The first official day of autumn is tomorrow, Thursday September 22nd. We're just hours away from the beginning of many fall themed adventures like hayrides and apple picking. As much as I hate to see the warmth of summer start to diminish, I always welcome fall with open arms and excitement because of the many unique activities that are associated with this season. September and October usher in many opportunities to enjoy recreational outdoor fun that is often only offered during these special months, such as corn mazes and haunted houses. In honor of this wonderful season, I've gathered 20 fun filled fall activities that everyone should do at least once this year!
1. Tailgate at your favorite football team's stadium
Now I'm not just talking about your favorite NFL team, because that could include several hours of driving to get to the stadium depending on where you live. I'm also talking about tailgating at the local college or high school stadium with friends and family one weekend. Just get out there with a group of loved ones, bring some warm food, and get ready to meet people and have a good time! Need help preparing for such an event? Food Network has put together a list of 50 amazing tailgating recipes to get you started! Need tailgating supplies? Check out these outdoor grills.
2. Get carvin'
Ah yes, pumpkin carving! The age-old autumn activity that can be traced back hundreds of years; the first carved pumpkins were referred to as jack-o'-lanterns which is a term we still use today. Everyone has to take part in carving a pumpkin at least once a year during the fall season. In fact, it almost seems like a requirement! Out of artsy ideas for what you can do with your pumpkin this year? Check out List 25 for some unique pumpkin carvings that may spark some creativity for you!
3. Attend a fall festival, like Oktoberfest or a Renaissance Festival
These festivals will definitely get you in the fall spirit with their parades, music, and seasonal beverages! They give you a reason to dress up and try new foods, and present you with an opportunity to dance and simply enjoy life. Escape from the stress of work or school by attending one of these festivals this fall. Looking for one of these near you? Take a look at Funtober's list of German Festivals nationwide this year and Renaissance, Medieval & Pirate Faire Directory for a list of Renaissance Festivals in the country.
4. Find an orchard and let the apple picking begin
This is the time to be collecting fresh apples for cooking and baking! If you ask me, the juiciest apples come right from the tree during the months of September and October. A grocery store apple just doesn't compare to a garden fresh Granny Smith. The best thing about apples is you can incorporate them in several recipes; they make for a tasty snack but also add flavor to a pie or cider. Country Living has an A+ list of 50 yummy recipes to make with apples.
5. Rent a cabin with friends and family
Some of you may already have a beautiful cabin in the woods that you retreat to with family every now and then, but for those who don't you can rent one! Take a weekend getaway with loved ones, staying in a cozy cabin, sitting around the fireplace, and grilling out. You may even enjoy a hike or a swim during your stay, depending on the weather and your location. Use airbnb to locate a cabin available for weekend rent near you.
6. Start a leaf collection and get crafting
When the beautiful yellow, orange, and red leaves start to fall this season, instead of raking them all up consider grabbing a few first. These gorgeous leaves can be essential materials to help create autumn themed crafts like leaf wall art or leaf coasters. To give you an idea of how leaves can be useful in crafts, look at these examples at DIY & Crafts.
7. Prepare to get lost in a corn maze
This one is my personal favorite and an absolute must do every fall season. My friends and I like to make corn mazes extra fun by concocting up a little competition. We divide into teams, place bets on which will win, and race to the finish. Usually the losing team just has to buy the winners some hot apple cider, but it creates a competition with something at stake. Visit Corn Mazes America to find a corn maze near you!
8. Get out camping & hiking one last time
In my opinion, fall weather is perfect camping weather. It's not too hot for daily hikes and not freezing cold at night, either. This of course depends on where you live, but where I'm from the end of October means that winter is coming. Therefore it's important to get out and enjoy the weather while you still can before the snowy tundra hits! Prepare for this camping trip with a camping hammock and marshmallow skewer sets. To get you inspired for the trip, check out this awesome European trip I took with my camping hammock, and these 10 tasty recipes to make over a campfire.
9. Eat all the fall cliche snacks & treats
From pumpkin pies to caramel apples to hot cider to pretty much anything pumpkin spice flavored, why not indulge in them all this year? Treat yourself to that red candy apple and add squash to every dinner recipe because it's fall ya'll. Food Network has created a list of delicious fall harvest foods and their recipes to try this season.
