Can you believe another summer has come and gone? We can just start to feel the coolness of autumn setting in. It's really one of our favorite times of the year. We love to see the leaves on the trees start to change colors. We love to feel the crisp, fresh air. What we don't love, however, is watching the days grow shorter again. Now don't get us wrong, we enjoy a good movie night as much as the next guy, but before you let shorter, cooler days drive you inside to hibernate in front of the TV for the winter, check out our list of 14 fun fall activities.
1. Go apple picking
One of our favorite fall traditions is to go apple picking. Put on a light jacket, grab a gunny sack and head to your local orchard for a great time hunting for the shiniest, ripest apples on the tree. If you're lucky, you can also enjoy some fresh cider pressed right on site.
2. Make caramel apples
What better to do with freshly picked apples than to dip them in caramel and other delicious toppings? We love using caramel, white chocolate and crushed vanilla cookies for our apples.
3. Make homemade doughnuts
The only thing better than fresh doughnuts are fresh homemade doughnuts. You can make it as involved or as simple as you want, just don't let the activity overwhelm you and take the fun out of it. For us, homemade doughnuts are often as simple as buying a tube of biscuit dough, heating up some oil and letting the kids have fun poking holes in the biscuits before we fry them up.
4. Have storytime
If it's a night you'd prefer to stay in, there's really nothing cozier than blankets, pillows and good books. Settle the kids down with some of your favorite children's books, then reach for something longer. Some of my fondest childhood memories are being curled up with blankets and sitting together with siblings while we listened to my dad read "Tom Sawyer" to us.
5. Take a library trip
Browsing at the library always makes for an enjoyable outing, and many libraries stay open surprisingly late, making it even easier to visit. Our local secondhand bookstore says it best, "Browsing: finding the perfect book you didn't know you were looking for!"
6. Support high school sports
If you enjoy sports, fall offers some great opportunities to get out to a game or meet. It's especially rewarding — and generally much more affordable — to get out and support your local high school teams, many of which are just beginning their volleyball, tennis, soccer, football and fall baseball seasons.
7. Visit a farmers' market
If you haven't made it out as much as you'd like, now is the time to stroll through a local farmers' market. With the fall harvest underway, you'll find delicious homegrown offerings while enjoying the communal, friendly atmosphere.
8. Take a scenic drive
There's really not a better time of year to take a scenic drive than now. In the beautiful canyons near us, the fall colors are just beginning to show in the leaves.
9. Listen to an old fashioned radio show
Another really fun option for a night in is to listen to some old-time radio shows. There are some really simple databases you can access online or via podcasts. Our favorites are the old mystery shows. The stories are entertaining. They're also usually interjected with old advertisements, which are quite funny.
10. Brew homemade butterbeer and pumpkin juice
When we feel fall in the air, our thoughts turn to some of our favorite seasonal beverages: butterbeer and pumpkin juice. Each season, we brew up a batch or two of both and invite over friends to help us cheer the return of fall. (We're still trying to find the best recipes, so comment below if you have suggestions for us!)
11. Visit the state fair
We're fortunate that the state fair is always scheduled in the fall. So once September rolls around, we start watching for billboards announcing the dates. We love gathering with the community and celebrating with carnival games, livestock shows and ferris wheels.
12. Go to a bakery
We always love stopping by our local bakeries for some freshly made sweet breads, but we think it's especially exciting to stop in for some warm bread when the scent of fresh pumpkin bread is wafting through the air.
13. Visit a fall festival
We have a handful of local farms, gardens and old-time villages that host wonderful fall festivals. Hay rides, pumpkin patches and corn mazes are just a few of the offerings we enjoy.
14. Eat apple pie
We'll end where we started: with the fall apples. And don't get us wrong, we love pumpkin pie, too. We just like to hold off for a month or two more on the pumpkin and instead enjoy fresh apple pie. Depending on the day and temperature, we'll either top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a cup of hot chocolate.
That's our list. What would you add to it? We'd love to know what fall activities you're looking forward to — please share in the comments below!
Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Bookroo.com It has been republished here with permission.