Small Holidays To Celebrate With The Kids This Fall
Written by Tiana Lewis
Photography by ILLUSTRATION BY ALESSANDRA OLANOW
It’s been said time and time again: it’s the little things that matter. And, we here at Mother tend to agree. From unexpected “thank you” notes to taking out the trash without being told, there’s just something about the small, but special day-to-day moments that make life a little extra sweet. So, why not celebrate these moments more often? Autumn is upon us, and with it, plenty of smaller, lesser known holidays to celebrate as a family. From National Custodial Workers Recognition Day to National Pickle Day, don’t let Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas be the only reasons to celebrate this fall. Take a look at our extensive, sometimes whacky list, below, and get ready to party. Because, after all, life is what you make it!
September 26: National Pancake Day
Who doesn’t love a good flapjack? Wake up an hour earlier this year, or do breakfast for dinner, and make stacks of pancakes with the kids on National Pancake Day. You can even add fun toppings like bananas, strawberries, whipped cream, and chocolate chips. For an added bonus: surprise mom or dad in bed!
September 28: National Good Neighbor Day
Whether you’re close with your neighbors or not, use September 28 as an opportunity to spread a little love to the people that live on your street. Bake cookies or special sweets for your friendly neighbors, and have the kids deliver them, alongside a special note. This is a great opportunity to showcase the importance of being a good neighbor to your littles.
September 29: National Coffee Day
While not all parents allow their children to have caffeine, September 29 is a great time to get out in your community and try a new, local coffee shop. If your kids do partake in a steamy mug of joe every once in a while, you could also have a blast testing a new brew or brew method at home.
September 30: National Family Health and Fitness Day
Use the last day in September as a special opportunity to grab your tribe and get active! Whether you decide to take a walk, go for a bike ride, or try a community class, the entire family is sure to enjoy it because you’ll all be together.
October 1: National Homemade Cookies Day
Is there anything better than a fresh batch of homemade cookies on a brisk autumn day? We think not. Take extra time today to whip up your favorite recipe with your family. Whether it’s grandma’s secret chocolate chip or a fun, new rendition you discovered on Pinterest, everyone’s sure to enjoy this delicious national holiday.
October 2: National Custodial Workers Recognition Day
While Thanksgiving is a great time to practice gratitude, why not showcase your thanks even sooner in the year? And, who better to start with than the hardworking individuals that help keep your kids’ school clean? Have your children write “thank you” notes or draw pictures for their custodial workers. The random act of kindness is sure to put a smile on the faces of everyone involved!
October 4: National Taco Day
Need we say more? Host a Mexican-themed dinner party equipped with a fully stocked taco bar, and have everyone create their ideal recipe. Invite neighbors, friends, and family for what is sure to be a night filled with fun. If you’re not in the mood to cook, head out to your favorite Mexican restaurant—just be sure to order the tacos!
October 5: National Do Something Nice Day
Random acts of kindness are great for any occasion, but use October 5 as an excuse to knock at least a few off your list. Pack an extra treat in your kiddos’ lunch, write appreciation notes together for other members of the family, or simply give out more hugs than usual. Whatever you choose to do, the person on the receiving end is sure to appreciate the gesture.
October 8: National Touch Tag Day
Tag, you’re it! This super fun, outdoor game is sure to get the entire family moving. Play a round or two in your backyard, and invite the neighbors over for an evening filled with laughter.
October 9: National Chess Day
Whether you know how to play or not, this October 9, take part in a challenging round of chess. Teach your kids the game, or learn as a family. You could even host a tournament for avid players, novices, and lovers of the game to show off their skills.
October 10: National Cake Decorating Day
Have you ever watched reality shows like Cake Boss and wondered how in the world they create such masterpieces? Here’s your opportunity to learn! On October 10, break out the fondant, icing, and cake tins for an afternoon of pure food artistry. Round up the kids, and create a cake for dad or the neighbor, and don’t forget to let your littles lick the battered-up spoon!
October 11: National Bring Your Teddy Bear to School Day
Do your kids ever beg to bring their favorite furry friend to school with them? Stuffed animal, that is, not pet. Well, here’s their chance! On October 11, let your youngsters pick out a stuffed animal to accompany them to school. They’re sure to love showing them around. But, just a heads up: you may want to call their school first to get the okay!
October 12: National Farmer’s Day
It may sound a bit unconventional, but October 12 is a day to commemorate all of the hardworking farmers in our lives. If you don’t know any farmers to give personal thanks to, why not use this national holiday as an opportunity to teach your kids about the profession, and where our food comes from?
October 14: National Dessert Day and National Costume Swap Day
If you haven’t already purchased your new digs for Halloween, be sure to celebrate National Costume Swap Day on October 13. It’s a great opportunity to donate last year’s costume, and shop around for a new one. On the way home, don’t forget to stop by the kiddos’ favorite ice cream, pastry, or chocolate shop to celebrate National Dessert Day, too. Some might call it multi-tasking, but we call it a day well spent.
October 15: I Love Lucy Day
Of all the national holidays to celebrate, this is one of our favorites. Round up the kids and find a cozy spot in the living or bedroom for a marathon of I Love Lucy. It’s a cozy night in that everyone in the family is sure to enjoy!
