Compiling the list of 45 things to do this Autumn, or fall as they say across the pond, was very easy because they are all my favourite things to do. Truth is I could have listed more but one has to draw a line somewhere, right?
Autumn is my favourite season, in fact I have discovered that is true for most people. I adore the colours, the changes in nature, the need for jumpers and harvest time! When you make a bucket list it can feel pressuring so think of this as an entirely optional list. A list that you can look to on a day when you are searching for something small to do. There you see no pressure this is not a must do list more of an if you fancy this list.
A season can race by before you have managed to fully embrace it.
I have spoken before about my mental health and how that impacts on my life. Everyone is different and I have been medicated and free of meds but in both cases feeling like I am making a positive impact on my life and making choices that are good me is immensely beneficial.
Having ownership of one’s own mental state is incredibly important.
Being out in nature or connected to nature in some way is at the forefront of so many mindfullness and mental health studies with good reason. Stripping away the trappings of modern life from time to time allows us to recharge. I am not anti tech, I am a blogger for goodness sake but there is a time and a place for tech.
Okay so here in Northern Europe Autumn can take a long time, or at least it can seem that way but that is no reason why we should not make sure that we fully embrace it before the long haul of Winter. Since having children I have tried to get them to make a bucket list or wish list for the seasons so that we can make sure they have a say in family activities so some of these suggestions come directly from Sebastian – see if you can guess which ones.
50 things to do this Autumn/Fall
- Visit a pumpkin patch. This is one of the first years we have not grown squash or pumpkins so we are eager to visit a pumpkin patch. There are lots of pick your own farms you can check their site or call to see what they have grown this year and when they are ready to be picked. Then you can enjoy making lovely pumpkin recipes.
- Go leaf scrunching. This one comes with a warning as sometimes there is dog poop in those piles of leaves, maybe reserve this for an area that has huge signs saying no dogs allowed or your own garden.
- Go on a foraging walk. Remember to be mindful when you collect things as some animals will be searching for seeds to eat during winter. Even if you are not great with an ordinance survey map, and I am not the National Trust has lists of country walks that are easy to follow.
- Drink hot chocolate. I am not talking about our run of the mill instant kind, hell no, step it up. You could make your own hot chocolate spoons or step it up even further by making salted caramel hot chocolate.
- See some fireworks. Please stay safe with fireworks and go to an organised display. We are lucky to have one that uses quiet fireworks so they still make a bang but do not have additional sounds and screeches added so they cause less stress for animals and people with sensory issues.
Shorter days don’t mean you have to hibernate
- Forget summer picnic, well for now anyway eat outdoors in Autumn. Eat by a fire in your back garden. Eat pie and peas wrapped in a blanket and embrace the weather before t gets too cold.
- Pick some apples. We are fortunate to have apples growing in our garden but even if you don’t apples are everywhere. I see them growing on many roadsides and there are lots of community growing schemes so look out for one near you. Once you have picked your apples it is time to bake them or find a local apple day. At our local apple day you can have them pressed for cider! Check out my favourite apple recipes.
- Make and eat soup. I know that you can eat soup all year but the colder weather is the real start of soup season.
- Draw something outdoors. I am a huge advocate of the importance of creativity, process far outweigh outcome. Drawing nature outside will make you appreciate it and observe it in a new way.
- Carve a pumpkin. We are not big Halloween people but it is fun to carve pumpkins and make some that aren’t scary.
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree” – Emily Bronte
- Play conkers. As a child I read a book called The Conker As Hard As A Diamond and became obsessed with playing. I still suck at playing but it is fun and timeless.
- Read a new book/s. Autumn and winter are my reading times I am always catching up on the reading for the year.
- Buy a new jumper. Or new to you. For ages I wondered what all the fuss was with regard to cashmere. Well it is bloody warm! It is also expensive so I keep an eye on Ebay and local second hand shops and now have 2 cashmere jumpers for less than £30.
- Get knitting. Knitting is brilliant and lowers blood pressure – although this is not the case when I attempt lace knitting. There are very easy patterns out there and you can search according to your skillset. I suffer from joint pain and knitting actually helps this, read more here.
- Visit a country house. There is something wonderful about country houses and gardens in autumn. The rich were great collectors of specimen trees and the fall season will give you some stunning displays. Then you can pop into the house to look around and there is usually a place to drink hot tea.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” L.M. Montgomery
- Drink cocktails. Having a cockatail in the evening screams mad men for me but it also sounds like jolly good fun. My very favourite place to look for cocktail recipes is over at A Beautiful Mess, they have traditional, wacky and everything in between.
- Make crumpets. Hot buttered crumpets are the business and after Sebastian and I read the Christmassaurus we discovered they are a favourite of the elves also!
