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As a perpetually-too-hot person, I could wax poetic about why fall is the best season for hours on end. I mean, there’s no humidity to negate all the time you spent on your hair, you can always go braless under a cozy sweater and no one will know, it’s socially acceptable to drink PSLs all day long (sue me, I like ‘em), every walk is an ASMR experience thanks to crunchy leaves, and the apple and flannel-scented candles just smell cozier. I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you. The point is, autumn is ~iconic~ and you simply have to take full advantage of it.
Because I love fall (did I mention that yet?), I decided to go ahead and put together a bucket list full of things you’ll definitely want to do before the season comes to an end. Below, you’ll find 50(!) fall activities to get on your radar ASAP—from sweater swaps with friends to cozy backyard date nights with your S.O. Cross my heart you won’t be bored this season unless you really try!!!
Organize a sweater swap.
Still wearing the same hoodies, cardigans, and pullovers you added to your closet in the 2010s? Your friends might be, too. Invite your besties over for a sweater swap and find some new-to-you pieces for a little wardrobe refresh.
Go thrifting for your best Halloween costume ever.
If you've never created your Halloween costume based solely on what you could find at your local thrift store, I hope this inspires you. I also hope you win the costume contest.
Restock your fall candle collection.
As soon as the temps hit the 50s, it's time to have a candle burning at every waking moment. (That's my philosophy, at least.) Make sure you've got the good goods by checking out this list of our fave fall candles.
Brew up some mulled wine or spiced cider.
It's hot drink season, and trust me when I say these babies always taste better when you make 'em yourself.
Carve a pumpkin.
It was fun when you were 10, and it's just (okay, almost) as fun now. Try to get creative and go beyond the classic triangle-nosed Jack-o'-lantern. If you need some inspiration, we gotchu.
Bake some pumpkin seeds.
If your mom never popped your pumpkin seeds in the oven post-carving (then doused them in salt), I'm sorry. They are freakin' delicious, and you need to try them. They're also rich in vitamins and minerals so...health.
Host a fall-themed BYOCocktail night.
You know those TikTok videos where everyone brings their own special cocktail to share with the party? Do that! But make them all ~fall inspired~! Lucky for you, we've got great recipes for fall drinks and Halloween cocktails.
Paint a fall or Halloween-inspired mani.
Dig around in your nail polish stash for the rich brown, dark green, burnt orange, and deep cranberry shades you've been hoarding since last fall, then get to polishing. Alternatively, if you're a Halloween girlie, swap in your oranges, blacks, and whites. Terrible at painting your own nails? I love a good set of press-ons, which come in plenty of fun fall and Halloween designs.
Photoshoot! In! A! Cornfield!
Fall weather means you can wear your cute layers, your hair is less frizzy, and you're less likely to sweat all your makeup off. Aka, you're always photoshoot ready. Get some shots in a cornfield for a shucking good Insta.
Dye your hair a lil darker.
Love getting highlights in the summer? Maybe you should consider going a lil darker when the seasons change. Just a thought. Do with it what you will.
Pumpkin Spice up your room/apartment/home decor.
The changing of the seasons means a changing of the decor—and fall finds are some of the cutest. We found a whole whack of fall decor options you can buy on Amazon rn that are festive without being cheugy (it's a hard job, but somebody's gotta do it) if you wanna take a lil peek.
Host a Halloween movie marathon.
Twitches, Halloween Town, Hocus Pocus...you know the vibes. Don't forget some spooooky apps to share with the ghouls.
Read a book by the fire.
You don't know cozy until you know crackling-logs-and-new-bestseller cozy. If I could bottle that feeling up and sell it, ya girl would be rich. (Psst. Looking for a good book? Here are some of our must-reads.)
Go apple picking (duh).
You knew it had to be on this list somewhere. But it's fun! And it's fall! And tbh I never feel like I took full advantage of the season if I don't pick a few overpriced apples and let them rot in my fridge for weeks after!!! Real talk though, you need to hit an orchard for pics in your freshest fall 'fit.
Make an apple-y dessert.
