Blue Ridge Parkway in fall

Free-for-All Fun

Enjoying fall with the whole family doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, there are many great ways to celebrate the season without spending a dime. Check out these great autumn activities that are no more than a day's drive across the Piedmont:

Leaf peeping: Watching the leaves change color is a time-honored tradition, and whether you're 8 or 18 or 80, there's something beautiful about a hillside awash in a rainbow of orange and yellow hues. If you can't make it all the way out to the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are plenty of leaf peeping hot spots closer to home. Check out Mayo River State Park, or even find luck at your nearby local community park. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the cooling temperatures while the leaves put on a spectacular show.

Learning together: Museums are a great way to bring history alive for students of all ages. Get up close and personal with the history of our state with a visit to the Greensboro Historical Museum, where kids and families can participate in a scavenger hunt or learn how firefighters battle blazes using a fire bucket brigade. National parks can also get your outdoors and stretching your brain. Check out Guilford Courthouse National Miltary Park, where you can grab a self-guided tour of the battlefield monuments as you learn about The Battle of Guilford Courthouse.

Get creative!: If the weather's no good for traveling, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the fall right from your own backyard. Prepare your porch for Trick-or-Treaters by making a spooky scarecrow out of old clothes and fallen leaves. Or gather some pine cones to decorate as turkeys for a Thanksgiving centerpiece.