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fun outdoor activitiesFall is officially in the air, and hoodies and socks are making a reappearance – at least in the Midwest. While some people mourn the departure of warm temperatures, and others welcome the cool, crisp days, this transitional season is still a great time to be outside, no matter where you live.

As the days get shorter, be intentional about making time to enjoy the great outdoors – with a simple dog walk, a local 5K or a more elaborate day trip or weekend adventure. Fresh air and sunny skies boost mental and physical health, so take advantage of this short season before winter hits in full force.

Fun Outdoor Activities

While you may have your own fall traditions, here are some of our favorite suggestions of fun outdoor activities in the U.S. that you can enjoy alone, with a friend or with the family:

  1. Hit a trail – Do your homework to find a local area where you can walk, run, hike or bike and take in autumn’s gorgeous changing colors. Pack water and food, consult maps and go for a few hours, a day or on a weekend getaway.
  2. Pick apples – If there are orchards nearby, take advantage of this fun experience to pick your own produce and encounter everything apple (don’t forget the apple cider donuts!). If you come home with more fruit than you can eat, no worries. Apples are great gifts to make someone’s day.
  3. Ride horses – The not-too-hot, not-too-cold fall temps make horseback riding a super choice – for both you and the horse! Look for local stables with guided rides, ideally in scenic surroundings. While you may have to drive a bit, and pay a hefty fee, there’s nothing like hanging out on a horse.
  4. Take a hot air balloon ride – Perhaps easier said than done, but again, this is so worth it – even if it’s just once in a lifetime. Check out what’s available in your area, take lots of pictures and revel in fall’s perfect palette from high in the sky.
  5. Go ziplining – Ropes courses and ziplines are not ideal for the height-averse, but there generally are different levels if you aren’t adventuresome when it comes to high altitudes. No matter what height, flying through the air on a zipline, or conquering the balance-challenging ropes, are exhilarating.
  6. Wander through a corn maze – In a world of Google maps, this is an old-fashioned, rural way to test your sense of direction while navigating these tall crops. Don’t hurry, follow anyone or get frustrated, but instead embrace the experience.
  7. Host a backyard bonfire – Load up the fire pit, light some candles and assemble ingredients for s’mores. Play some fun music, or, if you’re extra motivated, set up a screen and projector for scary movies.
  8. Tailgate– Support your local collegiate or pro football team with this time-honored tradition. Don your favorite fan apparel and bring water and some healthy options, like veggies and hummus, or a fall fruit tray, to keep it semi-healthy. Then get in the game and cheer on your team!
  9. Attend a fall festival – These are usually easy to find, and loaded with fun options, like pumpkin patches, petting zoos, hayrides or pony rides, haunted houses, arts and crafts and much more. Plus, there’s usually amazing kettle corn and pumpkin treats. What’s not to love?
  10. Plant flower bulbs – Now is the time to plan ahead and plant your favorite perennial bulbs in your yard or garden. You’ll be glad you did when come spring, daffodils, tulips and more burst forth and add color and beauty to your home.