Activities you can enjoy at the cottage this fall

(NC) There’s nothing quite like time at the cottage or cabin. While many of us enjoy disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, others have a harder time slowing down. Whether it’s your first time taking part in this classic Canadian experience, or you’re feeling a bit bored with your annual traditions, here are some relaxing pursuits to try.

If you’ve ever admired the hummingbird at your feeder or listened to the chirping outside your window, you know that bird watching can be a rewarding pastime, particularly during fall migration. The hobby is easy to adopt and totally scalable to your level of interest. Start with a budget-friendly pair of binoculars and a library-loaned field guide on local birds. Take a seat or go for a hike and keep your eyes and ears peeled. Note the locations, behaviour and appearance of any birds you spot to help you identify them. Local and online communities are around to help you learn more tips as you get involved with the hobby.

A classic hobby that’s making a comeback, whittling is a calming way to use your hands and get out of your head. Choose any fresh, dry piece of wood from the ground around the cabin and use a sharp pocket knife to gently peel or carve it. Start by carefully shaving off layers of wood or trying out designs like a simple bear shape. Remember to take your time and push the blade softly away from you. This activity is also an opportunity to teach children about knife skills and safety using a sturdy vegetable peeler rather than a knife.

As a place where families often get to spend rare time together, the cottage is a great spot to practice your photography skills. You have plenty of subjects to snap, whether for portraits, group shots or action. Plus, the picturesque scenery offers fantastic opportunities for creative still life and landscape shots. Photography is also a great skill for the younger cottager who might be bristling at the forced family time or can’t put down the phone – it gives them an outlet to focus on, learn and share with their friends back home.

You can find the right photography and video gear for your level or sign up for a class to boost your skills at

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