With its clear, cool, humidity-free days, gorgeous golden palette and emphasis on eating all the baked goods, fall (or autumn if we’re being fancy) is unequivocally, indisputably the greatest season ever. (Sorry, summer lovers.) The unbearable hot days are behind us and there is plenty to look forward to—from Halloween candy to Thanksgiving turkey. (Basically, as soon as those leaves start turning, our palates are primed for all the fun to follow).

Fall also comes with a slew of its own seasonally appropriate activities to partake in. And with so many to choose from, it can be hard to figure out where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled this epic bucket list of 66 fall activities you can get into. From classics like jack-o-lantern carving, to adrenaline pumping ziplining and even family-friendly trips to the pumpkin patch, we’ve got you covered. So grab your flannel and get excited, folks.


fall activities Apple Cider Doughnut Holes Recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

1. Eat a cider doughnut

Or half a dozen of them (no judgments). Even better, make your own with our recipe for apple cider doughnut holes.

fall activities Mulled Wine Sangria Recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

2. Make a batch of mulled wine

So what if our house smells like a Yankee Candle IRL…we secretly love those. Wanna DIY it? We’ll be sipping on this mulled wine sangria all season long.

RELATED: Homemade Apple Cider Is Easier to Make Than You Think

fall activities pack a fall picnic
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3. Pack a fall picnic

Fill your picnic basket with the essentials: wine, grapes, a baguette and enough cheese for 15 people—despite being only two.

fall activities go apple picking
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4. Go apple picking

First, find an orchard in your neck of the woods. Then bring home the mother lode to divvy up between family and friends and bake an apple pie to share (or keep to yourself). Plus, since it is the season of giving and all, you can always make these mini mason jar apple pies to give as gifts.

fall activities buy gourds at the farmers market
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5. Buy gourds at the farmers market

And resist the temptation to stick googly eyes on them—or don’t, we kind of love cutesy Halloween decorations. Since pumpkins can be a bit pricey this time of year, mix things up by adding some squash, luffas, melons and even cucumbers to the batch. They may not all make great decorations, but they are all very, very delicious.

fall activities visit a pumpkin patch
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6. Visit a pumpkin patch

If you don’t Instagram it, did it really happen? (Psst: Here are 15 pumpkin patches around the U.S. to check out.)

fall activities Take a bike ride over the weekend
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7. Take a bike ride over the weekend

Channel your inner Gilmore Girl and tour a cute small town, and make it a family affair or go solo. Either way, you’re sure to get a deeper appreciation for those changing autumn colors.

fall activities Skip the gym in favor of daily runs in the brisk morning air
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8. Skip the gym in favor of daily runs in the brisk morning air

Just because gyms are open doesn’t mean you throw out that running route you established during lockdown. The brisk morning air will wake you right up and have you ready to take on the day. Not really a runner? It’s not too late to begin. Here’s how to get started. (P.S. Power walks are also great day-starters.)

fall activities Take a chilly beach stroll
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9. Take a chilly beach stroll

Fact: The beach is kinda prettiest in the off-season. You can easily catch a beautiful sunrise or mesmerizing sunset. (Just pack a few blankets in case it gets breezy.)

fall activities Rake a giant pile of leaves
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10. Rake a giant pile of leaves

And promptly belly-flop into it, just like you did as a kid. (C’mon, that’s basically what leaf-raking was designed for.) You know who else will absolutely love rolling around in all the crunchiness? Your dog.

fall activities baked buffalo wings recipe
Erin McDowell

11. Tailgate a football game

Football is back baby! And we can all agree that the food is the best part of the whole thing anyway, right? Make your own oven-baked buffalo wings, and check out these 33 sides to serve them with.

fall activities bask in the Sunday quietude
Yusuke Nishizawa/Getty Images

12. Or bask in the Sunday quietude

While the rest of the world is worrying about, you know, football, you can tune it all out and just reset for the upcoming week.

fall activities Book a weekend getaway in the woods
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13. Book a weekend getaway in the woods

