We’ve put together the ultimate fall bucket list to help you celebrate the season.

By Emily VanSchmus
Updated August 11, 2020
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Put on your coziest sweater, grab a blanket scarf, and get ready to buy every pumpkin in the patch, because fall is just around the corner. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, fall doesn’t officially begin until the first day of the autumnal equinox (this year it happens on September 23), but we’ve been ready for sweater weather and fall foliage for months. 

And while this fall might look different than years' past due to social distancing guidelines and pandemic-related restrictions, there are still plenty of safe fall activities to partake in. To get you in the seasonal spirit, we’re sharing our ultimate fall bucket list. It’s full of all the quintessential fall activities you can’t miss—like carving a pumpkin—as well as ideas for new fall traditions to start, like making a delicious pumpkin bread recipe or helping a neighbor rake leaves. You can even download our free fall bingo card to check off each item as you go.

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1. Go to a Pumpkin Patch

Gourds, mums, and apple cider—it just wouldn’t be fall without a trip to the pumpkin patch! Whether you’re there for the memories or to pick the best pumpkin for carving, this is one fall tradition you just can’t miss. If you’re looking for something even more extravagant to do with the family this year, check out one of the most amazing pumpkin displays around the country. 

2. Drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte

As soon as Starbucks’ classic Pumpkin Spice Latte is back in stores, it will officially feel like fall. A hot, spiced drink is completely necessary this time of year (whether the leaves have started falling or not!) and we can never say no to a splash of pumpkin. Hit the local coffee shop drive-through for your daily dose of pumpkin spice or make your own PSL at home

3. Bake Pumpkin Bread

If you've already mastered homemade banana bread while in quarantine this year, switch it up with a seasonal favorite. Our spiced pumpkin bread recipe is filled with all the best flavors of fall and is easy to make. If you just can't get enough of the combination of nutmeg, cloves, and pumpkin, try our pumpkin pull-apart loaf next!

4. Roast Marshmallows

There’s something about crisp fall evenings that makes us want to gather around a warm fire and roast marshmallows. You don’t need a fancy fire pit or a big bonfire—just fire up the backyard grill! Of course, you’ll want to stock up on all kinds of chocolate and graham crackers too so your family members can make their own delicious s’mores desserts.

Blaine Moats

5. Eat a Caramel Apple

There’s not a better combination than warm, gooey caramel and crisp, crunchy apples—and this fall treat is almost as fun to decorate as it is to eat! Make one of these 13 scrumptious caramel apple recipes or try these marbled caramel apples.

6. Donate the Summer Clothes You Never Wore

As you transition your closet from sundresses to sweaters, take stock of what you have. Any spring and summer clothes you didn’t wear this year can go right into the donate pile—that way, they can be worn by someone else rather than taking up extra storage space. Before you plan a dropoff, review these 5 helpful tips for donating to Goodwill and consider calling the store to double-check their dropoff policy hasn't changed due to the pandemic.

Peter Cade/Getty Images

7. Pick Apples

Going to the pumpkin patch is about as "fall" as you can get, but a trip to a local apple orchard is also a must-do. Before you go, read up on the types of apples so you know exactly which ones to pick for all the irresistible apple desserts you’ll be making this season. Plus, orchards are usually a great place to snap a family pic so you can get the Christmas card photo checked off your list. As with all fall activities this year, be sure to wear a mask and practice proper social distancing. 

8. Plant Spring Bulbs

When the leaves begin to change, planting spring flowers is probably the last thing you’re thinking about—but you should be! For spring flowers like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinth, fall is the best time to get the bulbs in the ground. If you’re not sure how to plant spring bulbs, we can walk you through the entire process (it’s easy!). 

Jason Donnelly

9. Carve a Pumpkin

While we can’t wait to don our coziest blanket sweaters and jump into a pile of leaves, the arrival of fall means Halloween is just around the corner—and if you needed an excuse to start making jack-o’-lanterns, this is it! Whether you use cookie cutters to carve your pumpkins or do it the old-fashioned way, our hundreds of free printable pumpkin stencils will help you get started. Once you’ve carved the perfect design, use one of our best tips to make your Halloween pumpkins last longer

10. Go on a Nature Walk

Taking a stroll around the neighborhood has health benefits at any time of year, but it’s extra enjoyable when you can admire colorful fall foliage as you walk. Take the dog around the block or plan a time to grab to-go coffee with your girlfriends and take a long stroll through the park.

