1. Go apple picking. (and then use said apples to make homemade apple pie–consider your go-to recipe found here) Of course, the point of apple picking is to get apples, but it’s really all about the experience. It’s so much more fun to get your apples by picking them off of a tree yourself, while surrounded by loved ones, in the crisp weather, wearing your favorite fall sweater. We love Carter Mountain in Charlottesville, because of the beautiful scenery/experience and also because of must-do #2.
2. Eat your fill of Apple cider donuts. Particularly, from Carter Mountain–we seriously haven’t found any better. So while you’re Apple picking, do yourself a favor and buy a 12 pack of hot apple cider donuts. These are melt in your mouth good and you will not be disappointed.
3. Make an apple cider cocktail. We especially love this apple cider margherita from Fabtastic Eats. I’m all about finding new uses for Apple cider and this one is a must-try. ((This mama has been making a mock-tail version that involves Apple Cider & La Croix for some sparkling factor, but I am quite ready to get back to the real deal in around 4 weeks 🙂 ))
4. Carve a pumpkin. Whether you carve a face or a special design, or would rather carve a pumpkin into a Mums holder like this one, carving pumpkins is just a fall rite of passage. Trust me, your inner ten year old will thank you.
5. Take a bike ride or a long walk to soak in all the fall colors. Matt and I love walks outside. They’re the perfect time to unwind, say hello to neighbors, appreciate nature and all the ways our neighbors decorate for fall. No shame in finding new inspiration from surrounding homes! PSA: If you’re looking for insta Fall home inspiration, check out the hashtag #shutthefrontporch. You won’t be disappointed!
6. Decorate with all the fall foliage. While you’re on that walk, collect some acorns and brightly colored leaves. I’m serious, some of the best decor is natural and (heyyy) free! I like to display the foliage in some glass bowls, along with the mums, pumpkins & gourds that I can’t seem to help myself from buying.
7. Light a fall spiced candle and cozy up with a good book or magazine. I’m such a sucker for Yankee Candle. They have this scent called Spiced Pumpkin that is my absolute favorite (and lit right now as I write!). The good news is that they often go on sale so wait until there’s a deal.
8. Watch the 13 Nights of Halloween on FreeForm While you’re cozied up with that candle, tune into the seasonal movies on TV. I must say, I don’t like scary movies. As in my threshold for scary is Harry Potter. But Free Form plays some classics come mid-October that always put me in the fall mood ((not that I need it buuuuut)) 😉
9. Go to or host a bonfire. Fall is THE time to host or attend a bonfire. Bring out that flannel, some s’mores and some good friends and you are all set for the perfect evening.
10. Watch some football and make/eat tailgating food. We’re partial to the Redskins but only because Matt has been a forever fan. This buffalo chicken dip has become a favorite of ours and if I get really creative this year, I may try my hand at soft pretzels as well.
11. Make something pumpkin to eat. If you’re looking for sweet, this pumpkin-snickerdoodle recipe is a winner! If you’re looking for savory, this pumpkin apple soup with bacon compote is out of this world. Seriously. I have made this soup twice in the past month for Matt and I to eat for lunches and each time I feel like I am eating Fall in a bowl.
12. Attend a Fall festival or fair. Our favorite is held in Fairfax city, probably because we get to walk out our front door and there it is, but find one that is local to you and you’ll get to know the restauranteurs and artisans of your city!
13. Use your crockpot. Let’s be honest, Fall can often feel like the busiest time of the year, especially coming right out of summer. What better time to make dinners easy (or a whole week of lunches) by using your crockpot? Be on the lookout for a Chicken Tikka Masala Crockpot recipe that Matt and I regularly use and enjoy.
14. Make a Fall craft. Whether it’s making a Fall wreath or a sign, or sewing your own t-shirt blanket, Fall is the perfect time to cozy up and get your creative juices flowing.
15. Play outside. I know we’re not kids anymore, but Fall is the last chance to really enjoy the outdoors before Winter comes so we might as well live it up, right? Whether that’s swinging in the local park, raking and then jumping in a pile of leaves or playing football outside, it’s good to let your inner kid out every once in a while. Sundays are Matt and my favorite day for this. 🙂
So there’s our 2017 fall must-dos and here’s to savoring every moment of the season!