There’s no need to pack it in and close the cottage after Labor Day. Fall weekends are a special treat as the weather cools off and the fall colors paint the landscape. The water may get too chilly to swim, but there are plenty of other fall activities that make the drive up to the cottage worth it.

#1 Picking Cranberries – Cranberries are common in large parts of North America, including all the West Coast from California to British Columbia, the Northeast, Midwest, Ontario, Quebec, and even some states as far south as North Carolina. Wild cranberries grow in bogs and marshes that can be found in forests and around lakes. You may be able to find a cranberry spot right on the lake where your cottage is. The cranberry harvest season lasts from September to November, making it a fun fall activity. Just be sure to bring galoshes. You can freeze cranberries in Ziploc bags for later use and make delicious cranberry sauce for your Thanksgiving dinner later, as well as tons of other desserts like apple cranberry pie and cranberry nut bread.

#2 Hike Through the Woods – One of the best parts of going up to the cottage in the fall is the leaves. The woods are a magical place to be in October and November and there are stellar hiking trails across North America. Of course, if you have your own cottage up in the woods, you may not even need a hiking trail. With many vacation properties linked by dirt roads through wooded territory, you can explore to your heart’s content. Make sure you know the bounds of private property and where you can go. In Canada, you’re free to hike through most Crown lands.

#3 Campfires – Nothing beats the smell of a wood fire on a chilly autumn evening. Keep the cold at bay around a cozy campfire where you can roast marshmallows or even cook dinner over a live fire. Bring a quilt and stay warm.

#4 Apple Picking – There are apple orchards across North America, many of which let families come and pick their own baskets of apples. Find an orchard near your cottage and plan a family outing that lets you spend the afternoon enjoying the autumn harvest. The best times to go apple picking are the last few weeks of September and the start of October. If apples aren’t for you, find the nearest pumpkin patch and start getting ready for Halloween.

#5 Catch Up on Your Reading – After an exciting afternoon outdoors, you may be ready to warm up with a book. Curl up under a fall quilt and catch up on your reading. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time at the cottage this fall, invest in some quilts for your bed and living room to keep everyone warm and snug, even if the power goes out.

This fall get ready for weekends at thecottage. Load up on warm quilts and get ready to go hiking, apple picking, foraging for cranberries, and hanging out around the campfire.