Happy First Day of September!
It’s sadly not the first day of fall yet, but it is finally socially acceptable to begin autumnal traditions such as making yummy soups, wearing cozy sweaters, murdering teenagers in corn fields, and even grabbing a Pumpkin Spice Latte at your nearest Starbucks! With all of that being said, I’ve decided to publish my yearly autumn bucket list. If you know me, you know that I adore this season. I hope that you enjoy the list below, and I hope that you share your autumnal traditions with me, also!
Before we jump into things, I want to make something clear: autumn is not cancelled this year! With all the craziness going on in the world right now, I see so many people online lamenting the cancellation of fall this year. However, no one can prevent you from watching some scary movies, carving pumpkins, or shakin’ your booty to the Monster Mash in the comfort of your own home. So maybe fall will look different this year. Maybe we won’t be able to trick or treat or bob for apples. But we can still make it our own, make it count, and have fun in the process!
Visit a pumpkin patch
I do not think there is anything more autumnal than visiting a pumpkin patch. I love getting a whole bunch of pumpkins and using them differently. I’ll get a few larger pumpkins for carving, multicolored pumpkins for outside decorations, gourds for indoor decor, and even some sugar pumpkins for making homemade pumpkin pie! Plus, would the season really be complete without some obligatory photos in a pumpkin patch?
Carve a pumpkin and roast the seeds
This probably goes without saying. If you’re visiting a pumpkin patch, the next logical thing would be to carve one of the pumpkins. Besides that, I love to roast the seeds after sprinkling some kosher salt on them. They’re so delicious and make a great and healthy snack! *Pro-tip: Don’t clean the pumpkin flesh completely off the pumpkin seeds before roasting. The bits of pumpkin flesh on them create a great flavor!
Have a horror movie marathon
Anyone who knows me knows that I love horror films. Would the Halloween season truly be complete without some good scary flicks? Probably not. At the same time, some people just dislike horror films and that’s okay! You can still watch some autumnal-themed films to achieve the aesthetic. Need some recommendations? Check out this blog post, or this one.
Decorate for Halloween
My family cannot be the only one that makes this an all-day event. We spend the entire day decorating the outside of my parent’s home, decorating the inside, etc. It is a nice way to kick off the spooky season with some of our favorite people.
Make a big pot of yummy soup on a chilly day
You could also make a big pot of game-day chili, stew, or goulash. The possibilities are endless! The intended goal is to make a cozy dinner that would pair well with cuddling up on the couch. If you’re looking for some recipes, check out this Creamy Sausage & Kale Soup, this Homestyle Chicken Soup, or this White Chicken Chili Recipe.
Go on a spooky road trip
A few years ago my husband and I took an overnight trip to Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, NY, and it was awesome! We ate at some cool restaurants, visited the sites from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and even visited the grave of Washington Irving. (Okay, I know that probably sounds creepy, but I am a big fan of his.) There are also tons of other things to do in town that are Halloween-themed and very spooky!
Read some autumnal-themed literature
Speaking of Washington Irving and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, reading some autumnal-themed literature definitely makes the bucket list! If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out this blog post. My favorites are Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I also fell in love with Practical Magic after reading it, and the movie is very different from the book.
Bake an apple pie while reciting Robert Frost’s “After Apple Picking”
Okay, fine: you don’t actually have to recite the Frost poem. But, baking a pie is definitely on the list! Personally I love making apple and pumpkin pies and creating Festive Apple Pie Designs. If you go pumpkin picking, pick up a few sugar pumpkins and make a pie from scratch. It’s a bit of a challenge, but one that is definitely worth it!
Go apple picking while reciting Robert Frost’s “After Apple Picking”
Can’t you see that I really love this poem? Once again, I’m only joking. You don’t have to actually recite this poem. However, you should go apple picking. This is also another awesome opportunity for some great photos, especially with kids.
Throw a Halloween costume party
Parties are not just for kids! Throwing a great party with yummy cocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres does not have an age limit. Plus, there are so many creative and clever Halloween-inspired foods and snacks out there. Pinterest is a party-throwers heaven. Need a Halloween music playlist? Here you go! If you’re living in an area that is still practicing social distancing, as we are in New Jersey, invite immediate family only. You can even have the party outside on a cool evening. Even though we cannot go trick or treating this year, we still plan on dressing up for our son. Sure, it will only be his second Halloween, but every kid deserves a proper Halloween!
Take a drive and admire the fall foliage
My in-laws live in rural Pennsylvania and ever year we take a drive through the mountains out there and admire the changing leaves. The colors are absolutely breathtaking!
Attend a Haunted Attraction
This is another one that will probably depend on where you live because of social distancing guidelines. However, from what I have heard so far, many haunted attractions will be up in running but just at a lower capacity. My favorite are haunted hayrides! There are also haunted corn mazes, trails, houses, etc. It is amazing how creative some sites are with their featured attractions!