As October draws to a close, I’ve become aware that winter will be here before we know it! Fall and spring are my two favorite seasons, but I really have to hand it to the autumn for having the best seasonal activities. Over the last few weeks I’ve compiled a list of must-do activities for this fall, and most of them are cheap or free! I plan to use them as date ideas, outings with my mom and sister, and hangouts with friends, and a lot of them would also be great for babysitting or any number of occasions.
Grab a pumpkin spice latte and a plaid scarf and check out these ideas for making the most of this gorgeous season before it’s gone!
Must-do fall activities:
Whether you are a big fan of Halloween or not, carving pumpkins is everything from a cute date or fun family time to a serious artistic challenge. My favorite one that I’ve done so far was a howling wolf, and this year I think I want to do Beauty and the Beast.
Take a hike and collect leaves
I’ve used leaves in everything from flower arrangements to Christmas tree ornaments to book marks to scrapbooks. There are a thousand things you can do with them, even if you just stick a few in a vase on your desk to bring some of the autumn colors into your room. A couple of pumpkins and some fall foliage really made a difference in my rather dingy dorm room last fall.
Order one of those amazing seasonal pumpkin beverages
I make every effort to avoid eating much refined sugar and high-fat dairy, but I generally drink about 3 lattes a year, and the time of year where they are pumpkin-flavored is in my opinion one of the best times to get them. It’s not unhealthy, it’s a seasonal ritual!
Rake leaves and jump in the pile
Actually, leaving leaves to decompose is much better for the soil and your grass, but if you must rake yours or someone else’s, make the best of it and jump in the pile like you did when you were a kid! This is also a very adorable seasonal photo op.
Go on a hayride
Lots of farms offer these in conjunction with other fall events, and you can sometimes even get free pumpkins with hayride tickets.
Visit a corn maze
Unless you happen to be chaperoning a toddler, I recommend going after dark, when things are a little bit spooky, and you can see the stars.
Volunteer at a local festival
Autumn is prime festival season due to cooler temperatures and the holiday shopping season, and local events are great ways to meet people and learn about your community, and often benefit charities. Universities and municipalities have festivals and fairs all the time in the fall. You might even get a cool T-shirt or some needed volunteer hours for school.
Make s’mores and bake apples in aluminum foil over the fire
Speaking as an enthusiastic camper and backpacker, this is an amazing combo, and making food over the fire is almost as fun as eating it.
Volunteer at a food drive
There are a lot of people who go hungry around the holidays, and food drives start early for Thanksgiving. There are also a lot of charities that host drives to send food and care packages to troops around this time of year.
Spend an afternoon outside reading
Or if you must, studying. Even if you have to hit the books, the fresh air will make it much more bearable to tackle the most frustrating of subjects.
Take a walk in the rain
This is actually a really romantic date if the rain isn’t too too heavy, and I find it to be really refreshing.
Buy an awesome sweater
If you already have too many, buy one for a friend or family member! There are too many amazing sweaters for sale this time of year to not pick up even one.
Maybe you can only squeeze in a one-night trip during this busy time of year, but if it’s at all possible, getting away from the bustle of school, electronics, and being cooped up inside all the time is a wonderful restorative. Plus, this time of year the bugs aren’t too bad and the fall colors are spectacular in many areas.
Canoe or kayak
I actually have a canoe and a kayak both, but even if you don’t own one, a lot of university recreation departments rent them cheaply. You don’t need a big lake to have a beautiful afternoon paddling away your worries.
Make pumpkin waffles
If you can’t tell, I love pumpkin. It’s one of my favorite flavors and I eat it all year long. I’ve gotten into the habit of making whole wheat pumpkin waffles with my fiancé about every other weekend, and they are AMAZING. If you’re using 100% canned pumpkin, whole wheat flower, and little fat, they’re not even that bad for you! There’s a million recipes on Pinterest, I’ve tried several and never had bad results (except the one time where my waffle maker died mid-waffle, but I probably can’t attribute that to the recipe).
Whether you’re a gifted landscape artist or you can barely doodle, the fall is a great time to get outside with a sketchbook and pencil and be inspired by nature. Drawing promotes creativity and is a great stress reliever — and being outside in nature does exactly the same things, so why not combine the two? Grab an adult coloring book, practice calligraphy, sketch a picturesque scene, whatever — just be creative and enjoy the inspiration of this beautiful season.
What are you up to this fall season? I’d love to hear the activities you’re doing to celebrate this gorgeous time of year in the comments below.