Once you have a ton of apples you don't know what to do with (you can only eat so many slices dipped in nut butter, am I right?), it's time to start baking up a storm. Grab some butter and try your hand at an apple pie, apple cobbler, apple cake, apple cider donuts, apple dumplings, apple cheesecake, caramel apples, apple turnovers and SO MUCH MORE. Once you're sick of the flavor, pack up your goodies and gift them to your neighbors.
Take a hike.
No really, you might like it! It barely feels like exercise when you're distracted by pretty changing leaves!
Learn how to knit your own cold-weather accessories.
It's not that hard to do (I swear) and you'll have bragging rights till the end of days. Start with a scarf, work your way up to a hat, then try a sweater and mittens. *Calls grandma for lessons.*
Hit up a local fall festival.
There's a solid chance there will be apple cider donuts, and that's enough of a reason to go literally anywhere.
Visit a haunted house.
Do a lil Googling to find one near you, then make sure to invite a supportive friend or fling—this ish can be scarier than you expect.
Take a long drive for ~leaf-peeping~ opps.
Nothing beats sitting in the passenger seat while your favorite album blasts from the speakers so everyone can hear it because your windows are down so you can feel the wind from the open road rustling your hair then looking out said window and seeing a gorgeous display of changing leaves for miles ahead of you. TL;DR: Take a road trip and peep some pretty leaves.
Challenge your friends to a bake-off.
Nothing beats a little healthy competition...especially when a plethora of delicious desserts (think: pecan pie, pumpkin spice latte cupcakes, apple fritters) is the reward. There's no losing with this one.
*Actually* get your holiday shopping done early.
You know, like you always say you're going to? This year, commit to taking advantage of those Black Friday sales. It'll save you a whole lotta stress and $$$.
Make a yummy soup.
Because it's cold outside and soup isn't just for old ladies, k? Grab some broth and check out these three easy (and healthy-ish) recipes we love.
Check out a drive-in.
If you know someone with a pick-up truck, now's the time to befriend them. Then grab a sh*t ton of blankets, pillows, and snacks, and get ready to snuggle.
Have a cozy backyard date night.
Don't have a drive-in nearby? (It's 2022, so fair.) Bring the drive-in to you with a cuddly little backyard movie night. Grab a projector, pop some popcorn, and plop yourself down in a pile of blankets (the one below is great because it's meant for the outdoors) and pillows. Love this for a date night with your S.O., but can also be done with a group of friends, obv.
Rent a cabin in the woods.
Okay, it doesn't have to be like *that* kind of cabin in the woods. Just a cute lil Airbnb or old-school bed and breakfast will do for a romantic, delicious-chill-in-the-air getaway. Speaking of which, Getaway is a company that rents out adorable cabins less than two hours outside several major cities and they're worth checking out!
Take a nap outside.
Maybe this is just my idea of the best afternoon ever, but burrowing under a ton of blankets and snoozing in the chilly weather is *chef's kiss* personified.
Visit your local farmer’s market.
Grab your cutest reusable totes and peruse the stalls all day long. It'll feel great to support your local vendors...and even better to bring home fresh produce, flowers, and desserts.
Not that it's a competition or anything, but I know you can host the sickest Friendsgiving extravaganza (you know, an extra Thanksgiving dinner with your chosen fam) your crew has ever seen. We've actually put together a step-by-step guide to making it spectacular, so just follow that and tag us in your Instas later.
Get tipsy at a winery or brewery.
I love a summer trip to a winery or brewery as much as the next girlie, but there's something about being there when the seasons are changing that's just better. (Maybe because the only thing I want sweating is my cup of alcohol?) Don't sleep on your local cider mill, either.
Design a fall-inspired flower bouquet.
Head to Trader Joe's (I swear they have the cheapest-yet-freshest flowers in the game) and pick up some dahlias, pampas grass, amaranths, chrysanthemums, and more in all your favorite fall shades—like yellow, burgundy, orange, and cream. Don't trust yourself with arranging? Try out a brand like Bouquet Box, which sends you all the blooms and tools (including a vase) you need for a beautiful display.
Organize your cold-weather wardrobe.
Forget about spring cleaning—fall cleaning is where it's really at. Take this time to go through your fall and winter clothes and decide which pieces you love and which are worth parting with. Like the geniuses at The Home Edit always say: the best way to get organized is to edit your closet. From one editor to another, good luck.
