Confession. I don’t like the taste of pumpkin (including pumpkin spiced lattes) and fall wasn’t always my favorite season. In truth, it placed 3rd or 4th the entirety of my life, with summer holding strong in the number one spot. That is until now. Perhaps it is the crisp air and changing leaves, or maybe the release of my new favorite drink, Starbucks’s Chile Mocha, but something changed this year that moved fall into my new favorite season!
To celebrate this change and embrace all that fall has to offer, I’ve compiled a list of new and old fun fall activities to share with you today. Try them all or try a few and who knows? Maybe fall will become your new favorite season (if it’s not already)!
1. Go on an Underground or Ghost Tour // With Halloween right around the corner, fall seems like the perfect time to explore your local city from a new, slightly scary perspective. Many cities offer ghost tours this time of year, and Seattle even has an Underground Tour of tunnels beneath the city.
2. Make your own Mulled Wine // So you know how coffee lovers obsess over Pumpkin Spiced Lattes in the fall? Well, mulled wine is the wine lovers version of a PSL. It’s warm, full of spices, wine and tastes like fall!
3. Take a Drive to Check out the Leaves // Maybe I’m getting older, or just miss the fall foliage of New England, but leaf watching is way more exciting to me now, than when I was a kid. Growing up, I couldn’t understand why people would make a vacation out of visiting the area I lived to just drive around and look at leaves. It seemed so boring! Now I get it. It’s like antiquing – you start to appreciate these activities the older you get. Grab some hot cider, a camera, and explore new roads as you search for the best fall foliage.
4. Build a Haunted Gingerbread House // Similar to a Christmas time gingerbread house, but with a spooky twist! Kits are available at your local craft or grocery stores.
5. Head to a Farm // Farms are a gold mine of activities this time of year and I’m not just talking about pumpkin and apple picking! Corn mazes, haunted houses, petting zoos and hayrides are just some of the activities offered at the farms I’ve visited.
6. Take a Cooking Class // With the weather cooling down, fall is a great time to head indoors and learn a new recipe. Sur la Table offers year round cooking classes, and right now is offering fall themed classes such as “Fabulous Fall Soups” and “Oktoberfest”. Check out their full schedule here.
7. Have a Pumpkin Carving Contest & Seed Bake // Have a pumpkin carving contest, loser cleans up the mess! After gutting the pumpkins, bake the seeds to enjoy together later. To bake the seeds, clean and spread the seeds out on a pan for 24 hours to dry. Once dry, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, toss the seeds in a mixing bowl with olive oil (enough for the seasoning to stick), a dash of salt, and my secret ingredient – a dash of cayenne pepper. Spread the seeds onto a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes or until the seeds are a nice golden brown.
8. Go on a Hike // Try out a new hike or revisit a favorite and see how the trail has changed with the season.
9. Attend a Football Game // Dress in your team’s colors and head out to watch a NFL, college, or high school football game live. Don’t forget to show up early for tailgating before the game!
10. Go Apple Picking and Bake a Pie // Did you know that one secret to baking a delicious apple pie is to use fresh apples? Fall is prime apple picking season, so head to the orchard, fill a basket with fresh apples, and then head home for a day of baking!
11. Embrace Oktoberfest // Head to a local Oktoberfest festival to enjoy a day of beer, pretzels, music and shenanigans! If you’re adventurous, kick it up a notch and dress in the traditional German Bavarian attire. If you live or are visiting the Seattle area, Leavenworth Oktoberfest is as close as it gets to the real thing!
12. Navigate through a Corn Maze // No maps allowed and wear boots as the mazes can be muddy. Check out a traditional maze or test your fears with a haunted corn maze!
13. Play a Game of Capture the Flag // A while back my friends and I got a group of 20ish people together and played a huge game of capture the flag at night in the park. It was such a hit! We played in an open field with not many places to hide, so the dark sky helped cloak our movements as we stole the flag. This is a must for all ages!
14. Plan a Sweater Weather Picnic // Pull out those chunky knit sweaters and head to the park to enjoy a picnic.
15. Craft a Halloween Costume // Brainstorm fun group, couples, or solo costume ideas and then head out to the store to buy supplies to build your own. Start now, so when Halloween comes around you will have the perfect outfit for parties, costume contest, or simply trick or treating!
16. Build a Bonfire // Gather your friends, S’mores supplies, and head to the beach or your backyard for a fall bonfire. My bonfire must have? Sparklers!
17. Cozy up for a Halloween Movie Marathon // I can’t handle scary movies. I’m the girl who closes her eyes, plugs her ears, and hums loudly to block out all visuals and sounds when a scary movie preview comes on TV. That being said, Halloween movies to me are ones from my childhood and fun for all ages – Hocus Pocus (a classic!), Halloweentown, Casper, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Ghostbusters and the Harry Potter Series to name a few. There’s something about these childhood classics that bring up fun memories of the season and get me excited for Halloween!
18. Jump into a Leaf Pile // So simple and yet, so rewarding! Bring your camera, take a jump and FALL into autumn (get it? Fall!..ha ha).
19. Find the Best Fall Scented Candles // Make it a mission to discover the best fall evoking scent of the season! Candles are a great way for making your home feel like fall, even without decorations. My current favorite is from Yankee Candle and reminds me of crisp fall leaves, warm apple pie, and farm fresh cider.
20. Visit a Fall Festival // Gather your friends or family for a day of food, live music, games, crafts, and people watching!