Another summer has passed, but there’s no need to fret about it! There are oodles of fun things to do this time of year, even if they look a little bit different than they did in the past. We know we’re not the only ones who get excited to romp around in air that’s cool and crisp, jump in a pile of leaves, watch the trees turn colors, and taste the first pumpkin-spice-anything of the season. Instead of mourning summer, let’s revel in all things Fall, and to help you do just that, we’ve rounded up a host of classic activities. The best part: all of these fun ideas can easily accommodate the socially distant times we’re living in and still feel totally special!
Here’s a question for the ages: what could be more autumnal than visiting a pick-your-own orchard? When the apple trees are laden with fruit and the weather calls for a cute sweater, well...it’s enough to make you forget about summer for a minute. Apple picking happens during a short-ish window of time, with some varieties ripening earlier in the season than others, so it’s smart to check with your local orchard at least a week ahead of time to see what’s ready for picking. This way, you can pre-plan your visit around your preferred varieties—no one wants to get stuck with only Golden Delicious when all they really want are the Crispin, right? Happily, most pick-your-own orchards are adapting their businesses to protect visitors and staff from the coronavirus with timed entry tickets to ensure everyone has plenty of personal space. Pick-your-own farms often feature another fall staple, the corn maze, so you might be able to make your trip to the orchard into a two-for-one! Pro tip: pick up extra apple cider donuts to freeze––they last a couple of months in the freezer when stored properly.
While pumpkin picking is another ideal fall activity with built-in social distance (there’s only so close you can be to someone else when there’s a ginormous gourd separating the space between you), it’s also totally understandable if you’d rather keep your pumpkins small this fall. Save the heavy lifting and messy carving for next year; pick up some mini pumpkins at a grocery store instead. Little pumpkins have the added benefits of being less time-consuming to decorate due to their smaller surface area, which means that you don’t need to spend all day for adorable results. You can set up a decorating station outside or inside, but it’s definitely more autumnal (and easier to clean up) if you opt to do it outdoors. Spread out newspapers and lay down a few paper plates for palettes, plus inexpensive brushes, acrylic paint, and water jars. Hint: the results are always better if you draw your design on the pumpkin before you lay on the paint. For added décor impact, plug in the ole’ hot glue gun and add some pizzazz with fabric, cotton balls, or even dried leaves. Want some instant comedy? Glue on craft-store googly eyes for a surefire crowd-pleaser (er, make that quar-pod pleaser).
There is something majestic about fall foliage, even though we know that it is just chlorophyll breaking down. Still, it’s mesmerizing to see nature put on such a colorful display, and it’s made all the more magical by its brief occurrence. Avert the needless calamity of planning an outing with only bare branches; it’s best to check foliage reports in your area to make sure you’re catching the color change at its peak. One major plus about this fall activity is that it’s easy to do it safely. Try a nature walk or hike for an interactive leaf-peeping experience, or organize either a short drive or a longer road trip through the fall foliage so that every member of the household (including small children, elderly relatives, and people with reduced mobility) can partake in the fun.
DIY Pumpkin Spice Drinks
There are those among us who do not refer to it as fall, but instead choose to call this time of year “pumpkin spice season.” We won’t argue with them—or turn down a yummy store-made latte. But it’s easy enough to whip up your own version of this fall fave at home, meaning you can adjust the amount of pumpkin-to-coffee ratio to your exact liking...or spike it with alcohol if you’re feeling particularly decadent. Go to town and create a PSL from scratch with a well-reviewed recipe like this one or fake it in one step with a pumpkin spice creamer. If a little pumpkin spice goes a long way for you, consider a fall-friendly drink alternative like mulled cider or mulled wine––basically warmed versions of cider and wine with seasonal spices. If you must, get the ubiquitous pumpkin beer or ale...but we warn you now that you’ll love it for approximately half a bottle before you wonder how to use up the rest of that six pack. Get rid of it deliciously with this recipe for pumpkin beer bread. You’re welcome, in advance.
Even More Fall Fun Ideas…
Not feeling the options listed above? No worries, we’ve got plenty more to try!
Watch Some Football
Fall is all about football, but this year, most of it will be on TV. That’s cool––it means no long bathroom lines to wait in and a better view, in all likelihood. Tailgate in the driveway with your quar-pod before or after the game to add back the IRL component.
Make a Safe Campfire
A controlled campfire is the premier setting for telling spooky stories, roasting marshmallows, or both. The combo of chilly air plus a toasty fire is a true fall classic; but you’ll need to take appropriate safety precautions and be responsible. If your area doesn’t allow it, buy a campfire-scented candle like this fancy one or this less-expensive version instead.
Visit A Vineyard
So many states have vineyards now, it’s honestly hard to keep track. Fall makes the ideal time—not scorching hot, not freezing cold––to wander through the vines and partake in some outdoor tastings. You might even catch sight of the winemakers harvesting and crushing grapes depending your location.
See a Drive-in Movie
You know what’s not very fun? Being stuck inside of a hot car on a hot night for hours at a time. Thank you, dear Fall season, for making drive-in movies comfortable again. Blockbusters were meant to be seen on a big screen, after all.
Make Homemade Halloween Candy
Dried leaves, pinecones, and acorns aren’t only for raking and kicking around the yard. Some floral foam, a hot glue gun, and a little effort are all it takes to turn what would have been debris into a lovely wreath, table centerpiece, or a memorable keepsake.
Organize a Game Night
Bring a competitive edge to your quarantine group’s autumn weekends with an organized game night. Cards are always a good choice, but you’ll win points if you break out the old Clue board game. Double points if you go all-out and make the whole evening murder-mystery themed. Expand the circle—even across time zones—with interactive murder-mystery games like this one that are designed specifically for Zoom and other video chat services.
Change Over Your Closet
Sweater Season is close at hand, folks. We admit that we get legitimately excited to edit our closets for the coming season. This is the time to dream up new outfits with what you have on hand, donate what you don’t wear, and look for new pieces to round everything out. Sixoneosix stocks outfit-completers and dresses in addition to our super-cute swimwear, FYI!