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Safe Autumn Activities

Outdoor Autumn Activities

Though there are many things that are different this fall season, you can count on nature to stick to its schedule as the weather grows cooler. We just might need to find new ways to adapt favorite autumn traditions and maybe even create a new one or two. Here are a few ways you can safely enjoy the great outdoors with your family this fall:

1. Go Leaf Peeping
Bring back the tradition of a leisurely Sunday drive, and set out to see the glorious colors that paint the trees this time of year. Perhaps you have a picturesque place nearby, such as a nature preserve, park or even an arboretum. If there are uncrowded trails available, head out for a hike and collect fallen leaves to create a craft or decorate your porch or table when you return home.

Outdoor Autumn Activities

2. Pick Up Some Produce
Visiting a pumpkin patch or apple orchard is always a fall favorite for gathering fresh fruits and snapping a few Instagram-worthy pictures, but this year, you might want to plan ahead for the best experience. Call ahead to your favorite place to ask about their policies during this time. Will they be limiting the number of guests or selling tickets for timed entry? Are any attractions and amenities closed or altered this year? That way, you and your family will know what to expect during your visit. Ask which days and times they tend to be busiest, and try to plan your trip for an off-peak time. Be sure to pack hand sanitizer and cute fall-themed face coverings before you go. If you’re really looking to avoid the crowds, seek out a smaller farm stand or market for this year’s excursion.

3. Gather Around a Bonfire
Some parks (and pumpkin farms, too) offer campfire rings where you can set up and have a s’mores party with your family. Prep everything ahead of time and create individually portioned s’mores kits. Pack some cider or hot cocoa to sip and share spooky stories as you sit circled around the flickering flames. For close-to-home fun, set up a portable fire pit in your backyard or driveway. If you’re setting up in the driveway, invite your neighbors to do the same for a socially distanced gathering.

4. Build a Scarecrow
Do a closet cleanout or visit your neighborhood thrift store to find clothing that you can use to assemble a scarecrow—or a whole family of them. Collect old pillowcases to use for the heads of your scarecrows, and don’t forget the hats for a crowning touch! You’ll need a needle and thread or safety pins for attaching the items together and paint or markers for drawing facial features. For stuffing, you can use the traditional straw or hay, but you can also use dried leaves, grasses or plastic grocery bags to fill your creations. Avoid stuffing with crumpled paper, which can get soggy in the rain.

Outdoor Autumn Activities

5. Create a Treasure Hunt
With trick-or-treating being restricted in many areas, you might be looking for other ways to celebrate with younger children. Have them dress up in costume and participate in an at-home treasure hunt. Hide caches of goodies (bags of wrapped candies, small toys, etc.) throughout your yard and outdoor living spaces and then give the kids a list of age-appropriate clues before sending them on a search for treasure. Or, tour your neighborhood on foot or in the car for an afternoon scavenger hunt in search of various fall and Halloween motifs used in outdoor decorations.

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