As the school season heats up and the weather cools down, it can be a challenge finding new and educational ways to entertain your children over weekends, particularly with the colder weather meaning beach days are going to start becoming few and far between. We’ve made it easy for you by compiling some fun and affordable fall activities that are perfect for a weekend kid-friendly activity in La Jolla, whether you’re looking for an Autumn-infused day that celebrates the great outdoors or one that encourages a mixture of socializing and learning for your children.
With school back in full swing and the holidays coming up again, a jaunt up to Julian for some homemade apple pie and cider may be out of the question. So how can you get that fall vibe in sunny La Jolla while entertaining the kids? Have a bake and crafts day. Before visions of flour and glue spread all over your kitchen walls fills you with dread – don’t worry. This day is easy – paper leaves and caramel apples.
What You’ll Need for ‘Paper Leaves and Caramel Apples’
First, send the kids out into the yard to find the biggest leaf they can while you prep the kitchen. Here’s what you’ll need for the caramel apples:
Buy the ingredients for your favorite caramel recipe and mix it up, or for a much easier baking day, buy some ready-made caramel from the store and simply heat it up. Dip the apples into the hot caramel. Place small bowls filled with nuts and candies (M&Ms work great) out. When the caramel-covered apples are cool, but not hard, call your kids into the kitchen to add their personal touch to their apple by pressing the candies and nuts into the caramel.
Not in the cooking mood? You’re in luck. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has a location in La Jolla on Prospect Street with an array of different kinds of caramel apples. Take the kids and let them pick out which kind they want.
Now, back to the craft portion of the day. Chances are, the leaves your kids found are not the typical fall colors of crimson and orange since La Jolla’s warm weather means the leaves don’t change dramatically in the fall. To turn your house into some fall splendor, you’ll first need to have bought some thin white paper. For this arts and craft, kids put the leaf under the paper, and then color over it lightly with a crayon of their favorite fall color. This process gets the veins, stems, and outline of the leaf. Cut the leaf shapes out and hang them around the house for some fall décor.
Artsy Day: Turn Sunset Views into Photography Lessons
Fall is a prime time for some of the best sunsets of the year in La Jolla. Have some family bonding time on the beach to watch the sunset with a twist – a photographic one. Buy a disposable camera for your children that has film inside it. Encourage them to use up the camera taking pictures of the sunset while explaining the concepts of composition and lighting to them. If snapping pictures from the La Jolla Cove, encourage them to find some critters within the rocks to take pictures of, too.
The next day, take the kids and the cameras to a film development center such as C&H Photo or La Jolla Photo & Imaging (find more details about these La Jolla photofinishing). Most kids nowadays are so used to the digital aspect of things, including photography, that they’ll delight in getting their own tangible set of pictures to hold in their hands and sift through. A lesson in film development via the Internet or an encyclopedia before the film is taken to be developed is another way to turn this La Jolla family activity into an educational one.
Literature Day: Book Club for Kids
Get your children back into the school spirit of learning this fall by encouraging them to start their own kid’s book club. Have your son or daughter pick a book and make invitations to invite their friends over for a book club play date. Make the date several weeks away so everyone has a chance to read the book. Then help your child come up with questions to talk about the book with their friends. Depending on the age, these may need to be as simple as “what was your favorite part” as opposed to “what was the symbolism of this character”. Have a kiddie cocktail drink and snacks ready and follow up the book with the movie version of the book (if it has one), or another fun activity, as children are going to have a limited attention span for discussing a book outside of school.
Make it an American Girls Doll Day
Have a daughter obsessed with her American Girls Doll? Turn the book club into a theme club, where one of the historic American Girls books is read for the book club, such as the Felicity or Molly series.
If putting together your own kid’s book club sounds a bit too complicated, you’re in luck as you can head to the La Jolla Library instead. On the third Thursday of every month at 3:30 p.m. the library hosts a ‘Make Your Own Book’ class. All materials are provided and kids can stop by after school to learn how to make a unique hand-made book. Younger children can attend the ‘Preschool Story Time’ every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. for a book reading and music and crafts time.
With a bit of creativity and using the strong community and natural beauty of La Jolla, you can fill the weekends with educational and fun activities your children will enjoy – and which doesn’t cost you a whole lot of time or money to plan and put together.
For some more adult0friendly fun, take a lot at our last blog post on Autumn Activities.