Road Tripping with Grandparents

Fun Fall Ideas (That Aren’t Already on Your Bucket List)

Apple picking. Pumpkin picking. Leaf peeping. You’ve heard it all before. Fall is full of amazing sights, smells, and sounds, but very rarely do you come across an activity that you haven’t already checked off your must-do list five years in a row.

Well, here’s a list of things you’ve probably (hopefully) never thought of to make the most of fall. And, if you have, congratulations on being original!

Play pick-up football.

What’s the only thing better than packing the car and spending a couple hours at a crowded football game? Inviting the neighborhood over for a pick-up game of two-hand touch. This is a great way to get out some energy and socialize on a nice fall afternoon, and you can encourage families to come in a team color, and award prizes for the best teams.

Head south.

When we think of fall foliage, most people think of New England—Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire. But other parts of the US experience fall’s change of colors, too, and just as vibrantly (though a little later than the North). Instead of road tripping the Northeast, try driving through the Smokies, if you’re in the East, in late-October to early-November. If you’re out West, try a hike through the Sunset Trail in Mount Laguna, California, in mid-to-late-October. Mid-westerners can experience incredible fall colors throughout the Ozarks in early-to-late-November.

Host a pot-luck.

Amidst the tailgates, and later, more formal holiday dinners, there’s not much time for a casual potluck. But really, fall is one of the best times of year for these get-togethers because there are so many yummy foods coming into season!

Step aside, apples.

Speaking of yummy fall foods, we all could use a break from pumpkins and apples, can’t we? Not to knock these staples, but there are so many other amazing fruits and veggies hitting their peak in autumn. Eggplant, fennel, pears, persimmons, and spinach are all at or near their harvest through the fall months in most parts of the US. (Want some recipe inspiration for these foods, and more? Visit our Bites page!)

Make a haunted house… out of candy!

When Halloween is over, how much candy do you typically have left? If the answer is none, no shame. If the answer is a ton, have some fun and try making your own version of a gingerbread house, minus the holidays. Take some graham crackers and melted chocolate or marshmallow to make the house frame, and get creative decorating your haunted house in whatever candy pieces you can find.

Throw a scary scarecrow contest.

This idea could be done one of two ways: you can gather a group of friends to make your own scarecrows out of hay, sticks, and scrap craft materials. Or, arrange yourselves in teams and select a person to become a scarecrow, with the team working together to transform their teammate via makeup and clothes. The winning team is whoever can create the best scarecrow (either human or fake)!

End of Summer Road Safety

Next to Thanksgiving and Christmas, Labor Day is one of the busiest driving days of the year. As families pack their cars and head to the beach for some last-minute summer sun, the roads can become quite busy.

Here’s how to make the most of your trip, and get to your destination safely and efficiently!

Prepare for the unexpected. 
It seems no road trip is complete without a few bumps in the road, but whether or not you do encounter any hiccups, you’ll be glad you were prepared with an emergency kit full of essentials, like pliers, a tire pressure gauge, and water.

If conditions aren’t right, postpone. 
There’s nothing worse than trying to force yourself to drive, despite bad weather, lack of sleep, or other dangerous conditions. If you aren’t feeling up to the drive, don’t get behind the wheel, or ask someone else to takeover.

Allot plenty of time. 
There will be traffic—it’s unavoidable in some cases. However, you can plan ahead by checking if any major roadways are under construction and try to find an alternative route. It’s also a good idea to check your GPS an hour or so before you leave for an ETA. Keep in mind, roadways are busiest between 4PM–10PM.

Avoid the busiest travel days. 
Without a doubt, Monday and Friday are the busiest travel days of Labor Day weekend. If you can help it, avoid heading out during the daytime on these days. Instead, head for your destination late on Thursday and pack up late Sunday or Monday.

Make your own adventure. 
Sometimes a trip to the beach or lake isn’t worth the hours spent in bumper to bumper traffic, especially when there’s bound to be an exciting adventure right in your own backyard. A staycation is a great alternative that doesn’t involve the dreaded task of packing.

Traveling this Labor Day? Make sure you’re road trip ready with an arsenal of travel snacksgames, and other tips.