Guide to All Things Fall in Central Florida

Hello fall!!

We’ve been patiently awaiting your arrival! These 100 degree afternoons are soon to be a thing of the past, fall decor is up in every store and #PSL is here! We love all things fall! That’s why we are bringing you our Ultimate Guide to All Things Fall in Central Florida! Filled with things to do, make and enjoy throughout the City Beautiful and surrounding areas!

included in this guide:

‣ Ultimate Fall Bucket List
‣ Pumpkin Patches, Farms and Mazes
‣ Fall Festivals in and around Orlando
‣ Arts & Crafts
‣ Things to do this Fall
‣ Theme Park Events
‣ Recipes
‣ Halloween and Trick ‘o Treating Events in and around Orlando
‣ Decor ideas, and more!

hey mama,

Orlando Mom Collective is thrilled to bring you our Ultimate Guide to All things Fall in Central Florida. The goal of this guide is to be a one-stop resource for local moms who are ready for all the fun and chaos the fall season brings! This guide offers tons of resources for fall and spooky season in the Central Florida area.

Fall is always filled with lots of joy, {and pumpkin spice lattes} but it can also be overwhelming and stressful, especially when there are so many events to choose from!

It is our hope that this guide helps provide moms in Central Florida with lots of information, access to resources and assurance that you aren’t going to miss out on any amazing fall events! To our readers, we sincerely hope you will find this guide to be helpful during these next few months. Whether you are a new mom or veteran mom, we want you to know that you have a community with Orlando Mom.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored guide, presented by our valued local partners. While we love sharing these resources with our readers, we have not personally vetted each individual business represented here and encourage our readers to do their own research to find the best fit for their family. 

GUIDE SPONSOR: AdventHealth for Children

You know it’s fall time when your calendar is filling up and pumpkin spice is in the air. Whether you’re scheduling time with friends for fall festivities or decorating your house to have the perfect fall feel, AdventHealth for Children is here to provide you with the resources you need to keep you and your family healthy, happy and whole. As registered nurses, the Women’s and Children’s Health Navigators provide personal assistance for all your family’s health care needs. They’re also moms, so trust us when we say, they understand how hectic life can be. Just a complimentary phone call away, the Health Navigation team is backed by an award-winning pediatric care network that includes specialists who are experts in their field, and experts in caring for your little ones. Thanks to the Health Navigators, you can check doctor appointments off your list and enjoy making memories alongside your family. Get connected by calling 407-537-5516.

Hello Fall

Just the thought of it coming soon makes me happy. I am so excited to get out the decorations… I am already driving my husband crazy–more than the norm, by asking him daily to get the stuff out of the attic. I have decided that I am going to decorate on September 1st.. that way I can stretch the season out a little longer. September 1st to the day after Thanksgiving (which is BY FAR the best day of the entire year!) That gives me almost 3 full months to enjoy the yummy smells and all of the harvest decor.

I also love this time of year because people in general are nicer, they seem to care more. There is more giving and volunteering going on. It is just a nice, cozy, warm and fuzzy feeling that I wished lasted all year.

Fall Bucket List

Download your Fall Bucket List (click the image below!)

In sunny Florida it is still a blistering 90+ degrees out there, but the calendar says fall is coming and according to Starbucks + Dunkin Donuts, it was fall on August 30th {#PSL!} So, regardless of the Florida heat, are you ready to dive into all things Fall?!?

To help all of us mamas get in the mood for some fun for what lies ahead of us over these next few months, we have put together a “Florida friendly” Fall Bucket List. Most of these things we can do, even if we are still enjoying warm weather and shorts & flip flops!

Spooky Season Streaming Lineup

If you ask me, this scorching weather is all a bunch of hocus pocus! The kids are back in school. Starbucks is selling its pumpkin spice latte. As far as this Florida girl is concerned, spooky season should already be here!

Did I say Hocus Pocus? Yes, this year’s streaming TV lineup is everything we 80s and 90s babies could dream of! Grab your bright orange plastic pumpkins and put on your homemade costumes (thanks, mom!), we are diving into all things fall TV, spooky season style!

Spooky Season Streaming Printables

Pumpkin Patches, Farms and Mazes

There is no shortage of Pumpkin Patches in Orlando this year! Our Guide to Pumpkin Patches in Central Florida should keep your weekends packed! Are we missing your favorite pumpkin patch? Let us know in the comments below!

