10 Fun Outdoor Activities For Cooler Weather

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The first cold fronts of the year always bring welcome relief from the hot, Mississippi summers, but with them they bring a tinge of sadness that comes with the loss of those warm, lazy days. As the leaves begin the fall and the temperature begins to drop, fear not! Here are 10 ways to keep enjoying the great outdoors in cooler weather this fall.

1Visit your state parks

Cooler weather and busy schedules mean the summer crowds disappear from popular parks during the fall. This frees up sites for camping, picnicking, and all the other sites our parks have to offer. While some sites such as beaches around the lakes and some facilities do close during the winter, many trails and daytime areas stay open year round. Take advantage of the nice weather and slim crowds, and plan a day to get away and enjoy nature.

2Exercise

The days saturated with stifling heat are beginning to fade as mornings and evening provide the day with sweet cooling relief. The excuse of “it’s too hot to run today” is flying out the door. Use these days of perfect weather to start new, healthy habits. Get out and run. Take your yoga mat outside. Take the dog for a walk. These cooler fall days are perfect for getting up and out. Use them! Enjoy them! Soon it will be “too cold to go today.”

3Go camping

What better way to enjoy the cool, crisp fall mornings or the clear, quiet evening than to spend a night or a weekend camping? While state parks offer a variety of sites, both primitive and regular, for camping, Mississippi has thousands of acres of beautifully wooded areas perfect for taking the tent out for a retreat from it all. Why not take the family and get close to nature while it’s cool enough to snuggle, but you might still avoid frostbite.

4Break out the hammock

If you enjoy relaxing outside, but can’t see yourself spending the night sleeping on the ground, you might enjoy the temporary joy of hanging in a hammock. These days there are several styles that are comfortable, sturdy and can be set up in just minutes. Highly popular among the college crowd, a hammock provides a relaxing, laid back environment for studying, socializing or just napping. They can be hung just about anywhere, from trees in the park to rails on apartment patios. Hammocks are a relatively cheap, temporary option for relaxing outside.

5Themed activities

Pumpkins! Duh! Who doesn’t look forward to pumpkin patches, hay rides, haunted trails and corn mazes? North Mississippi is jam packed with festivals and fun fall-themed events. Practice your pumpkin carving skills or get lost in a maze of corn. Some joys only come once a year, so grab your pumpkin spice late and enjoy the sweater weather doing your favorite fall activity!

6Bonfires

Let your inner fire bug loose! Invite the neighbors over and finally get rid of that giant brush pile or stack of boxes that’s been collecting over the summer. Nothing quite beats the taste of roasted marshmallows or the smell of a campfire. Always be aware of any burn bans that may be in effect in your area. A large blaze can quickly spread in a dry area if you aren’t careful, but a well monitored fire in a contained area can be fun for the whole family or neighborhood. Just watch the kids and don’t try anything you’ve seen on Myth Busters.

7Theme parks

Another way to welcome the end of summer is to take advantage of smaller crowds at popular theme parks. As attendance starts to drop, many places begin offering discounts, lines get shorter and you won’t have to worry about getting sunburnt. This is prime time between the busy summer and Christmas tourist seasons for some of the bigger theme parks. Fall is your best bet for getting the best deals for the best experience.

8Try your hand at photography

There’s more than one way to shoot a deer. Next time you go for a walk around town or at a park, try taking a camera along. Odds are you’ll walk slower and enjoy more of your surroundings. Who knows? You might even get a shot worthy of a National Geographic cover. Today’s phones come equipped with some of the best cameras out there. You don’t have to be a pro to take great pictures, and you don’t need a license to hunt with a camera.

9Get sporty

As it gets cooler out, now is your chance to just get out and have some fun. Try your hand at disc golf, hone your soccer skills, get ready for baseball season. Whatever your preference, what better season to get out and get active?

10Cook outside

Summertime is legendary for its barbecues and fresh fruits, but it become a lot more bearable to stand over a hot grill when it isn’t 90 degrees outside. Enjoy the one-of-a-kind flavors that come from cooking over an open flame without suffering and sweating for it. If you can’t stand the heat, now is the perfect time to get out of the kitchen.


By Mary Cloud Taylor, an intern for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at mctaylo1@go.olemiss.edu.

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