After a particularly dreary end to the summer here in England, I think a lot of us have started thinking about Autumn sooner than we usually would. I’ve always been a Summer lover myself, but each year I find myself increasingly drawn to Autumn, dreaming of cosy nights in with blankets and hot chocolates, those crisp, bright mornings and streets lined with burnt orange leaves. Becoming a family of three has made me keen to make the most of each season, to make as many memories together as possible and to teach Darcie to find joy in everything she does no matter the time of year. I’ve been looking up activities and events near us that I would like to go to this year and have compiled them into a handy list for anyone else local to Hampshire.
So, in no particular order here are some ideas of things to do with the family this autumn:
1. Pumpkin Picking at Pickwell Farm
After our lovely day out Strawberry picking this summer, I’m looking forward to going back to Pickwell Farm in October, all wrapped up in hats and scarves and helping Darcie to pick a pumpkin for us to attempt to carve when we get home.
2. Go for a walk in The New Forest and see the colour changing leaves
I love the New Forest all year round and feel so lucky to have it right on our doorstep. This Autumn it will be the perfect place to take Darcie to kick her feet through the piles of orange and red leaves and to spend time as a family outside.
3. The Monster’s Ball at Paulton’s Park
I’ve spoken on here before about how much we love Paulton’s Park, this summer we’ve been enjoying their Summer Party show which is on daily and we’re eagerly awaiting The Monster Ball and all it entails. They will have ghoulish characters to meet and greet and a fancy dress competition so of course my Pinterest boards are already filling up with Toddler Halloween Costume ideas!
4. Spooky Scarecrow Trail at Staunton Country Park
We’ve never been to Staunton Country park, but I’ve heard good things about it and it’s high on my to do list. They have a Spooky Scarecrow Trail this Autumn that looks promising, there are also animals on the farm, craft activities and face painting. What more could you want?
5. Apple Pressing Weekend at Burley
Burley is a fascinating and charming village in the New Forest, they host the annual New Forest Fairy Festival in the summer time and their Autumn line up looks just as fun. They have many Halloween celebrations, but it is the Apple Pressing Weekend that caught my eye. It is a weekend dedicated to the traditional way of making cider, there will be demonstrations of how it used to be made using vintage presses and, by the looks of things, plenty of cider to go around, perfect.
6. Autumn Festival at Down to Earth Farm
I’ve written before about how much we enjoy the farm, and we are lucky to live so close to a couple of good ones. This autumn festival looks like a great one to go to and is a lower price than some of the others around which is always a bonus. If you’re in Southampton I think it’s definitely worth checking out.
7. Winchester Fireworks
Bonfire night has always been one of my favourite nights of the year and Winchester fireworks is definitely the best one I’ve ever been to. They start with a parade from the city centre and you can buy your own fire torch to carry, the actual firework display is always spectacular too. This year it will be held on the 4th November and I would highly recommend going!
8. Hampshire Harvest Festival
This is a free event held at Winchester cathedral from the 30th September to the 1st October and looks to be a really good day out. According to the website there will be ‘live music, children’s have-a-go activities, vintage tractors, falconry displays, farm animals, horse-drawn wagon rides, Hampshire Fare market, local beers and ciders and, new for this year, an afternoon tea tent offering wonderful cakes, scones, tea and even a glass of fizz.’ Sounds like an excellent family day out to me!
9. Half Term Trail at Hinton Ampner
I’ve never visited Hinton Ampner before but I’ve heard good things about it. This trail looks good for anyone with primary school age children. ‘Be inspired by the secrets of our ancient trees and write your own myth as you complete the trail. With the chance to get all the family involved, explore your imaginative side with our spotter trail for tiny tots and creating legends for those budding writers.’ Something for the whole family!
10. Frightful Fun at Longdown Activity Farm
For the duration of the weekend of the 28th and 29th October, there will be all sorts of ‘frightful’ activities going on at Longdown. Face painting, creepy crawlies and a reduced entry price for any child in fancy dress make this weekend look to be a good one at the farm. This is also the last weekend that the farm is open before they close for the Winter.
Have I missed any events that you know of in the area? What are your favourite Autumnal days out?