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Soon your family will be back on school schedules, but there are still those golden autumn weekend days when the entire family can enjoy a special day together. Whether you travel by car, bus or train, you’ll find lots of places to explore before the winter weather intrudes on the landscape.

Fall day trips are a miniature version of a summer vacation. You can go out for a day with little stress and enjoy whatever you find. You won’t have to pack much unless you decide to take along a picnic lunch. Gather the family and take a look at the destinations near enough to enjoy in a one day outing. Then get the family buy-in and away you go.

Local Museums:  Whether you choose an art museum, a science center, a historical museum or a children’s hands-on center, you can make the museum your day trip destination. Do a little research ahead of time so you’ll know what to expect or pay to take a guided tour with headsets to heighten your learning.

Zoos: Large city zoos or small petting zoos—the chance to see live animals up close and personal is a draw for children of all ages. You might do follow-up activities by selecting animals to study at home. Or place special attention on one exhibit to learn more in-depth information about that species.

Amusement Parks:  What’s not to love? Every amusement park offers food, rides, games and lots of opportunity to laugh and enjoy the day. Large theme parks or smaller local parks, all of them are fun.

Aquariums: As with zoos, you’ll see ocean and freshwater exhibits of living creatures. Aquariums offer the opportunity to observe sea creatures in ways that are otherwise impossible. Often there are on-site guides or experts to fill you in on information about particular sea animals and their habitats.

Sporting Events:  If it’s fall, then there is football to watch. Or the end of a baseball season or any other sport done in the great out of doors. Wear the team colors, take along a tailgate lunch or buy those hot dogs. It’s great fun.

Farms/Harvest Festivals: One of my favorites—drive out to local farms or harvest celebrations. Buy apples or pumpkins, help press some apple cider, get your faces painted and enjoy seeing the landscape of the farms where our food supplies originate. Since most children live in city or suburban environments, this is a unique opportunity to make a connection back to the land.

Outdoor Adventures:  Just plain walking out in nature, watching the birds, taking in the fall colors—what could be better on a crisp fall day? Teach children to observe the world around them. Gather found objects and put them together into a notebook to remember your fun fall day out of doors.

What are your favorite fall adventures? What do your children or grandchildren love to do in the fall? If you’re looking for some fall craft ideas to follow up your day trip here are some ideas. Fall Crafts