Summer is full of trips to the beach, swimming at the pool, gardening, and other outdoor fun. As the days begin to cool and the kids are busy with schoolwork, you might start thinking about spending more time indoors, but there are lots of fall activities that can allow your family a little more outdoor fun before winter arrives.

Apple picking is an ideal green fall activity – fresh air, fall leaves, and a spacious orchard full of locally grown fruit. Normally you’d bring your own green bags, but many orchards offer pricing by the size of the bag and have strict guidelines regarding size, so be prepared to use their bags. Then you can branch out – do you like Macintosh, Jonagold, Gala, Cortland? Often orchards have handy guides explaining just which apples are in season, which are sweet and which are sour and which are best for eating, baking or both. Many apple orchards offer other fun fall activities such as hayrides, corn mazes or a petting zoo for the kids. It’s an excellent way to spend time outdoors for a green outdoor activity.

Fall is the perfect time to catch the gorgeous colors that burst onto the scene in late September and October. Don your biking gear, pack a picnic lunch and strap on that Camel Pac and you’ve got an exhilarating ride through some beautiful fall foliage. Or consider a day on the trails and enjoy the solitude of a walk through the woods with your favorite horse. Finally, a family canoe or kayak trip paddling down the smooth river where you can see ducks, swans, geese, even fish and turtles as you breathe in the cool air and enjoy the warm sun on your back.

With all that beautiful foliage bursting out of your neighborhood, fall is a time when you have a lot of raking to do. But this is a great time to be a kid again – breathe in that unmistakable scent and jump around in the fallen leaves. It’s good for your heart, good for your soul and… well, you can easily rake them up again.

Other yard-based green activities: now is a fantastic time for climbing trees, tossing around a football in the yard or even organizing a game of touch football. With the cool weather, the stars are more visible – stargazing is a good family activity.

With Halloween on the way, many people begin thinking about spooky decorations for their homes. What better way for an eco-friendly activity than stuffing your own family scarecrow out of all-natural straw and your old clothing. Gather around your old shirts and jeans and create a family of scarecrows that your neighbors will enjoy just as much as you do.

Fall is also time for the annual trip to a pumpkin patch. You can get some great family photos, choose the perfect pumpkins and maybe even purchase a few gourds or cornhusks for green fall decorations for your home. Carving pumpkins is a fun green outdoor activity that the whole family can enjoy. When you’re done, you can make use of the whole thing by roasting the pumpkin seeds and eating them as a snack as you tell ghost stories in the darkness.

With so many fun outdoor activities to choose from, fall is one season that many people name as their favorite time of year.

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