Google “Fall activities near me” and you’re going to find so many things: bonfires, fall festivals, 5K run/walks, opportunities to attend a potluck, or participate in fall fundraisers. Fall has (just about) arrived in most areas of the U.S. and it’s almost here in Georgia where the North Georgia campus of Learnwell is situated.
If you live outside of the continental U.S., you’re experiencing other seasonal shifts perhaps.
No matter the season where you are, we all come face to face with new seasons — literally and figuratively.
And what comes with seasonal change is something we don’t often anticipate; it’s, well, change.
5 Questions that Seasonal Change Invites Us to Ask
We are all about the pumpkins and turning leaves, the scent of soup on the stove and cooler mornings. But a change of season can also feel overwhelming. Whether you’re in the midst of fall, springs, summer, or winter, a new season pressents its own challenges.
It brings additional questions:
- How do you keep the change of seasons within a boundary that you can embrace?
- What happens when you realize you’ve over-committed?
- When is saying “no” okay, even to fun-filled activities?
- What are my needs, and are they being met?
- What does my family need in the shifting season?
Basically, how do you say “yes” to a new season and its fun without losing your needs in the process?
Let’s talk about margin, family time and a few ways to invite “fall activities near me” that don’t include every. single. festival.
We’re here for the pumpkins and the cocoa, the cooler air and the condensation we see in exhaled breaths.
But what many of us fail to anticipate is the slow ramp-up from fall to winter (or spring to summer if you’re in the Southern hemisphere). December doesn’t just crash into us; it builds like a crescendo in a musical score.
7 Tips to Stay Sane as Seasons Change
So what do you do when “fall activities near me” become too much? Here are 7 tips to help you slow things down and learn how to say no when you and your family need more margin.
- Have a family chili night where you make a shortlist of must-do seasonal activities. Try to limit the list to one must-do per family member.
- Hang the list where everyone in the family sees it. Whether it’s near the family calendar, command station or on the back door — it should be a prominent reminder not to “yes” this season away.
- Measure the opportunities that come your way against the family list. Don’t be afraid to decline “good things” in favor of what’s on the list.
- Once you’ve accomplished or attended a list item, mark it off. It’s done! (There is no pressure in attending every Friday night football game or every Saturday festival.)
- Decide what you need during this season. Author Emily P. Freeman suggests reflecting on your previous season to know what you need going into the next. In fact, she makes lists each season to help her understand what she is learning and what she’ll need next.
- Write 2-3 of your own needs on a special post-it or make it your phone lock screen. Decide ahead of time that you will take care of yourself. If parents aren’t taking care of themselves, we are not truly taking care of our family.
- Share your needs with a friend or your spouse. He or she can help you take care of yourself in a season that can easily get away from you.
Fall Activities Near Me: Soup and Easy Family Nights
In the meantime, try this recipe for Stone Soup that some of the Learnwell elementary school students and teachers make during this season. It pairs well with the book “Stone Soup” by Marcia Brown.
- 4 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
- 4 medium red potatoes, cut into eighths
- 1 yellow summer squash, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 1 cup frozen cut green beans
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 4 cups salad croutons
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- In a Dutch oven, combine the first eight ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until vegetables are crisp-tender, 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken, beans and barley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until vegetables and barley are tender, 10-12 minutes. Add tomatoes; heat through. Serve with croutons and cheese.
How do you incorporate more rest and margin in your family’s lifestyle?
You might want to start with educational options that allow for more freedom. If you live in the North Georgia area, check out Learnwell’s local hybrid school. If you reside anywhere outside of the North Georgia area, we offer the Learnwell Navigator Program to partner with parents as they educate their children at home.