November is a time for families and fun. As Thanksgiving approaches, the focus turns to travel, hot food and family gatherings. November also presents a chance for lots of outdoor opportunities. Bundle up and get outside!


ON THE FARM Fall is the perfect time to visit a farm. Enjoy a hayride, pet the farm animals or take a pony ride. Tour the farm and learn where most of the items in your refrigerator come from! Many farms offer informational tours about the history of the farm and the work done there. Austin has a lot of wonderful organic farms right in the heart of the city. Pick your own fresh veggies, eggs, cheese and meats. Finish up the day in the kitchen using your hand-picked foods for a special family meal.


HAVE A BALL November 6 is the birthday of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball! Grab a ball and shoot some hoops to celebrate! Families can also create salt dough sports magnets. Grab a red marker, a black marker, white craft glue, orange and white paint and round magnets. Make the salt dough batches as small or big as you like, with one part salt, two parts flour and one part water. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix ingredients together until a dough is formed; knead the dough on a floured surface until the mixture is elastic and smooth. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle with flour until the stickiness is gone. Be careful to not add too much flour, as this will dry out the dough and will cause it to crack before baking.


Roll the dough into balls, flatten on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for two and a half hours, then remove from the oven and cool completely. Next, paint dough orange or white to resemble a basketball or a baseball and let the paint dry completely. Turn over and paint the backside and allow to dry completely, then use markers to draw lines or stitches on the front. Glue a magnet on the backside and let the glue dry completely.


YMCA of Austin youth sports programs and swim lessons are a great way to keep your kids active year-round. Programs are offered at YMCA locations throughout Travis, Hays and Bastrop Counties. There’s something for all ages! Registration is open and financial assistance is available. The YMCA of Austin offers a wealth of programs for kids and families, from aquatics to academics; gym and swim to group wellness; healthy body to hunger prevention. Visit for details or call 512-236-9622 to find the location nearest  you.

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