With the winter solstice nearing, many families across the United States are taking all last-minute efforts to ensure that they are fully prepared for the impending winter. Of course, this often includes stocking the closet full of cold-weather gear, winterizing the home, and putting away all of the outdoor toys until spring arrives again.
But although we are nearing the end of the fall season, there are still plenty of fun activities you can try to enjoy the last few days of bearable outdoor weather. So before the next big blizzard, don’t wait to try these five simple ways to enjoy the outdoors in autumn together as a family.
Where Have the Animals Gone?
By the end of autumn, many animals have already begun to get ready for the long winter by gathering necessary food and settling in to hibernate. That does not mean that all have vanished, however; many animals, due to a variety of reasons, may end up remaining in the outdoors much later than others, while some animals even thrive during the winter months.
As such, late autumn is the perfect time to head outdoors with your little ones and search for signs of animals that have remained. You may find fox footprints tracking across fields, remnants of bird nests, and even deer foraging for food in any hills near your home.
Learn a New Sport
While many believe summer to be the best time to play outdoor sports, in reality, late fall provides a better atmosphere. Specifically, while in summer you are forced to contend with the blazing heat and an onslaught of mosquitoes, the end of autumn is cool and allows kids to remain active for longer. So this autumn, head outside with your little ones to teach them the basics of a new sport. If they already love soccer, teach them how to swing a bat and play baseball; or, if they are baseball stars, grab a pair of rollerblades and hockey sticks, and learn how to play inline hockey together.
Run a Charity Race
Late fall is often the host of numerous charity races that occur throughout the country. To be sure, a number of different organizations may host 5K or 10K “races” for individuals of all skill levels, with the entry fees and other proceeds largely going to charities or other non-profits.
Before the winter arrives, search local listings to see if there are any of these fun races being held in your area, and consider signing up for one with your little ones. Even if you can’t run the entire race, even walking the course with your kids will be an excellent source of exercise and a great way to give back to the community. Plus, it allows you to enjoy the final days of autumn outside as a family.
Visit a Festival
Along with “races,” many fall festivals are also held towards the end of the fall season, before the snow fully blankets the ground. Of course, this depends on the location throughout the country, but there may be a number of festivals taking place even well into the month of December, many of which are made up of local vendors selling any last wares they have before winter arrives (such as tea, pine cone decorations, or even ornaments for the Christmas tree).
Furthermore, a variety of different cities or towns may also host a “December lights” parade or festival; this often takes place in the early weeks of December, and is made up of local organizations and a float carrying Santa Claus from beginning to end. This is a great outdoor activity in autumn that will help your family get ready for the chilly winter this year.
Rent a Mountain Cabin
If you truly want to enjoy the final days of the fall season before the temperatures drop below zero, then you may wish to consider renting a cabin in a local forest or other area outside of the city. With websites like Airbnb now largely in operation in virtually all areas nationwide, it is easier than ever to find convenient and affordable locations close to where you live; and, in the end of autumn, this may also include a number of mountain cabins that are less expensive due to the time of year.
While cabin living is often preferred in the summer months, it is just as wonderful in late autumn. To be sure, late autumn lets you enjoy the cool crisp air and take nature walks with the kids, often without the crowds of the summer.
Enjoy the Outdoors in Autumn
Don’t let the winter months arrive without enjoying the outdoors one last time. Try these five fun outdoor activities in autumn and celebrate the final few warmer months of this year.