From the crisp chill in the air to the excitement of football season to the much-talked-about “P.S.L.” (Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte), there’s a lot to love about fall. One of the best things about the season is that the we are done with the humidity and heat of the summer, but haven’t yet hit the bone-chilling cold of winter. With that said, we thought we’d come up with some ways to get you out of the house and into the great outdoors to enjoy this great weather with family and friends.
Get Lost In A Corn Maze
You don’t have to live in Nebraska to take advantage of this one! Corn grows in a lot of places all over the country, and in the fall, owners take their crops to the next level by cutting mazes into them (we stumbled on this incredible video that shows how some farmers transform their fields for the corn-maze season). Corn mazes are incredibly inexpensive for families to enjoy, and sometimes they’re even free. Hop on Google and search for a corn maze in your area—you might be surprised to find one closer than you think.
Hit the Trails
With the weather at a nice, cool, crisp temperature, take the time to plan that hike you’ve been putting off because of the summer heat. The U.S. is known for having some of the most beautiful hiking trails, and from coast to coast, there are incredible hiking trails with breathtaking views. You don’t need to plan an Everest-like ascent; just pick out a casual, couple-hour hike that anyone can do; apps like PeakVisor and Hiking Project can help you figure out just the right trails. For families, make sure to pack some snacks and water bottles. For friends, water is a must, too, but plan a boozy brunch afterwards to cap off an afternoon of fun.
Time to Tailgate
Tailgating before a game? Always! Tailgating, then going to the game? Not always! One of the biggest misconceptions about tailgating before football games is that you have to go to the game; this definitely isn’t the case. You can still show your fan spirit and have a great time with friends by rocking your favorite player’s jersey and setting up shop in the parking lot. A few of our tried-and-true tips include getting the word out with your friends and planning who will bring what before game day; showing up early will ensure that you get a prime location; food should be ready at least an hour or two before the game so you can have proper time to eat and clean up; and finally, don’t fight the crowds post game: kick back and relax with leftovers until the parking lot clears out.
It’s All Happening at the Zoo
With summer travel in the rearview mirror and the kids back at school, the zoo can be a great place to visit during the week. Since fall is considered the off-season, zoos are far less crowded and often offer discounts. And a bonus: Since the animals tend to hide inside to stay cool in the summer, you’ll actually see more of them in the fall. Nearly every state in the U.S. has at least one zoo; you can search by zip code online at the Association of Zoos & Aquariums to find one near you.
Fall for a Picnic
You don’t have to be Yogi Bear to enjoy a picnic basket in the park—and there’s no better time than the fall to enjoy a picnic. Pack some sandwiches, drinks, blankets, and a few games (we love Uno, Boggle, and a good, old-fashioned deck of cards for the on-the-go fun), and you’re ready to go. According to NationalParks.org, there are more than 400 national parks across the country, so chances are you’ve got the perfect picnic spot nearby.