Take advantage of outdoors in the early fall

With cooler weather on the not-too-distant horizon, you’ll want to make the most of the outdoors all Autumn long.

It’s time to celebrate colorful falling leaves and cooling weather with fun seasonal activities. The good news? You don’t have to travel far from home to get your fall fix.

Here are a few ways to get into the spirit of autumn close to home:

Be Crafty

DIY decorate your home with seasonal flair, using items found in nature. Welcome guests with a wreath decorated using acorns and berries. Indoors, string a garland made of pinecones to the banister, or hang it from the mantle. Paint mason jars in favorite fall hues -- orange, sienna, black and red -- and then, fill them with candy or flowers in complementary colors to use as a table centerpiece.

Experience Fall Flavors

To fully take advantage of this flavor-packed season, be sure to try limited-time fall menus at your favorite local dining spots. For example, at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a leading national fast-casual cafe, fall menu items feature delicious seasonal twists on classics.

The line-up, available through November 19, includes the returning fan favorite -- Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, made with real pumpkin, Ghirardelli white chocolate, cinnamon and non-fat yogurt -- as well as two new menu items. Try the Salted Caramel Smoothie, made with Ghirardelli sea salt caramel, roasted bananas, dates, non-fat yogurt and cinnamon or the Jerk Chicken Quesadilla, which is freshly prepared with grilled chicken, pineapple salsa, and black beans. For locations and menu details, visit tropicalsmoothiecafe.com.

Get Outdoors

With colder weather on the not-too-distant horizon, you’ll want to make the most of the outdoors all season long. From harvest festivals to pumpkin patches, this is the best time of year to celebrate the outdoors and enjoy the crisp air. Check local community listings for free fairs, arts and music festivals and more that abound during autumn, or visit a local farm that gives visitors an opportunity to pick fall produce like apples and pumpkins.

Don’t let fall pass you by without enjoying all the flavor and fun the season has to offer.