The arrival of pumpkin spice everything. A bright red leaf on the sidewalk. Apples falling off your neighbor’s tree. Cool night air breezing in through your open windows – just a few of the signs that fall is right around the corner, if not already here.
While we may not be 100% ready to put the long, lazy days of summer behind us, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t thrilled by thoughts of apple picking, vibrant foliage and sweater weather. What is it about fall that can be so energizing? Is it the chill in the air? Cooler weather that lends a vibrancy that the hot, muggy days of summer just can’t compete with? Is it the change of pace? After all those busy summer weekends, we anticipate the literal chill that comes with autumn? Whatever the reason, fall seems to be our favorite season for good reason – but it also feels like the shortest. Bookended by hot summer days that can stretch easily into October and snowy, icy weather that always feels as if it arrives as soon as the Thanksgiving feast is served, autumn is a short season meant to be savored.
But with so much to do, how do you take advantage of all fall has to offer? By making a fall bucket list, of course! What better way to narrow down your must-dos, must-sees, and must-eats than getting it all down on paper and scheduling it in? Sit down with some water colors, a paintbrush, a few pieces of blank paper, and some waterproof pens and use our top 7 fall activities below as a jumping off place – what do you hope for the season to come? How can you take full advantage? Draw it out, add some artwork, then post it on your fridge or in your entryway to keep ideas close at hand:
1. Visit an apple orchard & make apple pie
What could be more quintessentially fall than a trip to your local apple orchard? Tromping through tall grass, basket in hand, on the lookout for the reddest and most satisfyingly crisp and tart varieties – apple picking is an activity that can be savored by just about anybody, families, couples and friends alike. This fall, take a trip to your local orchard for a peck or two, then head home and make an apple pie (or crisp, or baked apples, or cookies, or… you get the idea) as your sweet reward.
2. Go leaf peeping
Leaf what? If you’re somewhere where foliage abounds, you know the term – leaf-peeping: quite literally traveling around to view the vibrant reds, oranges, yellows and greens on display as trees turn from summer’s green to Fall’s unmatched rainbow of shades. Use our handy guide for where to find the best fall foliage in the United States – and when to see it. Remember, different regions experience peak fall at different times, so be sure to consult our guide or local foliage forecasts for your best shot at seeing autumn in all its glory!
3. Cozy up with a book
What could be better than snuggling up under a blanket with a cup of tea and a great new book? Summer may be the time to bask on the beach with an indulgent read, but fall offers the perfect opportunity for tackling that big book that’s been on your list for what seems like forever. Grab a mug of coffee (pumpkin spice?) or tea, your favorite blanket, and a book – check out these fall book picks – and curl up in your favorite spot. If you have outdoor access, head outside for some fresh, crisp air while you turn the pages.
4. Plan a fall picnic
A picnic? In fall? We say “yes!” Fall is, in fact, the perfect time to have a picnic – no humid weather to contend with, a light breeze, beautiful foliage to look at while you lounge – what could be better? Check out our tips for hosting the perfect fall picnic, then get creative with what you put in your picnic basket – we love Thrive Market for good-for-you snacks of all kinds and eco-friendly packing options, like reusable snack boxes and compostable plates and cups.
5. Take a hike
Sure, you could drive to see the foliage of fall, but why not immerse yourself in it and find a view from above? Fall is the perfect time to take a hike, whether you’ve been meaning to tackle a 4,000 footer or are more inclined towards a leisurely stroll through a nature preserve. With cooler days that boast less humidity, the time for autumn hikes is now. Stepping out in nature isn’t just good for your lungs and emotional wellbeing – taking a hike could bring you and your partner closer together and foster a feeling of connectedness, with one another and with the environment. Remember to pack plenty of layers, plenty of water, and a bag to pack out your waste.
6. Ready, set, bake!
What could be better than filling your home with the spicy-sweet scent of something delicious? Whether it’s that apple pie you whipped up after a day spent at the orchard, a batch of pumpkin muffins or a quickbread that celebrates the flavors of fall, baking can be a meditative, relaxing way to get in tune with the season. Not into sweets? Check out these autumnal paleo Thanksgiving recipes for autumn and beyond.
7. Get lost in a corn maze:
… or a pumpkin patch… or a pile of leaves. Fall is beloved for being exactly what it is: fall, crisp, refreshing. Just like we look forward to fields of flowers in spring and summertime beach trips, fall offers the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the things that make autumn uniquely autumn. Search out a corn maze for a fun day with your family. Take photos in a pumpkin patch – and then go carve a pumpkin. Or make yard work fun by raking all the leaves into a big, jumpable pile. We think we can all agree that fall is too short a season – so don’t let it pass by without making the most of those crisp, cool days!
What’s your favorite fall activity? Share with us on social by tagging @AvocadoMattress and #AvocadoGreenMagazine!