Every person on the planet has a preferred season. Some people live for winter and all the winter sports that come with the colder temperatures. Others become giddy as summer rolls around, whilst many prefer spring as they witness the signs of life sprouting through the ground. And then there are those of us who thoroughly enjoy autumn.
Some love it because Halloween falls in fall – that’s not why we all love it, though. Personally, I’ve never been a Halloween fan, so fall for me is about leggings, comfy sweaters, and nights by a crackling fire in my backyard fire pit. If you’re not a huge fan of the fall season, consider experiencing it in a different way this year.
Fall Bucket List Ideas
Whether you love autumn, or not, there’s no reason you can’t find joy in doing a few of the items on this fall bucket list. Depending on where you live, fall season temperatures are fairly warm and it often feels more like summer than autumn during the day – but temps drop once the sun goes down. Pick some fun things to do during the day, as well as after the sun sets, to really experience this bucket list to its fullest.
Fall Inspired Movie Marathon
Spending a lazy weekend binging on some of the best movies that scream “this is fall” from the depths of their scripts is a total MUST-DO. You don’t need anyone to binge watch with you, but if you want to have others join you, go for it. Pop up some popcorn, add a little pumpkin spice, slather it with butter and serve it with some hot chocolate (trust me, it’s the perfect combination) and queue up some of the movies giving off “Fall vibes” from the list below:
We’ll start with one of my all-time favorites, School Ties. It’s the best Brendan Fraser gave to the world as a twenty-something actor and the message is something that STILL needs to be spread far and wide! Some other amazing movies that give those Autumn feels…..
- The Princess Bride
- Mona Lisa Smile
- St. Elmo’s Fire
- A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
- You’ve Got Mail
- Autumn in New York
- Sweet Home Alabama
- Practical Magic
- Knives Out
- Hocus Pocus
- Sweet November
- Good Will Hunting
- October Sky
- Dead Poets Society
- Little Women
- The Craft
- The Edge of Seventeen
Before hitting play, light some fall-scented candles to set the mood. Or, wait until the sun goes down and set up a screen outside and watch from the comfort of your Adirondack chairs under cozy blankets as you sip hot cocoa, eat s’mores and stay warm by a fire pit!
Menu Plan with Seasonal Produce & Fruit
Cooking isn’t for everyone, I get it. However, if you are down for some new cooking challenges to shake things up in your kitchen, consider menu planning around seasonal produce. Autumn has a plethora of amazing seasonal ingredients beyond the traditional pumpkin and the beloved apple. Visit your local farmers markets, buy fresh fruit, herbs and produce to create tasty meals with, then Google some recipes with the specific goodies you’ve purchased.
You can also take your favorite fall comfort foods and swap out ingredients with your fresh finds from your local farms and farmers markets. The point is using ingredients you wouldn’t normally use from local farms.
Attend Fall Festivals
Yes, fall festivals can be overcrowded and bring out some aggravation dealing with parking, and annoying people. It’s probably something you’ve avoided doing for years, especially after having kids. However, it’s the year to change all that! Embrace the chaos and focus on the funner aspects of attending fall festivals. Candy apples, hay rides, pumpkin everything, and maybe even a chance to buy some fun sunflower wreaths for your front door.
Take one of those meals you prepared from the fresh ingredients you scored from local farms and farmers markets outside and enjoy an outdoor fall picnic. Picnics feel different when you place your picnic blanket over fallen leaves, eat comfort foods prepared by your own hands, enjoy apple cider donuts and some apple cider, and breathe in the crisp fall air.
Jump in a Pile of Leaves
Everyone wants to do it, but as an adult we all feel the pain of raking leaves. The last thing we want to do is jump into them causing them to cascade all over our freshly raked lawn, only to have to rake them up again. So, we do the responsible, adult thing and bag the leaves up. This year say “f*ck it” and jump in that pile of leaves. Let your inner child feel free and get downright giddy.
Camping & Kayaking
I’m not a camping kind of gal. However, if there’s a cabin with running water (meaning, I don’t have to leave the cabin during a midnight pee) I’ll go camping. There’s nothing better than enjoying beautiful, starry nights by a camp fire after a full day of outdoor fun, like Kayaking or white water rafting. Connect with nature well into the evening, then retreat into your climate controlled cabin with a working toilet and shower!
Well-fitted pants, great boots, and a chunky fall sweater never look as good when you’re walking around on the streets as they do when you’re horseback riding. Plus, horses aren’t suffering with the heat like they do in the summer.
Apple Pick & Enjoy a Hayride
Apple picking is a right of passage, and a hayride rounds out the experience whether you’re a kid, or an adult. If you haven’t apple picked or brought your kids apple picking, get out there this year!
Embrace Apple Cider
I’m going to go against the grain and suffer the consequences, but I believe that the superior fall flavor is apple, not pumpkin spice. I know, I know. Every coffee shop, bakery, and restaurant push that pumpkin spice in lattes, doughnuts, breads, and even pastas. However, apple and apple cider is the far better fall flavor.
Rebel with me and embrace apple and apple cider this year.
- Bake apple cider doughnuts.
- Do an apple cider doughnut tour (hit all the local bake shops to find the best apple cider doughnuts in your area)
- Make apple cider (spike it if you want to)
Fall Foliage Road Trip
You’ve talked about doing a fall foliage road trip for years. This is your year to finally take that road trip so you can enjoy the gorgeous fall foliage in the mountains. Make a weekend out of it with either a camping trip, or a spa getaway!
Sometimes you just have to do some sh*t you’ve never done to fully experience a season you don’t really love, or to fall in love with it even more than you loved it already. Fall will be here in a few short weeks, so start planning your bucket list now and promise yourself you’ll check each thing off this year. Let me know how you do!