After enjoying the heat and sunshine of summer, it can be tempting to retreat inside once the temperatures turn cooler. But there are so many reasons to enjoy the outdoors once the leaves start turning.
You'll not only be enjoying the crisp fresh air, but you'll still have a chance to soak up some Vitamin D from the sun. Plus, the changing colors are absolutely gorgeous and you’ve got to get outside to see all the sights.
Here are 16 ways to get outdoors and enjoy the fall weather. You’ll find that many of these activities are free or almost free!
1Take a Hike
With the leaves changing colors and the air getting crisp and cool, hiking is an excellent way to stay active outdoors. Fall is an excellent time to go hiking since it won't be too hot or too cold (plus, there are no mosquitos). Pack a bag of healthy snacks and bring ample water so you stay hydrated. Bring the whole family, make it a date or go with friends! It will be a great time for everyone, and you'll get to spend time immersed in nature.
2Corn Mazes, Apple Picking and Pumpkin Picking... Oh My!
For many families, these activities are traditions! Going to the pumpkin patch or an apple orchard can be a great activity, especially if you spend time exploring the whole patch/orchard. Many pumpkin patches now have extra activities, too, so you can make an outing of it. Pumpkin patches, apple picking and corn mazes are excellent ways to immerse yourself in this season.
3Organize a Scavenger Hunt
Create a fall-themed scavenger hunt list and go on an adventure to check everything off! You can split up the family or involve friends. Snap pictures of things you can’t bring back with you. Ideas for the list could include: a ruby-red leaf, a Jack-O-Lantern, a non-pumpkin squash used for decoration, a scarecrow, a pumpkin spice latte, the most outlandish pumpkin-spice-flavored product you can find, a tree that’s already lost all of its leaves, a tree that still has green leaves... the list goes on!
4Hut, Hut... Play Football
Don't just watch it—play it! Enjoy the game of the season by getting some friends together to play in the yard. You'll be spending time out in the autumn air and getting quality time with friends.
5Rake Up Those Leaves
Sure, it's a chore, and you probably don't like to do it. But look on the bright side: you're outdoors and active! You can make it fun by getting family involved. There's certainly something fun about jumping in a pile of leaves! When I was a kid, my parents would also put us to work picking up the larger sticks and twigs that a rake couldn’t get.
6Run While You Can
If you're a runner or took up running in the summer, rejoice! Nice, cool mornings make for perfect running temperatures. Fall is also a great season for 5Ks and other races. At any rate, you’ll want to get outside to run before it gets too cold!
7Take a Stroll
If running isn’t your thing, why not go out for a leisurely walk? Bring your pet outside to enjoy the season, too! If you don’t have a dog, get in touch with a friend that does. Or take your walk solo—nothing wrong with that! If you need an “excuse” to walk, take your kids out trick-or-treating for Halloween or go window shopping in your town’s shopping area.
8Bike Around Town
In the same vein as running or walking, a bike ride is an excellent way to get outdoors and stay active in the fall. Search for a scenic biking trail or explore a part of town you don’t normally visit to shake things up.
9Row Down the River
Do you know how to kayak or have you always wanted to learn? If you live near a river or lake, get out and enjoy the water before it ices over. If you don’t know how to kayak or canoe, find an organization that offers lessons and kayak/canoe rentals. This is a unique way to enjoy the fall colors!
10Volunteer for a Local Organization
There are many organizations that could use help with outdoor work in the fall. For example, United Way’s Day of Caring calls for volunteers to help senior citizens clean their homes and/or help with yardwork to prepare for the winter season. If you live by a river or lake, local non-profits may also do a “river/lake clean-up” day before winter hits.
11Stretch It Out with Yoga
Some yoga studios organize outdoor yoga classes—find one! Or take your yoga mat to a park and do your own routine.
12Explore the Farmers’ Market
Fall is a great time to visit local farmers’ markets. Find one near you and make a morning out of visiting local farmer’s and crafter’s stands.
13Capture the Season with Photography
Fall is a great season for photography—just think about all the vibrant colors! Visit a nearby park and practice nature or landscape photography. You can practice your skills with a DSLR or capture amazing shots with your smartphone.
14Sleep Under the Stars
Is there a better way to immerse yourself in nature? Camping in the fall can be your chance to unplug and de-stress before the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
This activity isn’t for everyone, but there are two advantages to hunting: you’re getting outside and you can potentially stock up on meat for the winter.
16Prep the Yard for Winter
If you’re a homeowner, fall is the time to clean up your yard or garden and prepare it for winter. Don’t think of it as a chore; think of it as one of your last opportunities to enjoy the season.
There you have it! There’s no reason to stay cooped up inside when there’s an excellent variety of outdoor activities to enjoy in the fall. Do you have any other suggestions? Share them in the comments!
*Published 11/23/2016 | Updated 8/16/2021