10. Actually decorate!
One of the best ways to really get in the Halloween and fall spirit is to decorate your house with seasonal home decor! Place pumpkins on the door step, create DIY centerpieces featuring gourds and flowers, and switch out your teal pillows in the living room with burnt orange ones. However you decide to decorate, the activity of decorating itself is super fun and engages the whole family. If you're looking for ways to breathe fresh life into your garden decor, check out these unique DIY projects to decorate your garden. Plus, you can check out HGTV's 60 favorite fall decor ideas for some more inspiration.
11. Scary movie marathon
Scary movies aren't for everyone, but for those who love the occasional spook it'd be a great idea to throw a scary movie marathon around Halloween. It doesn't need to be anything fancy; just some close friends and family, popcorn, blankets to hide under, and all the spooky classics. According to Time Out London, these are the 100 best horror films.
12. Prepare for the trick o' treaters
It's heartwarming to see all the little ones dressed up and excited about receiving candy on a holiday that happens just once a year. Why not be apart of it by giving out the best candy in the neighborhood? Stock up on the most delicious treats this year before Halloween rolls around and be there the night of to hand out the candy. Their smiles will be worth it! The Daily Meal has provided us with a list of America's most popular Halloween candies.
13. Host a bonfire
It's bonfire season! Fall weather makes for cooler nights which in turn makes for the prime time to sit around a fire all night long. Gather your loves ones around the pit to share stories, roast marshmallows, and simply enjoy one another's company. Need a fire pit? Be sure to consider these 7 features of a fire pit when picking the one for you.
14. Check out the local farmers market
If you didn't make an appearance at your local farmers market this summer, be sure to get there this fall before it wraps up to make way for winter. Now's your last chance to get fresh, local produce for great prices! Track down your local farmers market today and get shopping. Visit the USDA for the National Farmers Market Directory.
15. Prepare your garden for next spring
Now's the time to start preparing your beautiful garden for the next blooming season. There are several things you can do to get your garden ready like moving shrubs, organizing flower beds, and cleaning all your garden tools. Thompson & Morgan has 10 expert tips that will help you prepare your garden for spring.
16. Find a frightening haunted house or hayride and go there ASAP
If you find a haunted house that peaks your interest, gather up friends and family and get there quick before you change your mind and decide not to! Haunted houses absolutely freak me out, but I make a point of attending at least one each year around Halloween because I feel like I'd be missing out if I didn't. It just wouldn't feel like Halloween without a bit of a spook. Haunted World came up with a detailed list of 15 super scary haunted houses from 2015 that are prepared to haunt again this Halloween.
17. Make your own Halloween costume
This year instead of spending big bucks at the store for your costume, DIY! A Halloween costume DIY doesn't have to be difficult, especially if you already have the materials laying around the house. Plus, Popsugar has 101 amazing and creative costumes that you can easily DIY for cheap.
18. Take a drive & enjoy the scenery
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year with vibrant colored leaves and beautiful scenery that seems to stretch for miles. Take time this fall to make a drive with loved ones, admiring the bright trees and simply enjoying the beauty of the season. Perhaps make this little drive into a road trip! Fodor's Travel has a list of the 10 best fall trips to make in the U.S.
19. Go antiquing
Now's the time to get down to your local antique store and check out the deals! This is the perfect opportunity to add to your home's fall decorations. Pick out a rustic trunk to place your pumpkins on, or seek out some aged wood furniture for your bedroom and organize your fall leaves atop it. The options are endless. For a guide to antiquing and the top towns for antiquing in the U.S., check out this article from Invaluable.
20. Get all the coffee deals
Autumn seems to be the time that coffee comes into the spotlight as the fall beverage of choice. It seems that all of America wants to warm up with a toasty cup of coffee during the cooler weather, and hey, I'm proud to say I'm one of them! With the demand of coffee on the rise during this season, fall sales and deals can be found at gas stations and coffee shops alike. The Holiday gas station's Facebook page has confirmed they are offering free coffee every Tuesday until mid-October, and The Real Deal by Retail Me Not has more information about several other coffee deals offered this fall 2016 featuring places like Caribou Coffee and Whole Foods.
I hope you'll have the time this fall season to enjoy all or half of these adventurous activities with family and friends! Now go enjoy this beautiful autumn weather!
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