I get excited for autumn approximately mid-June. I don’t know what it is, but as soon as I start feeling the warm summer sun on my skin, my autumn alarm bell goes DING, and I immediately am on Pinterest looking for autumnal wardrobe inspiration, home decor, and planning a list of must-do autumn activities.
This doesn’t even make much sense. In the UK, it’s cold for probably about 8 months of the year, so wishing away the few months of sunshine we do have for crispy, chilly days is incomprehensible. But, something about autumn just hits different. It’s the sunny days, with a hint of a chill in the air, dusting off your boots and trench coat, walking to the coffee shop and seeing the list of autumn-themed hot chocolates on the menu, lighting your first pumpkin spiced candle of the year, the list goes on.
Autumn just seems really wholesome to me. Autumn activities just bring me a lot of joy. I love baking, going for walks, seeing the colours of the leaves change, and having friends over for a dinner party. Everything is so cosy, and if there’s anything better than watching Practical Magic in slipper socks and new PJ’s, with a hot chocolate in one hand, and a piece of hot apple crumble in the other, the fire lit, and a blanket, you need to tell me, cause that is my ideal evening right there.
I’ve called these ‘wholesome’ autumn activities, because if you’ve read some of my other posts, you’ll know I’m all about good health and wellness, both physical, and in this case, mental. These are activities that will make you feel good, will help you to bond and create beautiful memories with your loved ones, and keep you focused on being in the moment.
Autumn Activities For Adults
1. Decorate your home
TK Maxx and Home Sense do the best autumn decor. If you’re wanting to stay more budget-friendly, go on a walk in the woods and collect pine cones, conkers, and all sorts of other natural things you can use to turn into wreaths, etc.
2. Visit a pumpkin patch
Not all pumpkin patches are created equal, so check them out online before going. Unfortunately, some are super busy, and it just doesn’t feel like one of those wholesome autumn activities you had pictured in your head. Also, there are some pumpkin patches where you can chop your own pumpkin out of the ground, and others where they’re already pre-cut and lined up for you, so choose your preference.
3. Bake an apple crumble
Or even better, an apple crisp. This apple crisp recipe from Loving It Vegan is so divine that everyone I’ve made it for asks for the recipe, and my Nana still bangs on about how great it is. I make it at most family dinners now because I know it will be such a hot.
4. Throw a Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving dinner party
We celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time last year, and it was such a fun thing to do. We attempted to make a seitan turkey (I won’t share the recipe, it was a fail), we made a bunch of sides, pecan pie, and played board games. We celebrated just the two of us, but inviting a bunch of friends of family over would be loads of fun. You could even ask everyone to bring a dish or board game.
5. Roast chestnuts
6. Light all your autumn scented candles
7. Have a Halloween movie marathon
I’m a big wimp so my idea of a Halloween movie is Casper, Hocus Pocus, and Hotel Translyvania, and that suits me just fine.
8. Find a great fireworks display
If there aren’t any displays near you, try going for a nighttime walk on fireworks night and you’ll be sure to see lots of fireworks going off.
9. Go to a fairground
10. Carve pumpkins
11. Get your Hygge on
By this I mean turn the fire on, light your candles, get in your favourite pj’s and snuggly socks, and cuddle up under a blanket drinking hot chocolate and reading a great book.
12. Visit a farmers market
13. Create an autumnal porch display
Our friends across the pond might be the winners of the world’s best autumnal porch displays, but with a few well-placed pumpkins, some foliage, and a great wreath, you can still channel that all-American fall vibe.
14. Have a bonfire
15. Get your board games out
Those dark rainy evenings call for Monopoly, and lots of it.
16. Go apple picking
17. Create an autumnal wreath
There are plenty of YouTube tutorials on creating a DIY autumn wreath. It would make a fun group activity so get your girlfriends together and make them as a group.
18. Toast marshmallows
19. Go camping with friends
I understand why everyone goes camping in the summer – nice warm weather to sit outside, less chance of rain, more activities, but for me, early autumn is prime time for camping, as the campsites are less busy, the weather is still mild, and the tent won’t feel like a sauna.
20. Dress up for Halloween
Is it even Halloween if you don’t dress up? For extra points, try making your own outfit. I won’t lie, one of the most exciting parts of having an early autumn baby is deciding what she’s going to wear on Halloween (gotta be a pumpkin, right?!)
21. Collect conkers
22. Bake spiced banana bread
23. Go to a theme park near Halloween
Pretty much all of the major theme parks put on ‘fright nights’, which if you like getting scared, first of all WHY?! And second of all, you would find these nights really fun.
