Don’t rush things when it comes putting your RV into storage! The comfy hoodies and bonfire evenings of Autumn provide the perfect setting for a camping trip and many other fall outdoor activities. While COVID-19 is presenting some additional challenges with event cancellations and social distancing requirements this year, there are still plenty of things to do this Autumn. Our 25 favorite fall outdoor activities will provide plenty of inspiration whether you’re planning a camping trip with your kids, a romantic getaway, or a solo vacation.
Family-friendly fall outdoor activities
Go apple picking
Nothing says fall like apple picking. Stay at a campground near an apple orchard for hours of fall fun. Learn about all the different varieties available at the orchard and pick the best apples of the bunch. Once you’re back at the campsite, take full advantage of your ample bounty to give your pie irons a workout or try a new recipe. Campfire Caramel Apples or Grilled Apple S’mores Nachos, anyone?
Play flashlight tag
Darkness comes earlier in autumn, so you’ll need to keep kids entertained longer in the evening. Seize the opportunity to keep the fun going after sunset with a game of flashlight tag. Make sure you’ve got enough flashlights to go around or if you’re comfortable, let the kids use the flashlights on the phones. Read here for more after-dark activity ideas.
Make a leaf craft
Kids may not be thrilled by the idea of driving around to look at the fall foliage, but they will enjoy taking an afternoon walk to gather freshly fallen leaves. Take your colorful collection and use them to create leaf rubbings, leaf critters or leaf necklaces.
Plan a scavenger hunt
Have the family explore their surroundings by putting together a scavenger hunt. Simply make a list of items that can be found in nature then pair up in teams. Give each team a bag or basket and then send them on their way to hunt down everything on the list. The first team back to the campsite with the most items crossed off their list gets a special prize or the chance to stay up extra late that night.
Host family game night
Take family game night on the road by playing board games around the picnic table. Let each family member pick their favorite game, set out some snacks and enjoy lots of laughs along with a little friendly competition.
Share spooky stories
There’s no better way to get into the spirit of the season than by telling ghost stories around a campfire. Retell spooky tales from your childhood or check out these examples of a few classic campfire stories. Depending on the age of the kiddos, you can make the stories sillier or scarier. After all, you want them to be able to sleep at night!
Decorate your campsite
Share your enthusiasm for Halloween with fellow campers by decorating your campsite. Drape your RV in festive orange and purple string lights or purchase specialty light sets in holiday shapes like pumpkins, ghosts and bats. Add a “boo-tiful” Halloween lantern or path lights for a cheerful glow. Inflatables, yard signs and door decorations also help set the scene.
Boo your campground neighbors
Halloween BOO-ing is a friendly game that is quickly becoming a neighborhood tradition. You pack a small basket with Halloween candy, toys or gifts, then leave it on a neighbor’s front porch with a note that says “We’ve Been BOO-ed” and instructions for them to leave a similar basket for one or two other neighbors. Ring the doorbell and run away. Those receiving the surprise hang the “We’ve Been BOO-ed” sign on their door so they don’t receive multiple baskets and the fun reaches as many people as possible. It’s a fun way to share holiday cheer with your campground neighbors during a year when many Halloween parades, costume contests and other activities are being cancelled.
Bust out a piñata
A playful piñata + fun Halloween treats = instant smiles. A cheery piñata is a fun alternative to traditional campground trick-to-treating. Your family will love trying to break the piñata open and the resulting scramble to collect as many treats as possible.
Outdoor fall activities for couples
Take a canoe trip
Viewing fall foliage from the water provides an entirely different perspective. The rich autumn colors of gold, rust, orange and crimson reflect off the water for a spectacular sight. Plus, you’ll sneak in some exercise and practice your teamwork skills.
Go leaf peeping
Many states have rural roads with spectacular views of the changing foliage. Hop in your RV and go find those colorful canopies. M-22 is one of the most scenic drives in northern Michigan but there are plenty of rural roads across the Midwest that offer more fall fun. Check online for fall foliage reports and plan your trip. Bring a camera, some road trip tunes and snacks to make the most of your experience.
Equestrian trails are more inviting than ever in the fall when the foliage draws you in and has you seeing the world in a whole new way. Refresh your spirit and a ride through the heart of nature with the wind in your hair and the soft sound of the horse’s hooves at your feet. A rustic adventure awaits the two of you!
Be the apple of each other’s eye
A trip to the local cider mill is just as fun for couples as it is for families. Watch as cider is pressed, eat a donut fresh from the fryer, feed the ducks and go on a hayride. Make memories as you celebrate all things apple.