Please be sure to check with each venue, as times and dates may change.

Fall Festivals

There are plenty of fun Fall festivals in Central Florida that the entire family can enjoy this year! Are we missing your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Please be sure to check with each venue, as times and dates may change.

Oktoberfest Events

if you want an easy way to enjoy delicious brats, sauerkraut and beer with the bonus of good music and a family friendly event, check out these local Oktoberfest festivities in your area.

Fall Running Events

If you love 5ks, 10ks and family fun runs, check out this list of Central Florida runs!

Please be sure to check with each venue, as times and dates may change.

Doing Fall in Florida

As Northern states enjoy the vibrant colors of leaves changing, the excitement of apple picking, and those cozy warm sweaters, here in Florida we experience Fall in a different way.

The kiss of cooler air and lower humidity call us out of our summertime hibernation to enjoy outdoor activities.

With the hot sticky summer moving out, the more desirable temperature call us outside. We set up park play dates, take nature hikes, enjoy an afternoon picnic, hit the less crowded beaches, and even consider camping (or even glamping!).

Our Florida Fall memories are a weave of the flavors of the season with a twist – outdoor experiences and adventures, and creating crafts with nature’s treasures that are collected along the way.

This is fall in Florida!

Why This Season Stills My Soul

Crimson leaves float to the ground. Cinnamon candles scent our home. Harvest pumpkins fill patches and churchyards. Burnt orange scarves pair with flip-flops. Football hums on the TV in the background

It’s Florida. It’s fall. It’s my favorite time of year.

I’ve tried to understand why this season elicits such warmth in my soul. Because autumn’s really just nature’s call to dormancy. It announces the end is coming. It’s a shutting down, a quieting. It’s a reminder of winter’s song—peace be still.

And in the chaos of life, it’s what I need. Fall tells me to float softly down with dazzling colors from the high branches. It gently reminds me to let loose what holds me tight to scary heights and come back to the gentle earth. Fall sighs slow.

But also? This brilliant season with its deep hues calls me back to my deep roots. It whispers the important thing. It murmurs on the tight breezes what matters most.

Family.

Top 10 Things to do in September!

  1. explore a farmer’s market

  2. create fall themed crafts with the kids

  3. decorate the house for fall

  4. have a picnic in the park

  5. make a Mickey wreath

  6. go to a drive in movie

  7. create art with leaves

  8. kick off fall with a local event

  9. enjoy a pumpkin spice latte (or your fave fall drink!)

  10. celebrate fall’s arrival at a family friendly restaurant

Health & Wellness this Season

5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy This Fall

A child’s healthy development relies on the freedom to play, learn, and grow all year round. A parent shouldn’t shy away from letting their kids simply be carefree and snotty-nosed youngsters. However, it is important you keep up good practices to prevent them from catching viruses as much as possible. Plus you don’t want them bringing a bug back home to the entire family.

Let’s take a look at 5 simple ways you can help your kids stay fit, healthy, and happy this fall. 

Helping Your Child Through The Time Change

Yup, as parents we dread the time change. Right when we seem to figure out our kid’s sleep schedule, it all gets turned upside down! Who wouldn’t dread this?! Fall is tough because while we “get another hour of sleep,” our kids who usually sleep till 7am are waking at 6am on that day. If you have an early riser, the time that they wake on that day can be almost unmentionable. Yikes! Their internal biological sleepy clock doesn’t know that our iPhones automatically changed at 2am.

So, I am passing along some tips to help you and your child get through Daylight Savings Time. I have provided options for each type of sleeper:

Halloween

Tips To Save Money This Halloween

At first glance, Halloween may seem like a low cost holiday. But, if you’re a parent, you know that is not the case. And if you have multiple children, the cost can add up fast. From fall baking and candy, to costumes and decorations. Below are a few tips to help you spend less this Halloween.

Fall Candy Galore

For many kids, the fall season is filled with hopes and dreams of collecting as many sweet treats as possible in the form of candies, chocolate bars, sugary popcorn, caramel apples and more. It’s the perfect storm for forming unhealthy habits that may have long-lasting effects on our kids’ well-being, such as childhood obesity, diabetes and poor dental health.

