The Memorable Fall Bucket List
Hot weather has peaked. School starts in less than a week. The longest day of the year is a month past. Soon we’ll be pulling out sweaters, raking leaves, and heading out for the pumpkin patch. Fall is a favorite for a lot of people. So this year, lets be intentional and make it count. Make those memories!
Fall Bucket List - At Home
1. Put up Fall Decorations
A few throw pillows, a fall floral arrangement, and a cozy blanket can go a long way in bringing the comforting fall feel we all love.
If you’re looking for something a little more fun try some globe lights, pumpkins, and cute signs!
Feeling crafty? Or looking for a way to get the kids involved in cozying up the house? Try some DIY decor for some family fun and decor!
Stencil your own signs with these cute stencils
String a beautiful wooden bead garland for your mantle
2. Light Some Candles
Smells are strongly linked to memories and emotions! The perfume you wore on your wedding day, the smell of cedar fencing at the family cabin, or the lotion you brought on vacation. If you’re wanting to create lasting memories this fall, incorporate some special scents. Candles, stovetop potpourri, fall essential oil blends in the diffuser, reed diffusers, or even some room spray are all fabulous ways to add some lovely scents to your fall days.
I love a good stovetop potpourri with all fresh, natural ingredients. Candles give a cozy, fall ambiance in the evening. Reed diffusers give you an all-day scent without watching the burner or worrying about a flame. Pick what works best for you, or use a combination.
3. Set the Mood - Often
Complete the fall ambiance in your home by taking an extra minute to turn on some lights and a smooth soundtrack when you get home in the evenings or are chilling on the weekend with a cup of tea or coffee.
Fall evenings can be difficult since it gets dark so early. Make the dark a little less dreary by flipping on some fun lights, lighting some candles, and playing some music.
If the fall and winter months are hard for you, choose some uplifting music! A lot of “fall” or “cozy” music can fall on the sad or depressing side. Not worth it! You can still set the mood with some happier soundtracks!
Fall Bucket List - Food & Drink
Perhaps one of the best parts of changing seasons & holidays – the fooooood. I think we were wired to need a change in our diet frequently. Why else would we have seasonal crops and produce? So while enjoying the change in the food “in season”, why not have some fun with it?
4. Make Your Own Signature Cocktail (or Mocktail!)
Start with some research. There’s a lot of tips out there on creating a signature drink. You can start with some easy tips on how to get started from an article like this.
Then decide if you want to host a little cocktail making party, invite a few friends for a casual hangout, or just invent on your own or with your SO. You can make a drink for a party or event, or to have as your own staple!
And no, alcohol isn’t required to make this fun! 🙂 Stick to non-alcoholic options for a family night of creating a signature drink for each family member!
5. Enjoy Warm Drinks
Coffee, cocoa, tea, matcha – whatever your drink(s) of choice. A warm drink on a fall morning on the porch? Yes, please. Especially on a weekend morning with your SO, a friend, or even your little one! Keep it simple or get fancy with some fun specialty recipes like these.
6. Serve Fun Snacks
Don’t forget the snacks! Whether you like to make the ordinary a little more fun by jazzing up regular snack time or you have a special occasion coming up, look up some ideas for creative fall snacks. There’s a bunch of clever ideas for yummy and healthy snacks, like a cute, pumpkin-shaped cheese ball with whole wheat crackers.
7. Plan Autumn Dishes
On the more serious side, incorporate fresh, in-season produce into your meals. A hearty soup, roasted squash crostini, or cranberry roasted chicken thighs are so yummy and pretty, too!
Fall Bucket List - Outdoor Activities
8. Spend the Day at Pumpkin Patch & Pumpkin Carving
Spend a day in the pumpkin patch, complete with a picnic lunch, hay ride, and a family search for the perfect carving pumpkins! Later in the day, or another evening if you’re too zonked, carve your pumpkins together. We’ve found a drill is a pretty handy (and fun) pumpkin carving tool. 😉
Tip: littlest family members can join in the fun by painting pumpkins instead of carving!
9. Wander a Corn Maze
If you’re not feeling pumpkins or had so much fun at the pumpkin patch that you want another day out, hit up a corn maze!
10. Go Apple Picking
It’s not really fall without apples. While apple pies, applesauce, apple butter, baked apples, and caramel apples are a popular part of fall, don’t skip over the apple picking! What better way is there to enjoy the crisp fall air, make memories, and gather up fresh apples for your fall recipes?
11. Stroll the Botanical Gardens
Most people think to visit botanical gardens in the spring when nature is blossoming after a cold, hard winter. But that doesn’t mean the gardens aren’t gorgeous in the fall! Plus, after the heat of summer, we’re looking for every opportunity to be out in the cooler air!
12. Enjoy a Foliage Walk / Hike
Is there anything better than enjoying the beautiful colors of the changing trees and crunching leaves beneath your feet as you walk a lovely path or trail? The kids (and dog) will love it, it’s free, and everyone gets exercise. You can even bring a packed lunch to enjoy a picnic together. And a picnic by a stream? Bonus points.
13. Have a Bonfire
Campfire songs. Marshmallows. Late night conversations. Gather the firewood and light a match!
