Once the busyness of summer is gone and the slow dance of autumn begins, it’s tempting to start hibernation habits a bit early. Don’t give in! There’s a whole realm of activities that make fall one of the best times to get out and about and enjoy the seasonal delights on offer. Here are a few of our favorite ways to have a fab fall.


Pumpkins, gourds, and mums on and around straw bale

Plant some color and charisma on the porch or stoop with a display of fall flowers, produce and vintage artifacts. Use old crates, small tables and straw bales to elevate items and fashion fabulous groupings.


Vintage-Style fall porch party

Gather your friends and family for a relaxing harvest-theme party outdoors. We had an ideal location on this charming tin-roofed front porch.


assorted pumpkins on hay

Visit a pumpkin patch to find gorgeous gourds for your autumn decorating. Some have lots of fun activities for kids, too—a great place for them to burn off that end-of-summer energy. Just Google “pumpkin farms near me” to find out what’s on offer.


lace-wrapped pumpkins

After you’ve picked the perfect pumpkin, you may want to give it some unique character. Whether you’re looking for a decorative look or something creatively creepy, try these no-carve notions.


Tailgating spread

When the air gets crisp and the trees change from cool canopy to leafy fireworks, it’s time to pack the back of the pickup with coolers, seating, and setups for an afternoon of tailgating. Check out our ideas for fun and food here and here.


Sheltered pramenade along a street in Hermann with shoppers walking past people in chairs

Fall brings many pleasures in its wake and one of the most enjoyable is celebrating Oktoberfest in a small town setting amid colorful foliage and an Old World ambiance. If you love German food, drink, artisans and music, get your lederhosen and Bavarian suspenders out of mothballs. Try an online search to find an event near you or somewhere you’d like to travel and practice your polka steps.


Sutliffe Cider barn and tractor

Photo courtesy Sutliffe Cider

Brews may reign supreme during Oktoberfest celebrations but beer isn’t the only beverage for fall sipping. Step off the beaten path and visit a local cidery. Whether you prefer classic champagne-style hard ciders or unique craft blends, there’s nothing as refreshing as a crisp apple quaff.


Ciderworks lite patio in the evening with picnic benches, a pergola and red drinking trailer

Photo courtesy Jefferson County Ciderworks

Combine that zesty trip with a rustic barn setting like the tasting room at Sutliffe Cider in Lisbon, Iowa or add yummy plates (shrimp grits, anyone?) served from a food truck and you’ve got the “flavor” of Jefferson County Ciderworks in Fairfield, Iowa. A quick internet search will locate tasty taprooms near you.


fall foliage over Galena IL

And while you’re on the road, don’t miss Mother Nature’s spectacular fall fireworks. Visit a small town, like Galena, Illinois, for a weekend getaway or take a long Sunday scenic drive to experience autumn foliage in all its glory. Check this national map for peak leaf-peeping times in your area.



Photo courtesy of Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

Foliage may reign supreme in the autumn, but quintessential fall flowers put on a colorful show of their own. Head to a local arboretum or botanical garden for knock-out autumn displays.

Get the shivers and a history lesson all at the same time with a ghost tour. Cities like New Orleans and Savannah are well-known for their haunted habitats but many other cities and towns offer spectral sitings, too. Be sure to opt for a professional tour operator so that you’re not inadvertently contributing to careless trespassing in old cemeteries or historic buildings.


Two story house decorating for Halloween

Bring some bone-chilling excitement to your outdoor holiday decor with a crew of cavorting skeletons, devilish demons, and hair-raising hobgoblins. The neighbor kids will both fear and want to be you.

Now, tell us your ideas for making the autumn season one for the memory books—we’d love to know what trips your fall trigger. And have a spellbinding season!


© Caruth Studio

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