Non-Candy Halloween Treat Ideas

Last year my family moved into a brand new community in Winter Garden. Even though the neighborhood was still largely under construction, my kids still came home with more candy than they could eat in a year, much less in a single fall season. We literally had to go trick-or-treating in rounds, dumping off the goodies we got from the first block before heading out to get more from the second. This year is sure to be even crazier!

Halloween for the Allergy Parent

Honestly, I avoided Halloween for the kids as long as I could. Then came the day when I just couldn’t avoid it any longer. So, we went out, not putting too much thought into it, but then came home with with all sorts of treats that they could not eat, and yet were not fully aware of why they could not eat it.

Sugar Coma??? Tips on Handling Excess Holiday Candy

I don’t know about you, but my house has officially been bombarded with Halloween candy. Between school parties and trick-or-treating, my 3 year old collected over 150 pieces of candy. If your house is anything like mine you are probably thinking…so now what?

Here are my 5 tips on what to do with all of that leftover not so good for you goodness.

The Teal Pumpkin Project

Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) started the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2014 to raise awareness of food allergies. Food allergies continue to be a growing public health issue and 1 in 13 children in the United States has a food allergy. This can make Halloween especially stressful for families as many popular candies contain nuts, milk, egg, soy, or wheat, all of which are common allergens. Not to mention, many of the miniature size candy bars don’t list ingredients on their labels which makes it even harder to determine if they are safe.

Halloween Candy Buy Back

I had heard of dentists and orthodontists buying back candy, so I Googled it.  I found this website. Dentists buy back Halloween candy and send the candy to Operation Gratitude or other Military support groups who send the candy to the U.S. Military.  There is a search feature on the website where you can enter your zip code and find participating dentists or orthodontists in your area.  The site recommends calling ahead to the office to make sure that they are participating before you lug your bag of candy there.

Upcycle Halloween Candy

We’ll keep things short and sweet (see what happened there?) today, since many of you are still trying to figure out what your little ones are dressing up as this week. Don’t feel alone if you are still sewing or even gluing costumes together. Halloween always seems to sneak up every year.Since your kiddos will be coming home with several pounds of candy this week, we’ve rounded up a few ways to utilize some of their loot, including a few recipes, so everyone can enjoy the bounty. Plus, you won’t feel so guilty snagging a few pieces for yourself. Enjoy!

Halloween Printables

The fall season is definitely one of our favorite times of year! We love all things fall especially Halloween! From boo-ing neighbors to sharing special treats with friends, to festivals and trick or treating, we just enjoy this time of year so much! So much so that we put together some of our favorite Halloween printables created by Orlando Mom Collective owner, Eryn!

Theme Park Events

Get ready for some Halloween fun at the Theme Parks!

From trick or treating, to scary haunted houses, you can experience all the fun of Halloween at the Theme Parks! Events range from safe for the littles to thrilling for the bigs! Have a blast!!

Please be sure to check with each venue, as times and dates may change.

Halloween made easy with Goodwill

Halloween Costumes DIY

Halloween “Uncostumes”

Halloween and Trick 'o Treating Events

Get ready for some Halloween fun at the Theme Parks!

From trick or treating, to scary haunted houses, you can experience all the fun of Halloween at the Theme Parks! Events range from safe for the littles to thrilling for the bigs! Have a blast!!

Please be sure to check with each venue, as times and dates may change.

Halloween Tricks And Treats

Halloween is such a fun time of year. Dressing up, sharing goodies and playing little tricks are great holiday traditions. Here are a few of my favorite tricks and treats!

The Popular House on Halloween

Now that the trick-or-treat season is upon us, I must confess. I can’t wait for the snack-size Snickers and Tootsie Rolls. I mean, I know you can get them year round in the candy aisle at the grocery store, but there’s something about having this one-time pass to splurge a little with the chocolate goodness!

Haunted Drive-Thrus

Stay in your car and still enjoy some scary and thrilling Halloween activities! There are plenty of fun Halloween events for older kids {and adults!} in Orlando that you can enjoy in your car this year! Are we missing your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Please be sure to check with each venue, as times and dates may change.

Are You Ready for Some Football?

