How to make the most of fall before it's over!

Crisp air, changing colours, and the long-awaited wardrobe shift to cozy jeans and sweaters. What better way to enjoy the fall than harvesting the bounty of the season? From apple picking to pumpkin patching, make the most of these shortening autumn days and get a mental health boost while you’re at it!

Visiting a local apple orchard or pumpkin patch is an ideal opportunity to take in the fall foliage, gather family and friends, and spend some quality time outdoors before winter rears its frosty head. There are a plethora of reasons to spend time outside this fall, like the mood-improving benefits of time spent in nature.

Here’s how to make your day a breeze:

Check your local establishment’s website or call in advance of your day-trip to get the lowdown on logistics at the local farm. You’ll want to know ahead of time if there is an indoor area, whether or not they serve food, and if they have washrooms! Some locations feature activities such as wagon rides, corn mazes, and country shops with all sorts of homemade goodies.

If your famous family apple pie recipe calls for a specific type of apple, determine in advance what apple varieties the orchard carries. Knowing this will help you know what specific qualities to look for when picking– or just ask the establishment’s operator. Apples around the outside of the tree are the first to ripen, making the tree’s perimeter a good place to start your picking.

Be sure to brief the kids on picking technique to cut down on waste and damaged apple tree branches. While pumpkins already grow at ground level, apple orchards often contain shorter dwarf trees with low-hanging apples that even younger children will be able to reach. It might not be the best idea for kids to climb the apple trees – this shakes the branches and causes apples to drop to the ground, often bruising them. Chances are, the orchard or patch will contain plenty of other trees fit for climbing.

Since you’ll almost certainly be spending the majority of the day outdoors, it’s best to dress for the weather. Comfortable shoes and layered clothes are an easy choice for the fall; a sweater in the cool weather will help keep you warm. On sunnier fall days, don’t forget to bring a hat and sunscreen. Conversely, don’t let the rain spoil your fun – wear a rain jacket, or bring an umbrella and rain boots. Be prepared to get a little dirty; after all, you are trekking through a farm!

Walking all over the farm lugging a basket full of crisp apples, or pulling a wagon brimming with pumpkins is a nifty way to get some light physical activity. And sight-seeing on those long walks through rows of apple trees or pumpkin fields on uneven, bumpy farm grounds are great for boosting your mental health, so get outside!

Our pick for capping the day? A leaf tour or hike through one of our nation’s many parks; it’s the perfect opportunity to observe all the wonders of fall in the great outdoors.

And, a hike is a great opportunity for a sweaty selfie, so don’t miss out on rounding up the whole gang and snapping a keepsake of the fall family fun! Apple picking and pumpkin patching make for an autumn tradition that will get the whole family active with a true farm to fitness experience.