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Your Fall To-Do List: Sights, Bites & Pumpkin Spice

fall to do list

The nights are getting cooler and pumpkin spice lattes are officially back at all your favorite coffee shops – it’s fall! Whether you love this time of year for the Halloween decorations, cinnamon-spiked baked goods or marveling at foliage, there’s plenty to add to your fall to-do list this year.

Come get inspired by our suggestions to celebrate the season.

Find Your Fall Fashion

A seasonal swap is a must for any fall to-do list, so stow away those bathing suits and dig out your warmer clothes! From boots, booties and fuzzy socks, to hats, scarves and comfy sweaters, cozy season has arrived. Classics like flannel and denim are always in style for fall, and layering is a breeze.

Go Leaf Peeping

Fall wouldn’t be fall without foliage. Go on a nature-filled walk, hike or bike ride to marvel at the fiery colors of autumn leaves. The Northeast is home to a wide array of trees and beautiful forests that drop colorful leaves like natural confetti anywhere from mid-to-late September through October, depending on your state.

Check out these top foliage spots in the Northeast.

5 Iconic American Road Trips

Hit the road on one of these amazing routes to get a real feel for all America has to offer.

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Go Apple Picking

Apple picking is a fall bucket list item and an annual tradition for many. Strap on a good pair of shoes and visit your favorite orchard. Afterwards, you can put your bounty to good use and bake up some delicious apple treats.

Bake Something Seasonal

Speaking of delicious baked treats, ’tis the season for pumpkin recipes galore! From pie to bread to cheesecake and more, there’s enough options to keep you busy through winter. While you can always light a candle, baking sends warmth and seasonal smells throughout your home in the best way (the way you can eat!).

Plant Fall Flowers

Decorate the outside of your home with seasonal flowers like like chrysanthemums, dianthus, black-eyed Susans and pansies. And if you’d like to have a garden full of flowers in the spring, plan ahead by planting tulips, daffodils, peonies and Shasta daisies now.


Jump in a Pile of Leaves

The ultimate fall activity! Feel like a kid again and jump into a pile of autumn leaves. It’s a fun way to reward yourself after all that raking, lawn cleanup and other seasonal maintenance. Make a maze or leaf labyrinth leading up to the pile for the kids, and after all the fun, collect prettier leaves for crafting projects. Use the leaves for compost or chop them up with your mower and use the bits as mulch in your garden.

Build a Scarecrow

Make use of fallen leaves, lawn trimmings and hay to create your own DIY scarecrow. Get crafty and make your scarecrow’s clothing or use old clothes. Sticks and garden stakes make for good structure while a milk jug, pillowcase or burlap can be decorated to make your scarecrow’s head. Have your scarecrow lean against a tree, sit on the front steps or stand in your lawn to help welcome fall.

Fall Crafts

Bring natural elements indoors to create unique DIY fall decorations. The kids can use leaves to make leaf rubbings, while you can use them for fall décor like all-natural garland or framed leaf pressings. You can also try making a wreath out of layered leaves, sticks, acorns, pine cones or dried flowers, using strips of burlap, ribbon, plaid and other materials to add different colors and textures. Spruce up your home entry with these and other autumnal touches.


Watch Seasonal Movies

Curl up with a warm blanket and celebrate the season with fall films. Watch a back-to-school movie like “Dead Poet’s Society” or “Good Will Hunting” – both of which star the late, great Robin Williams. Go for a fall sports movie like “Rudy” or “Remember the Titans.” Or, find a warm, autumn aesthetic in films like “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “When Harry Met Sally.”

Start celebrating Halloween with our horror movie list, which includes fun hits like “Hocus Pocus” and horror classics like “The Exorcist.”

Cook Comfort Foods

Cooler weather means it’s time for soups, stews, chili and other comforting meals. Make classics like chicken noodle soup and beef stew or healthier, but equally delicious, meatless options like lentil soup and vegetarian chili. Aside from pumpkin and apples, there are plenty of other fall ingredients, such as squash, cauliflower and sweet potatoes, to use for savory dishes. Slow cookers and Instant Pots make creating comfort foods easier than ever.


Make a Cozy Beverage

Add a warm beverage to your fall bucket list. To start your day with fall flavors, simply brew a cup of pumpkin coffee or use your preferred pumpkin spice or caramel creamer. Pump up the flavor of chai tea bags by adding extra cinnamon, ground ginger and allspice. Use a mix of hot water and warm milk – or sub out the water completely – to make your chai tea more like a latte. Garnish with whipped cream and ground nutmeg.

To serve a small group, make family-friendly homemade apple cider in a slow cooker or tasty fall sangria for the adults (enjoy responsibly).

Go Stargazing

Fill a thermos with your favorite autumn beverage and step outside for some stargazing. The 2023 fall season is packed with opportunities to see stellar activity. There’s the Draconids and Orionids meteor showers in October as well as the South Taurids, North Taurids and Leonids meteor showers in November.

Go For a Drive

Have your household head to the car – bring along any car-friendly pets to really make it a party – and go for a drive. Check out the fall and Halloween decorations around your community and have everyone vote on their favorites. Get inspired by your neighbors’ setups and conjure new ideas for your own décor.

Go all out and rent a drop-top for the ultimate fall foliage road trip. AAA member save with Hertz.


Carve a Pumpkin

Whether you go for the traditional spooky grin or a more elaborate design, pumpkin carving is fun for the whole family and will add an autumnal glow to your window or front door. If you’re not into pumpkin guts, try one of these creative, no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas.

Get inspired for all the fall fun to come by shopping our list below.

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For everything fall, head over to the Your AAA Fall Fest.

What activities will you add to your fall to-do list? Tell us in the comments below!


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One Thought on “Your Fall To-Do List: Sights, Bites & Pumpkin Spice

  1. For outdoor activities, please protect yourselves properly from tick bites. More people are diagnosed with Lyme disease this year, which, when not properly diagnosed and thoroughly treated, can wreak havoc with your health. Do enjoy the wonderful activities and nature’s beauty.

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