11. Make Your Halloween Costume

Don't wait until the last minute to start your DIY Halloween costume this year. The holiday will likely look a bit different this year, but that doesn't mean you can't have the best homemade costumes on the block. Plus, costumes will get an upgrade this year with these matching Halloween face masks that are available for kids and adults alike.

12. Decorate a Pumpkin

If it feels too early to carve a jack-o’-lantern, paint your pumpkins for fall instead. Stock up on white pumpkins and unusual gourds to decorate your mantel or front porch, and add a few coats of paint. We love the farmhouse look of a gingham pumpkin—and it’s actually easier than it looks!

Jay Wilde

13. Make a Fall Craft

On the chilliest of fall days, it can be so tempting to light your favorite candles and stay inside all day—which is the perfect excuse to break out the fall crafts! Make a pretty fall wreath, decorate your front porch for the season, or choose one of our other easy fall craft ideas

14. Jump in a Pile of Leaves

Raking the lawn is not one of our favorite fall activities—but there’s nothing like jumping into the finished pile of crunchy orange leaves! Get the whole family together to build the ultimate leaf pile, then spend the afternoon playing in the fall foliage. This fall activity would also make a great Christmas card photo!

15. Bake Apple Pie

After you’ve hit the apple orchard and stocked up on all the Honeycrisp and red delicious apples you can eat, it’s time to start peeling and slicing because you know we’ll be making at least one apple pie this season. Opt for a classic apple pie recipe (just like Grandma used to make) or turn your ingredients into bite-size apple pie pops

16. Decorate with Fall Colors

Take inspiration from the trees outside and bring the bright colors of fall indoors. Look through our favorite fall decorating ideas to get inspiration for your own space. 

17. Burn Your Favorite Fall Candle

There are so many ways to make your home smell like fall, but burning seasonal candles is one of our favorites. Bath & Body Works’ fall candle line is full of seriously swoon-worthy scents (hello, Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte) and they even have a selection of spooky Halloween candles too.

Andy Lyons

18. Drink Warm Apple Cider

If a pumpkin spice-flavored drink isn’t your thing, opt for a hot mug of classic apple cider instead. Before your next fall gathering, make a batch to serve directly from the stove, or spice up a grown-up party by mixing up a few apple cider cocktails

19. Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Nobody really likes scooping guts out of a pumpkin, but one thing we do love is eating roasted pumpkin seeds. Next time you carve jack-o’-lanterns, don’t be so quick to scoop the insides straight into the trash. Seeds from carving pumpkins and pie pumpkins work best, so we recommend skipping seeds from decorative white pumpkins or gourds. 

20. Make a Blanket Scarf

We’ve waited patiently all summer to be able to wear blanket scarves again, and it’s finally time to start thinking about cozy flannels. Instead of buying a new one this year, repurpose an old chunky sweater by cutting up pieces and sewing them together. Or, use our no-sew blanket scarf tutorial to turn leftover flannel material into a cozy accessory.

21. Help a Neighbor Rake Leaves

We’re all about doing acts of kindness this fall, and this is one of the easiest ways to help someone out. Raking leaves is (unfortunately) a necessity in the fall, and it can be hard work. If you’re able, take on an elderly neighbor’s yard when you rake your own. They’re sure to appreciate it!

Blaine Moats

22. Plan Your Thanksgiving Menu

It might feel like Thanksgiving is still a long time away, but it’ll be here before we know it—and you’ll definitely want to have your turkey dinner planned out. Whether you’re making all the old classics this year or making a new dish, take a few minutes this month to plan out the menu and coordinate who will cook what. If you need inspiration, choose recipes from our delicious Thanksgiving menu ideas.

23. Learn to Knit

As the weather gets cooler, we'll be looking for more activities to do indoors. To keep yourself from going stir-crazy this fall, pick up a new hobby. These DIY craft kits kept us sane during quarantine (plus activities like knitting and crocheting can help lower stress levels), so there's never been a better time to pick up a pair of knitting needles. If you need help getting started, we can help you learn how to knit.

24. Make Chili

Outdoor summer activities can be a blast, but fall might be our favorite season—and nothing says fall like a fresh pot of chili. Whip up one of our slow cooker chili recipes to fill your house with the comforting smell, or put leftover pumpkin to good use by making our delicious harvest chicken lentil chili

Comments (1)

Anonymous
October 19, 2019
Why would you tell people to donate summer clothing at this time of year? Do you think needy people will be looking for summer clothes with winter coming? Really. That’s the most thoughtless, self serving thing I’ve ever heard of. More appropriate would be for people to go through their winter clothes that they are taking out now for the season and decide what might be really helpful to donate.