It's almost the end of the first week in November—the days are getting shorter, and the holidays, if you can believe it, will be upon us in only a matter of weeks. Observe the golden leaves of the maple tree, the blossoms of frost on windowpanes and pumpkins, and you'll know, sigh, that autumn will soon be retreating and a magical season of merriment and mayhem is well on its way. But before you deck those halls and jingle those bells, before you trim and shop and wrap and bake, why not take advantage of this relative lull in activity and head outside to savor the sunshine? Today's the day, before the calendar fills up, before obligations start mounting, to get out there and have some fun. So hop to it!
Following are five of our favorite ways of enjoying the outdoors while bidding adieu to autumn.
Bundle up and pack a picnic
Sure, it's a little chilly out there, but who cares? Pack some nice, warm grub—we're thinking grilled cheese, tomato soup, and a spot of hot cocoa—and pile on the layers, and you and the kids won't mind the cold one bit. Hit the park or the woods, if you're feeling ambitious, or just spread the spread in your own backyard.
Take a rejuvenating nature walk
The air is crisp, the squirrels are busy, and there's so much, as the trees close up shop for the winter, to talk about and see. Collect leaves, Osage oranges, walnuts and acorns, and delight in nature's great autumnal hurrah.
Climb a tree
How better to celebrate the great outdoors and autumn than by finding and scaling a mighty tree? Find one that's safe and sturdy, with plenty of low, strong branches, and enjoy a good book and the excellent view.
Clean up the garden
Now's the time, if you haven't done so already, to get the ol' garden spruced up for next season. And while cleaning may imply a little more work than, say, digging into a picnic, it doesn't have to be drudgery. Kids generally like the raking and weeding, so put them to work (and reward them with warm doughnuts and a steaming cup of hot cocoa).
Jump in the leaves
Arguably the most quintessential of kids' autumn outdoor activities, jumping in leaves is a classic for a reason: it's a heaping pile of fun. Rake and jump all afternoon, until the sun sets, until winter draws closer, until you're sleepy and happy and well prepared to meet and greet the impending holiday season.
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