As the dog days of summer draw to a close, who among us doesn’t find ourselves dreaming of hoodies, horror movies, and pumpkin spice lattes? At the very least, many of us are ready to bid adieu to high temps, humidity, and bugs.
Autumn is a wonderful season of celebrations, and for many, it’s their favorite season of all. With good reason! Here’s a list of 10 ways you can get yourself in the mood for fall, even if you’re still battling triple digits at the moment.
Wonderful Wine Tastings
In the United States, wine harvest times vary slightly, but most of them occur late August through early October. This makes fall the perfect time to go wine tasting! While the Napa Valley may well top your autumn wine travel list, be aware that smaller wineries near you may also offer a host of fun fall harvest activities.
Fabulous (Free!) Fall Festivals
Just about every town in America has their own version of Oktoberfest, and it doesn’t have to be all about the beer (although beer certainly can play a part in the celebrations). Oftentimes, entrance is free or very inexpensive, and drink and food tickets can likewise often be obtained relatively cheaply.
Many of these festivals feature rides and entertainment appropriate for all ages, so even those who choose to party sober can nevertheless enjoy the sights, smells, and delish German foods.
Make a Photo Collage of Fall Fun
Going out to jump in the leaves, having that post-feast game of touch football, and even that memorable first Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbucks all deserve to be memorialized! Scrapbooking has long been in vogue, but few outside of family want to sit and page through one.
Instead, create a fun wall collage! You can adorn it with any of the particularly aesthetically-pleasing leaves you find throughout the season, and laminate and frame it for a long-lasting work of art you’ll be proud to show off on your wall and add to with the changing of the seasons.
Learn How to Master Winter Squash Soup
Nothing says cooler temps like a nice, steamy bowl of soup! And butternut squash soup not only is seasonal, it is positively delicious! You can find over 30 ways to prepare squash soup here, or, once you get the knack, experiment a bit with your own recipes and spices.
Plus studies show that those who begin their evening meal with soup consume fewer calories overall, so adding some butternut squash soup to the mix may not only help you welcome fall but also get a head start at preventing any extra winter pounds you may be worried about.
Get Ready for Some Football – and Baseball
Fall is a sports fan’s delight! You have the baseball playoffs starting in September and culminating with the World Series in October. Fall also brings a return to football, of course! So bust out your favorite team’s jersey!
Remember, too, it’s never too early to get in on the fun by joining your company’s fantasy football leagues or by placing small, fun bets (paying for drinks, anyone?) if your team makes it to the Series.
Roast up Some Homemade Pumpkin Seeds
Don’t lie: the best part of carving the Halloween pumpkin is the seeds! Don’t wastefully just toss in the garbage. Instead, rinse the pulp from the seeds, coat lightly with olive oil, add sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, heat in a 350-degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, and enjoy. Or, add spicy flavors like cayenne, or even sweet, like honey or mango. You can find pumpkin seed recipes online very easily. In no time, you’ll have a fall treat high in protein and iron and low in bad fats.
Hit the Halloween Horror Circuit
Scream parks are now scarier than ever! So put on your brave panties and head to one of your local scream parks. Many parks now feature realistic 4-D light and laser experience complete with real escape rooms, etc., to allow attendees to simulate what they would do in an actual survival situation.
Remember, there is “safety” in numbers, so bring along your friends and create some creepilicious memories together!
Or Just Curl up in Cozy PJs for a Horror Movie Marathon
If you’re not that much of the adventurous type, but still looking to have some Halloween fun, bust out the air popper, order in some takeout, and have a Halloween horror movie jammie-jam!
Sleepovers aren’t just for kids, and won’t you be happy you are surrounded by friends once the masked slasher starts a-slashing in earnest? If you really want to take you and your friends back to childhood, throw in a game of truth or dare during commercial breaks.
Brainstorm Personalized Friendsgiving Gifts Ahead of Time
Whether you’re doing a traditional family Thanksgiving or a more modern Friendsgiving, generate some hype for the event by brainstorming and then making fun, cute party favors to give out to your guests! Making things like your own napkin rings and wine charms adds a truly personal touch to your meal and it can give guests something cute to take home with them as well!
Make a List of What You are Grateful for
Last but certainly not least, autumn is traditionally the season to reflect on our harvest or all the good things we have in life. Why not start a fall gratitude journal where you keep track of the little things that make you feel grateful each day?
It may be anything as small as when your coworker treats the office to her amazing coffee cake, or something larger, like a new home or job. Either way, by keeping a journal, you’ll never be the one left stammering at the Thanksgiving table when it’s time to give thanks for your many blessings.
May you have the best, most blessed, fall ever!