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Happy Harvest

Happy Harvest

Five fun ways to have a Safe and Sober fall season!

We have officially made it out of the summer months and into the first days of fall! As the weather starts to cool, some parents may discover that it can be a challenge to find ways to help keep their kids active, outside, and entertained. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “From ages 13 to 25, the young brain is intensively shaped and reshaped based on its experiences.” Since positive experiences are so crucial to forming a teen’s positive mindset, we have provided our top five suggestions for things to do this fall to help fill your teen’s brain with all those positive experiences! It’s important to steer your teen in a direction away from drugs and alcohol.  With a foundation of fun experiences without the presence of drugs or alcohol teens can see that, if they are ever offered these things, they know they can have a great time without them. 

  • Stay home and bake a pie
    • If the cool weather is making it hard to leave the house, why not stay in and spend some time making a classic fall treat? PIE! This can be sentimental for you and your teen to experience together. Bring out your family recipe books and have them try baking one of your favorite holiday classics. Or find a new recipe for you both to try!
  • Stop by a corn maze
    • A corn maze is a great opportunity for teens to use their minds and their bodies to solve a giant corn puzzle. Some corn mazes even offer a spooky or haunted version for those parents and teens who love a little thrill!
  • Pick out the perfect pumpkin and carve or paint it
    • When picking pumpkins, the options are endless! Look through rows of circular pumpkins, oval-shaped pumpkins, pumpkins with crazy curly gourds or short stumpy ones.  After you find your ideal pumpkin, you can take it home and turn it into the spookiest or most spectacular pumpkin anyone has ever seen!
  • Visit the zoo
    •  Get outside to see the animals before it becomes too cold for both of you! If you live near St. Louis or want to take a weekend trip, their zoo is free! There are also zoos in Springfield and Kansas City.  For the month of October, the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, MO hosts a Haloween Spooktacular every Thursday through Sunday from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm and both the Kansas City and St. Louis zoos host a Boo at the Zoo event in late October. These events are great and safe ways to have fun with your teens on Haloween! More information on these events is available on their websites. 
  • Go to a football game
    • The fall season is football season! Whether it’s high school, college, or pro, get out and support your favorite football team. Encourage your teen to enjoy the game without the aid of spirits by teaching them healthy and safe alternatives. Design matching tees, fill up on concession stand popcorn, and see which of you can cheer the loudest!
  • Bonus!: Check into a haunted house
    • If the corn maze wasn’t enough to fill your thrill, then how about a haunted house? These creepy castles offer a variety of spooks at every wild twist and turn! Pythian Castle, located in Springfield, MO, offers ghost tours year-round; however, it is specially decorated during the month of October.  Pythian Castle has been featured in many shows such as Ghost Adventures! Dates, times, and prices for tours are available on their website.

A lot of these ideas may seem simple and silly; however, they are not only great bonding moments, but they are also great ways to show teens that there are plenty of ways to have a good time without using drugs or alcohol. 

Taylor Williams