Get Outside! The Best Budget-Friendly Autumn Activities for the Whole Family

10/04/2016 11:57 am ET

The dog days of summer may be on their way out, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack in the outdoor adventures just yet. Crisp fall days lend themselves perfectly to throwing on a cozy sweater and embarking on family fun to take in all the sights autumn has to offer.

With the kids back in school and the holidays creeping up on us, these outdoor activities are just the thing to allow every member of the family to connect with one other and with nature.

Explore a local nature trail and take the whole family for some much needed exercise and fresh air. You can search trail options to find locales that accommodate your fitness level and desired activities. Paved routes are great for biking, running and roller blading, while gravel and dirt trails are better suited towards hiking, running and mountain biking. These trails tend to be wide and have limited intersections with traffic, making them a safe option for families.

Athleta’s layered looks for fall will keep you feeling stylish and comfy throughout the autumn season, taking you from the trails to the town. We especially love this Downabout Vest with its oversized asymmetrical collar and chic colors to keep you toasty and fashionable throughout all of your adventures!

Find more information, tips and maps for all of the best trails near you at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

Apple picking is a classic fall outing. It can be a great fall family activity—and a great workout too! When you first arrive at the apple orchard, walk to the furthest point and make it a quest to explore the outer areas of the orchard because you’ll likely find trees that have not been picked over as much. Plus, you’ll get a bonus workout by carrying the apples back to the car (and an excuse to indulge in some pie later)!

You’ll need some pie accessories at home to take advantage of all of those fresh-picked apples.

Sur La Table has an amazing selection of pie-making essentials. We love these Leaf Pie Crust Cutters and Harvest Pie Crust Cutters sets to add some autumnal flair to your homemade desserts.

Kayaking is a fun and healthy activity to share with the entire family. One of the best things about kayaking is that it requires little experience and everyone can paddle at their own pace in scenic surroundings. In two-person kayaks, you can get the level of workout that you want. Little ones can paddle when they feel inclined, and heartier folks can have the challenge of paddling for two.

Don’t forget to bring along binoculars to lookout for birds and other wildlife. One bonus of kayaking in fall is that it’s not so hot, but you still shouldn’t forgo sunblock and clothes that block the harmful sun rays!

L.L. Bean has a ton of gear offering sun protection, not to mention all the gear you could possibly need for your day of kayaking. The No Fly Zone Crew long-sleeve—available for both men and women—offers UPF 50+ sun protection fabric to protect you from those harmful UV rays. It also offers built-in insect protection, so you’re comfortable and bug-free throughout the day.

Camping can be a blast in the fall and can really offer a lot of exercise and family adventure. Check your local state park’s website for locations near you. Or you might also consider checking out the website Hip Camp, which allows you to search and discover the best camping sites nearest you or anywhere in the U.S.—just think of it as the AirBnB for camping! They have a fabulous database of campsites from across the country, including many unique locations that could provide the perfect backdrop for a low-cost family getaway in the fall.

Need to gear up? Backcountry has the gear and outstanding customer reviews to help you find just what you need. And as a bonus, they have online experts who are always available to chat with you if you have any questions. So very, very helpful!

Take a hike! We mean it. If you live in the suburbs, do a walking tour of a local city or tour a museum (you may be able to get free passes through your local library). If you live in the city, take a drive out to a state park in your area. Take the opportunity to teach your kids how to read maps and figure out how far you travelled. And use the time to talk as a family. Be curious, be active and just be together.

Sites like Groupon and Living Social have a variety of day-trip hikes, many with transportation included. Find guided hiking tours from a scenic Hudson Valley hike to a sunset hike along the shores of Malibu—there’s something for everyone!

Unfortunately, autumn flies by in a flash, so take advantage of the crisp weather and beautiful foliage with one (or several!) of these fun fall family activities.

And remember, to get more bang for your buck, shop through cash back sites like Splender.com, where you’ll find great deals and receive cash back rewards on everything you and your family need for your favorite fall activities!

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