As fall approaches, the calendar fills quickly. Before you know it, your family has 15 different commitments in the same week—and you still have to find time to catch up and connect with each other. Keeping relationships strong, especially in your family, is so important to both mental and emotional health.

With all your responsibilities pulling you in different directions, you might be struggling to prioritize family time. Luckily, you don’t need to make extravagant plans. Here are five simple activities you can do to stay connected without breaking the bank:

Plan a Family Dinner
If everyone in your family has a busy schedule, try choosing at least one night every week to have dinner together. There’s no right or wrong way to do it—you can go out to a local restaurant, or you can stay in and eat around your own table. When you’re all in the same place for a few hours, you have the opportunity to pause, reflect and share about the week, and build stronger relationships.

Explore the Local Outdoors
Kosciusko County is full of public trails, preserves, and parks. As the weather cools, the evenings will be perfect for little adventures. You can reach most places within 30 minutes, no matter where you are—which means you don’t need much time to plan a getaway. If you have a free evening coming up, consider exploring Wildwood Nature Preserve in Silver Lake, playing disc golf at Lucerne Park, or taking a walk through Oppenheim Woods in Leesburg.

Have a Game Night
The family that plays together stays together! Planning a game night with your family is the perfect opportunity to let go of your day-to-day stress and spend time laughing with each other. If you don’t have many games of your own, check your local library—you can almost always find something fun to borrow there.

Take a Bike Ride
Did you know Kosciusko County has 180 miles of bikeways? To get the most out of the fall weather, you can plan a family bike ride to enjoy the crisp air and cool breezes. With all the local greenways and bike paths, you’ll be able to go on dozens of rides before you take the same route twice.

Attend a Community Event
From concerts to festivals, Kosciusko County is packed with activity all year round. If you’re looking for something fun to do on a weekend, try pulling up a local events calendar to see if anything catches your eye. You can even take turns letting family members choose different activities, which will ensure that everyone is excited about at least one thing on your family’s social calendar.

At K21 Health Foundation, we don’t just want your family to be physically healthy—we want you to have thriving relationships, too. Spending time together is a powerful way to build connections with each other, and we hope the activities in this article will inspire you to create great experiences with your family in the months ahead.