This weekend was our Annual “WELCOME FALL!” Picnic at The Seasonal Home… a celebration that I started, several years ago, with the daughters of one of my best friends (who happens to live next door). The first year, it was simply my way of giving her a little parent-break, but has now become an annual tradition. Once my boys were grown, I really missed the creativity of doing fun things like this so now, I’m creating new memories with my 2 sweet neighbors – Emme and Gretta.
This celebration is our way of welcoming in the Autumnal Equinox (a/k/a Fall) and even though it is usually still hot outside, a good fan and our imaginations help us pretend that it’s breezy & cool. Here’s a peek at some of our fun, in case you want to start this tradition yourself.
We always have our picnic first. This year, we decided to make grilled cheese sandwiches (cut into pumpkins), homemade sweet potato fries (Sandra Lee’s recipe, Food Network), and diced apples over graham cracker crumbs with a drizzle of hot caramel (an idea we thought up ourselves). P.S. If you ever want to see a young child have fun, give them some graham crackers in a plastic bag and show them how to turn them into crumbs, using a wooden rolling pin – hilarious!
For dessert, we made a healthier chocolate muffin from a new mix called “Simple Mornings”. They served as our cupcakes, topped with a little homemade cream cheese frosting (Food Network recipe), sprinkles and a small, candy pumpkin.
We had SO much fun making all the food… together!
Of course, we decorated for our picnic too! I found over-sized, felt, fall leaves (in 3 different colors) at The Dollar Tree and we simply used a piece of fishing line to hang them from the pergola beams.
They looked so pretty (moving), when a breeze finally kicked up! Check it out in this short YouTube video I made:
With the addition of a few scarecrows, pumpkins and fall flowers, we were ready to enjoy our “WELCOME FALL” picnic.
And funny enough, every year, we seem to be visited by a representative of Mother Nature. Last year, it was a caterpillar and this year, we enjoyed the company of a beautiful & HUGE Swallowtail Butterfly, who really liked the flowers in my up-cycled wheelbarrow Fairy Garden.
And he didn’t even seem to mind that I was following him around with my camera.
The girls were really hoping he would land on their fingers.
Once he fluttered off, it was time for lunch!
Uhhh… please ignore the well done sweet potato fries – they were the unfortunate casualty of our hectic kitchen preparation.
Once we saw that a few of our fries were slightly overcooked, the girls tried to make lemonade out of lemons by suggesting that “maybe adding some ketchup will help”…. soooooo sweet!
After we ate, it was time for crafts and games! We usually have an apple bobbing contest, but little Gretta is about to lose a front tooth, so we decided to try some new things this year.
So, first up…. a little painting of face masks.
And ta-dum…. the cute, personalized results. Hey, that looks a awful lot like my hair!!
Next, a competitive game of Halloween B-I-N-G-O. Check out the concentration on their faces (LOL).
And last, but not least…. a game of PIN THE HAT ON THE WITCH.
I’m not sure who was the best spinner or worst pin-er, but when you’re having fun, the results don’t really matter.
First up was Gretta….
Hmmm… close! Then, it was Emme’s turn.
In the end, it really didn’t matter who won because I had gathered a few inexpensive, special treats, as a surprise for both of the girls.
I found a cute $1.00 pumpkin box (Wal mart) to place them all in and added a “Happy 1st Day of Fall” note to each.
Once we headed back inside (we had enjoyed the Florida heat & humidity quite enough, thank you very much!), the girls had fun opening their goodie boxes.
Two of their favorite things were the Spider rings, modeled here by Emme –
and a small bag of the newest M & M flavor “Candy Corn White Chocolate”…. YUM!
In the end, we all agreed we had tons of fun and that cupcakes taste even better in air-conditioned comfort! (LOL)
I hope we inspired you to consider starting your own “Welcome Fall Picnic” tradition. 🙂