It's September. The temperatures are cooler, there’s a crisp bite of autumn in the air. The Labor Day bash is long gone. Kids are back at school and the beach towels are put away. Large racks of Halloween costumes are in every store and pumpkin spiced treats in every bakery and coffee shop. There's no denying it: autumn is here.
You may be sad about saying goodbye to summer with its sunshine and reading on beaches. But you shouldn’t worry about endings. This is just the beginning of a whole new, exciting season. And I’m here to help you plan your perfect autumn day. Leaves—Sweaters—Pumpkins—Cider! Who said anything about missing summer?
Find Your Foliage
When the leaves start turning, head out for a stroll in the woods. Kids will love crunching leaves underfoot. The colorful surroundings can be quite romantic with your significant other. Or just gather your friends and enjoy nature's best magic trick—autumn colors. Look for national forests or state parks that allow for meandering walks through the trees. Holding hands and drinking warm beverages from thermoses is optional, but encouraged.
Visit a Farm
On your way out into nature, visit a local farm. Often, local growers will have stores on the premises where you can buy delicious seasonal produce and local delicacies like apple cider donuts. Do not miss out on the donuts. Select your squashes, root vegetables, leafy greens and shiny apples and you'll be ready to start planning a seasonal menu. Bonus points if local cheese is offered, which may be available for sampling.
Instead of choosing a pumpkin at your local grocery store, look for a farm that has a pumpkin patch! Not just for kids, pumpkin patches can be a great way for all ages to enjoy the season. There’s something special about picking your very own jack-o-lantern from the vine where it was grown in the field. Pick a pumpkin with no soft spots or blemishes and it might just last until it's time to be carved for Halloween. Bring it home to add a wonderful seasonal flair to your kitchen counter or dining room table.
Nothing says fall like pumpkin pie, apple turnovers, cinnamon rolls and sugar cookies shaped like autumn leaves. Really get into the spirit by decorating your treats with powdered sugar sprinkled in fall shapes—stencils or cookie cutters will get you there. If you're not a baker you can even give store-bought desserts this treatment for a homemade touch.
Brainstorm Your Halloween Costume
No one ever really grows out of dressing up for the last day of October. Whether you want to display your wit, scare the pants off your friends, or don your slinkiest dress, make sure Halloween doesn't sneak up on you. Of course you can just put on some cat ears, but you're more creative than that! Really go all out. 'Tis the season.
Dress the Part
After months of tank tops and shorts, it's sweater weather. Grab something Fair Isle, pair it with some skinny jeans or corduroys and you're good to go. Or snuggle in a sweatshirt to show your school spirit. Don't forget seasonal socks to autumnify any outfit.
Bonus: Fall Drinks For Grown-Ups
Ever heard of a Stone Fence? It's whiskey or rum mixed with cider and some bitters, and it's delicious. What about some hot buttered rum, which, like all things is better because you added butter to it. Mulled wine is a classic that is simple to make—just simmer wine with whole spices wrapped in cheesecloth. You'll forget you ever needed an ice cube to enjoy your drink.
So, you've packed your tasty fall goodies and maybe a beverage. You headed out to your favorite pumpkin patch, farm or nature trail and enjoyed the crisper weather. You maybe even went apple picking. When the conversation lulled, you planned those Halloween costumes, so you're all set for October. And you did it all in your coziest autumn gear.
Congratulations. You've successfully autumned.