- Make a sweet pie. Yes Thanksgiving is an American thing and it has some pretty dark connotations of the slaughter of indigenous people. That being said there are two things I like about it. The sweet pies and the giving thanks. I see many of my American friends writing thankful notes to hand out over dinner and that is nice. I have my pumpkin pie filling down now and this year I will be making a rum raisin and re working my sweet potato so keep your eyes peeled.
- Go on a ghost walk. This is something that has been on my to do list for a long time. I am actually not a fan of scary stuff so I am hoping that they are actually quite tame and that there are no real ghosts. This one looks great plus it is in York which is a remarkably beautiful city to walk around.
- Practice photography. This time of year is great as you can get those sunrises without getting out of bed at stupid o clock. You also get some lovely sunsets and inverse clouds. Misty mornings, wet weather leaving glistening buildings and frosty spiderwebs.
“Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard,” Walt Whitman
- Buy scented candles. Those evenings with warm jumpers and bed socks are here and with that is the smell of damp dog, well in my house anyway. My favourite candles at the moment are the St Eval ones.
- Write a real letter. Get the paper out, sit by the window and write a real letter to a friend. Put your scarf on and walk to the post box. Believe me this will be deeply satisfying.
- Watch an old movie. I love an old movie, back before great CGI when a great film had to be great because the script and the acting was on point. I also love a good musical. Here are a few of my favourites; Thoroughly Modern Milly, Pillow Talk, Arsenic & Old Lace.
- Visit an idyllic village, (or small town). This is a great time of year to start hunting for wonderful independent makers ready to start your Christmas shopping. If you are UK based may I suggest you visit Beverley or Frome. Just think you could combine this with the take a train journey and practice photography.
- Go on a coastal walk. There is something wonderfully romantic about the blustery British coast and facing the elements or perhaps I have been watching Demelza walking along the headland in Poldark too much.
- Dry some seed pods. Go walking and find some seed pods to take home and dry in a vase.
- Discover a new band. Check out Bandcamp, ask friends, mooch in your local record store. Then sit back and listen, don’t multi task, just listen to some tunes.
- Buy new stationery. I was never a fan of the new school year. I was not popular, in fact I was very naff and bullied. I did however enjoy getting new stationery. All those pencils and blank notebooks are filled with promise.
“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
- Visit a museum. This is a great time of year to explore what the great indoors has to offer and what better than a museum. A building filled with echoes of the past as the days start to echo the summer.
- Make jam. The last of the berries and the first of the apples. The jam will be a homage to summer every time you spoon it onto hot toast.
- Did you know that this is the ideal time for you to make your Christmas Pudding. They also make great hamper gifts too.
- Whilst we are in the kitchen why not take a weekend to fill your freezer with homemade meals that way you can make the most of your time and ensure you and your family are eating home cooked food free from preservatives and hidden salt and sugar. Check out some of my freeze ahead options, I am always updating this list to add new recipes as soon as I perfect them so keep checking back for new delicious recipes.
- Make a leaf print. Making a lea rubbing is not just for kids and using nice paper you can make quite a lovely piece of art. Art and craft can be a great mindfulness activity and help those, like me who find it hard to meditate in a traditional way. Artistic practice can become a meditative process.
“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
- Be a tourist in your own town. Find your closest visitor information centre and pick somewhere new, somewhere that you overlooked.
- Start crafting for Christmas. Do you ever wish you had made more for Christmas? The trick is start early. There are lots of Christmas craft tutorials on this blog and more yet to come!
- Make an autumn display. Dress a mantle or a table with your foraged items and mini pumpkins.
- Host a bonfire. We often have garden clearing to do at home and on the allotment. Why not invite friends to eat pie and peas whilst you burn the garden detritus.
- Send a parcel. Receiving a parcel when it is not your birthday or Christmas is incredibly exciting. It is equally as fulfilling to be the sender of joy.
- Print some photos. Buy an album and print some of the endless photos you have taken this year. Snuggle up and take time to reflect.
“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”
- Visit the library. We often forget about this wonderful resource. Go and check out the books and see what events are held there.
- Go stargazing. The sun is setting earlier and cold clear skies are perfect for stargazing, remember to take a blanket and a flask with you.
- Do some yoga. We don’t exercise enough as we go into hibernation mode so this is the perfect time to try something new if you have not done any yoga before it feeds body mind and spirit.
- Make a dried flower display. I have had some blooms drying for months now ready to be made into a wreath but you can find ready dried flowers at your local florist /craft store or online.
- Watch the sunrise. If you are lucky you can do this in your dressing gown and slippers at home with a mug of tea just go to a high up window and watch the day begin.
Please let me know in comments if you have any autumn suggestions or ritual I have not mentioned.