Celebrating Mabon With Kids

Autumn Kids
Cet your family outdoors to celebrate Mabon!.

Patrick Wittman / Cultura / Getty Images

Mabon falls around September 21 in the northern hemisphere, and around March 21 below the equator. This is the autumn equinox, it's a time to celebrate the season of the second harvest. It’s a time of balance, of equal hours of light and dark, and a reminder that the cold weather isn't far away at all.

If you’ve got kids at home, try celebrating Mabon with some of these family-friendly and kid-appropriate ideas.

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Visit An Apple Orchard

Apple Tree with red apples
Lisa Schaetzle / Getty Images

Nothing says autumn quite like going apple picking, and if you’ve got kids in your home, it’s a great way to get them out of the house. Choose a day to go to the local apple orchard. Many orchards are also a business, full of hayrides, corn mazes, games, and other fun family entertainment – if that’s what you enjoy, great! If your family is a little more low-key, find an orchard that just offers picking from acres and acres of apple trees, without the bells and whistles.

Apples themselves are kind of magical, and there’s a primitive sort of feeling, almost a throwback to earlier, more agrarian times, when you pick your own apples direct from the source.

Your kids will probably end up in the trees, because apples picked while climbing apparently taste better than the ones you can pick when you’re standing on the ground. By the end of the visit, you'll have a bushel or two of apples to bring home, and you can spend the day making applesauce, apple butter, craft projects, and all kinds of other things. Apple picking is a great way to spend your day together as a family, get back to nature, and harvest delicious and healthy foods for everyone to eat.

Wondering where the apple orchards are near you? The Pick Your Own website has a ton of listings for the US, Canada and other countries. Although their website is a bit rudimentary as far as appearance, it’s also chock full of up-to-date information: Pick Your Own.

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Organize a Food Drive

Food Drive
Celebrate the second harvest with a food drive. Steve Debenport / E+ / Getty Images

Mabon is known as the season of the second harvest, and in many Pagan communities, it’s become traditional to hold food drives this time of year. It’s a perfect way to raise awareness of hunger at the local level, and because fall is also a popular time for Pagan festivals, many groups take advantage of their events as a way to collect food for local pantries.

How can you take this and adapt it as something you do with kids? Well, depends on how old they are, and how much work you want to put into it. Here are a couple of ideas you can try, based on the amount of time and energy you and your kids are able to contribute:

  • If you’re going to be attending, or helping with the organization of, a larger Pagan event, see if you can staff a table that collects food donations. Be sure that everyone knows ahead of time that canned and boxed goods will be collected, so no one shows up empty handed.
  • If you’d like to do something on a smaller scale, ask friends and family members to drop off donated items to your home on a designated day. Put the kids in charge of sorting and boxing everything up, and make sure to take them along when you go to drop it off.
  • For a slightly different twist, consider a “pet food pantry.” Partner with local animal rescue groups to see what they need, and collect dog food, cat food, and other supplies. You’d be surprised how far a twenty-pound bag of cat food can go in a shelter!

One thing to keep in mind before you get started: it’s important to have a specific organization in mind before you start asking people for donations. Find out which food pantries service your local community, and choose one of them – that way, you’ll have a name to give people who ask where their donations are going.

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Seasonal Crafts

Harvest Wheelbarrow
Johner Images / Getty Images

For many of us, fall is a time when we start feeling our creative juices flowing. The leaves are beginning to turn, and the vibrant colors of the season are everywhere. There’s a crispness in the air, the smell of campfires on the breeze, and it’s a great time to try some new craft projects.

Gather up fallen leaves, acorns, cornhusks, gourds, grapevines, and all the other things you can think of, and start getting crafty!

Bring the season indoors with Five Quick Decorating Ideas for Mabon, or get out some yarn and Make a God's Eye for Mabon. Blend up a batch of Mabon Harvest Incense or Magical Pokeberry Ink. Try whipping up some Corn Husk Herbal Sachets or other Mabon Craft Projects!

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Celebrate Hearth and Home

Raking Leaves
Clean your home inside and out during the Mabon season. Sarah Wolfe Photography / Moment / Getty Images

As autumn rolls in, we know we'll be spending more time indoors in just a few months. Take some time to do an autumn version of your annual spring cleaning. Physically clean your home from top to bottom, and then do a ritual smudging. Clean things up both inside and out. Get the kids involved! They can easily help with tidying up. If they’re older and a little more responsible, they can do larger tasks like vacuuming, yard cleanup, and more.

Decorate your home with symbols of the harvest season, and set up a family Mabon altar. Put sickles, scythes and bales of hay around the yard. Collect colorful autumn leaves, gourds and fallen twigs and place them in decorative baskets in your house. If you have any repairs that need to be done, do them now so you don't have to worry about them over the winter.

Have everyone go through his or her closets. Designate a box for trash, and fill it with the clothes and shoes that are no longer in wearable condition. Set aside another box, and fill that with the items that can be donated – just because you’ve finally stopped wearing that Nickelback t-shirt doesn’t mean it won’t be someone else’s treasure! Donations of coats, jackets, hats and scarves are always in demand in the fall, so make sure that if your kids have any of these that they’ve outgrown, get them boxed up and out the door as soon as possible. If you’re not sure where to donate, check with your local Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, or even local churches to see where their drop off locations are.

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Get Outdoors as the Seasons Change

Family Hike
Get outdoors as the seasons change. Pamela Moore / Vetta / Getty Images

There are few times when the turning of the Wheel of the Year is as evident as it is in the fall. Even though autumn is a busy time for many families – kids are back in school, fall sports are underway, and so on – it’s important to designate a little bit of time to do things together. Pick an afternoon to go on a hike in the woods, or spend the day in your local park. This is the time of year, in many places, where the wildlife becomes the most active, so remind your kids that if they watch carefully, they might see deer or other animals, depending on where you live.

You can turn nature walks into a game – consider a scavenger hunt, in which each child gets a list of things to spot, such as deer tracks on the ground, a red leaf, acorns, spiderwebs, etc. If you’re exploring a public park, think about taking an empty plastic bag along with you, to pick up any trash you encounter along the way.

Take some time to step away from the mundane parts of your life, get your family outside, and watch the seasons change together.

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Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "Celebrating Mabon With Kids." Learn Religions, Aug. 27, 2020, learnreligions.com/celebrating-mabon-with-kids-2562314. Wigington, Patti. (2020, August 27). Celebrating Mabon With Kids. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/celebrating-mabon-with-kids-2562314 Wigington, Patti. "Celebrating Mabon With Kids." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/celebrating-mabon-with-kids-2562314 (accessed June 10, 2023).