When I took the time to sit down to compile our end-of-summer bucket list, I wasn’t sure if it would actually work for us. To be honest, I thought we might get around to a few things here and there, but ultimately would be left with some disappointment.
Not the case!
Maybe my doubts helped to drive the force of accomplishing or rather getting to enjoy each of our items, but I’d also like to think that creating the plan gave us a road map to navigate our way out of summer. Choosing items with each family member in mind also gave us some guidance on those occasions where we may have been stuck with the question, “What should be do this morning, afternoon, evening, etc..?”
A quick wrap-up post will come soon so you can catch a glimpse of all the end-of-summer fun, but in the meantime, since our first “go-round” went so well, we’ve created a fall bucket list! Included in the list are nature and outdoor focused activities that we would like to get to this season.
With our great Pacific Northwest region in mind and with the help of the Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book, for a little more inspiration, we came up with 10 things that we think will allow us to completely savor fall. You’ll also hopefully notice that they all involve getting outdoors in some way or another. We want to make sure that the inevitable rains don’t keep us from taking advantage the beauty and goodness of fall in the Seattle area.
1. Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.
Never having been to our neighbor zoo in Tacoma, I think a trip to Point Defiance would be a lot of fun for our family. An easy day trip from Seattle and good way to get a change of scenery. With the aquarium-zoo combination, there should be plenty of indoor choices in the event we plan to go on a rainy day. I also hear the park area around the zoo has some great opportunities to view the autumn leaves in their glory.
2. Pumpkin Patch (+carving).
Kind of a given for us as we visit our favorite Seattle area pumpkin patch (Serres Farm in Redmond) every fall. As a side note, it’s also where we like to pick out our Christmas tree! We love that we can walk through an actual patch and cut our chosen pumpkins from the vine. The farm also features a few low-key activities to get us feeling festive–a little animal train ride pulled by a tractor, rubber ducky races, and a corn maze. Nothing too overwhelming, no long lines, or crowds of people to dodge!
In Seattle with our wet and humidity-laden air, we have to wait until the very last moment (just before October 31) to carve our pumpkins. If we carve to early, come Halloween, our pumpkins are a gross, moldy mess. In addition to carving jack-o-lanterns, we always save the pumpkin seeds for a delicious fiery roasted snack.
3. Apple Picking + Treats.
We’re minimalists when it comes to buying (and storing) food, so I don’t want to go overboard, but we will visit the Farm at Swan’s Trail in Snohomish to pick just enough apples to make a few tasty baked items and have a couple to munch on and enjoy.
In addition to the apple (and pumpkin) picking, the farm has hay rides, duck races, and plenty of tasty treats that are only available in the fall. This particular farm can be quite crowded on the weekends, so I think a weekday visit is in order!
4. Pine Cone Bird Feeders.
With so many pine cones already falling in our nearby Washington Park Arboretum, we need to take advantage of these vessels and collect a few for some simple backyard bird (and squirrel?) feeders. I plan to spread peanut butter throughout the pine cone, then sprinkle with bird seed, and head out to our backyard to find a couple of good spots to attract our flying friends. All with the help of my 3-year old sidekick of course!
5. Leaf Focused Walks.
Also a great arboretum activity (or just walking around the neighborhood), a leaf focused walk will get us more in touch with one of the greatest aspects of the season–all the colorful foliage! 2 things I have in mind:
- Give Bergen the camera and let him snap a few photos of the leaves. This will allow him to be more involved, and maybe he’ll even notice a few new features of the leaves in our area.
- Bring along a bucket or bag for collecting as many different leaves as we can find. When we return home, with the help of some handy leaf printables I found, we will work on identifying (matching) their tree of origin.
6. Fall Foliage Hike.
How is this different from a “leaf focused walk”? Well, for this hike, I plan to get out of the city a ways in search of quieter surroundings. Last year, we walked along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, and we just might head back, possibly picking up a different section than our previous trek. The trail is perfect for Bergen’s no-carrier hiking transition as it’s flat, flat, flat.
7. Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.
Every fall the salmon return to this location (and others throughout the region) to spawn, and this year we’re going to get in on the action! The hatchery makes for a great outing as there is plenty to do, see, and learn.
8. Seattle Japanese Garden.
Can you believe our Japanese Garden is within walking distance of our house, but we have yet to take Bergen there? This fall, we will pay the garden a visit. I can’t wait to view the maples all lit up in orange and red!
9. Spencer Island Bird Hike.
Another easy hike for Bergen and fun day trip is a hike along Spencer Island in Everett (about 45 minutes North of Seattle). The area is an inter-tidal wetland, and is well known for bird watching. It’s time we hone our bird watching skills, and hopefully take advantage of some nice, crisp fall air.
10. Bike to Seward Park.
Bike riding goes on our fall bucket list because I want to make sure we don’t let other things distract us and forget about this awesome family activity! We’ve had such a blast this summer with Bergen in the Yepp child seat, and I’m hoping that my belly (and strength) can hold out a little longer so we can view all the fall foliage around Seward Park by bike.
We’d love for you to join us in our quest to savor the season. Tell us, what are you hoping to enjoy outdoors this fall?
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