Can you smell it? The crisp air, the turning of leaves ... fall has finally arrived!

Fall means family fun, and there’s nothing better than getting the whole gang in on some fun while you enjoy the beautiful weather and sights of fall. But outside of pumpkins and football, what is there to do on a gorgeous fall day? Here are a few ideas to get you going.

While many people think fall equals football, not everyone has the time or money to get to Clemson or Columbia. Instead of making that trek, why not have a backyard tailgate? Invite your friends and family, circle up the trucks (or minivans) in your driveway or yard and have a grand ole time at home. Haul the flat screen outside to watch your favorite team, make all the fixings, and enjoy. The best part? Not having to use an outhouse!

Go apple picking. Places like Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, North Carolina or Chattooga Belle Farm in Westminster are favorites for families to go find apples, along with treats like cider and fresh doughnuts or a farm-to-table cafe. Even if the apples are picked over, there’s plenty to do that will be fun for the whole family and the scenery makes the drive completely worthwhile.

More: Fall 2018: Your family-friendly guide to Upstate events

Have a family photo shoot. Not pictures of your family, but pictures by your family. Enjoy local parks and trails with your cameras and take photos of the leaves changing colors and any wildlife you might come across. You can also incorporate this with a family hike or bike ride on your favorite paths. This is an excellent idea for families with older children who have their own phones or cameras and maybe aren’t into the kid activities any longer. Then compare your photos and pick some to print and frame for the dining room wall.

Start a fire. In your yard, of course. With the nights getting colder, why not build a fire pit and make something yummy? Roast hot dogs for supper and have s'mores for dessert! This is also the perfect time for inviting the neighbors over or your child’s new school friend. This could also easily go hand in hand with a backyard tailgate, or make it family only and share old stories of what it was like when you were growing up without Wi-fi. The possibility of bonding with your children it totally worth an entirely fire-charred meal.

Regardless of what you do this fall, make sure you do it together. Kids grow up way too fast, so enjoy every season with them as much as you can. Family outings, no matter how wacky or wild they end up, builds memories for your kids to carry for a lifetime.

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