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Fall is hands-down my favorite season. The weather can be chilly, unpredictable, and lovely! The trees look different every single day. The food is warm and comforting. The nights are cool enough to snuggle up under a blanket in front of the fireplace. It’s glorious!
I’ve put together this list of ways to have a cozy autumn. These are all the fun things that I like to do during this beautiful season, and I want to share them with you.
I’m not calling it a bucket list, though – I always feel like that puts pressure on us to “do all the things!” just so we can mark them off the list.
Please don’t do that. Instead, read through, decide what sounds like fun to you, and simply enjoy!
I used to do this every year as a kid, with my parents and grandparents. Such good memories! Yes, of course, you can just go to the grocery store and buy all the apples you want, but going to an orchard, seeing the trees, drinking some fresh cider. Maybe eating an apple fritter…mmmm… it’s not entirely about the apples; it’s about the whole orchard experience! If you have the opportunity, it’s a great way to spend a fall afternoon.
It doesn’t seem like fall until I spend a little time sitting next to a backyard fire. Roast some marshmallows, make some camper pies, make s’mores. Turn on a bit of music, throw on your coziest sweatshirt or jacket, and let that flickering flame lull you into relaxation.
Those gorgeous fall trees! I’m so happy to live in an area with a stunning fall; so many different types of leaves changing color, and HUNDREDS of maple trees with their bright red leaves. Wait for one of those crisp sunny days, take a leisurely drive, and just enjoy those colors!
If you’d rather hike than drive, why not collect some leaves along the way? Pinterest has some pretty amazing ideas on using them and bringing some of those autumn colors into your home.
I’m full-on showing my midwestern roots with this one, but I love a good corn maze! If you’ve never been, it’s exactly what it sounds like – a cornfield with a maze cut into it. And bonus, there’s often a pumpkin patch on site too. If you have a corn maze in your area, check it out this year!
Oktoberfest, pumpkin festivals, mum festivals, food festivals…it seems like there are dozens each year. There are so many that it can almost be overwhelming to choose, but I always try to make it to at least one. A quick Google or Facebook search can help you find the best fall festivals near you.
I don’t burn candles all year long. I’d love to, but it’s just too hot during the summer months. But as soon as the days become shorter and the nights cooler, I want candles lit all the time!
Fall scents are my favorite, so I tend to go into candle-overdrive. (If candles don’t work well for you due to young kiddos, pets, or health issues, flameless candles are a completely acceptable substitute. 😉)
I have a small admission to make – my mom is an award-winning quilter, so I have more quilts and blankets than anyone needs. But each fall, I find myself drawn to a new, cozy, fuzzy blanket. I have my eye on this one this year. Snuggling up under a blanket with a cup of something warm is the perfect cozy way to spend a rainy fall day!
Cool-weather = warm food! I’m pretty sure I could live on soup and chili all fall & winter long. But the cooking part is almost as good as the eating part. A pot of something yummy simmering on the stove for an afternoon makes the house smell warm and welcoming!
Here are a few of my favorite recipes:
Buffalo Chili Recipe – I add beans to this (because chili without beans is just sauce) and usually use ground beef.
Beef Barley Stew Recipe – This is one of my favorites!
I LOVE football. (I start counting down to football season around May each year.) But even if you’re not a sports fan, a football game is an experience. Fans all around you, for the same reason – to cheer on their team and enjoy the game! Not to mention the hot dogs, hoodies, and hot chocolate! Check out a pro, college, or local high school game for a fun fall afternoon.
This is so easy to do! It can be inexpensive and will make your home 10 times cozier! You don’t have to go all out, but a few fall garlands, a basket of apples, and some pumpkins or gourds placed around the house will bring that fall vibe indoors.
Why not have a little party to celebrate the new season? Each year in late September or early October, we host a Fall Welcoming Party for our friends, and it is the coziest! All you need is a pot of chili, some hot cider, a few snacks, and as many friends or family as you’d like to invite. It doesn’t need to be anything big or fancy; just spend a little time with the people you love, celebrating the season. Play a few games or just visit next to the fire.
Along with a new cozy blanket, the first day with a chill in the air, and I start sweater shopping for something comfy, cute, and oversized to snuggle into. I mean, there’s a reason we call it sweater weather, right? I have my eye on this one right now.
Many people think of farmer’s markets as a summer event, but autumn is where it’s at! Sunflowers, pumpkins, apples, and squash are in season. Everything just looks so beautiful (and yummy)!
There’s a reason that so many people take family photos in the fall. For Christmas cards! Just kidding…but the timing does work out pretty well. During the autumn months, the natural lighting is just a little more filtered, the changing leaves make a perfect background, and you can wear cute layered outfits. Take some new family photos or just get outside and take pictures of the fall colors to frame and hang on your wall!
I mentioned candles earlier, but that’s not the only way to bring the scent of fall into your home. Try out some stovetop simmer recipes, like this one. Notice the scents that happen naturally during the season and bring them home with you!
At least once during the fall months, go outside and watch the sunset. It happens a little earlier every day; soon, it will be winter and you’ll miss that sunshine!
It’s just too hot to have the oven on in the summer. So when fall hits, take advantage of the cooler weather and let your oven warm up the house. You don’t have to bake anything fancy, but fresh cookies make everything better, don’t they?
Fall, in my opinion, is the very best time for a camping trip. It’s cool enough at night to sit by the fire and sleep all snuggled up. But it’s still warm enough during the day to go out and enjoy nature. Plan a tent camping trip, rent a cabin, or even just camp out in the backyard, but get out there and enjoy it before you’re stuck inside all winter long.
Another good one for a rainy day. Plan an entire day to spend on the couch, in your pajamas, snuggled in a blanket, watching your favorite movies.
I know some people have reasons for going straight from air conditioning to heating. But as soon as I can, and for as long as I possibly can, our windows are open! Appreciate the chance to get some fresh air into the house before winter comes.
I’ll drink hot coffee all summer long, because…coffee. But it’s so much better when it’s chilly outside! Dig out your favorite mug and a hot chocolate recipe, or check out that coffee shop around the corner that you haven’t gotten around to trying yet.
Love it or hate it, fall means winter is on the way. (I’m solidly on the “love” side of this one.) Go through your hats and scarves, wash or replace them as needed. If you knit or crochet, make something new!
Do something nice for someone else. It doesn’t have to be big, but even a small act of kindness will bring a smile to both of your faces. (This isn’t limited to autumn, but I will take every chance I get to mention it…the world needs more smiles.)
And finally, if you don’t do anything else on this list, do this. Look around you, notice what is changing. Autumn is such a season of change, and every single day, something will be just a little different. Take the time to pause and notice.
Check out these ideas!
What are your favorite fall activities? I’d love to hear your ideas!