Get your thrills at the closest theme park.
Many amusement parks host Halloween-themed nights complete with tricked-out attractions, haunted houses, and often-terrifying scare actors. These events are also great if you want a chance to ride your fave rides with fewer little kids running around and way less sweating!
Host an Oktoberfest party.
If ya can't make it to Munich, bring Munich to you. Shopping list: beer, bratwurst, sauerkraut, soft pretzels, and more beer. Personalized beer steins highly recommended.
Tailgate at a football game.
You don't have to watch the game, I promise (unless you want to?). You just have to dress in the appropriate colors, probably a puffy vest, drink White Claws, and gossip with your friends. Go sports!
Volunteer at your local food bank.
Not everyone has a nice meal to sit down to on Thanksgiving day—or on any other day. Many people rely on their community food banks, and food banks often rely on volunteers. If you don't have money or food to donate, you can always donate your time.
Attend a dog costume contest.
Never seen a group of dogs sniffing each others' butts while dressed in adorable Halloween costumes? That needs to change. Get to Googling "dog costume contest near me" ASAP (and throw together a get-up for your dog if you have one).
Get your hands on an apple cider donut.
We've alluded to this before as a peak fall activity, but it's really important and deserves its own heading. Bonus points if you get one from an apple orchard, farmer's market, or fall festival. Pair it with some cider or mulled wine and your heart will be so happy.
Invest in a fluffy new duvet.
The more cloud-like, the better. You're obviously going to be spending more time in bed this time of year, so might as well make it an oasis. Not sure what duvet to get? Here are our eight favorite inserts you can buy RN.
Go on a cute bike ride.
Yes, it has to be cute. Pop on your chicest windbreaker and sneakers and prepare to get your pedal on. Take a moment before you head out to map out a trail with lots to look at (the more trees the better) for Fab Fall Views™. Also ideal if you have a cute friend or S.O. riding beside ya.
Get your chili game on lock.
A big crockpot full of chili + a chill in the air = fall sublimity. Pick your favorite recipe here then invite your friends over for a hearty din. (Note: Chili is best paired with sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped scallions, and Football Sundays.)
Treat yourself to a new coat/jacket.
Espeeecially if you've been rocking the same tired one for a few years now. A good jacket can be an investment, but it can also completely change your chilly weather fashion game (and keep you warm, duh). Don't know where to start? We gotchu with this complete guide to outerwear.
Buy all the discounted candy post-Halloween.
The kids have had enough—now it's your turn to raid Walgreens. Just make sure to leave some Sour Patch Kids for the rest of us.
Even if you don't buy anything, you'll *feel* like you're living in a rom-com while perusing the shelves.
Camp in your backyard.
It's fun, it's free, and it's fabulous to have electricity and running water just a few steps away. Don't forget the s'mores!
Take a day off for a long-weekend getaway.
Use that PTO! I repeat: Use! That! PTO! (Especially if it doesn't roll over at the end of the year!) Honestly, you deserve a vacation, and fall is the best time to take one, IMHO. It's not too hot, tourists have generally cleared out, and rentals are typically cheaper. Book an Airbnb, pack your favorite weekender bag, and hit the road.
Get a PSL.
Don't think. Just do it. You know you want to.
Book a hot air balloon ride.
Hey Alexa, play "Up Up & Away" by Kid Cudi. If you think the changing leaves are pretty from the ground, just wait 'till you see them from the sky. Plus, so romantic! If you've got a fall anniversary, this is as close to perfection as you can get to celebrate it.
Wine and cheese on repeat!
Okay, okay, so maybe you've been doing this all year 'round. Just change the vino to a full-bodied red and the cheese to a creamy brie or aged gouda. And yeah, you should probably put dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds on the charcuterie board.
Make a quilt out of your old t-shirts.
Okay, this is something I've been meaning to do for a while after seeing it on Pinterest, and this fall is going to be the time I actually get crafty and do it. Basically, you cut out a square section of several of your old-but-meaningful t-shirts (like your previous sports team or sorority shirts), then stitch them together with using batting and a cozy backing. A functional memento—Google it!
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