8 Ways to Infuse Football Fun into Your Family

It’s time. Our countdown over the summer has been dwindling away. September is my energizing month — because college football season kicks off this week!! It doesn’t matter if your entire family is loyal to one team, or if you’re a house divided, it’s always fun to get in the fall football spirit with your family.

A Football House Divided

I’m a passionate fan who bleeds garnet and gold, screams my heart out at every play and truly feels the thrill of each win and the agony of each defeat. Yes, it is just football, but to this girl and many others, it is life.

As fate would have it, I married one of those “Rowdy Reptiles,” a Florida Gator. If you live in Florida and you follow college football, you know all too well that for approximately six months of the year, we are truly a house divided.  My husband, while less rowdy than most Gators, is no less passionate than his counterparts.

Our Fave Fall Recipes!

There’s something about fall weather that makes me want to open up my cookbook to my favorite Pumpkin Roll recipe! We’ve compiled all of our favorite fall-time recipes! Enjoy!

Healthy Fall Recipes!

We love to cook during fall! The cooler weather, the yummy flavors and fresh produce…all perfect for fall cooking and baking fall recipes!

Check out these delicious healthy fall inspired recipes from How to Eat More Plants: Transform Your Health With 30 Plant-Based Foods per Week—and Why It’s Easier Than You Think

Apple Spice Caramel Cupcakes

Butternut Squash Ramen

Autumn Salad

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Top 10 Things to do in October!

  1. make a new friend at our Women’s Wellness event

  2. watch Halloween movies

  3. attend a local screening for Hocus Pocus 2

  4. decorate Fall Cookies

  5. make a Pumpkin Roll

  6. go on a Hayride

  7. trick or treat

  8. get lost in a Corn Maze

  9. go to a Fall Festival

  10. visit a Pumpkin Patch

More Fall Recipes!

Here in Florida we never know if Fall weather will stay, or if we will return to the dreadful heat and humidity. If we Floridians waited until there was a real crisp in the air to indulge in all things pumpkin, squash, or fall-themed, well, we could be waiting until January! In honor of the season, we’ve rounded up a few tasty fall recipes: Cranberry Apple CrispRoasted Sweet Potatoes with Agave NectarPumpkin Carrot MuffinsPumpkin White Wine Risotto.

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How to Host the Perfect Fall BBQ Get-Together

Fall is finally here! With the season’s crisp air and cool weather, it’s a season perfect for hosting barbecues. Whether the occasion is a birthday, a sports-themed party, or simply enjoying great food and quality time with the family, there’s always a reason to get together for a great barbecue. Here are some helpful tips on how to host the perfect fall barbecue get-together.

Make Sure Your Space Is Ready to Accommodate a Larger Crowd

With the change of the seasons, you can turn your backyard from a summer paradise to an autumnal getaway. Upgrade your outdoor space by adding a BBQ grill island so that you have plenty of space to prepare your favorite dishes. You should also consider revamping your patio space with outdoor heaters and comfortable seating to keep your guests warm and cozy through the night. Additionally, consider enhancing your backyard with fun accessories like engraved plaques that add a unique, intimate touch to your surroundings. 

With your outdoor space designed for warmth and comfort, hosting the perfect barbecue will be a breeze. 

Stock Up on All the Necessities for Your Fall Celebration

No matter what the occasion is, it’s important to stock up on all the supplies you’ll need. For example, if you’re planning a fall barbecue for a special someone’s birthday, party supplies like plastic cups, disposable utensils, tablecloths, and themed balloons are a must. 

For food and drink, having plenty of simple dishes like chips and dip or vegetable trays will hold your guests over until the main dishes are ready. Make sure to stock up on water, soda, and juice for the kids and light alcoholic beverages like bottled wine and beer for the adults.

Prep What’s Cookin’

The fall is the best time of year to scarf down all your favorite comfort foods. When creating a menu, think of items like creamy barbecued mac and cheese, brisket grilled cheeses, loaded potatoes, and delicious smoked ham. 

For your vegan or vegetarian guests, you can’t go wrong with grilled and skewered veggies. Of course, you don’t have to stop there! You should also plan for some delectable fall desserts such as homemade pumpkin roll. Scrumptious fall comfort foods are guaranteed to bring the whole family together for a great time.

You Can Make Your Fall Barbecue Celebration One to Remember

Hosting the perfect barbecue celebration involves a little planning and a lot of love. With your care, it can be an unforgettable time with family and friends.

