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Embrace Fall with These Relaxing Autumn Activities

A little girl playing in the autumn leaves.
Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock.com

From the gorgeous colors of the changing leaves to pumpkin-spice everything, autumn is a time of change, but so many of the changes are comforting—like that old wool sweater you’ll soon be pulling out of the closet. To make the most of fall’s often too-short visit, we recommend engaging in as many of the season’s activities as possible.

Whether you just watch the kids play in the leaves, enjoy a pumpkin spice latte (or 10), or take a Sunday drive to check out all the colorful beauty, be sure to plan some fall activities. It’ll be gone before you know it! So, here are some ways you can make the most of autumn before Old Man Winter rears his snowy head.

Enjoy Warm, Soothing Drinks

A mug of hot chocolate with marchmallows on top on a cutting board.
Soloviova Liudmyla/Shutterstock.com

Nothing warms the soul on a cold, rainy afternoon like a delicious cup of hot cocoa, tea, or a pumpkin-spiced latte. If you’re feeling stressed out, there’s a good chance sipping something warm will help. In fact, this idea is even supported by science.

A Yale University study discovered that people judged others to be more generous and caring if they were merely holding a warm cup of coffee. However, this was less the case when the subjects held an iced coffee. Their mood completely changed, and it’s thought the mere effect of warmth is what caused such a strong reaction.

So this autumn, if you’re going through a challenging time or just feeling generally stressed out, head to the coffee or tea shop, or just make yourself a cuppa at home. See if your mood doesn’t quickly improve as you sip your warm beverage of choice.

Have a Bonfire

The BALI OUTDOORS Fire Pit on a patio with steaks cooking on the grill.

Nothing says fall like roasting marshmallows or hot dogs over a bonfire. If you don’t already have a designated area in your yard for a campfire, firepits and tables are pretty inexpensive these days.

They’re perfect for gathering around and telling ghost stories on Halloween, or just catching up with friends while sipping some spiked hot cider.

We like this pit from BALI OUTDOORS because it comes with a cooking grill. In addition to those s’mores and dogs, you can grill up burgers, corn on the cob, or even some delicious steaks. The circular steel ring around the legs provides stability, while the collapsible triangle log rack provides ventilation.

Admire the Beauty of the Season

A family walking in a park surrounded by autumn leaves.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Many people find the beautiful colors of fall both comforting and soothing. Unfortunately, those leaves are gone all too quickly, so be sure to take the time to enjoy them at every opportunity. A scenic drive on tree-lined roads is a relaxing way to take in the beauty of the season.

Or, if you have any trails nearby, autumn is the perfect time to take a hike. Gather up the family, a few supplies, and hit the forest. You’re sure to be awed by the beauty that surrounds you.

Short daily walks at your local park are another excellent way to get outside and breathe in that crisp autumn air. It’s also a great way to spend your lunch break if you’re stuck in an office all day.

Even if you just sit on your porch and enjoy the sights of your own neighborhood while sipping a hot cocoa, you’ll soon find that you feel far more refreshed and relaxed.

Pick Up Some Fall-Scented Candles

Sweater Weather, Farmhouse, Hello Pumpkin, and Leaves jar candles sitting on a wooden table.
Sweet Water Decor

Filling your home with the scents of the season is a surefire way to get you in the mood for trick or treaters and Thanksgiving. Nothing says cozy like the warm flicker of a candle flame and the scent of cinnamon rolls or the ever-popular pumpkin spice filling the air.

We especially love the fall candle collection from Sweet Water Décor. With scents like Leaves (a mix of apples, oranges, berries, cloves, cinnamon, and musk) and Mulled Cider (with notes of apple, orange, cinnamon, cranberry, cedar, and amber), you just can’t go wrong. Your home will soon smell like a delightful, autumn wonderland.

Prep Your Yard for Winter

Most of us remember jumping in raked piles of leaves when we were kids. For many, this is still a time-honored tradition. The truth is, though, leaves actually protect the soil through the winter and prevent erosion.

Rather than raking, you can just run over the leaves with your lawnmower to create a natural mulch. This will help them decompose more quickly and work all those nutrients into the soil more easily. Of course, you can still rake a few piles for the kids to jump into.

If you have a vegetable garden, you’ll want to remove anything rotten and cover your plants before the first freeze.

Another thing you’ll want to do is plant your spring perennials. Autumn is the perfect time to get tulips or hyacinths in the ground because they need cold weather to bloom. Pansies and violas are also good choices for autumn planting.

Fall is also an excellent time to fill in any bare areas in your yard with turf grass or line your driveway with shrubs. Looking to plant some trees? You can do that in the autumn, as well! Just be sure to do so while the soil is still warm enough (45-50º Fahrenheit) for the roots to develop. You’ll also need to water your trees until the ground freezes.

Prepping the yard is a fun way to get the whole family outside to enjoy autumn before it’s gone. Plus, everyone will get to see the fruits of their labor in spring, when those beautiful bulbs, trees, and grass start to appear.

From the beauty of the changing leaves, to the cozy comfort of bonfires and mulled cider, there are so many reasons to love autumn. These activities will ensure you don’t miss out on any of the sights, sounds, and smells of the season.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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