures drop even more.

10. National Harbor is nice to visit any time of year but the crisp fall air makes fall an ideal time to explore, ride the Capital Wheel and dine at one of National Harbor's family-friendly eateries. Go for the day or make it a staycation at National Harbor's Gaylord National Resort.

11. Find something new! Think you've done it all? Check out our list of 100 Things to Do in DC and you will probably find somewhere new to explore. 

12. Get lost in a corn maze! Fall is the time of year when the corn husks seem to tower towards the sky. Everyone can find one they love. The biggest corn maze in the country is just a car ride away for any families up to challenge! 

13. Take advantage of the cooler weather and take a day trip to Baltimore. From kid-friendly museums to the National Aquarium to world-class science center Baltimore is worth the trip!

14. See the monuments at night! There is nothing quite like wandering the National Mall at night. The sun sets past many kids' bedtimes in the summer but once the leaves start falling it's possible to see the monuments illuminated by the moon and still get home in time for the kids to get a good night's sleep.  

15. Visit an amusement park. Fall is a great time to ride all the rides from carousels to roller coasters. 

16. A great way to see the fall foliage is by train! Take your pick from these kid-friendly train rides with great views. Have your camera ready to capture some breathtaking views!

17. Pick one of fall's long weekends (or play hooky) and hit the road. There are so many great options for road trips from DC. Chose from a beautiful national or state park or nearby caverns. 

18. When the leaves start dropping so the temperatures. When it's too chilly to head to your regular playground find an indoor space to play instead! 

19. Worried that your kids won't get enough exercise in the cooler weather? Not to worry! Head to an obstacle or rope course to get their bodies moving. 

20. Mini-golf is fun in every season but it's magical in fall when it's cool enough to finish the course without breaking a sweat but still warm enough to grab some ice cream when you're done! Find the perfect mini-golf course for your family here.

photo: iStock

21. Teach your kids about Black History by visiting key DC sites that tell the stories of Black Americans. From the U Street Corridor to the MLK monument. Seeing these sites is a thoughtful way to spend an afternoon. 

22. The National Book Festival is a staple of fall in DC. Every year is a little different but you can always count on some very popular children's authors showing up. 

23. Take your tricycle or two-wheeler out for a spin on a family-friendly bike path. From beginners to experts there is a bike path for everyone! As a bonus, most bike paths have pretty views of fall foliage. 

24. Fall means apple cider and apple pie. That makes it a great time to pick apples. Check out area orchards here then grab your overalls and go! 

25. Dropping temperatures doesn't mean you need to stop exploring. Just head indoors to one of DC's many kid-friendly museums

—Jamie Davis Smith

featured photo: iStock


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