With its clear, cool, humidity-free days, gorgeous golden palette and emphasis on eating all the baked goods, fall (or autumn if we’re being fancy) is unequivocally, indisputably the greatest season ever. (Sorry, summer lovers.) The unbearable hot days are behind us and there is plenty to look forward to—from Halloween candy to Thanksgiving turkey. (Basically, as soon as those leaves start turning, our palates are primed for all the fun to follow).
Fall also comes with a slew of its own seasonally appropriate activities to partake in. And with so many to choose from, it can be hard to figure out where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled this epic bucket list of 66 fall activities you can get into. From classics like jack-o-lantern carving, to adrenaline pumping ziplining and even family-friendly trips to the pumpkin patch, we’ve got you covered. So grab your flannel and get excited, folks.
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Or half a dozen of them (no judgments). Even better, make your own with our recipe for apple cider doughnut holes.
So what if our house smells like a Yankee Candle IRL…we secretly love those. Wanna DIY it? We’ll be sipping on this mulled wine sangria all season long.
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Fill your picnic basket with the essentials: wine, grapes, a baguette and enough cheese for 15 people—despite being only two.
First, find an orchard in your neck of the woods. Then bring home the mother lode to divvy up between family and friends and bake an apple pie to share (or keep to yourself). Plus, since it is the season of giving and all, you can always make these mini mason jar apple pies to give as gifts.
And resist the temptation to stick googly eyes on them—or don’t, we kind of love cutesy Halloween decorations. Since pumpkins can be a bit pricey this time of year, mix things up by adding some squash, luffas, melons and even cucumbers to the batch. They may not all make great decorations, but they are all very, very delicious.
If you don’t Instagram it, did it really happen? (Psst: Here are 15 pumpkin patches around the U.S. to check out.)
Channel your inner Gilmore Girl and tour a cute small town, and make it a family affair or go solo. Either way, you’re sure to get a deeper appreciation for those changing autumn colors.
Just because gyms are open doesn’t mean you throw out that running route you established during lockdown. The brisk morning air will wake you right up and have you ready to take on the day. Not really a runner? It’s not too late to begin. Here’s how to get started. (P.S. Power walks are also great day-starters.)
Fact: The beach is kinda prettiest in the off-season. You can easily catch a beautiful sunrise or mesmerizing sunset. (Just pack a few blankets in case it gets breezy.)
And promptly belly-flop into it, just like you did as a kid. (C’mon, that’s basically what leaf-raking was designed for.) You know who else will absolutely love rolling around in all the crunchiness? Your dog.
Football is back baby! And we can all agree that the food is the best part of the whole thing anyway, right? Make your own oven-baked buffalo wings, and check out these 33 sides to serve them with.
While the rest of the world is worrying about, you know, football, you can tune it all out and just reset for the upcoming week.
Or a national park near you. Don’t forget your nubby knitwear and keep that guide to safely renting and staying in an Airbnb handy, just in case you need it. (We’re still in a pandemic, people.)
Make any of these unique Brussels sprouts recipes for your brood and soothe those September tomato-season withdrawals. Got a picky eater on your hands? Here are some tips and tricks to combat the dinnertime tantrums. If all goes well, you may even get your kid to eat vegetables for breakfast. (We can fantasize, can’t we?)
Pair it with a stack of freshly sharpened pencils or if you’re bold, get a stack of pens instead. Whether it’s in person or still online, back-to-school season is officially upon us.
Spend Sunday afternoon perfecting this white turkey chili with avocado, then eat it all damn week. You can also test your culinary skills with this sweet potato chili with turkey and back beans or this cauliflower chili. (Yum!)
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Because nothing screams fall quite like an elaborately carved out pumpkin. Not one to get your hands all slimy and gooey? Skip the carving and just decorate one.
If you’re not afraid of pumpkin guts, they’re easy to roast and even easier to eat. Toss ’em in a salad, mix them into homemade trail mix or just snack by the handful. Oh, and FYI, they’re also a great source of protein.
If you don’t buy mums at the hardware store, do you even like fall? Here are 30 more autumnal porch ideas to tickle your fancy.
Time to channel your inner Martha Stewart. Backyard branches = budget ikebana. Consider a vase of wheat, hydrangea and pumpkin or a pine cone table runner.
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Let there be golden-amber light. And while you’re at it, you might as well clean the walls, the dishwasher, the oven that’s been making all those delicious meals and scrub down your bathtub.
Let that fall breeze run through your house. It’s better than an air freshener. Trust.
Lazy leaf-peeping is the best kind of leaf-peeping. (Check the fall foliage map then plan your day trip.) And if you have a particularly fussy tiny human, that slow drive will surely put them to sleep.
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Oh please, like you don’t love the smell of pumpkin spice, too. Not sold on store-bought? Here’s how to freshen your home the DIY way.
Give us all the faux-fur pillow covers and cable-knit throws. Throw in some plush rugs and let the cozy vibes take over. For more inspiration, take a peek at some of our favorite Halloween door decorations.
Go ahead, bliss out on nature doing its thang. It’s always a sight to behold.
Get your family and friends to cozy up with picnic blankets and some bottles of vino. Bonus: It’s a foolproof way to test your Thanksgiving recipes. Just make sure everyone is vaccinated and feels comfortable being in close proximity.
Take it to the park, your local café or just stay home. Whatever suits your fancy. We have plenty of suggestions for you to pick from.
