When September arrives and we're getting back into the swing of the school year (or gearing up for the not-so-distant holidays), those sun-soaked afternoon naps and weekly beach trips we got used to in August seem like distant memories. We'll miss those summer activities, but we had a good run...and they will soon be back again. Sweater weather, dreamy foliage, seasonal comfort foods, festive traditions, and of course, pumpkin-spiced everything: These are just a few of the reasons to love autumn and forget about summer (at least until next year). To make sure we all get the most out of it, we've come up with a list of 29 fun fall activities to partake in over the next few months.
Whether you're looking for festive things to do with kids, friends, partners, or on your own, we've made sure to include a variety of things so everyone can discover and celebrate the magic. We've also organized our ideas by how much time you have.
Read on for our ultimate fall bucket list.
Channel your inner child and target the largest leaf pile you can find. Or, if that doesn't appeal, bring your kids or younger family members leaf jumping. You'll get a kick out of watching them play in the colorful fallen leaves, even if you only have a few minutes.
02 Indulge in a Slice of Pumpkin Pie
Though you can technically make pumpkin pie 365 days a year, it's a true fall favorite that you rarely indulge in during warmer months. Bake your own or hit up your favorite local bakery. You won't regret it.
03 Take a Quick Evening Stroll Through the Fall Foliage
Take a walk instead of squeezing in gym time. Getting outside and breathing in the cool air will be refreshing.
04 Fix Yourself a Warming Cup of Spiced Cider
There are some comfort drinks in the fall that (quite literally) make you feel warm inside. Spiced cider is one such drink. Not into the apple flavor? Make some hot cocoa! Whichever you enjoyed most as a kid...to bring you instant comfort.
05 Make Yourself a Fall-Centric Cocktail
Cider, egg nog you name it. Take that childhood favorite and add a little booze...you deserve it.
06 Toast Some Pumpkin Seeds
Once you've carved the Halloween pumpkin, put its innards to good use. Clean out all of the seeds and toast them with some seasoning for a yummy snack. All you have to do is pop them in the oven and you're good to go. Still too much work? Just snack on some store-bought pepitas if you don't have time to make them from scratch.
07 Light a Candle That Smells Like Autumn
It's not as laborious as lighting a fire, but it can be just as cozy and nostalgic. Grab a candle that smells like evergreen trees, pumpkin spice, or vanilla chai to really set the cozy fall mood in your own home.
08 Head to a Nearby Pumpkin Patch
You loved heading to the pumpkin patch as a kid, and you'll love it just the same now. Grab some friends or family and take a short road trip to pick the perfect pumpkin. Bring it home and then decorate your picks in chic and creative ways. You could even make a group activity of it!
09 Have an Afternoon Cookout
Set up al fresco in your garden, on your rooftop, or at a public park. There's nothing better than enjoying cornbread, barbeque sauce, and farm-fresh produce outside.
10 Cuddle up With a Scary Movie Marathon
Too cold to go outside? Make a movie marathon of it on your own couch. Might we suggest a line-up of all your favorite Halloween flicks?
11 Tour a Haunted House
Whether you head to a popular haunted house spot or create one in your own home for your family and friends, it's a right of passage for the fall season. If spooky experiences aren't your thing but you love experiential activities, do a corn maze instead.
Summer might be over, but that doesn't mean that you have to ditch the beach. Invite some friends over and cozy up by the fire. Bring some marshmallows and graham crackers along for the ride, too.
13 Bake an Apple, Pumpkin, or Pecan Pie
Baking is a great afternoon activity, and also gives you something yummy to munch on!
14 Make Thanksgiving Cards
You've heard of holiday cards, but why not start off early? Use it as an exercise in gratitude as well as creativity—for everyone you are tankful for.
15 Spend the Day at a Fall Festival
From apple orchards to pumpkin patches, there are bound to be tons in your area. Do a little research—from music to food and everything in between—and you might just find your next annual event.
16 Go to a U-Pick Apple Orchard
Drive up to the mountains to pick and enjoy your own apples. When you get home, make caramel apples or apple pie.
17 Tour a Winery
Vineyards are beautiful at this time of year, and a wine tasting is a perfect way to unwind while learning something new. Plus, it's a fun way to wine and dine your way through the day.
18 Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Try something new if you want to see the green rolling hills and orange leaves from greater heights. It's a splurge, to be sure, but you'll never have an experience quite like it.
19 Go to a Homecoming Game
This football season, attend a fun tailgating event with friends before the big event. It doesn't even have to be your team—any live sporting event will do. Dress up, paint your face, the works!
20 Stop by the Farmers Market
Head out in the morning to stock up on fresh produce, and then make your favorite fall recipes from your childhood. Invite your family and friends to enjoy the feast as a prelude to Thanksgiving.
21 Curl up With Your Favorite Books
Reading a great book is the perfect activity for a rainy day. Add a little spiced cider or spiked egg nog, curl up with a blanket by the fire, and you're good to go.
Get creative and work on a project you've put on hold, whether alone or with a friend. A little coat of paint will go a long way when it comes to transforming old furniture favorites that are in desperate need of a little lift.
23 Camp out in a National Park
Dying to sleep under the stars? We're sure your favorite outdoorsy friends are game to join, too. Pick a spot with a killer view and build a bonfire to roast marshmallows in the great outdoors.
24 Find Themed Overnights in the Area
Love haunted houses but want to step it up a notch? Spend a few days immersed in the Halloween season. Plan a weekend around a theme of your choosing. You'd be surprised at how many Sleepy Hollow-themed hotels and overnights exist. It'll make for a memorable and funny experience that gets you in the fall spirit.
25 Rent a Cabin in the Woods
Spend the days hiking and the nights chowing down on s'mores and stargazing. Even if you're a city slicker, through and through, you can indulge that inner outdoorsy child for a few days this fall. You might want to use it as a romantic getaway, or head out for a weekend with your three best friends instead.
26 Book a Few Nights at a Quaint Inn or a Bed and Breakfast
Choose a great getaway (preferably one with a fireplace to cuddle up together) for a homey, romantic weekend away. Treat yourself to a massage and nourishing comfort food all weekend long.
27 Visit that City That's Been Lingering on Your Travel Bucket List
Pick that place you've been dying to go to for years and finally take the plunge. It probably won't be as crowded this time of year, so you can experience it like a local, and the moderate temperatures won't hurt either. Your city of choice might be the next town over, or perhaps halfway around the world—it's totally up to you!
28 Go on a Mini Road Trip
Travel to a town you've always wanted to see while making the journey just as much fun as the destination. If it's nice out, roll down all the windows and blast your favorite tunes as you drive down the highway.
29 Stay Put and Treat Yourself to a Staycation
Go ahead, you deserve it. If you give yourself a little change of scene, even if it's within walking distance of your own home, it will rejuvenate you like you wouldn't believe. You might even want to indulge in a spa treatment (or two!).