14. Rake Leaves
Here me out before you skip over this one! Another free family activity that’s actually way more fun than it sounds! I have some of the best memories raking leaves with M, both when we were dating and after we got married. And let me add that I did not want to rake leaves any of these times that are now fond memories.
Fall Bucket List - Indoor Activities
Not every autumn day is suited for outdoor activities. If it’s too cold, stormy, dark, or your just ready for some inside fun, try one of these activities. These are great to do as a family, with friends, or even solo.
15. Do Some Baking
The best things to bake this fall? From traditional favorites to new fun twists, the options are actually kinda endless…
- Apple pie, apple handpies
- Apple Fritters
- Apple Cider Donuts
- Apple Cinnamon Bread
- Apple Oatmeal Cookies
- Frosted Apple Butter Sugar Cookies
- Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
- Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
- Pumpkin Pie Crisp
- Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts
- Caramel Cheesecake
- Gingerdoodle Cookies
- Ginger snaps
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie
- Maple Blondies
- Maple Brown Sugar Cookies
- Chai Cupcakes
- Coffee Cake
- Honey Buns
- Pecan Pie Cookies
16. Get Crafty
Anyone wanting to craft that says “I don’t know what to make” hasn’t used Google or Pinterest! 🙂 There are SO many good crafting ideas and too many to share here. A quick search for some common crafting ideas will give you plenty of options.
Here’s some ideas to get you started:
17. DIY Halloween Costumes
While shopping for Halloween costumes can be fun, going the DIY route is also fun, provides some fun family craft time, and can save some money.
- Start with looking up ideas together and put together a shopping list
- Have a fun day shopping and gathering up the supplies you need
- Start early and split up the crafting time. Doing small parts at a time keeps it from getting overwhelming and help keeps it fun instead of stressful 🙂
- Don’t forget to take pictures!
18. Make Applesauce (or Applebutter!)
Once you’ve picked delicious applies (or grabbed them from the store), don’t let them go to waste! Make a batch of homemade applesauce or apple butter. Your home will smell amazing and your have another delicious way to enjoy your apples.
Tip: Yes, peeling and chopping can take forever and get messy. So put a plastic cloth or old sheet on the floor, grab some trash bags and big bowls, and peel those suckers while watching a favorite movie or show, listening to an audio book, or jamming to a favorite playlist!
19. Paint Nails
If you’ve had your share of baking and crafts, switch gears to just have some fun girl time and paint nails! You can go with some classy fall colors or jazz it up a bit with some festive designs! If painting nails isn’t your best talent (like myself), try some gel strips or nail stickers.
Fall Bucket List - Family Adventures
20. Go on a Magical Treehouse Getaway
Treehouses are becoming pretty popular and popping up all over the country. Chances are you can find one fairly close to home. How amazing would it be to stay in a treehouse surrounded by gorgeous colorful leaves?! And not to mention a pretty snazzy little family getaway!
21. Take a Fall Foliage Road Trip
Fall is the BEST time to take a road trip because, well…the views! Not every city has a lot of color change in the fall, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the colorful leaves. Find the leaves and drive!
22. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
I love a good scavenger hunt. The nice thing about coming up with your own scavenger hunt is that it can be as big or as small as you want it to be. Keep it around the house and back yard, explore your city, or even take it to another state. I’ve done two scavenger hunts for Michael’s birthdays. One was a half day hunt around town, and the next one was a full day that included clues at home, around town, and even a neighboring state! While I’ll have to save the details of our scavenger hunts for another day, I’ve learned a few things to help vary the clues. Try clues using:
- Riddles / poems
- Special objects or places around the house
- Landmarks around town (especially historical landmarks!)
- A book at the library (a picture, location, date, anything!)
- Word puzzles (alphabet corresponds to numbers, then give math problems to solve to give the numbers to complete the words)
- Food / Snacks (“where we ate when we won a championship”)
- Activities (one time I had M complete a video game quest – the object that he “won” in the quest was his clue)
23. Pitch a Tent - Go Camping
Now if you want to find a camp site and bring along campfire food for legit camping, do. it. But if you’re not up for all that, pitch a tent in the backyard! You still get a sense of the adventure, get to sleep outside, and you can still build a fire and roast marshmellows. And if no one is getting sleep or you need a bathroom break, the house is just a few steps away.
Fall Bucket List - Friends & Family
While you really could do so many of these things with friends and/or extended family, I wanted to throw two more ideas out that are all about spending time with others outside your immediate family.
24. Host a Dinner Party
Yes, it takes time and energy and planning. But it’s SO fun! When else are you going to get to make your fancy appetizers, fizzy drinks, and decadent dishes? Turn on your fall playlist, light those candles, and spend a fun evening with friends or family. Keep it small and intimate so you can tailor the details and love on each of your guests. You will not forget it and neither will your guests!
25. Enjoy a Coffee Date
Whether your go-to fall drink is the ever favored Pumpkin Spice Latte, a dirty Chai tea, or peppermint hot cocoa, make a point to enjoy it with other people!
Yes, it can be nice to swing by a coffee shop on your way to work and quickly slurp your delicious drink on your drive. But don’t forget to carve out some time to slow down and share a delicious hot cup and some good conversation with a friend or loved one.