Yes, we’ve watched Love Story 50 times, and no, we’re not sorry about it. We’ll also be adding these classics to our rotation and absolutely bingeing the fall TV line up.
Nothing says “I heart fall” like foraging like a wood nymph then turning your found treasures into tchotchkes.
Call it a placebo, but rich beer literally tastes better to us in the fall. And if beer’s not your thing, swap it for hot buttered rum or any one one of these fancy beer cocktails.
We’ll take any excuse to make (and eat) s’mores.
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Fall: The one time of year it’s totally chill to dress like a farmer. Go ahead and wear them all at once; you’re staying home, right? If you do decide to leave your house, here are 11 ways to make your flannel look less rural and more girl about town.
It’s (debatably) the highlight of the whole damn season. Learn how to take care of those chunky knits here.
These ankles boots were made for walkin’ on crunchy leaves. And so were UGGs.
Mid-weight coats are the best weight coats, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. They’re not quite as light as summer denim nor are they as heavy as winter coats, but they’re the perfect pick to make you feel like a boss a la Miranda Priestly. Learn how to style one here.
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And feign innocence when your kids accuse you of doing so. After all, you did go trick-o-treating with them. Where do your favorite sweets fall in our ranking?
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You’ll need some funky mismatched china to go with your homemade centerpiece, no? Find a nearby market through this handy online directory.
Bonus points for kitschy-and-proud-of-it leaf-shaped cookie cutters. And while the oven’s hot, why not make one of these 50 fall dessert recipes too? Bring on the cinnamon rolls, crème brûlée and spiced palmiers!
Otherwise known as apple pie for lazy people. Read up on which apples are best for baking before you begin.
Otherwise known as happiness in a pie dish, and it’s honestly disrespectful to the season if you don’t. Up the ante and add a cinnamon roll crust—it’s simpler than it looks, promise.
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In our humble opinion, it’s an activity best enjoyed beneath a pile of blankets, with a cup of pumpkin spice latte and a loved one to cuddle with.
You don’t have to travel far to have your own camping adventure. (Scary stories seem a lot more appealing when you can dash indoors for cover.)
Say it loud, say it proud: You love pumpkin spice. Why not make this the season to embrace it? Heck, the rest of the world has. You can even make a Starbucks latte in the comfort of your own home.
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Consider this your permission slip for an entire afternoon of Cheers, The Office or Friends reruns. Add some suspense in there with shows like Breaking Bad, Criminal Minds and Law and Order.
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It’s truly never too early and you can probably score some great pre-holiday steals. May no woman be left panic-shopping on Christmas Eve Day.
And challenge yourself to a selfie moratorium. Find a trail with a quick internet search, or check out our list of a few favorites. P.S. don’t forget to bring the essentials.
Say “not today, lettuce,” as you make your way through our list of 45 fall soups you haven’t tried (yet). For dinner, try to keep it light with one of these healthy fall recipes.
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One good thing to come out of the pandemic is the fact that retro venues are having a major renaissance right now and we’re so here for it. If you can find one that’s screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show, even better.
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Call us a buncha’ saps, but watching the sun sink over an orange tree line makes us all kinds of warm and fuzzy. Bring your pup along or make it a romantic excursion with your person.
Research shows that gratitude leads to greater satisfaction in life. Even if what you’re grateful for is having that afternoon to binge Cheers, so be it.
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Nothing beats this classic outdoors fall activity that you can bring your entire family for. Let the kiddos run around while you stroll closely behind.
For those of us who are slightly directionally challenged and get all wound up in a corn maze, you can take it easy with a relaxing hayride instead.
Show off that running prowess that you perfected when gyms were closed all last year. It’ll make the aforementioned run route that much more satisfying.
Even if you’re not a farmer, this classic decoration just gives your front porch those unbeatable fall vibes. This super helpful tutorial will teach you how to go about it.
Charcuterie and jarcuterie boards FTW. Oh, and don’t forget to make one for your pup too!
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Sure, you can go to your local Party City and snag a costume from there. But why not save some dough and just make a one with items already in your closet? There is a wide range of characters you can easily channel—from Regina George to Tinkerbell.
Replace those summer blooms with fall flowers that will thrive in the chilly weather or plant your own pumpkins so you have plenty leftover to make soup once Halloween passes.
It can take place around the previously mentioned bonfire or you can keep it indoors. Create forts with the kids, turn off the lights, break out those flashlights and swap scary stories.
Need another sugar hit post-Halloween? Indulge that sweet tooth with some homemade candy or caramel apples.
‘Tis the season to be spooked, after all. You can visit your local haunted house or check out these notoriously creepy homes around the country.
Just because the weather is cooling doesn’t mean you quit all sense of adventure. Ziplining will give you that oft needed adrenaline rush, plus you get an arial view of the gorgeous fall foliage.
Your local bar is most likely bringing Munich to your city, so why not break out the pretzels and chug some beers in celebration? Prost!
From Freddy vs. Jason to Child’s Play and the aptly-named Halloween films, there are plenty of scary movie selections that’ll have you clinging to your blankets. If you’re not down for all that horror and gore, take a look at our comprehensive list of the best Halloween movies. Not all of them will give you nightmares, we promise.
Not sure which one to choose? We’ve got you covered.
Great for families with kids or just animal lovers in general.
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