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101 Ways To Escape Into Autumn

Ok, maybe 101 is a slight exaggeration. But there are at least four really solid ideas here to get you psyched for the cooler temperatures and shorter days ahead. I know it still feels like summer in some places, but the minute my Labor Day picnic ends, I’m painting my nails dark and sipping pumpkin-spiced anything. No matter what the temperature is, it’s officially fall in my neck of the woods.

So, in honor of the best season of the year, here are some of my favorite fall-specific things to do. They technically don’t require much travel, except for the fact that they will transport you to a magical place called autumn (say it with me: oooh, ahhh).

Love those leaves: whether you rake a big pile and jump in, hike through them, take photos of them, or make your own (for all you autumn-deprived-climate Gigglers), Fall is all about the twirling, fluttering flight from branch to soil. There’s just something magical about the sound of them crunching under your feet, or landing in your hair. And a drive to see the trees before the leaves fall, when they’re on fire with reds and oranges and yellows, is one of the best ways to celebrate the season.

Awesome apple picking: One of my favorite memories from growing up was our annual trip to the apple orchard. We’d grab buckets and those tall apple-picking sticks with bags on the end and trudge out into the orchard, ready to find the best apples of the season. The picking was fun, but the real high point of the day was afterwards, when we’d stop into the orchard store for hot cider and apple cider donuts. The scarecrows and hay bales and bright, cold sunshine of apple-picking-day was always the first sign that fall was here.

Hello, hayrides: Since I get motion sickness just walking to my car, you’d think I wouldn’t be too fond of any activity that took place on a bumpy, rickety old wagon. But you’d be wrong. I’ll pop a Dramamine and climb aboard, ready to be jostled and get hay in my shoes and enjoy the glorious scenery around me. I think I enjoy it so much because, like apple picking, it’s such a fall-specific activity. Of course, haunted hayrides are the best, but we’ll leave my Halloween obsession for another day.

Baking your heart out: Just like summer has barbeques, fall has baking. Whether it’s opening a package of pre-made cookies, or making your mom’s famous pumpkin bread from scratch, fall means all ovens should be on and delicious aromas should be wafting through your rooms. I know what you’re thinking: you can bake all year round. And you’re right. But who wants to fire up an oven in the stifling heat of summer? And at Christmas I’m so stressed, baking is just one more thing to cross off the list. But fall…fall is when I have the time (and the apples) to really enjoy the process.

Pull out the sweaters: Need I say more? After all that baking, it’s so nice to throw on a cozy sweater and not have to think about the words “bikini body” for a good six to eight months.

Me time: Around these parts, fall means lots of gray, overcast days. There’s a chill in the air that makes the idea of going out unbearable sometimes. So, before the snow starts to fly and the world retreats into the colorless stretch of winter, I find myself curling up with some tea and blankets and a good book, content to watch the season unfold outside my window. After the hectic summer rush, one of the best things about fall is the permission to slow down, just a little.

How do you celebrate fall?

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