Since March, the novel coronavirus pandemic has caused millions of Americans to cancel their plans and stay home in order to reduce the risk of transmission. Since a new study suggests that COVID-19 can survive on some surfaces for up to three days — and since the virus is highly contagious — one of the safest things you can do is to avoid public indoor spaces.
But getting outside is good for the soul. And as long as you practice proper social distancing (and wear a mask when it’s not possible to stay six feet away from others), outdoor activities can be a great way to get some physical activity, clear your head, and enjoy the beauty of the season. Here are just four fun outdoor activities to try this fall that will allow you to stay well in all ways.
Take a Hike
Taking advantage of nature trails in nearby parks can allow you to enjoy the seasonal sights and fit in some fitness. Around 28% of Americans over the age of six are physically inactive. And with many gyms still shut down or operating with restrictions, working up a sweat outdoors can be a lot more enjoyable. Make sure to wear some quality shoes and pick a trail that’s within your ability level. Although it’s best if you bring along someone from your household, it’s not wise to go hiking alone — so if you need to wear a mask and meet a friend while staying a safe distance away, that’s probably a better option.
Go Apple Picking
An autumnal tradition for many families, apple picking is a highly enjoyable way to spend time outdoors while supporting local agriculture. It’ll also provide you with an opportunity to use this fruit in all sorts of ways throughout the fall. Be advised that many u pick apple farms are operating under slightly different restrictions this year; although it’s typically pretty easy to keep your distance from others in a larger orchard, you’ll want to wear your masks and follow all regulations. And for the 36.5% of U.S. households that own a dog, be advised you’ll likely need to keep pets at home. It might seem like a great photo op to bring your pup along, but working farms have to take precautions in order to keep their crops safe.
Look at the Leaves
If you live in an area that’s known for its beautiful fall foliage, that’s as good an excuse as any to spend time outdoors and peep the leaves. You can take a drive out into the country or around town on a sunny day and take some photos of all the gorgeous colors you see. As an added bonus, if you’re planning a big event, you can use the leaves to help you choose your three main theme colors. Talk about two birds! It’ll likely still be warm enough to roll down your car windows — especially if you have a warm drink in your hand. Do some research and find the most stunning spots in your area to watch the leaves change. It might seem simple, but those kinds of activities are often the most memorable.
Pick Up Some Pumpkins
Of course, you can’t let fall pass you by without visiting a pumpkin patch. Most of these patches will follow social distancing procedures and mask-wearing rules, so pay attention to any guidance your local patch releases and follow those rules to make sure everyone enjoys their experience. This is a great activity for kids — and while many places may be limiting their offerings to reduce transmission risk, it’s a must-do for anyone who feels fall is their favorite time of the year. Get some pumpkins for your porch (and a couple to carve for Halloween) to bring some spookiness back home.
With these fall activities on your list, you’ll be able to celebrate what’s so wonderful about this season without putting yourself or your loved ones at undue risk.