Autumn is upon us. The temperatures have dropped- even in Florida we are no longer in the sweltering mid-90’s. The air is crisper, fresher. The whole world has shifted. Change is afoot! Days start to get shorter. Kids are back to school. Sports have started- along with all those after-school practices and games as well. Schedules are set and the lazy days of summer seem like a distant, hazy memory. Fall is here! But for those still grasping on those long summer days, there’s plenty to love about Autumn. In fact, here are 21 reasons to love the season:
21 Reason to Love Fall
Cooler temperatures. Chilly nights. Crisper, fresher air. A far cry from the sweltering heat of summer. The winds are picking up and there’s less rain. You may even have to don a jacket, especially in the early morning. Now’s the time to drag out all of those adorable scarves that you stashed in the back of the closet!
These bright orange winter squashes begin to show up in the veggie sections at grocery stores, at roadside stands and in every autumn store display imaginable. How can you not love such a versatile vegetable? One minute it’s a house decoration and the next it’s on the dessert menu! What other vegetable receives such fanfare?
Yes, it’s the only time of year Starbucks brings out their Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Yum! And along with the lattes, eateries will start rolling out pumpkin spice shakes, pumpkin spice ice cream and just about anything else they can put pumpkin spice on- You can mix some pumpkin spice in Greek yogurt with turmeric, add some fresh berries & local honey and voila- the perfect breakfast (or healthy dessert) treat!
Though my personal favorite is pumpkin pie cheesecake, pumpkin pie filling graces the grocery store shelves for pies, smoothies, muffins and more. People stock up on the pumpkin pie filling as it only appears in Autumn. But you can make your own pumpkin pie filling- straight from a fresh pumpkin, and store it in the freezer for pumpkin year round.
Now’s the time of year for harvest festivals, car shows, art shows and everything else in between. Fall is the king of festivals. With Goldilocks temperatures: not too hot and not too cold, there’s not a weekend that doesn’t contain live music on a stage, judging of some sorts, and funnel cake kind of food. Check out a festival near you.
Okay, so they have Sorghum mazes in the south, but the concept is still the same. One way in- a twisty winding choice of paths inside and hope you make it out the other end. If it’s your first time, grab a map if offered. If it’s one of those over an acre mazes, you may want to bring your cell phone, in case you get lost, as a family did in a 10-acre maze a few years ago.
There’s nothing like that Charlie-Brown feeling of finding the perfect pumpkin at your local farm. And these farms have come a long way, offering hayrides, bounce houses, food, and even games and live music to add to that family day out fun. Check out the local pumpkin farm near you for some outdoor family adventures.
After you pick that perfect pumpkin, carving it is usually the next step unless you are saving them for pie. Plan to carve them right before Halloween, and light a candle inside for the spooky effects. You can clean the seeds, roast them in the oven with some sea salt and olive oil for a healthy snack as well!
For those decorating aficionados – out come the boxes of autumn decorations. The wreaths, the scarecrows, the pumpkins- real and fake. No one decorates in the summer- you are usually too busy trying to get kids to pick up their toys, clothes, and wet towels, but Fall is the beginning of the holiday decorating season. So let the fun begin! Get your kids to help you out by making hand-wreaths. Have them trace their hand out on colored paper and cut it. Use reds, oranges, yellows & browns. Cut out the outer rim of a paper plate and have them glue their hands to the paper plate rim. Instant Fall Wreath!
Good Hiking Weather
With crisper air, the mosquitoes and other summer-lovin bugs tend to bug out elsewhere and giving you that perfect hiking weather, no DEET required! So grab your hiking shoes and check out a trail near you!
Best Time to Travel
Fall is the ultimate time to book a vacation because you’ll virtually have places to yourself. Gone are the summer crowds. Locals begin folding up their shops for the winter in places and tourism takes a nose dive. You can even score the best line times at Disney World come autumn. And that is something worth smiling about.
Picking out a Halloween Costume
Coming up with a creative costume idea is most of the Halloween fun. Stores dedicated to Halloween costumes pop-up this time of year to entice you into buying that perfect costume. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to make a splash. Check out Pinterest Boards and Youtube for costume ideas.
Sure you can tell ghost stories anytime, but they seem more poignant when Halloween rolls around. Towns start pop-up ghost tours, newspapers print stories of local ghost sightings. Join a local ghost tour to check out your own city’s haunts. Do you have a local ghost encounter? Let them know!
With the haunting season comes haunted houses- real and imagined. Theme parks try to outdo each other in their bid to make their haunted houses and horror nights the best. Spooky sound effects. Bleeding corpses, flickering lights, distorted mirrors. The list is endless but gets creepier and creepier. Do you dare?
Halloween is the only time of year you can dress up in bizarre outfits and not be a social pariah! Whether you embrace the frightening side of All Hallows Eve, when the doors between the spirit world and ours are open, or the light-hearted side of dressing up like your favorite emoji, cartoon character, or hunky Outlander there’s a side of Halloween for everyone. So don your favorite costume and join the party.
With that perfect weather comes the best time for camping. You won’t freeze to death or get attacked by mosquitoes. Check out your nearest state park or national forest for camping opportunities and load up the kids for a weekend in the wilds. Think s’mores, cozy campfires, and walks in the woods. Invite some friends along and make it a weekend party.
With this cold weather comes fluffier breakfasts. Suddenly that yogurt parfait or cold cereal doesn’t seem right. Time to make the pancakes. Light, fluffy and steaming hot on the plate. Mmmm, you can taste that maple syrup already. Add blueberries. Add walnuts. Or maybe top them with some stewed apples and cinnamon. Heck, pumpkin spice pancakes, anyone?
With Halloween under your belt, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Laden feasts, family get-togethers, and turkey- with pumpkin pie, of course. Feasting aside, Thanksgiving is a time to count your blessings. Be thankful for all the friends and family that life has bestowed and be grateful for all you have.
Leaves changing color
With those temperature changes come the vivid color-show of nature as the leaves start to change color. Although Florida does not witness the vibrant foliage changes that the northern states do, there still is a change of seasons in the air. Rather see the full display of nature? Plan a trip to the north to see the colors. Now’s a great time to head to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, plan a trip to Pigeon Forge, or even swing by Helen in North Georgia for a look at nature at its finest.
Jumping into leaf piles
Raking leaves was never a fun chore, but when you rake them into humongous piles and jump into them, that’s when the real games begin. And before you tear your hair out over your kids ruining your raking job by rolling in your piles, think of it as mulching.
Oh yeah, the best is saved for last- that one really good reason to love fall: Winter is Coming. But that is a whole other story ☺
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