Or a national park near you. Don't forget your nubby knitwear and keep that guide to safely renting and staying in an Airbnb handy, just in case you need it. (We’re still in a pandemic, people.)

fall activities cacio e pepe brussels sprouts recipe1
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

14. Cook with Brussels sprouts

Make any of these unique Brussels sprouts recipes for your brood and soothe those September tomato-season withdrawals. Got a picky eater on your hands? Here are some tips and tricks to combat the dinnertime tantrums. If all goes well, you may even get your kid to eat vegetables for breakfast. (We can fantasize, can’t we?)

fall activities Buy a cute new planner
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15. Buy a cute new planner

Pair it with a stack of freshly sharpened pencils or if you’re bold, get a stack of pens instead. Whether it’s in person or still online, back-to-school season is officially upon us.

fall activities White Turkey Chili With Avocado Recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

16. Make a big pot of chili

Spend Sunday afternoon perfecting this white turkey chili with avocado, then eat it all damn week. You can also test your culinary skills with this sweet potato chili with turkey and back beans or this cauliflower chili. (Yum!)

RELATED: What Goes with Chili? 40 Sides to Serve with Your Favorite Cozy Dish

fall activities Carve a jack o lantern
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17. Carve a jack-o’-lantern

Because nothing screams fall quite like an elaborately carved out pumpkin. Not one to get your hands all slimy and gooey? Skip the carving and just decorate one.

fall activities Toast pumpkin seeds
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18. Toast pumpkin seeds

If you’re not afraid of pumpkin guts, they’re easy to roast and even easier to eat. Toss ’em in a salad, mix them into homemade trail mix or just snack by the handful. Oh, and FYI, they’re also a great source of protein.

fall activities Decorate your porch
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19. Decorate your porch (or front door)

If you don't buy mums at the hardware store, do you even like fall? Here are 30 more autumnal porch ideas to tickle your fancy.

fall activities Make a fall centerpiece
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20. Make a fall centerpiece for the dining table

Time to channel your inner Martha Stewart. Backyard branches = budget ikebana. Consider a vase of wheat, hydrangea and pumpkin or a pine cone table runner.


fall activities Clean the windows
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21. Clean the windows

Let there be golden-amber light. And while you’re at it, you might as well clean the walls, the dishwasher, the oven that’s been making all those delicious meals and scrub down your bathtub.

fall activities open the windows
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22. Then open the windows

Let that fall breeze run through your house. It’s better than an air freshener. Trust.

23. Take a drive in the countryside

Lazy leaf-peeping is the best kind of leaf-peeping. (Check the fall foliage map then plan your day trip.) And if you have a particularly fussy tiny human, that slow drive will surely put them to sleep.


fall activities Buy an autumn scented candle
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24. Buy an autumn-scented candle

Oh please, like you don't love the smell of pumpkin spice, too. Not sold on store-bought? Here’s how to freshen your home the DIY way.

fall activities Add cozy decor to your home
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25. Add cozy decor to your home

Give us all the faux-fur pillow covers and cable-knit throws. Throw in some plush rugs and let the cozy vibes take over. For more inspiration, take a peek at some of our favorite Halloween door decorations.

fall activities Watch the geese fly south
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26. Watch the geese fly south

Go ahead, bliss out on nature doing its thang. It’s always a sight to behold.

fall activities Host a socially distant harvest dinner party
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27. Host a socially-distant harvest dinner party

Get your family and friends to cozy up with picnic blankets and some bottles of vino. Bonus: It’s a foolproof way to test your Thanksgiving recipes. Just make sure everyone is vaccinated and feels comfortable being in close proximity.

fall activities Curl up with a great book
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28. Curl up with a great book

Take it to the park, your local café or just stay home. Whatever suits your fancy. We have plenty of suggestions for you to pick from.

fall activities Watch a quintessentially fall movie
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29. Watch a quintessentially fall movie

Yes, we’ve watched Love Story 50 times, and no, we’re not sorry about it. We’ll also be adding these classics to our rotation and absolutely bingeing the fall TV line up.

fall activities Collect leaves and pinecones
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30. Collect leaves and pinecones

