Tag Archives: fall

Preparing for Cold Weather

We’re in that time of year where Maryland temperatures start dipping a little lower. It can be 70°F (21°C) one day and 40°F (4°C) the next. This is a time when many people begin to opt for indoor activities instead of outdoor ones. As the pandemic continues, we may be rethinking that this year. CDC guidelines state that outdoor gatherings and activities are generally safer than indoor ones.

There is a Scandinavian saying about this…

If you come from a warmer climate this may sound impossible to you. Over the years I have noticed that the temperature difference is much easier on those who have a gradual adjustment. It allows your body time to adjust to the lower temperatures. So, that’s the good news for all of you who are already here. Your body is already getting adjusted, give your mind a chance to stay open to enjoying the outdoors.

The next thing to do is get yourself the proper clothing and accessories. Start shopping for cold weather clothing: sweater, coat, gloves, hat, scarf, long underwear & boots. Ask your host family if they have some you can use and then start looking out for sales and checking thrift shops for the rest. Take a look at what you already have and think of ways to layer it. A long sleeve t-shirt under a sweatshirt may be as warm as a jacket. A pair of leggings or tights under a pair of jeans adds a lot of warmth.

It may also help to remind yourself that people in other parts of the U.S. and other countries experience much colder temperatures than we do and are still able to enjoy the outdoors.

Pick your activities carefully. If you are sitting next to a fire pit or doing physical activity you will feel warmer. When you take the kids to the playground or out in the snow, don’t sit on the bench and watch. You will feel warmer and have more fun if you are actively involved and having fun with them.

If you have tips on enjoying the cold weather, please share them!

CONTEST: The first au pair in our cluster to message Christine or Lisa with their favorite cold weather activity will win a prize!

Image: Canva.com

Fun Fall Activity Ideas

Looking for fun fall activities to do with your kids?

Check out Au Pair in America’s Halloween FunFall Holidays pinboards on Pinterest.

Looking for even more fun fall activities, to do on your own, with friends, and/or with your host family?

Print out our Fall Bucket List full of fun fall traditions and activities to try.

pumpkin patch

Photo: Angela Severn (Flickr)

Making Thanksgiving Memories Together

Thanksgiving is a public holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November every year in the United States. It started as a harvest festival and has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789.  The most important part of Thanksgiving for American families is to spend family time together.  Traditionally, this is a time when extended family members gather together. The CDC is recommending people just celebrate Thanksgiving with those in their household to reduce spread of the coronavirus. This year Thanksgiving will be a little different, but you can still experience the same American holiday experience with your host family.

Martin Cathrae

Here are a few tips to help you have a terrific Thanksgiving experience.

Host Parents
Please plan to include your au pair in your Thanksgiving celebration, if at all possible. If you are traveling or will not be able to invite your au pair to join you for Thanksgiving, give her plenty of notice and help her make alternate plans. You don’t want to leave your au pair alone over the holiday.

Au Pairs
If you are invited to attend dinner, please let your family know within 5 days of the invitation, whether you are planning to attend, so they may make plans. If your host family is unable to include you in their Thanksgiving plans, please let me know if you have trouble making other plans, so I can assist.

Make sure to discuss time off during this holiday weekend. Many host families work the Friday after Thanksgiving so do not assume you have this day off or the entire weekend. Talk to your host family, BEFORE you make any plans.

Bonus Tip for the Kids
If you are looking for a fun recipe to make with your au pair, check out these turkey cookies. Find more fun activities and recipes on the Au Pair in America Fall Holidays pinboard.

Contest for au pairs: The first au pair to let Lisa or Christine know which traditional Thanksgiving food you are most looking forward to trying, will receive a prize!

Carving Pumpkins

pumpkinWith our Annual Pumpkin Patch Cluster Meeting coming up this weekend, I thought it might be helpful to show how to carve a pumpkin for au pairs who will be attempting this for the first time. Here is a video explaining how to carve a pumpkin (as well as some non-carving alternatives.) If you get a pumpkin at our pumpkin patch cluster meeting, I don’t recommend carving it until the week before Halloween, so it will stay looking fresh for big day.

Find more fun on the APIA Halloween Fun Pinterest board.

Photo: Jeff Kramer

Drive-In Movies

Have you ever been to a drive-in movie? Drive-in movies are outdoor theaters where the movie is projected on a large screen and you watch from your car. There were once over 4,000 drive-in theaters in the U.S., now only a few hundred remain.

One of those still operating is right here in Maryland, in the Baltimore area.  Bengies Drive-In has been in business since 1956.  It is about an hour drive from most parts of our cluster, but since they are the only one left in the entire state of Maryland, that doesn’t sound so far.

Bengies

Click here to visit the website

I have been taking my kids to drive-in movies at Bengie’s for the past few years and we love it.

The drive-in is only open Spring-Fall.

Drive-In Movie Tips for First Timers:

  1. You pay one price whether you stay for 1, 2 or all 3 movies. *Cash only for admission*
  2. You may stay in your car or bring chairs to sit in in front of your parking space.
  3. If you go in the summer and plan to sit outside, bring insect repellent spray or bug bracelets.
  4. If you go in the fall when the weather is cool, bring blankets.
  5. You cannot bring in outside food or drinks, unless you purchase an outside food permit. I recommend you buy your snacks there. They have some interesting options that you don’t see at a regular movie concession stand and that’s part of the full experience.
  6. Before you go, read the information on their website about headlights. You need to know how to disable your headlights when you are inside the movie.
  7. You also need to figure out how to turn your vehicle to the “accessory setting” with your key. This will allow you to listen to the movie without draining your battery. VERY IMPORTANT
  8. There is a note on their website about how to enter their address with GPS.  There address is listed as “Middle River”not Baltimore on GPS.

If you give it a try, let me know how you like it!

Drive-In Movies

Have you ever been to a drive-in movie? Drive-in movies are outdoor theaters where the movie is projected on a large screen and you watch from your car. There were once over 4,000 drive-in theaters in the U.S., now only a few hundred remain.

One of those still operating is right here in Maryland, in the Baltimore area.  Bengies Drive-In has been in business since 1956.  It is about an hour drive from most parts of our cluster, but since they are the only one left in the entire state of Maryland, that doesn’t sound so far.

Bengies

Click here to visit the website

I have been taking my kids to drive-in movies at Bengie’s for the past few years and we love it.

The drive-in is only open Spring-Fall.

Drive-In Movie Tips for First Timers:

  1. You pay one price whether you stay for 1, 2 or all 3 movies. *Cash only for admission*
  2. You may stay in your car or bring chairs to sit in in front of your parking space.
  3. If you go in the summer and plan to sit outside, bring insect repellent spray or bug bracelets.
  4. If you go in the fall when the weather is cool, bring blankets.
  5. You cannot bring in outside food or drinks, unless you purchase an outside food permit. I recommend you buy your snacks there. They have some interesting options that you don’t see at a regular movie concession stand and that’s part of the full experience.
  6. Before you go, read the information on their website about headlights. You need to know how to disable your headlights when you are inside the movie.
  7. You also need to figure out how to turn your vehicle to the “accessory setting” with your key. This will allow you to listen to the movie without draining your battery. VERY IMPORTANT
  8. There is a note on their website about how to enter their address with GPS.  There address is listed as “Middle River”not Baltimore on GPS.

If you give it a try, let me know how you like it!