With the Covid Delta variant still making a return to normal’ish life challenging, you might be looking for ways to take a break without venturing too far. I don’t know about you, but until we are talking about Covid and Delta in the past tense, I intend on staying within a reasonable driving distance from my home base. Luckily, that still leaves plenty of outdoor fall staycation ideas for us (fully) vaxxed, (double) masked, distanced, and boostered (if the science tells us to) people.
A staycation (or holistay) is essentially participating in tourist-y activities close to home or venturing out for a day (or mini road) trip in your local surroundings.
After spending so much time in lockdown phases and working remote, a change of scenery and a healthy dose of fresh air, can make a world of difference. If even for a day. So, if you can, plan to take some time for a (safe) staycation, to have a little fun/adventure before winter weather takes over.
Autumn is the perfect time for it too – it’s not too hot or too cold, the changing colours are gorgeous and it’s pumpkin friggin’ spice season. That is so my jam. Grab yourself a latte and check out our outdoor fall staycation ideas.
Outdoor Fall Staycation Playlist
It all starts with an Outdoor Staycation playlist. You gotta have a playlist because your outdoor staycation needs a soundtrack to feed all your moods while you’re on the road, or enjoying the great outdoors or an attraction. Here’s a little mini outdoor staycation playlist to get you started:
Outdoor Fall Staycation Ideas
1. Glamping in your backyard.
Glamping is essentially poshed-up camping (aka the only way to camp). When you camp in your backyard, you still have to pitch/sleep in a tent but you can really take advantage of your home conveniences to amp it up. You have to have a firm rule, that you can ONLY enter the house to go into the kitchen or bathroom though. All other room are off-limits.
Aside from covering the bathroom dilemma, this rule allows you to keep the designated food cold/hot as needed (along with the BBQ-if that’s an option). However, it has to be only the designated food. It can’t just be anything in the fridge or cupboards. I mean, there has to be some camping in your glamping. You can also plan local hikes, watch movies, tell stories by a campfire (or a bunch of candles or a flashlight), star gaze, and/or roast marshmallows or make s’mores.
Download Google Sky Map (or similar app) and you can point your phone into the clear night sky and it will identify what’s above.
2. Outdoor Movie Night.
Plan an outdoor movie night in your backyard – it can be comedy movie night, or all about the drama, the romance, or Canadian content or even the planet. All you’ll need is a white sheet (for the screen), a projector, and, popcorn and/or other snacks. You can also build a campfire and roast marshmallows or make s’mores if that’s an option- a BBQ works great for s’mores. Oh and save some of those marshmallow for a round of hot chocolates.
3. Pumpkin Patching.
Plan a day trip to a pumpkin patch. Research farms in your surrounding area and look for locations that also offer hay rides, mazes, carving classes, or baking demonstrations. Buy a bunch of pumpkins and then plan a follow-up carving/decorating day, and/or a baking day to make some great, traditional gluten-free pumpkin pies.
Tip: Save the seeds from the pumpkin and roast them for a healthy, gluten-free savoury snack.
4. Apple Picking.
Research the surrounding apple farms in your area and, again, look for farms that also offer corn mazes, apple cider, baking demonstrations, trails, and an apple product shop. Ask the shop for some recipes – they are generally happy to share. Then you can take all those delicious, fresh-picked apples home and test out some new recipes for apple butter, or jelly, or crumble, or pie.
5. Check out a fall festival.
There are all kinds of fall festivals that celebrate the best of the season. They also tend to support and promote local small business and farmers so that’s always a good thing. Just research your surrounding areas to find one(s) that appeal to you. You can usually find things like apple festivals, pumpkin festivals, BBQ festivals, agriculture fairs, and Halloween festivals to name a few.
6. Theme-Park or Zoo Day Trip.
Some theme parks and zoos close through the week once September rolls around but remain open on weekends. Along with the rides and the midway, they also sometimes have seasonal events and activities like light shows, nature walks, exhibits, Halloween haunts, or fall/winter fests. Don’t count them out in the fall. Research what’s on offer at the ones near you.
7. Go on a Nature Walk or Hike.
This might seem like a no-brainer but sometimes we can overlook the obvious. Autumn is the perfect time for a nature walk or hike. Google the surrounding trails in your area and research what they offer. Some trails are fully accessible and/or considerate of those with mobility issues too.
I recently read about a trail not far from me that have smoothed out their walking trails, fitted them with ramps (where necessary) and placed benches every 10-20 feet so that people can rest. They also have added water fountains and emergency buttons. It’s great that they are breaking down the barriers that make going for nature walks not possible for some. I hope I read more of this happening everywhere. Pack some snacks, bring your camera, and go hug some trees. They do so much for us.
To be honest, going out is still a little unnerving for me but with the right research and preparation, it is possible. Outdoor activities tend to be a little easier to safely navigate your way through so take advantage of these last few weeks before it gets too cold. Be sure to check back next Friday when we will explore indoor fall staycation ideas.
Let us know in the comments what you think about our outdoor fall staycation ideas. Do you have any that we overlooked or suggestions to make our ideas even better? Please share so we can all make the most of our autumn holistays 😊
Give yourself permission to log off, and go outside to find a little (safe) fun/adventure. If you can’t take extended time, do it for an afternoon. It’s all a part of practising a little self-care every day.