Embrace the crisp air and vibrant foliage with this seasonal guide to family fun.
Hello fall! We’re officially welcoming the season of cozy sweaters, chunky scarfs, crisp weather, and the switch from iced coffee to warm beverages. The start of autumn also signifies a time to gather with friends and family for fun, outdoor activities. Whether you’re a foodie or outdoor lover, this time of year literally brings something that appeals to everyone. And the best part of it all, the weather is simply perfect—not too hot or cold.
If you love fall just as much as the next person, or you are simply looking for some motivation to expand your horizons, here are some of the season’s most popular activities to try and places you can go to do them.
Chase the country’s most vibrant foliage
One of the true signs of fall is the leaves changing color. From deep amber to bright orange and gold, being able to catch fall foliage is an annual occurrence for many around the country. To start, the Blue Ridge Parkway has some of the best viewing opportunities. Spanning 469-miles from Cherokee, North Carolina to Rockfish Gap, Virginia, you could aim to drive the entire distance or pick a spot along the way and make a getaway out of it.
If you want to make it a getaway— which means waking up to the view from your window— we suggest booking a stay in North Carolina’s Grandfather Mountain or somewhere in Asheville, North Carolina. Both are said to have some of the best fall foliage in the state, and you’ll want to get there before mid-October, when the leaves start to die out for winter.
Pack up the family and go glamping or camping
What better way to strengthen your family’s bond than by roughing it for a couple of days in nature? Luckily, with the introduction of glamping (glamorous camping), your experience can be as luxurious or rough as you choose.
Getaway House is a cute trailer-style cabin set up within the woods, equipped with everything you’d need, including: a fire pit, full bathroom, kitchenette and more. Getaway Houses can be found close to more than a dozen large cities around the U.S. like Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans and more. If this isn’t your thing, you could also think about renting an RV and setting up close to home for a more custom camping experience.
Saddle up and go horseback riding
Although this is an activity that can be done all year round, it’s something about being able to put on your flannels and boots to saddle up during the fall. Now, add in gorgeous views from the trail, and you have officially created the perfect zen moment without trying.
Atlanta’s Black-owned Stretch Out On Faith Again (SOOFA) is a ranch, just outside the city, that offers horseback riding to children as a form of therapy. The family ranch, owned by Daryl Fletcher, spans more than 750-acres, also offers trail rides for the entire family and equestrian lessons to really take your skills to the next level.
Visit a pumpkin patch or apple farm
Some of the most popular family-friendly activities of the season are apple picking and visiting a pumpkin patch, and you can truly include everyone from the youngest to the oldest. If you have toddlers, letting them ride through the patch on a wagon is a fun way to get keep them engaged and protected from getting hurt or lost, walking around on their own.
Both activities can be found at local farms all around the country. Some farms will even host special pop-ups to make things more easily accessible. Simply Google apple picking or pumpkin patches near me to find the closest one, as well as allocated ‘picking’ days, times, and any entry fees. If you really want to take things up a notch, dress in matching outfits and turn the day into an impromptu family photoshoot as well.
Check out state fairs and festivals
Fall equals festival season. From cultural festivals to multi-day food events, the possibilities are endless. We recently shared a few Black-owned food and drink festivals hitting cities near you this fall, including: New Orleans Fried Chicken Festival and Charlotte’s BayHaven Food and Wine Fest.
Several states—including Georgia, Texas, Arizona, and North Carolina—will also host their annual state fair during the fall months. Get ready for family-friendly carnival rides and games, unique animal and agriculture contests, as well as plenty of indulgent fair snacks like deep-fried candy bars, giant turkey legs, buttery corn-on-the-cob, funnel cakes and more.