11 Festive Fall Activities for Your Family (Bucket List)
Updated: Aug 11, 2019
Last year, Chris and I embarked on a family trip to Ohio and then on to West Virginia — the Elkins Forest Festival to be exact. It was my first ‘Fall’ in the States and I was thrilled. I wanted to be part of it all — the pumpkin picking, apple-orchid wandering, carvings and paintings, warm décor, spiked apple cider, pumpkin pie… the lot of it. And I was.
The temperatures were a lot cooler in the mid-west and we had a dreamy weekend with family by the river in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
I now live in the desert. We don’t really experience fall the same way — unless these Saguaro cacti are going to morph into something orange and dripping in maple syrup. Seriously, do they?
So, I've decided I'm going to seek it out — this 'fall experience' the whole country seems to live for. My plan is to hunt down the color-changing leaves, sweater weather, boots, cinnamon lattes, and pecan-decorated pies. I have to be part of the magic.
So far, it has been in the form of baking, apple picking, and décor.
Oh, and did I mention we picked peaches, too — how's that for a twist?
On a side note, if you see me busting out a chunky sweater in AZ, you know I've lost the plot in desperation. It may or may not happen, but it's a warning.
For those of you who are privileged to live near golden trees, with crisp morning air and have the need for chunky socks, here’s a simple fall bucket list for you (from a first timer that deems them essential). I've included the visual for you to screenshot and make your own.
If you live in a warm climate, you can still make your way through the list — without the chunky socks, of course.
FALL Bucket List
Venturing into the orchids is a magical experience that children — adults included — will love.
Drink Warm Apple Cider
I have only ever had it made for me from scratch ONCE and it filled the house with glorious smells. Grocers sell it too, though ;)
Carve a Pumpkin
It’s even cooler if you pick it out the patch yourself. Get creative — you can paint it, too.
Buy a Cozy Sweater
Nordstrom has a lot of beautiful cream and pale pink sweaters to choose from. I couldn’t resist a dusty pink one and will have to showcase it soon. Find somewhere cool to sip hot cider, spiced tea or coffee and enjoy the changing leaves or setting sun. If you are in a city that doesn’t experience this magic, take a drive to find the leaves turning.
Have a Picnic/Fall-themed Potluck
I’m a member of a monthly cooking club and we had a fall-themed potluck two weeks ago BUT if you aren’t part of such a club, you can start one. Host an event at home or have a picnic in the park. Last year, I was all about baking spiced treats and dropped them off at friends’ houses (think apple or pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread or apple cookies) — something you can also do.
Light Fall-scented Candles
I floated around the nearest candle shop — Target is another ‘dangerous’ option — and chose scents like maple leaves and pumpkin pie to create a seasonal a scent for our home. I bought spiced-apple bourbon this year.
Make a Fall Wreath
My summer flowers came down and I shopped at Michaels for some fall leaves, pumpkins, pines and grasses to change it up.
Try all things Cinnamon/Pumpkin-spiced
If dinner isn't your thing, host a brunch. Favorites I've served are French toast apple bake, cider, and pumpkin-spiced granola. I made the granola again this year and can’t eat anything else for breakfast now.
You can do the brunch with your family, too. I should do it again this year, what do you think?
Watch a Movie with Kettle Corn
So many people are excited for the scary movie marathons in time for Halloween but I’m a total softie and can’t take the gore, suspense and darkness. Any movie will do with bucket-loads of kettle corn (caramel corn, sweet and salty).
Go to a Local Fall Festival
If you can, look for a festival in the closest town and take part in the silliness. There might be hay rides, funnel cakes, posing in pumpkin and scarecrow cut-outs, and local goods to purchase for a more kid-friendly option. Adult versions probably have a decent amount of wine. No objections.
If you live somewhere removed from the hay bale and kettle corn action, you're not excluded — here are some pictures to feast on.
fall activities in cooler temps
fall activities locally
If you're an AZ-dweller, Tucson specifically, go check out Apple Annie's You-Pick Orchard — think apples, pumpkins, and the infamous dust storms (if you're lucky). You can find it at 2081 W. Hardy Rd. in Willcox (yep, it's an afternoon adventure).
If you have suggestions on what I’m missing out on or where I should travel to next year, I’d love to hear from you.
Also, if you'd like some of my favorite fall recipes, comment below and I'll get right to it!
Much love, Kate x