Nothing says “I heart fall” like foraging like a wood nymph then turning your found treasures into tchotchkes.

fall activities Drink dark  hoppy beer
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31. Drink dark, hoppy beer

Call it a placebo, but rich beer literally tastes better to us in the fall. And if beer’s not your thing, swap it for hot buttered rum or any one one of these fancy beer cocktails.

fall activities Make a backyard bonfire
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32. Make a backyard bonfire

We’ll take any excuse to make (and eat) s’mores.


fall activities Break out your plaids and flannels

33. Break out your plaids and flannels

Fall: The one time of year it's totally chill to dress like a farmer. Go ahead and wear them all at once; you’re staying home, right? If you do decide to leave your house, here are 11 ways to make your flannel look less rural and more girl about town.

fall activities Break out your sweaters and scarves
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34. Break out your sweaters and scarves

It’s (debatably) the highlight of the whole damn season. Learn how to take care of those chunky knits here.

fall activities Break out your leather booties
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35. Break out your leather booties

These ankles boots were made for walkin' on crunchy leaves. And so were UGGs.

fall activities Treat yourself to a chic new coat
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36. Treat yourself to a chic new coat

Mid-weight coats are the best weight coats, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. They’re not quite as light as summer denim nor are they as heavy as winter coats, but they’re the perfect pick to make you feel like a boss a la Miranda Priestly. Learn how to style one here.


fall activities Eat all the Halloween candy
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37. Eat all the Halloween candy

And feign innocence when your kids accuse you of doing so. After all, you did go trick-o-treating with them. Where do your favorite sweets fall in our ranking?

RELATED: 36 Halloween Snacks That'll Get Any Grown-Up in the Spirit

fall activities Go to an outdoor flea market
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38. Go to an outdoor flea market

You'll need some funky mismatched china to go with your homemade centerpiece, no? Find a nearby market through this handy online directory.

fall activities bake cookies
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39. Bake cookies

Bonus points for kitschy-and-proud-of-it leaf-shaped cookie cutters. And while the oven’s hot, why not make one of these 50 fall dessert recipes too? Bring on the cinnamon rolls, crème brûlée and spiced palmiers!

fall activities easy apple galette recipe
Erin McDowell

40. Bake an apple galette

Otherwise known as apple pie for lazy people. Read up on which apples are best for baking before you begin.

fall activities Pumpkin Pie With Cinnamon Roll Crust Recipe
Erin McDowell

41. Bake a pumpkin pie

Otherwise known as happiness in a pie dish, and it’s honestly disrespectful to the season if you don’t. Up the ante and add a cinnamon roll crust—it’s simpler than it looks, promise.


fall activities Head outside to stargaze
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42. Head outside to stargaze

In our humble opinion, it’s an activity best enjoyed beneath a pile of blankets, with a cup of pumpkin spice latte and a loved one to cuddle with.

fall activities Pitch a tent in your backyard
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43. Pitch a tent in your backyard

You don’t have to travel far to have your own camping adventure. (Scary stories seem a lot more appealing when you can dash indoors for cover.)

fall activities Dust your coffee in pumpkin spice
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44. Dust your coffee in pumpkin spice

Say it loud, say it proud: You love pumpkin spice. Why not make this the season to embrace it? Heck, the rest of the world has. You can even make a Starbucks latte in the comfort of your own home.


fall activities Binge the new fall lineup or an old favorite
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45. Binge the new fall lineup (or an old favorite)

Consider this your permission slip for an entire afternoon of Cheers, The Office or Friends reruns. Add some suspense in there with shows like Breaking Bad, Criminal Minds and Law and Order.


fall activities Get a jump on holiday gifting

46. Get a jump on holiday gifting

It’s truly never too early and you can probably score some great pre-holiday steals. May no woman be left panic-shopping on Christmas Eve Day.

fall activities Take a hike
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47. Take a hike

And challenge yourself to a selfie moratorium. Find a trail with a quick internet search, or check out our list of a few favorites. P.S. don’t forget to bring the essentials.

fall activities slow cooker pasta e fagioli recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