October 17: Black Poetry Day
October 17 is a special day to commemorate and honor past and present black poets. Take a few hours to learn about the history of some of your favorites, and read a collection of their best works. If you’re unsure where to start, Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Langston Hughes are all great options.
October 18: National Chocolate Cupcake Day
Skip the vanilla batter, October 18 is reserved strictly for the chocolate lovers. And, whether you choose to buy them or create your own at home, the entire family is sure to enjoy munching on chocolate cupcakes all day long. Don’t forget the chocolate sprinkles, too!
October 21: National Reptile Awareness Day
Not solely reserved for reptile lovers, October 21 is a great day for the entire family to get educated on the conservation and appreciation of these precious creatures. Take a family trip to your local zoo to see a few species in person, or watch a relevant documentary on the topic. Just be sure that you have fun, while doing it!
October 22: National Color Day
It’s hard to imagine a world without color. This October 22, why not teach your children all about the different types, and where it comes from? Have everyone in the family deck themselves in their favorite reds, blues, and purples, and have a ball celebrating this colorful life we lead. You could even take it one step further and get into what certain colors are perceived to mean.
October 25: National Greasy Food Day
Yes, moms, now both you and the kiddos have an excuse to eat greasy food! This October 25, take the entire family out to indulge in your favorites: french fries, funnel cakes, movie theater popcorn, you name it. Try not to get carried away, but remember, this is a national holiday, and you deserve it.
October 26: National Pumpkin Day
October means autumn, and autumn means pumpkins! Grab the kids, and head out to your local pumpkin patch. If there’s not one in your area, try researching local farms that carry these orangy classics close by. Whether you choose to carve them up for Halloween, or paint them for in-house decoration, everyone is sure to have a blast with this fall-forward activity.
October 28: National Make a Difference Day
Sometimes it’s hard to see the impact or difference one can make, especially on a small scale. But, don’t let that discourage you! Use this end-of-October holiday as an opportunity to teach your kids about helping others—whether it be people in need, animals, or the planet. You’d be amazed to see just how much one small act can do, and the ripple effect that it creates.
October 29: National Cat Day
For all you cat lovers out there, this one’s for you. Take a bit of extra time today to show your furry, four-legged friends just how much you care. Whether you buy them a treat or toy, or simply give them a few extra pats, cats and kittens alike are the ones to celebrate today.
October 30: National Candy Corn Day
Now, candy corns may not be everyone’s favorite fall treat, but for those who love the tricolored sweet, make sure to scoop up an extra bag today. Create festive, fall crafts with them, or simply enjoy them as a snack. It’s your holiday, so go wild!
October 31: National Knock-Knock Jokes Day
In between celebrating All Hallow’s Eve, why not partake in a few knock-knock jokes, too? Have your kiddos draft up a list of their favorites, and test them out on family and friends, or while trick-or-treating. This is one holiday that’s sure to have everyone laughing.
November 1: National Author’s Day
Even if you’re not an aspiring or published author yourself, November 1 is a great day to celebrate all of the writers out there, and the works that they create. Allow your littles to select their favorite bedtime story, and learn a bit about the author that wrote it. Don’t forget to reread the tale at the end of the night. Books are so important, and November 1 offers another moment to commemorate the people that write them.
November 2: National Men Make Dinner Day
Gather up the boys of the house, and get them cooking in the kitchen! If dad is usually the one to prep dinner, this won’t look much different than the day before. However, for a fun twist, have the guys create an entire menu for the ladies of the household, and allow them to choose what they’d most like to see prepared. It’ll be a fun take on playing restaurant, and a delicious evening celebrating as a family.
November 4: National Candy Day
Now, we understand that there are many opinions on kids and sugar, but should you choose to celebrate, November 4 is the ideal day to break out the family’s favorite sweet treats—M&Ms, Swedish Fish, and Butterfingers all encouraged. Take it one step further and create candy bar bouquets for neighbors, friends, and family to get them in on the celebration as well.
November 10: National Vanilla Cupcake Day
Couldn’t partake in the festivities on October 18 because you just don’t like chocolate? Well, here’s your time to shine! Indulge in your favorite vanilla cupcake recipe, and don’t forget to share with friends and family.
November 11: National Sundae Day
It’s hard to come by an individual who doesn’t love a sundae. Whether you prefer whipped cream and bananas, or caramel sauce and nuts, serve it up however you like because this is one holiday you just can’t get wrong. For extra creativity points, have the entire family build their own at home. Just don’t forget the sprinkles, and a cherry on top!
November 12: National Chicken Soup For The Soul Day
This holiday is said to celebrate who you are, where you have been, where you are going, and who you will be thankful to once you get there. And, that’s something that we can all get on board with. If you haven’t yet read a book from the publisher Chicken Soup For The Soul, be sure to pick up a copy and dive in on this special holiday. There’s different versions for everyone, and every occasion.
November 13: National World Kindness Day
Few things make a person feel better than kindness—on both the giving and receiving end. This November 13, carve a few extra hours out of your day to teach your kiddos the importance of kindness. Then, back it with action. Have the entire family pass out Hershey’s hugs, or simply spend some extra time letting those who matter in your life know how important they are to you.
