Fall is a great time for family-friendly outdoor activities with the kids or grandkids. Grab a jacket and get going!
1. Visit a harvest festival.
Thousands of communities hold fall or harvest festivals offering crafts, food, music, face painting, hayrides, corn mazes and other fun activities. Watch for announcements in your local paper, on TV, or search online for events near you.
2. Make pinecone bird feeders.
Tie a string to the top of a cone, cover the cone with peanut butter, roll it in birdseed and hang it outside. It's a fun project for kids and a chance to watch birds together.
3. Take a hike.
Cooler, less-humid and bug-free days mean that it's fun to walk outside again. Find some trails where you can immerse yourself in the season's colors and fragrances. Take a companion, a camera and a sack for collecting leaves and pine cones.
4. Keep gardening.
Fall can be a great time to dig in. Many flowering bulbs are best when planted in the fall--a cold winter in the ground actually improves their spring blooms. Fall is also ideal for transplanting trees and shrubs, and local nurseries often have a good selection. To help trees and shrubs get rooted, water regularly until they go dormant for the winter.
5. Bring nature indoors.
The French writer Albert Camus once said, "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." Collect and preserve beautiful foliage by pressing completely dry leaves between sheets of newspaper for a couple of weeks. Use the dried leaves to decorate your table or room.