Visit a winery
Nothing says romance like wine. Visit local wineries, schedule a wine tasting and take a few bottles of your favorite vino back to the campsite to enjoy. Many vineyards also allow visitors to walk through the vines so check to see if picnicking is permitting for a quiet, romantic outing.
Get creative with cooking
Avid campers know that they’re not limited to roasting hot dogs over the fire or cooking hamburgers on the grill while enjoying the great outdoors. Cooking connects couples, bringing them closer together through enhanced communication and a shared experience. Embrace the opportunity by planning, preparing and enjoying a great meal together.
Have an outdoor movie night
Cuddle up together under the stars with a warm blanket and some popcorn prepared over the campfire while watching your favorite movie with a tablet or portable projector. Whether scary or funny, you’ll love spending the 1-on-1 time together.
See the stars
On a clear night, spread a blanket in front of your RV and spend time doing nothing but holding hands and gazing at the stars. Time your camping trip just right and you’ll be treated to a full moon on Oct. 1, the Draconids Meteor Shower on Oct. 7 or a Blue Moon on Oct. 31. Check for other astrological happenings online so you don’t miss the show in the sky.
Fall outdoor activities for solo travelers
Lace up your shoes
If you’re looking for some time alone with your thoughts, hiking is wonderful way to see the sights without disruptions. Load up your backpack with all the essentials and explore trails near your campsite. The combination of physical exercise and beautiful scenery is sure to reduce your stress levels. Make your solo adventure a safe one, too! Always tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to return. And follow the health and safety tips in this Trip Planning Guide from the National Park Service.
Land a great catch
It may be too cold for you to swim, but many fish species are quite active in autumn – and you’ll appreciate the opportunities to take home a fantastic catch. Fall is a great time to cast a line whether you go out on a charter boat trip, rent a small fishing boat, or sit on the shore with a tackle box and a fishing pole. The best part is you don’t have to worry about supper, either. If you’ve never cleaned a fish before, here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning and filleting your catch.
Take to two wheels
Load your bicycle in your RV and head out on the trails while fall foliage is at its finest. Biking will allow you to cover more ground than hiking so you have more time to explore. Plus, since you’re on your own, you get to pick the destination and when and where to make a stop. The safety tips from above also apply here! Let a friend or family member know your plans and check in with them after you return to your campsite.
Capture perfect fall moments
Nature photography is a skill best developed solo. Set your alarm for the crack of dawn to catch an amazing sunrise. Switch to a macro lens and try photographing flowers and insects up close. Move quietly through a wooded area to snap a photo of a rare bird and sit solo for hours patiently waiting to capture wildlife in their natural habitat. Check out this post for photography tips from our in-house photographer and start capturing those picture perfect fall moments.
Paddle down a river
Experienced paddlers know that there is nothing more soothing than having an entire river or stream to themselves. The gentle swaying of the kayak, the brilliant foliage along shore and the cool, crisp air hitting your face all come together for one amazing solitary journey.
Find feathered friends
Out in nature, you’re never really alone. Birds and wildlife are all around even if you can’t see them at first glance. Pack a pair of binoculars and a bird identification guide to see how many different types of birds you can spy. If you’re lucky enough to live in a state that hosts migratory birds this season, you could be in for a real treat!
Be the captain of your adventure
The best part of traveling alone is that you get to decide everything. You’re the captain of your adventure, and you’re free to do anything you want. Stop to snap a selfie at every state line you cross. Play any kind of music you want. Or listen to a podcast or download an audiobook on an obscure topic that interests you. Try out a crazy dinner concoction that you think sounds good or experiment with different ingredients for s’mores. Go to bed early or stay up as late until dawn – it’s all up to you.
Your RV can offer the perfect escape from the daily stresses of life. Enjoy some quiet time on your own and appreciate the sights, sounds and smells of nature. The holiday season is right around the corner, so take this time to get away and unplug for a weekend by relaxing in a hammock, reading a good book, napping outdoors, playing with your furry companion or even knitting a scarf. Outdoor yoga is great for the body and mind. Or give meditation a try, and download an app like Headspace to guide you through the basics.
More Fall Outdoor Fun
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do and ways to get active and enjoy the outdoors this fall. Which fun fall activities will you try? Tell us on our Facebook page! Looking for more things to do outdoors this Autumn? Check out these fall outdoor activities for families and couples.