51 Fun Fall Activities to Get You Through the Season

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)
·9 mins read

With its clear, cool, humidity-free days, gorgeous golden palette and emphasis on eating all the baked goods, fall is unequivocally, indisputably the greatest season ever. (Sorry, summer lovers.) Here, your epic bucket list of 51 fall activities, which luckily, are totally cool to do while social-distancing. Grab your flannel and get excited, folks.

RELATED: 31 Quick and Easy Recipes for Fall

1. Eat a cider doughnut

Or half a dozen of them (no judgments). Even better, make your own with our recipe for apple cider doughnut holes.

2. Make a batch of mulled wine

So what if our house smells like a Yankee Candle IRL…we secretly love those. Wanna DIY it? We’ll be sipping on this mulled wine sangria all season long.

RELATED: Homemade Apple Cider Is Easier to Make Than You Think

3. Pack a fall picnic

Fill your picnic basket with the essentials: wine, grapes, a baguette and enough cheese for 15 people—despite being a two-person picnic.

4. Go apple picking

First, find an orchard in your neck of the woods. Then bring home the mother lode to divvy up between family and friends and bake an apple pie that none of those people but you will eat tonight.

5. Buy gourds at the farmers market

And resist the temptation to stick googly eyes on them. (Or don’t. We kind of love cutesy Halloween decorations.)

6. Visit a pumpkin patch

It just wouldn’t be fall without it. And if you don’t Instagram it, did it really happen? (Psst: Here are 15 pumpkin patches around the U.S. to check out.)

7. Take a bike ride over the weekend

Scenic paths and maybe even a little whistling are encouraged. Channel your inner Gilmore Girl and tour a cute small town if you’re nearby.

8. Skip the gym in favor of daily runs in the brisk morning air

Not really a runner? Here’s how to get started. (Power walks are also accepted.)

9. Take a chilly beach stroll

Fact: The beach is kinda prettiest in the off-season. (Just pack a few blankets in case it gets breezy.)

10. Rake a giant pile of leaves

And promptly belly-flop into it, just like you did as a kid. (C’mon, that’s basically what leaf-raking was designed for.)

11. Tailgate a football game

Whether there’s actually a game to watch this year or not, we can all agree that hot wings are the best part of football Sundays anyway. Make your own oven-baked buffalo wings and watch them disappear.

12. Or bask in the Sunday quietude

While the rest of the world is worrying about, you know, football.

13. Book a weekend getaway in the woods

Don't forget your nubby knitwear, your guide to safely renting and staying in an Airbnb and someone to snuggle with.

14. Cook with Brussels sprouts

Make any of these unique Brussels sprouts recipes to soothe your September tomato-season withdrawals.

15. Buy a cute new planner

Pair it with a stack of freshly sharpened pencils because it's back-to-school somewhere (even if it is online).

16. Make a big pot of chili

Spend Sunday afternoon perfecting this white turkey chili with avocado, then eat it all damn week.

RELATED: The 25 Best Side Dishes for Chili

17. Carve a jack-o’-lantern

Or skip the pumpkin goo and just decorate one.

18. Toast pumpkin seeds

If you’re not afraid of pumpkin guts, they’re easy to roast and even easier to eat. Toss ’em in a salad, mix them into homemade trail mix or just snack by the handful.

19. Decorate your porch (or front door)

If you don't buy mums at the hardware store, do you even like fall? Here are 30 more autumnal porch ideas to tickle your fancy.

20. Make a fall centerpiece for the dining table

Time to channel your inner Martha Stewart. Backyard branches = budget ikebana.

RELATED: 10 Stunning Fall Centerpiece Ideas We Bet You Haven’t Thought Of

21. Clean the windows

Let there be golden-amber light.

22. Then open the windows

Better than an air freshener. Trust.

23. Take a drive in the countryside

Lazy leaf-peeping is the best kind of leaf-peeping. (Check the fall foliage map then plan your day trip.)

RELATED: The 7 Prettiest Places to See Fall Foliage Near New York City

24. Buy an autumn-scented candle

Oh please, like you don't love the smell of pumpkin spice, too. Not sold on store-bought? Here’s how to freshen your home the DIY way.

25. Add cozy decor to your home

Give us all the faux-fur pillow covers and cable-knit throws. For more inspiration, take a peek at some of our favorite Halloween door decorations.

