Summer is officially out (well, the heat still seems to be lingering) and we’re all ready for fall. There’s so much to enjoy about the upcoming season: savoring good food, enjoying the outdoors, flexing our creative muscles, and making meaningful connections with the people closest to us. With so much to do, we organized our annual fall bucket list to keep you inspired throughout the season. Autumn’s back, baby.
One of the best things about the season is that there is so much beauty just waiting to be soaked up, regardless of your preferences. If you’re an outdoorsy person, taking advantage of the crisp weather and changing leaves makes it a gorgeous time to plan outdoor activities. If you’re a homebody, then it’s time to stock up on candles and perfect your hot apple cider recipe. The markets are bursting with gorgeous seasonal fruits and veggies, the upcoming fall TV lineup is ready for bingeing, and our coats are ready to be shown off once again.
While the freedom of summer has made way for our fall schedules, we plan to continue leaving room for a little unexpected fun in our days, even in the middle of a workweek. There are just so many things to do in the fall! So, light that pumpkin candle and get inspired to soak up the cozy fall chill.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
33 Fall Bucket List Ideas For Your Best Season Yet
For Your Home
1. Give your space a fall makeover. Because I’m spending a lot more time indoors during the upcoming months, cozying up my home is one of my favorite—and arguably, necessary—fall activities. When the temps start to drop, I take it as a sign to start incorporating soft textures and deep hues into every corner. If you’re looking for inspiration, our editors shared all of their coziest fall picks here.
2. Stock up on the best fall candles. When fall comes around, there are always a few immediate purchases the seasonal shift calls for. 1) A new book to capture your attention 2) Everything fall-themed from Trader Joe’s, and, of course, 3) A fall candle to set the tone for all the comfy-cozy moments to come. For the fall candles your home needs this year, see here.
3. Refresh your coffee table. It’s the best spot in the house to display your favorite books, decorative objects, and candles (see above). Because we take our coffee table design so seriously, we asked a few designers for their tips and tricks—their guide is the perfect place to start.
4. Invest in a projector for cozy movie nights. It’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is a blast. Plus, who doesn’t love having the big screen experience from the comfort of your home (where you can eat as much popcorn as you want?).
5. Treat yourself to a plush new blanket. It’s cozy season, after all! Browse all of our favorite picks for maximum comfort.
For Getting Outside
6. Go leaf-peeping. Load up the car and check out some of the gorgeous sights as the leaves begin to change.
7. Plan a spontaneous road trip and go camping. Check out nearby campgrounds and our guide to the ultimate road trip.
8. Volunteer at a local farm. What better way to spend a chilly fall day than snuggling a little lamb?
9. Visit the pumpkin patch. Experience autumnal bliss at this forever-fall favorite.
10. Go apple picking. If you can find a farm with a cidery attached to enjoy some seasonal adult beverages, even better!
11. Jump on the pickleball bandwagon. Pick up the game that apparently everyone is playing these days.
12. Find a new favorite hiking trail. PSA: Hiking isn’t just for the warmer months! Be sure you have adequate layers packed and that you’re prepared in case of an emergency. See this guide for everything you need before you set out (whether it’s just a short jaunt or a longer backpacking excursion). And be sure to take a few friends along for the adventure!
13. Plant a backyard garden and grow your own food. Fall is actually peak season for lots of veggies, even if you don’t have much outdoor space. Here are eight fruit and vegetable varieties you should start with for an easy DIY container garden. Prepare to be amazed at what you can grow at home!
14. Explore the cemetery. Indulge in the spooky season with a walk through a historic cemetery.
For Staying Inspired
15. Plan out the ultimate Halloween costume in advance. Am I the only one who comes up with countless brilliant costumes all throughout the year, only to forget them come October 28th? Don’t let the holiday catch you by surprise! Check out our favorite family costumes, easy kids costumes, and last-minute get-ups that require zero effort.
16. Fill your journal with these thought-provoking prompts. While the summer might have seen us out and about more often than looking inwards, fall is the perfect time to reset and get realigned with your inner thoughts.
17. Make a seasonal playlist. Add some moody tunes to stomp through leaves to the likes of Elliott Smith, Billie Eilish, and Weyes Blood.
18. Cook your way through one of fall’s newly-released cookbooks. Then surprise your family or roommate with a home-cooked meal. (Psst… I have my sights set on the new Barefoot Contessa cookbook.)
19. Brew your own kombucha at home. Yep, you can do it—everything you need to know is here. Mocktails anyone?
20. Pick up a new hobby. Ideally, one that’s perfect for staying inspired indoors! I’ve always been a knitter, but this year, I’ve made it a goal to build upon my love of fiber arts with crocheting and sewing. You can always join a book club, try your hand at painting, or put your old magazines to work and make a vision board!
21. Make a hearty, seasonal meal for one. No special occasion necessary.
22. Learn a new instrument. I’m not sure I’ve found anything more gratifying than picking up a musical instrument. And because I’ve been playing the drums for 19 years (flex), I can confirm: This is the best way to spend a rainy day.
23. Mark your calendar for new music dropping this fall. From John Legend to Death Cab for Cutie and, of course, Taylor Swift.
24. Bake all your fall favorites. Is there anything better than spending an entire weekend day baking away? I think not. Now’s the time to make the most of all your favorite sweet, pumpkin recipes and incorporate apples into it everything. Check out our go-to list of baking ideas here.
For Building Connection
25. Surprise a friend or loved one with a care package. This company curates adorable gift boxes for various occasions. Or better yet, craft one of your own! Assemble a box or a bag of their favorite things—books, self-care objects, and even a homemade baked good (don’t forget to throw in the recipe!).
26. Donate time to your community. Help clean up a community garden, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or check out your local Meals on Wheels program.
27. Have a picnic in the park to savor the changing leaves. Lots of inspiration for packing the perfect picnic right here.
28. Meet up with your friends for a cinema date. Don’t Worry Darling releases on September 23rd, and all I can say is, if the film is half as good as the drama that’s been unfolding around it, then we’re all in for a treat.
For Fall Relaxation
29. Take a detox bath. We’re all about indulging in this supportive, health-promoting practice. Check out our favorite detox bath salts and soaks and treat yourself to an at-home spa day.
30. Tune in to the 2022 Emmy Awards on September 12. Hosted by Kenan Thompson, this year’s award ceremony is sure to be a good time. Catch up on who’s nominated from Only Murders in the Building to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel here.
31. Hunker down at your local coffee shop with a fresh new book. I just picked up The Fortunes of Jaded Women when it came out a couple of days ago, and I’m already hooked. And you can bet I’ll be devouring Elizabeth Strout’s latest, Lucy by the Sea when it releases on September 20th.
32. Curate your newsletter subscriptions. Thank you, we did the hard work for you. Get the scoop on all of our favorite email newsletters that keep us inspired, learning, and laughing on the reg.
33. Re-watch your favorite Gilmore Girls episodes. Or, better yet, marathon the whole thing through. Now: are you team Dean, Jess, or Logan?
This post was originally published on September 14, 2020, and has since been updated.