The fall season means crisp air, colorful leaves on the ground, and fun autumn activities. Whether you and your family are in the mood to stay cozy at home or do something outdoors, here are a few ideas that are perfect to try this season.

Indoor

• Get decorative
fall decor pumpkinThe fall is a great time to refresh the decor in and around your home. The pumpkins, gourds, and leaves that come with the season can all be used for do-it-yourself decorations. Work on projects like wreaths or canvas art, or more family oriented crafts like garlands and collages. There are many ways to incorporate these seasonal items into your home’s decor.

• Grow an indoor herb garden
If you meticulously maintained your summer garden, the cooler weather doesn’t mean the end of your hard work. Basil, rosemary, thyme, and other herbs can be dug up from outside, and brought indoors to grow as houseplants. You can use these fresh herbs just in time for winter cooking.

• Perform home maintenance
As you and your family prepare for the new season, make sure your home is ready, too. From inspecting gutters to storing summer clothes, a home fall maintenance checklist will keep your house feeling fresh. Performing maintenance now will also prepare your home for winterizing later on, which can keep your home safe and your energy bills down during the colder months.

• Cook chili
Few things feel more like fall than cozying up on a cool day with a bowl of chili. Whether you’re watching football, sitting down for a family meal, or just trying to stay warm, there are tons of simple and delicious chili recipes to suit almost any taste. Try incorporating some seasonal ingredients like pumpkin and squash for a new take on a classic comfort food.

• Plant a tree
For a fall activity that will have benefits year-round, try planting a tree in your yard. Planting large specimen trees can add as much as 10% to property value, according to the U.S. Forest Service. It can provide shade, act as a barrier against winds, help filter air and water, and add beauty to your lawn. Plus, autumn is ideal to plant a tree since the roots will be able to grow comfortably in the cooler, wetter weather.

• Do some fall cleaning
You may already spring clean to refresh your home, but fall is an equally great time to spruce up and declutter, too. A new school year comes with replacing old clothes with new, and you may have your own unworn or unwanted items hiding around the home. Donating these can keep your house organized, while also helping others.

Outdoor

• Pick apples
bushel of applesApple picking is one of those classic fall traditions, and it’s easy to see why. Almost every state has pick-your-own apple orchards where families can spend a day of fun harvesting their own apples. Besides, coupled with fresh air and photo ops, orchards often have other fun fall activities and recipe suggestions for the apples you bring home.

• Take a hike!
After spending many summer days outside, it might not seem like there are as many things to do outdoors in the fall. The perfect solution: find a local trail or woods to go hiking. Taking the time to appreciate nature is refreshing for the whole family. Packing a thermos of hot cocoa or apple cider to warm up while taking in the fall colors will only add to the experience. Best of all: it’s an extremely inexpensive activity, if not free!

• Visit a haunted house
For some, the best parts (or the worst parts) of fall are the frights and chills that come with the Halloween season. See if there are local haunted houses or hayrides to visit with your family. Plus, you can always create your own haunted house at home with the help of some lighting, sounds, and props.

• Go camping
Camping is perfect for a quick and cheap weekend getaway during the autumn. The mosquitos and humidity are long gone with summer, and the cooler air and changing leaves welcome you with a beautiful outdoor backdrop. When you load up the car with tents and sleeping bags, make sure to pack supplies for a campfire, hiking, and a camera, too. No matter what state you live in, there’s always a campground for you.

• Attend a fall fair
All different kinds of autumnal fairs and festivals have already begun this year. From arts to food, and music to harvest, fairs are often an inexpensive way to experience something new in your area. Many include local businesses, live entertainment, and children’s events too, so there’s something for everyone in the family.

With so many things to take advantage of both inside your home and away from it this fall, why not embrace this change in season? Breathe it in and enjoy it!

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