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Fall Decor & Crafts

DIY Fall Decor Tutorial

As much as I love Summer I love a good DIY even more! And the changing of the seasons gives me a great excuse to create. Seriously, if you walked into my home you would see that 90% of the decor pieces were either hacked, tweaked or made by myself. I wanted to share with you 2 easy and inexpensive Fall decor DIYs. All of the materials cost between $1-$3 each and can be created with tools you already have on hand.

DIY Mickey Halloween Wreath

If you frequent Michael’s Craft Stores, you know they have some great 40% off (non sale items) coupons each week. So using that coupon,  I paid $4.99 (total) for the wreaths I used to make the face and ears. I then went to the Dollar Store and bought a few Halloween decorations, small glitter ball vase fillers, pumpkins, a Halloween hat, some bat clips, and a bow.  The great thing about this is you can decorate the wreath in such a way that it can be left up on your door through Thanksgiving. Just opt for some fall themed decor or glue the Halloween accessories.

Fun Fall Crafts For Kids

Fall is such a wonderful time for the kiddos. I love pumpkin patches, fall festivals and the holidays we celebrate during this time. Something else we love to do during new seasons and holidays is to work on crafts. What I love about crafting with kids is that is causes them to practice those motor skills and use their imagination. Below are some fun fall craft ideas for kids!

Magical Leaves From Melted Crayons

As soon as I flipped the calendar to November, I got that warm feeling: it is really fall! Yes, it has been fall for a while now, but here in Orlando it doesn’t quite feel like fall when you are sweating while setting out your pumpkin decor. When the weather drops a few degrees is when I really feel like cranking up all the seasonal fun. Of course that includes some baking, pumpkin pureeing, and fall kids crafts so we can all share in the excitement together.

Easy Ways to Decorate for Fall

(Even If The AC Is Still On)

Let’s face it, Fall in Florida is still, unfortunately HOT. We are dependent on the calendar to tell when each season begins and ends. The pumpkin spice latte and aisles in Hobby Lobby try to convince us Floridians that fall is near, but the sweat rolling down my back tells me otherwise. Even if I have to set out my pumpkins with the A/C on, I like to celebrate fall in our home with some simple decorations. I don’t like to store too much stuff, so I try to use things we already have around or can easily recycle after fall is over. Here are some easy ways to decorate for fall, even if the AC is still on!

1. Change Out Your Pillows

An easy way to announce that fall is here is by switching out your pillows. Cozier fabrics and fall-themed colors or sayings will immediately make your house seem more festive. I just love the buffalo check trend right now, and I can easily see these transitioning into Christmas.

2. Do Something With All Those Sticks Your Toddler Brings Inside

It’s not just my toddler, right? We always have sticks she has deemed interesting enough to hang onto in our house. I can’t blame her; sticks and small branches can be beautiful and full of character. Display those sticks in a lovely way this season.

3. Add a Wreath

Since we don’t get the yellow, orange, and red fall leaves that usually adorn the classic fall wreaths, some beautiful eucalyptus still keeps the fall vibe while staying true to our still-green natural color palette. Picking an asymmetrical shape adds another modern touch.

4. Little Pumpkins Everywhere

Cute pumpkins arranged in vignettes around the house shouts “FALL IS HERE EVERYONE” about as loudly as possible. You can choose modern white pumpkins, classic orange, or let your kids decorate them with paint, glue and paper, or even wax drippings.

5. Change Out Your Artwork

Perhaps the easiest of all, changing out your framed artwork can make a surprising difference in the feeling of your home. This is one of my favorite ways to decorate because it takes up exactly zero extra space and is easy to store or recycle once the season is over. Here are some free printables to make your walls look more fall.

We would love to see how you decorate your house for fall! Tag us on Instagram @OrlandoMomCollective so we can see how you do fall in Florida!

Top 10 Things to do in November!

  1. make a Thanksgiving craft

  2. Give Thanks

  3. send notes to nursing homes

  4. make gratitude rocks + leave in the neighborhood

  5. donate to a Food Bank

  6. have a s’mores party

  7. make apple cider

  8. make chili

  9. bake pumpkin bread

  10. tailgate at a Football Game

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Community Resources

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