As the weather cools down, our family activities change from water skiing and beach days to soccer mornings, fire pit nights and exploring the local state forests.

Although we do love to explore the state forests in summer, chasing waterfalls, during the cooler months we love it for different reasons. We find comfort in the fresh winter air with the warmth of a crackling fire close by. Simmering stew over a campfire, mulled wine in hand and the kids building huts amongst the trees.

These are a few of our favourite things to do when we get out amongst nature during the cooler months.

  • cook a stew over a campfire and finish the night off with damper cooked on a stick. If we don’t have time to prepare a stew, we grab lots of our favourite cheeses, cured meats and picked fruits and vegies
  • take some mulled wine or hot chocolate to enjoy
  • collect branches and large sticks to build a stick hut
  • collect pinecones to use as easy fire starters or save them for Christmas
  • slow down with a book whilst the kids play. Imaginary play you may want to encourage; forest fairies, house play, explorers, hide and seek, treasure hunters

Items we took with us to The Pines, Onley State Forest for a little picnic with our family photographer Laura Koutnik