Fall is the Best Season for Parents


fall is bestFall is the best season for parents. Absolutely. 

In our house, conversation about the best season of the year revolves around birthdays, and the kids’ favorites lean toward those in which their birthdays arrive. Not surprising, but flawed logic nonetheless.

Here’s why fall wins, no matter when your birthday hits!


This has nothing to do with sending my kids out of the house every day, as we have unexpectedly chosen to homeschool again this year. I actually spend more time with my children now than ever before. But school is when the dinnertime conversations start with “Did you know…?” and “I never knew…” and “In school today…” The conversation deepens.  And my excuses to use the laminator increase exponentially.  

The Weather

Summer is hot. Winter is cold. Spring is…wet. Fall is perfect.

Warm during the day, cool in the evenings, and mosquitos are at a minimum. Even the smells are better. Hello again, sweat pants (not that you ever left) and fleece tights. Scarves, boots, and hats to cover unwashed hair!

The first snow hits differently than the eighth. It’s magical, exciting, and we all happily cover ourselves in snow pants and coats for those early forays into a white wonderland. We also tend to skip a bath night or two with the absence of all the sweat.

The Light

Going to bed when it’s still light out is hard at any age, especially childhood. In fall, it gets dark at bedtime, as it should, but not so early that the day ends at dinnertime. And during the day, the light that filters through the colored leaves sparkles, it really does. Everything is brighter, perfect for all those family pictures set in the middle of fields and woods. Not that I ever schedule ours. Or pick out the outfits. But even our family selfie in our front yard looks pretty darn good in the fall light (and with the portrait setting).

The activities  

I don’t do football. I have no allegiance to Iowa or Iowa State. But I love being cuddled up on a sideline, whether there’s a child kicking a soccer ball or dancing her heart out in front of me, or a friend finishing her marathon. There’s hot chocolate and apple cider.

There’s pumpkin patches and carving.

And apple picking.

There’s the downtown farmers market.

There’s leaf jumping, the only chore in the history of chores that ends in pure joy (and more cleanup).

Even November voting enhances the season. 

Oh, and the bonfires! Every kid should experience the smoke-gulping enchantment of charades in front of a blazing fire as the temperature drops.  

The anticipation

Say what you will about holiday commercialism and stress, but holidays add magic to the air, and fall has the best ones.

The kids get to dress up as anything they want and get free candy from neighbors or out of car trunks (defying all early lessons on stranger danger).

Twinkle lights abound.

There’s an entire day devoted to gratitude. Granted, this message gets lost amidst the gorging and factually inaccurate history lessons, but it’s right there in the title. The anticipation of all these special moments gets us through the drudgery that can come before.

I’ve always loved fall, but experiencing it with kids has cemented it as my favorite. Even now, I’m itching to go smell some freshly fallen leaves. Or bake pumpkin bars with the kids. Maybe plan some halloween costumes. Eat some apples.

And celebrate my fall birthday. 

Do you love fall too? What are your favorite things to do? 


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