With cooler temperatures, vibrant colored foliage, and wonderful scents in the air, fall is an absolutely remarkable time to be outdoors.
In this article, we discuss 12 quintessential autumn activities that you can and should be doing in your outdoor living space.
The romantic glow of the flames...the classic scent of the charred wood...and the subtle sound of crackling embers. There are few better fall activities than enjoying a wood-burning fire. Whether you have a fire pit or an outdoor fireplace, it's time to start stocking up for fire feature season!
Every year fall enthusiasts plan long drives to see the season's beautifully-colored foliage. We too love these pilgrimages, but we encourage you to first enjoy the fall foliage in your own backyard and neighborhood.
If your backyard doesn't offer any fall foliage to enjoy, consider adding some! Fall is the BEST time to plant!
Along with numerous quintessential activities, the fall season has also become associated with numerous drinks and drink festivals that pair perfectly with the outdoors!
Put simply, hot apple cider just tastes better outdoors. It's settled science.
When you're sitting fireside or taking a few minutes to enjoy the autumn foliage, make sure you're sipping apple cider on your patio or deck.
Traditionally an outdoor festival, your patio or deck is the perfect setting for celebrating Oktoberfest. Pull out the yard games, set a menu of traditional German eats, and grab a mix of Oktoberfest beers from your local breweries (luckily, RVA has plenty to choose from).
Oktoberfest is a great way to celebrate the start of the Autumn season with family and friends! Prost!
With harvest festivals and new wine releases, fall is a great time for wine lovers here in Virginia. If you want to avoid the crowds at wineries and country roads full of tipsy drivers, consider hosting a wine tasting on your patio or deck. Highlight the wines from your favorite vineyard or choose from a variety; either way, this is a great way to experience and share wine while also supporting local businesses. When picking up your wine, be sure to ask for the tasting notes; it always adds an element of fun to know what flavors the experts are tasting!
Smoked Cocktails have become quite popular in the spirit community. Whether it's a smoked Old Fashioned or something original (like "Smoke & Fire" from the Outdoor Dreams Cocktail Hour menu), smoked cocktails pair perfectly with the cool, autumn air. If you're enjoying a smoked cocktail this fall, be sure to do so outside on your patio or deck (maybe even fireside?).
When it comes to fall sports, the best viewing experience is outdoors!
Unless it's raining, we are firm believers that Game Days are best enjoyed outdoors! A backyard setting creates the atmosphere of tailgating without the crowds and long lines. If you're hosting friends, you can play yard games and enjoy your favorite eats straight off the grill without missing a single snap.
Even when you're not hosting a party, an outdoor setup allows you to enjoy a beautiful day and/or get yard work done without missing the game.
For many (including this writer), baseball in October is the pinnacle of sports viewing.
Though little (if anything) is needed to enhance October baseball, an outdoor viewing experience definitely increases the game day feel. Add some peanuts, Cracker Jacks, a couple of hot dogs straight from the grill and it'll feel like you're at the game (only more comfortable)!
From pumpkin patches to trick-or-treating, Halloween is definitely an outdoor holiday with numerous activities that are perfect for your patio and deck.
Though incredibly fun, pumpkin carving is often one of the messiest activities we do all year. With that in mind, why would you ever carve your pumpkins inside? When carving pumpkins on your patio or deck, all you have to do is hose everything down when you're done! You certainly can't do that inside without making an even bigger mess (and causing a lot of water damage).
As an added bonus, sometimes rogue seeds will plant themselves and you will get free pumpkins in your garden next year. Score!
Along with sports, scary movies are genuinely enhanced by an outdoor viewing experience. Being outside, without the safety of locked doors and privacy of closed curtains, can increase the feeling of vulnerability and add tension to the horror films we love during the Halloween season. Add in a rustle of leaves, a snapped twig or two and you will be on the absolute edge of your seat.
If you're planning a Halloween Party, consider hosting it on your patio or deck. Along with providing a spooky setting come nightfall, the outdoors provide the opportunity for numerous fun activities that cannot be done indoors (ex. bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving, making s'mores, and yard games).
If the spooky setting and fun activities don't convince you, consider that outdoor parties are typically much easier to clean up! Just pull out your leaf blower or a hose, if things get spilled.
Here in Central Virginia, we are often graced with beautiful weather on Thanksgiving. Comfortable temperatures and sunny skies allow us to take our holiday celebrations outdoors onto our porches, patios, and decks.
Whether you're incorporating your outdoor living space into your holiday gatherings or you simply want to see something festive when you look out your back windows, our tips will help you to create a beautiful holiday scene on your patio, deck, or porch.