48. Eat soup for lunch

Say “not today, lettuce,” as you make your way through our list of 45 fall soups you haven’t tried (yet). For dinner, try to keep it light with one of these healthy fall recipes.


fall activities Head to a drive in movie theater
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49. Head to a drive-in movie theater

One good thing to come out of the pandemic is the fact that retro venues are having a major renaissance right now and we’re so here for it. If you can find one that’s screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show, even better.


fall activities Watch the sunset
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50. Watch the sunset

Call us a buncha’ saps, but watching the sun sink over an orange tree line makes us all kinds of warm and fuzzy. Bring your pup along or make it a romantic excursion with your person.

fall activities List the things youre thankful for

51. List the things you’re thankful for

Research shows that gratitude leads to greater satisfaction in life. Even if what you’re grateful for is having that afternoon to binge Cheers, so be it.

RELATED: 35 Halloween Activities for Kids Ranging from Cutesy to Spooky

Fall Activities Get lost in a corn maze
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52. Get lost in a corn maze

Nothing beats this classic outdoors fall activity that you can bring your entire family for. Let the kiddos run around while you stroll closely behind.

Fall Activities Go on a hayride
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53. Go on a hayride

For those of us who are slightly directionally challenged and get all wound up in a corn maze, you can take it easy with a relaxing hayride instead.

Fall Activities Run a marathon
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54. Run a marathon

Show off that running prowess that you perfected when gyms were closed all last year. It’ll make the aforementioned run route that much more satisfying.

Fall Activities Make a scarecrow
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55. Make a scarecrow

Even if you’re not a farmer, this classic decoration just gives your front porch those unbeatable fall vibes. This super helpful tutorial will teach you how to go about it.

Fall Activities Host a cozy wine and cheese night
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56. Host a cozy wine and cheese night

Charcuterie and jarcuterie boards FTW. Oh, and don’t forget to make one for your pup too!

RELATED: How to Put Together an Adorable Charcuterie Board for Less Than $30

Fall Activities Make Halloween costumes
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57. Make Halloween costumes

Sure, you can go to your local Party City and snag a costume from there. But why not save some dough and just make a one with items already in your closet? There is a wide range of characters you can easily channel—from Regina George to Tinkerbell.

Fall Activities Plant a fall garden
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58. Plant a fall garden

Replace those summer blooms with fall flowers that will thrive in the chilly weather or plant your own pumpkins so you have plenty leftover to make soup once Halloween passes.

Fall Activities Host a Halloween fright night
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59. Host a Halloween fright night

It can take place around the previously mentioned bonfire or you can keep it indoors. Create forts with the kids, turn off the lights, break out those flashlights and swap scary stories.

Fall Activities Make candy apples
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60. Make candy apples

Need another sugar hit post-Halloween? Indulge that sweet tooth with some homemade candy or caramel apples.

Fall Activities Tour a haunted house
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61. Tour a haunted house

‘Tis the season to be spooked, after all. You can visit your local haunted house or check out these notoriously creepy homes around the country.

Fall Activities Try ziplining
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62. Try ziplining

Just because the weather is cooling doesn’t mean you quit all sense of adventure. Ziplining will give you that oft needed adrenaline rush, plus you get an arial view of the gorgeous fall foliage.

Fall Activities Celebrate Oktoberfest
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63. Celebrate Oktoberfest

Your local bar is most likely bringing Munich to your city, so why not break out the pretzels and chug some beers in celebration? Prost!

Fall Activities Host a Halloween movie night
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64. Host a Halloween movie night

From Freddy vs. Jason to Child’s Play and the aptly-named Halloween films, there are plenty of scary movie selections that’ll have you clinging to your blankets. If you’re not down for all that horror and gore, take a look at our comprehensive list of the best Halloween movies. Not all of them will give you nightmares, we promise.

fall festivals downtown boulder fall fest

65. Visit a fall festival

Not sure which one to choose? We’ve got you covered.

petting zoo
picture alliance / Contributor

66. Visit a Petting Zoo

Great for families with kids or just animal lovers in general.


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