26. Watch the geese fly south

Go ahead, bliss out on nature doing its thang.

27. Host a socially-distant harvest dinner party

Cozy up from six feet away with two picnic blankets and two (or a few) bottles of wine. Bonus: It’s a foolproof way to test your Thanksgiving recipes.

28. Curl up with a great book

Or you know, an excellent crappy book. Whatever suits your fancy. We have plenty of suggestions.

29. Watch a quintessentially fall movie

Yes, we’ve watched Love Story 50 times, and no, we’re not sorry about it. (Although we’ll also be adding these classics to our rotation too.)

30. Collect leaves and pinecones

Nothing says “I heart fall” like foraging like a wood nymph then turning your found treasures into tchotchkes.

31. Drink dark, hoppy beer

Call it a placebo, but rich beer literally tastes better to us in the fall. And if beer’s not your thing, swap it for hot buttered rum.

32. Make a backyard bonfire

We’ll take any excuse to make (and eat) s’mores.

RELATED: How to Create a Backyard Oasis (Without Breaking Your Budget)

33. Break out your plaids and flannels

Fall: The one time of year it's totally chill to dress like a farmer. Go ahead and wear them all at once; you’re staying home, right?

34. Break out your sweaters and scarves

It’s (debatably) the highlight of the whole damn season. And learn how to take care of those chunky knits here.

35. Break out your leather booties

These ankles boots were made for walkin' on crunchy leaves.

36. Treat yourself to a chic new coat

Mid-weight coats are the best weight coats, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Next step: Learn how to style it.

RELATED: The 19 Best Denim Jackets of All Time, Starting at $41

37. Eat all the Halloween candy

And feign innocence when your kids accuse you of doing so. Where does your favorite fall in our ranking?

RELATED: 25 Classy Halloween Treats for Adults

38. Go to an outdoor flea market

You'll need some funky mismatched china to go with your homemade centerpiece, no? Find a nearby market through this handy online directory.

39. Bake cookies

Bonus points for kitschy-and-proud-of-it leaf-shaped cookie cutters. And while the oven’s hot, why not make one of these 50 fall dessert recipes too?

40. Bake an apple galette

Otherwise known as apple pie for lazy people. Read up on which apples are best for baking before you begin.

41. Bake a pumpkin pie

Otherwise known as happiness in a pie dish. Up the ante and add a cinnamon roll crust—it’s simpler than it looks, promise.

RELATED: 30 Amazing Pumpkin Recipes to Make All Fall Long

42. Head outside to stargaze

In our humble opinion, it’s an activity best enjoyed beneath a pile of blankets. And FYI, according to the Farmers’ Almanac, October 2020 will see not one but two full moons—once on October 1 and a “blue moon” on Halloween.

43. Pitch a tent in your backyard

You don’t have to travel far to have your own camping adventure. (Scary stories seem a lot more appealing when you can dash indoors for cover.)

44. Dust your coffee in pumpkin spice

Say it loud, say it proud: You love pumpkin spice. Why not make this the season to embrace it?

RELATED: This Pumpkin Spice Moscow Mule Will Restore Your Love of All Things Fall

45. Binge the new fall lineup (or an old favorite)

Consider this your permission slip for an entire afternoon of Cheers reruns.

RELATED: 50 Binge-Worthy TV Shows & Where to Watch Them

46. Get a jump on holiday gifting

It’s truly never too early. May no woman be left panic-shopping on Christmas Eve day.

47. Take a hike

And challenge yourself to a selfie moratorium. Find a trail with a quick internet search, or check out our list of a few favorites.

48. Eat soup for lunch

Say “not today, lettuce,” as you make your way through our list of 45 fall soups you haven’t tried (yet).

RELATED: 50 Fall Dinner Ideas to Savor All Season Long

49. Head to a drive-in movie theater

The retro venues are having a major renaissance and we are here for it. If you can find one that’s screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show, even better.

RELATED: The 15 Best Non-Scary Halloween Movies of All Time

50. Watch the sunset

Call us a buncha’ saps, but watching the sun sink over an orange tree line makes us all kinds of warm and fuzzy.

51. List the things you’re thankful for

Research shows that gratitude leads to greater satisfaction in life. Even if what you’re grateful for is having that afternoon to binge Cheers, so be it.

RELATED: 35 Halloween Activities for Kids Ranging from Cutesy to Spooky