Cozy sweaters, boots, multicolored leaves, football, more boots, trails of candy corn, spooky décor, cooler temperatures (did we say boots?) and pumpkin-flavored everything … as summer winds down and we fall into fall, this is just a sample of what we’re looking forward to this season.
While there may not be an immediate shift in weather with the autumnal equinox coming Sept. 22 – especially where we are in Florida – we can’t wait for all the fall festivities.
Besides the bugs *hopefully* slowing down their feasts on us while we get ready for our own feasts this Thanksgiving, there are a few extra things we are excited about experiencing these next few months. If you are looking to create your own fall fun, the Bug Bite Thing team built a checklist of autumn activities for you to cross off with us.
10 Ways to Embrace the Autumn Spirit:
Pumpkin spice season is also known to many as apple season. To enjoy this fall favorite, throw on a flannel shirt, grab a basket and plan a day at an orchard. Depending on where you live or choose to visit, the orchard activities might also include a corn maze, hayrides or sweet treats like caramel apples and apple pies. No apple orchards in your area? Check out which other fruit-picking options might be in your area this season, such as oranges or strawberries, or go “pick” from the local pumpkin patch if you prefer to stick to fall flavors. Before you head out, remember that bees are busy during the fall as they prepare for the winter. Make your own preparations by packing a Bug Bite Thing in your pocket or bag.
Drink hot cider.
Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Whether you picked each apple from its tree or carefully chose them from Trader Joe’s, put them to good use in a hot mug of cider. For a sweet cider that will leave your house smelling like autumn, we love this Instant Pot recipe. Like it spiked? Try this mulled apple cider cocktail (P.S. We like it with a bourbon twist). Enjoy it under the stars or in front of the fireplace for the ultimate fall sensory experience.
- Rake leaves.
Yes, we know, it’s something we’ll probably get sick of relatively soon, but that first rake of the season is pretty satisfying. Witnessing all those beautiful colors and crunching sounds lets us know autumn is here to stay for a while. If there is extra time – and kids around – a good jump in the pile of leaves is worth the second rake, too.
Watch (or play!) football.
For many, fall = football. The season brings college games, NFL, high school homecomings and youth football, offering a multitude of touchdowns, field goals and interceptions to watch. If you are unable to attend a game this year, create your own tailgate party at home. Fire up the grill or Crock Pot, prepare the chips and dips, grab a cold beer and let the games begin.
Build a scarecrow.
Scarecrows have long been part of autumn décor, but it’s not often we get to see the life-sized version outside of a farm. For a fun way to add some character to your porch or garden this fall, how about a D-I-Y scarecrow? Whether you prop her up on stakes to keep the birds away or have him seated in a rocking chair out front, the steps are pretty simple. Grab clothes from the thrift store and filling materials like hay and wooden planks, then get to work. The activity is entertaining for kids and adults, especially if you top it off with a Jack-o-Lantern for the head.
Make your own pumpkin spice latte.
The pumpkin spice trend appears earlier and earlier each year, this year starting in August. By early September, practically every coffee shop in the nation is hawking a pumpkin spice latte. We’re not complaining, but if you want to take your latte to the next level, try brewing your own. We especially love this dairy-free drink that includes real pumpkin. This easy, homemade concoction is anything but “basic” and is much easier on the wallet than the average shockingly sweet espresso to-go.
Carve a pumpkin.
From scooping the guts to roasting the seeds, carving a pumpkin is a seasonal staple. Thanks to Pinterest, getting creative with your carving is easier than ever. There are tons of step-by-step instructions and innovative designs for inspiration. If you’re not a fan of the goop – which we think is half the fun – that’s ok, too. The pumpkin painting options are endless.
Take a bike ride in the woods.
There is nothing like the feeling of a fall breeze mixed with woodsy scents and sights of foliage changing to yellow and red. To experience autumn in its freshest form, mountain bike along a wooded trail or check out the nearest national or state park. A simple jaunt around the neighborhood is also nice if you’re traveling with young kids. While you won’t build up the same sweat you did over the summer, your senses will appreciate the newness of the season. Learn the trail in advance and pack appropriately for the length and location of your ride. Depending on the weather, you may choose to bring a jacket or sunscreen (or both), water, snacks and simple first aid supplies, including a Bug Bite Thing.
Host a backyard scary movie night.
We would be remiss if we did not include at least one spooky idea on this list of autumn activities. Scary movies are a Halloween must-have, but to make them extra eerie, take the film outside and into the dark. Buy or rent a projector, screen and speaker, then gather your coziest blankets, pillows, chairs or an air mattress. Snacks like popcorn and pizza are easy go-tos. If you’re feeling frightfully fancy, run amuck with movie-themed recipes inspired by “Hocus Pocus” or a horror movie spread a la “Nightmare on Elm Street” or “The Blair Witch Project.” To go full werewolf mode, opt for the outdoor movie night under a full moon, which appears Thursday, Oct. 1 and Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.
Create a care box.
To counteract the creepy scenes from the last activity on the list, it’s important to recognize that fall is also a season of gratitude. Do you know someone who could use a little extra care and appreciation this time of year? Create a care box for someone you love or someone you may not have met yet. Ideas include Support Our Troops® Care Packages, happy surprises for residents of local assisted living homes, and helpful supplies for first responders and those displaced by the fires in the western United States. Consider packing non-perishable food items, self-care products and a few Bug Bite Thing suction tools for those who spend time outdoors. If you plan to give to a group you do not know personally, we recommend working with a verified donation drive or contacting the receiving organization before sending items.
These are just a few of our favorite things we can’t wait to experience this fall. What are some of your preferred autumn activities? Please share your ideas with us and other readers in the comments below.