November 14: National Pickle Day
Dill, bread and butter, whole, or halved, November 14 is dedicated entirely to everyone’s favorite green snack—the pickle. Sure, you can add extra pickles to your burger on this zesty holiday, but why not try canning and creating your own? It makes for a fun, unconventional family activity, and every member is sure to love snacking on them at the end.
November 15: America Recycles Day
With all the concern for climate change and protecting our environment, what better day to raise awareness about recycling and purchasing recycled product than on America Recycles Day? If your family already partakes in the planet-saving act, why not take a field trip and volunteer at a local company who’s main focus is reusing? It’s great for the planet, and a wonderful bonding experience for the family. Win-win!
November 17: National Take A Hike Day
It may be brisk, but November 17 is the perfect opportunity to get outdoors, and hit the trails. Research local paths beforehand, and decide as a family which ones you’ll tackle together. For an added day of fun, pack a picnic lunch to enjoy once you finish. Just don’t forget to bundle up!
November 18: National Adoption Day
Whether you’ve adopted yourself, are preparing to do so, or know someone that has, November 18 is all about raising awareness of the over 100,000 kids in foster care waiting for permanent, loving families.
November 19: National Play Monopoly Day
What more could a person ask for? Round up the entire family, and get ready to compete in everyone’s favorite property-buying game, Monopoly. Make sure you have a few extra hours to spare, however, this classic can get long and competitive!
November 25: Small Business Saturday
You’ve probably heard of Small Business Saturday already, but this once-a-year holiday is worth mentioning again. Instead of getting swept into the hustle and bustle of Black Friday this year, why not step out and support the local businesses that keep your community thriving? Everyone in the family is sure to find something they adore and treasure from artisans and business owners they can see face-to-face.
November 28: National French Toast Day
We couldn’t celebrate National Pancake Day without also taking time to recognize and appreciate its delicious counterpart, french toast. This November 28, let the kids help you discover a recipe that makes everyone’s mouth water, and try your hand at it in the kitchen. For even more autumnal vibes, create at-home pumpkin spice lattes and hot chocolate to pair with your breakfast.
December 1: National Pie Day
It doesn’t matter if you prefer apple, pumpkin, or chess, the first of December is dedicated to everyone’s favorite: pies. Pick up a couple to enjoy after dinner, or take it one step further and create your own from scratch. Regardless of how it’s prepared, it’s sure to be eaten with love.
December 4: National Sock Day
On December 4, make sure to sport your favorite, crazy socks. Perhaps you have a festive holiday pair that you just can’t wait to break out. Maybe you want to take the family to buy some for this one-time special occasion. Either way, everyone is sure to have a laugh showing off their colorful feet accessories.
December 7: National Cotton Candy Day
Cotton candy isn’t just for fairs and carnivals. Use December 7 as an everyday excuse to indulge in the sweet treat. Look into purchasing an affordable machine to create your own at home, or simply purchase a bag on your next trip to the grocery store. Make it a family affair by learning all about the sugary snack, its origins, and why we have it today.
December 8: National Brownie Day
Haven’t celebrated with enough treats yet? Good! Because we saved one of the best for early December. Create a batch of your favorite brownies at home (from the box or from scratch, no judgement here), and snuggle up on the couch for a cozy day indoors. If you want to go a little crazy, add extra sinful toppings like Oreos, or a layer of chocolate chip cookies. If you can’t finish the plate, invite your kids’ friends over to enjoy them, too.
December 13: National Cocoa Day
There’s little better than cozying up on a chilly December evening with a mug of decadent hot chocolate. While we encourage cocoa drinking all fall and into winter, why not try an extra special recipe made from scratch on National Cocoa Day this December 13? You’re sure to be a hit with the kids all season long!
December 15: National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
Everyone’s favorite: ugly Christmas sweaters! Utilize December 15 to scour thrift stores for the perfect find, or get crafty and create your own as a family at home. Don’t worry if you don’t celebrate Christmas, either. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and everyday seasonal sweaters can be just as fun to sport.
December 17: National Maple Syrup Day
Maple syrup pairs deliciously with just about anything. So, this December 17, try creating all the foods that you can drizzle this decadent golden nectar over, and celebrate its creation as a family? Pancakes, waffles, french toast—you name it.
December 18: National Answer The Phone Like Buddy The Elf Day
For those of you who haven’t seen Elf, your first order of business is to rent this holiday classic—stat. It’s a crowd-pleaser that the entire family is sure to love and laugh along with. Then, in preparation for the official end of fall and the peak of this holiday season, on December 18, don’t forget to answer the phone just like Buddy. Use key phrases like, “[Insert name] the Elf, what’s your favorite color?”
December 21: National Crossword Puzzle Day
And, finally, for those that want to challenge their minds this December, National Crossword Puzzle Day is December 21. Host a black and white, crossword puzzle party, or simply carve out some time to do a few as a family. To take it one step further, try creating your own, and see if the rest of the family can crack the code. Whichever way you choose to celebrate, it’s sure to be a fun-filled day.
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