As the trees trade their vibrant greens for golden yellows, fiery oranges, and blazing crimsons, many of us feel drawn to making the most of the short autumn days. We break out our sweaters and start looking for festive ways to use cinnamon, clove, and other spices that fell by the wayside over summer. Suddenly, reading ghost stories by the campfire is more appealing than an evening at our favorite restaurant, and crafting with the kids takes priority over an extra hour of work.
Fall dashes through our lives, sometimes so quickly that the leaves are ready to be raked before we’ve scarcely had a chance to admire them as plumage. So, this autumn season, we’re urging everyone, everywhere, to live with intention, seize their opportunities, and #LiveLifeOnHigh.
With that in mind, we’re excited to share some fall activities the Chosen Foods family will enjoy this season. There’s something for everyone—a bit of adventure, family friendly activities, delicious bites, and of course, self-care time. We hope you’ll join us.
1. Apple Picking or Pumpkin Patch
Let’s get straight to it! There’s no better way to celebrate the fall than to center an entire day around harvesting its bounties. Apple orchards and pumpkin patches both offer some ahh-mazing fall vibes and are 100% kid friendly. At either, you’re certain to take in the sweet smell of dried hay bales and shop a large selection of fresh produce.
Should you only have time to visit one or the other, here are some tips on how to decide which activity is most intriguing (and ideal) to you.
Apples are one of fall’s key ingredients! It’s one thing to shop a wide selection in store, and another thing to walk the rows of an orchard and pick them with your hands. Do a quick Google search to find the closest “you pick” apple orchards in your area. Make an event out of it by packing a picnic basket to enjoy on the grounds once you’ve harvested to your heart’s content.
Discover our top 5 tips for creating the perfect apple picking adventure here.
The pumpkin patch tends to be more readily available to almost everyone. Look for signs in your town or events on Facebook. Often, you’ll find them cropping up in church parking lots or at community farms. With the latter, it’s not uncommon to also happen upon corn mazes, a fun mental and physical activity for kids and adults alike. Pumpkin patches are also perfect for picnics, especially when they’re set in open farmlands.
2. Fall Picnics
Can we agree that fall pretty much has the best weather of the year? There’s no better time to sit out on a blanket and enjoy a beautiful day. To prepare the ultimate picnic basket, make a few sandwiches or wraps, your favorite chips, dip, sliced fruits, and veggies. Remember to pack utensils, cups, apple cider for sipping, and your favorite flannel blanket. Choosing a location can be as simple as enjoying your backyard or heading to the closest neighborhood park. Alternatively, throwing everyone in the car (dog included!) and making an adventure out of it is a great idea.
3. Friendly Competition
When everyone gathers together, break out the ol’ pigskin and head to the backyard. If sports aren’t your thing, dust off the board games or puzzles. There are so many creative ways to play on the idea of friendly competition, and if siblings are involved, it should be no issue! Some of our fall favorites:
- Fall “festival” at home: Gather everyone in the backyard for a night of games like wheelbarrow races, tug of war, capture the turkey, hula hoop challenge, bean bag toss, scavenger hunt, and so on.
- Baking competition: Bring the Great British Baking Show to your kitchen!
- Games & puzzles: Board games are always hit! While puzzles require a bit more commitment, they can be equally challenging. If your loved ones are spread across multiple states, have everyone order the same puzzle and start on the same date. Whoever finishes first wins! Also be sure to check out Heads Up, a games app by Ellen Degeneres. It integrates with Zoom.
- Chili cookoff and blind taste test. Mmmmmm.
- Virtual activity challenges: Even if you can’t be together, challenge each other to run a local turkey trot, complete a Peloton ride, or participate in a fun fitness activity everyone can do.
- Trivia night: Let’s see who really paid attention in school… This one works great both in-person and virtually.
4. Reinvent Family Traditions & Recipes
Back in our grandparents’ younger days, cooking and eating looked a bit different than it does today. First off, there was no DoorDash. Goodbye, Chipotle. Produce didn’t get delivered; you probably went to the local market or farm stand. Instead of buying meat selectively for your weekly recipes, many would purchase an entire side of beef from a local farmer to last the family through the winter. They relied on canned goods from the root cellar, homemade bread, and lots of stew.
That’s not to say that home chefs didn’t get creative! They certainly did. Many of the vintage recipes once considered staples have fallen out of popularity simply due to changing consumer tastes and cross-cultural pollination. Why have meatloaf when we can make sesame noodles (or anything else on our Pinterest boards)?
If you have grandparents or older relatives in your family, consider finding some of their old favorites and learning how to make them. There’s no doubt their eyes will light up when you surprise them with their grandmother’s recipe, a meal that they might not have enjoyed in decades. Tips and tricks:
- Replace Crisco or lard with Avocado Oil or our Organic Blend Oil
- Make a version with meat and without, so everyone can partake
- Introduce them to new flavors with variations on old favorites, such as our Avocado Deviled Eggs, Pumpkin Spice Deviled Eggs or BLT Deviled Eggs
- Turn any old recipe into a creative fusion by incorporating novel ingredients from other cultures.
5. Cookie and Drink Pairings
This might sound like a simple concept, and it is, but it’s incredibly enjoyable. Warm cookies and warm drinks go together perfectly. Just don’t forget to dip. 👏
Pick a cozy nook at home, set out your favorite blanket and a good book. Open the windows a bit to let some crisp fall air in. Then settle in with a warm cookie and a steaming cup of coffee or tea. You don’t always have to go outside to enjoy fall. Bring the spirit indoors!
Host an event
Never heard of a cookie potluck? Now, you have. Invite your friends over for a movie night under the stipulation that everyone has to make and bring their favorite cookies. Pair them with flavored lattes (lavender, mocha, vanilla, coconut) or simple hot teas, then pile around the TV.
6. Schedule Intentional Self-Care
This one is often overlooked, not only throughout the year, but especially as the holiday season draws near. We can be so busy with entertaining and holiday shopping that we forget to take care of ourselves. Sometimes visiting with family and friends more than usual can be overwhelming, especially with certain relationship dynamics. This fall, why not vow to schedule in at least one block of time per week for yourself? Here are some of our favorite ways to indulge in self care:
- Taking a bath every Sunday with your favorite scented candles
- Meditating for 5-10 minutes on your lunch hour
- 2-3 hour date with yourself: Go see a movie, go shopping, have lunch at your favorite cafe, grab a coffee and relax at the bookstore
- Seeing a counselor/therapist once a week
- Attending your local “yoga in the park” event every Saturday morning
Most of the ideas above are solo activities because, for many, self-care is most effective when pursued alone. However, for those who already spend quite a bit of time on their own, self-care can look like scheduling quality time with friends. Whatever you need, it’s okay. This exercise is simply about remembering that we should never come last in our own lives, even when our schedules are packed.