The glorious autumn season easily lends itself to a multitude of indoor and outdoor recreational activity. Fortunately, we can enjoy the beauty and stunning colors of autumn without incurring a dent in our household spending. Many of the activities are inexpensive or practically “free.”
Aside from visiting a local pumpkin patch, attending local carnivals, fairs and farmers’ markets, autumn, perhaps, offers an inopportune time to explore the natural world. Many people are finding creative ways to combine their interest in nature and “green” living with outdoor fall activities that are not only low-cost but educational and entertaining as well.
Here are a few ways to enjoy the fall on a budget:
1. An ordinary activity such as hiking can take on a new meaning and provide an exciting opportunity to learn about the environmental history of local forest preserves, nature trails and parks. Organize a field trip with friends and family to study native foliage, plants and trees. It is a great way to spark the interest of children in science and nature. Encourage the children to start a nature journal or scrapbook complete with photos that they have taken themselves. The nature journal can include notes and pictures of native animal species, plants and trees.
2. Form your own rockhound club or join an existing organization. Digging for rocks can be an educational and cheap way to spend a boring weekend. It also offers a tremendous opportunity to learn about the world of rocks and minerals. During this time of year, there are multitude of fairs and conventions organized by rockhound and lapidary associations.
3. Get the family involved in fall landscaping and decorating. Even something as routine as removing leaves from the yard can be a relaxing and fun activity!
4. Organize a nature crafts club. Children and adults can enjoy making nature crafts from everyday items such as flowers, leaves, acorns, gourds and rocks. There are many nonprofit organizations that offer free, seasonal arts and crafts classes.
5. Organize a walking tour of your city with your friends and/or family. Search out new spots. Rediscover your neighborhood.
6. Tour historic homes, estates and lighthouses (depending on your geographical location). Exploring historic homes and lighthouses offers a unique opportunity to learn about the past. For many children, visiting a historic lighthouse is like traveling back in time and it is a memory they will always treasure.
7. Visit local greenhouses, botanical gardens and arboretums. Attend free lectures on tree planting and conservation.
8. Take short fall foliage tours and camping trips.
For informational purposes and not intended as advice.