The days are getting shorter, and there's no doubt that winter is just around the bend. But before the season of frost and snow starts, we have autumn to enjoy—and fall is arguably the best time of year to head outdoors. From pumpkin patches and apple cider tastings, to nights cuddled up around a roaring campfire, there's no shortage of ways to enjoy the cool, crisp and colorful days of autumn. If you're itching for some ideas to get your family outdoors during this season of transition, here are eight great outdoor activities that will allow you and your loved ones to make the most of fall.
Pitch a Tent for the Weekend
Camping season may be winding down, but before it makes its annual exit, head out for a weekend or two of sleeping under the stars this fall. The cool weather means that fall camping is comfortable and the changing leaves and deep blue skies make autumn one of the most beautiful seasons to camp. Plus, those chilly fall nights are perfect for cozying up around the campfire.
Head to the Pumpkin Patch
Tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread and pumpkin patches. No fall would be complete without an annual pilgrimage to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect carving pumpkin, but don't make your pumpkin patch excursion a quick trip. Many pumpkin patches these days offer plenty of perks, like haunted hayrides, petting zoos, live music and delicious apple cider. Find a nearby pumpkin patch that really outdoes itself, and make a day of it with the family.
Go Apple Picking
Nothing screams autumn like an afternoon spent apple picking, and that's because September and October are the best times of year to pluck those ripe apples right from the tree. Spend the day gathering apples with your family and then head home to cook up some amazing apple-inspired concoctions like apple crisp, cinnamon apple bread and, of course, apple pie.
Tackle a Corn Maze
By the time fall rolls around, the corn is high above the heads of most adults and perfect for concealing secret passageways. Corn mazes have become popular attractions for kids and adults alike because they are a fun way to burn energy outside on a crisp fall day. Like many other fall tourists attractions, seek out corn mazes that combine their mazes with other offerings like play areas, petting zoos and hay rides.
Hit Your Local Hiking Trails
There's no better way to experience the stunning colors of fall than under the canopy of trees that line your local hiking trails. Breath in the fresh air, get some exercise and enjoy the foliage with your family before the cold winds of winter blow in and strip the trees bare. Bonus points if you plan a trailside picnic for your family to enjoy.
Scale an Outdoor Climbing Wall
Whether your family prefers rock climbing and bouldering in a natural environment or scaling an outdoor wall at a local climbing gym, rock climbing is a great activity for autumn. The cool, typically dry weather lends the right conditions for climbing and the colorful fall foliage views you'll snag from the top of the rock wall can't be beat.
Invite Friends Over for a Bonfire
You don't even need to leave the house to have a fall adventure—just host one in your own backyard. Invite a few friends or family over for an evening bonfire and take advantage of the cozy weather to bond with the ones you love. Combine the bonfire with a cookout and a dessert of s'mores, and you have all of the ingredients for a perfect fall evening.
Rake and Jump in Leaves
Looking for a sneaky way to get some yard work done and help the kids burn some energy? Just gather up some rakes and assemble a massive leaf pile in the yard. Before you bag up or burn the leaf litter, let the kids have their fun jumping, sliding and kicking through the leaves. It might mean you have to rake more than once, but the looks on their faces as they enjoy this simple fall pastime will make up for that small inconvenience.
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