Fall is a little different this year, as social distancing is being encouraged due to COVID-19. However, while there are protocols in play, it doesn’t mean you and your family can’t have a blast this season. 

There are a number of safe Autumn activities to enjoy and you don’t have to go far to enjoy them, says Peter Nyberg, who is CFO of the Camino Community Center in Charlotte, NC. From apple picking to safely collecting Halloween treats, here are some things to look forward to in the coming days. 

Visit an Orchard

If you’re longing to spend some quality time outdoors with the gang, then an apple orchard is a good option, says Peter Nyberg. Not only do you get the fresh air and scenery (not to mention photo ops of your family), you also get to bring home your bounty. 

Check ahead to see if you need reservations or passes to attend the apple orchard of your choice near Charlotte, NC. You can also plan to visit one during the week to avoid bigger gatherings — or as this orchard recommends, wait until November or even December (which is technically still Fall)!

Meanwhile, other orchards around the state have pumpkins available to liven up your Fall season. Or you can try going to a dedicated pumpkin patch to pick your own (but again, check ahead for availability).

Create a Scavenger Hunt

This option is ideal because you can do it on your own property, notes Peter Nyberg. It’s ideal also because all ages can join in and even a few close friends that are wearing a mask and properly physically distancing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a handy guide to help you set up the hunt at home indoors (although there are ways to extend it to your yard and beyond). You can play the CDC version individually or in teams, with a facilitator telling the players what they’re searching for. Some items will be worth more points than others!

Take a Hike

If you just want to get outside with the family to stretch your legs (without carrying a list of things to find), then you will find state parks that are open near Charlotte, NC, and elsewhere. 

While you can hit the trails and even find a camping spot, you should contact park administration in advance to ensure which facilities (including restrooms) are open, especially if you have young children in tow. Don’t forget your camera to capture all the Fall glory! 

Switch Up Your Halloween Routine 

The state’s department of health is urging people stay away from door-to-door trick-or-treating this year because it’s “higher risk” relating to COVID-19 transmission. However, the interim guidance about Halloween from the state notes that while collecting candy from households and attending indoor costume parties is risky (you can use technology to host a Halloween costume party virtually instead), there are safer alternatives that still allow people to enjoy the occasion.

For example, “lower-risk” activities outlined by the state include carving pumpkins at home for outdoor displays, or even carving outside alongside neighbors who are six feet or more apart. If you do want to take your kids for a walk, then a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt (looking for particular items in Halloween displays from afar) is a good way to go, adds Peter Nyberg

Whichever activities you choose, be sure to stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 regulations affecting Charlotte, NC, and the rest of the state. 

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