Fall is finally here, and while summer fun is ending, many of us are grateful to see the end of sweaty, crowded days. Fall offers its own pleasures: crunchy leaves, cozy rainy days (the perfect excuse not to leave the house), and maybe the best fashion of the entire year. Here are some great ways to enjoy the change in season.
Maybe you have a favorite park for a leisurely hike, or a mountain you’ve always wanted to climb. Explore the outdoors and the fall foliage with friends during the weekend. If you’re new to the hiking scene and don’t know where to begin, use an app like AllTrails to find options close to you.
Now is the time to start baking all things pumpkin and cinnamon: Pumpkin Honey Wheat Muffins, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, Molasses Cookies, Pumpkin Bread. The kitchen is finally starting to get cool enough and no longer makes your house feel like an unwanted sauna. Instead, it’s a helpful heater for those newly embraced chilly evenings.
Hammocks are great. You get to just hang around looking at all the trees with the gorgeous leaves—sometimes they even fall on you! You can read in a hammock or “hang” out with friends. You can get portable hammocks of all different qualities and values on the amazing Amazon. You can literally set up a hammock anywhere there are trees or poles.
RE-WATCH GILMORE GIRLS
Is there any show more apropos for fall? It seems patently wrong to watch the beautiful New England show in any weather that doesn’t include a crisp chill to the air or glint of orange in the trees. The show is practically more autumnal than a PSL, so choose a rainy fall day, grab an XXL coffee, and settle in for a binge-fest.
Perhaps it’s just years of conditioning that fall = school that makes our brains feel a bit sharper and eager for something to chew on, but that seemingly impossible book on TBR list just seems more attainable. With the weather cooling off and the sun’s glare not so blinding, grab a blanket and a comfy tree and finally tackle Tolstoy or Dickens. Extra points if you choose a Banned Book.
GET INSPIRED AT A FARMER’S MARKET
Fall foods are fun: all those root vegetables are back in the stores, the stinky cheeses suddenly seem edible again when the summer swelter ends, and the time has come again to cook with a full bodied red wine to counteract all those rich flavors. And there’s no better place to spice up your foodspiration than a Farmer’s Market. Walk around and try that vegetable you’ve never seen before, talk to the farmers about what meats would pair well, and pick up that organic local honey, or the wine from a nearby vineyard. You’ll learn something, eat better, and be supporting your local economy.
DIVE INTO THE DEEPER CUTS OF YOUR FAVORITE MUSICIANS
Summer and its sugary pop-filled tunes are no longer begging you to “Soak up the Sun” but that doesn’t mean that the new music is over. Long fall walks beg for a bit of background music, so take the time to make your ultimate fall playlist or hop on Spotify or iTunes to discover deeper cuts of some of your favorite musicians. Sure, you may have all their hits, but have you heard their demo EP? What about that obscure collaboration they did? Take yourself on a musical exploration, pop it into a playlist and set out into the world to have your own “Almost Famous” moment.
It’s chilly out (not here in Florida, but I’ve heard it is elsewhere), so take advantage of the longer nights to make something warm and snug to use during the cold seasons of fall and winter. If you are just beginning to knit, just wait to see how your technique will improve, and then you’ll soon have an obscene amount of cozy scarves for the season.
TAKE UP PHOTOGRAPHY
With the beautiful autumnal colors and iPhones having the megapixels of some DSLRs, there’s no excuse to not take up a fun hobby. Get outside and take a hike, and point the camera anywhere but at your own face. Find inspiration in the shadows of the trees, the shine on the pumpkins, or the fantastic fall outfits. If you’ve got a big camera, dust it off and get snapping. The light is perfect, the sky is blue, and the colors are vibrant. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better time to make yourself Instagram famous.
FIND A FALL FESTIVAL
Maybe it’s because it’s not hotter than balls or maybe it’s the alliterations, but small towns love nothing more than a good Fall Festival. Sure the artwork is generally just this side of unbearable, the prices are absurd, and the entertainment is generally an ’80s cover band, but somehow instead of cheesy they just come off charming. Smell the grilling meat, pop into the “beer garden” and and get to know your neighbors you’ve been avoiding eye contact with. At the very least, the dog watching will be prime.
THROW AN OKTOBERFEST
You likely can’t pop over to Munich for a proper German Oktoberfest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fake it American style. Invite over your pals with the heartiest of appetites, tell everyone to make their own six pack of Craft Fall Beers, and load up on pretzels, cheese, and pig products. Extra points if you provide meat on a stick.
PRE-GAME FOR HALLOWEEN
And by pre-game we mean get your pumpkin on. Once October hits, Halloween themed activities are officially acceptable. Spend a day with your favorite feel-good Halloween movies (we personally recommend “Hocus Pocus,” “Halloween Town,” or “Practical Magic”) as you attempt (and maybe fail) to carve the perfect pumpkin. Use the rest of the day to roast up some pumpkin seeds and put those pumpkin guts to good use. Then spend the evening with some of the scarier Halloween flicks out there.
MAKE YOUR OWN BONFIRE
Don’t worry, this activity doesn’t require access to a real bonfire, or one of those expensive yuppie fire pits. If you don’t know anyone willing to set their backyard ablaze, take matters into your own hands. Enjoy the chilly autumn night in a nice outdoor space. Put on some tunes, crack open that cider, light some (many) candles, and even roast your own marshmallows. Just pretend the fire is much larger than it actually is. The upside of not having a roaring fire is that you don’t have to inhale tons of smoke.
ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSET
Who said cleaning is only for spring? Purging a closet of old clothes and reorganizing for the upcoming cold weather might sound like hell to some people, but it’s our idea of an afternoon well spent. Organizing can be good for the soul, and it also gives you the ability to try on clothes, get excited about the season, and even mentally plan some outfits. Throw on some Netflix, take your time, and then pat yourself on the back for a job well done.