As brisk weather and shorter days encourage staying indoors, don’t ignore the outside beauty and excitement that autumn brings. Those cozy sweaters, socks, and boots are meant for more than just quick sprints to and from the car. Here are four ways to spend more time outdoors this fall, and fully appreciate this time of year.
Create Autumn Treats in Your Outdoor Kitchen
With so much terrific produce available September through November, how can you resist creating comfy, flavorful fall-inspired recipes? Don’t just put that outdoor kitchen to good use in the summer; keep it going the next few months! Shop local markets and farms for fresh apples, pumpkins, squash, cider, and seasonal jams and spreads. Develop recipes and get adventurous with your culinary endeavors. Dishes and treats for outdoor entertaining include:
- Roasted butternut squash stuffed with wild rice
- Apple walnut cranberry stuffing (with or without pork or vegan sausage)
- Apple crumb muffins
- Chocolate chip pumpkin streusel bread
- Sweet and sour pumpkin soup
- Cream-cheese stuffed pumpkin rolls
Of course, there are always classic s’mores, made all the better when put together over a bonfire. Simmer a pot of mulled cider, or whip up frothy warm chai tea lattes, and take in the wondrous fall night-time sky.
Encourage Kids to Enjoy the Seasonal Changes
There are endless learning opportunities for kids to spend more time outdoors in the fall. Fill a basket with blankets and create a welcoming nook outside for them to read or do their homework. Encourage them to take photos, sketch, or write notes about what they see, and what the season means to them. Have them chart the changes in flowers and plants around your home. Create a scavenger hunt and encourage them to craft scrapbooks or other artistic pieces out of things they find. Teach them about local wildlife, and cast paw prints or collect feathers.
Exercise Body and Mind
Even though you may have hiked during the summer, continue to walk and bike in the fall. It’s great for your body as well as your mind! According to Psychology Today, approximately 10 million people suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Getting outside and learning to see these months as something wondrous can help. It’s also important to continue to take your dogs for walks during the fall. The changing seasons sharpen their mental faculties, and some pups, like kids, love running through piles of leaves!
Take Fall Road Trips
Autumn is one of the best times of the year to see how certain areas and celebrate the season! Make those postcard-perfect getaways a reality, for your own hygge (Danish word for contentment) moments. Whether you deliberately or randomly choose a destination, take this time period to see how somewhere else compares to home.
Aberlin Springs focuses on community, from our farm-to-table network and wellness center to special family-oriented events and festivals. Although we certainly have a beautiful and unique setting, plan some fall road trips to explore other places. Visit coastal towns during the off-season, when crowds thin out. Or absorb the energy that crowds bring to New England, and see why so many love those towns in October. Take another break from driving and travel via train – that’s sure to be an unforgettable photogenic memory unto itself!
Have as much fun as possible and adopt the new routine to spend more time outdoors this fall!