24. Make mulled wine/ hot apple cider
25. Light a fire at home
Having the fire on, whether it’s an actual log fire or an electric one just brings a little bit of magic into your home. And if you don’t have a fireplace, Netflix has you covered because they have a whole programme that just plays a crackling fire for hours, and it’s very addictive.
26. Start your Christmas shopping
Although doing your Christmas shopping online is super convenient, I do feel like it takes some of the fun away. I always try and plan a Christmas shopping trip to at least do some of my Christmas shopping in person. Have a quick Google and see if any cities near you will have amazing light displays, or Christmas markets on, to make it an even more festive day.
27. Make a pumpkin spiced latte
Or anything pumpkin spice flavoured, to be honest. If you could give months a flavour, October’s would definitely be pumpkin spice.
28. Go for a walk in the woods when the leaves change
Seeing all the yellow, orange, and red leaves genuinely makes my soul happy. To make it the perfect walk, grab a flask of hot chocolate, your warmest bobble hat, and a furry friend.
29. Switch over your wardrobe
Packing the summer clothes away and bringing out of all the coats and boots is something I think most Brits get excited about. There’s something about September that feels like New Year in the way you can reinvent yourself. I think it stems back to walking to school on the first day of a new school year in your new shoes, and new bag, with a fancy new summer haircut, and new pencil cases and notebooks. When you bring your autumn wardrobe out, it’s the same feeling.
30. Sit outside with a hot coffee
This might sound super simple, but sitting in your garden in the early morning, watching the sunrise, with crispy leaves around you while you sip a hot drink is one of the closest things to heaven.
31. Create a scrapbook of the year
32. Do an autumnal photoshoot
33. Make soup from scratch
Soup is the perfect post-walk-in-the-woods lunch, with a big chunk of fresh, buttery tiger bread.
34. Take a drive in the countryside
35. Stay in a cabin with a hot tub
If you can stay somewhere that’s also in the middle of nowhere with orange leaves falling all around you, then BINGO!
36. Make pumpkin pie
37. Do a puzzle
38. Go on a nighttime drive to watch the stars
A cute date idea. Make sure to remember a big cosy blanket to snuggle up in.
39. Make a roast dinner for the family
Summer is just not really the time for a hearty roast, it’s just too hot. But as soon as the weather starts to cool down, you best believe that’s Sunday lunchtime’s sorted.
40. Have a duvet day on the sofa
41. Jump in the leaves like a kid
42. Watch the sunrise
43. Make a Christmas list
44. Go and see the Seals
If you live within driving distance of the sea, check out whether seals nest at beaches near you. We visit Horsey Gap every year, and it’s incredible to see the Seals in their natural habitats, playing around with each other. If you’re lucky you might even get to see some pups. The best time to visit tends to be around October.
45. Make cinnamon rolls for breakfast
46. Plan a trip to Kew Gardens
47. Visit a national park
48. Read scary stories with your family
49. Make a chili for bonfire night
Autumn Activities For Kids
50. Visit a hay maze
51. Make a scarecrow
52. Create leaf art
53. Make an Operation Christmas Child shoebox
This was something we did at school every year, but if your kids’ school doesn’t participate in this, it is a lovely thing to do together. You create a shoebox full of small presents for a child who would otherwise have none. I have such fond memories of traipsing around town with my mum, picking up bouncy balls and sticker books to send off to someone in Africa.
54. Go on a scavenger hunt
You can make this a really easy autumn activity by drawing pictures of a few easy autumnal items for your kids to find in the woods. Think acorns, oak leaves, conkers, and pine cones.
55. Make autumnal salt dough decorations
56. Make toffee apples
57. Donate food for Harvest Festival
Does anyone else remember finding an out-of-date tin of peaches at the back of the cupboard on the morning of Harvest Festival after not telling your mum you needed to take something? Don’t let your kiddos panic you, get organised and go on a little Harvest Festival food shopping trip together.
58. Fly a kite
59. Collect pine cones
60. Buy hats/scarves/gloves to donate to the homeless
Your kiddo’s will have such a great time distributing them to those in need, and it will help instill the importance of kindness and generosity into them.
61. Go for a bike ride in the woods
62. Make bird feeders
63. Find an autumn festival near you
64. Go for a rainy day puddle jumping walk
Don’t moan about your kids getting soaked or caked in mud. Take some blankets to wrap them up in afterward and then just chuck them in the bath. It’s what it’s there for after all.
65. Bake autumnal shaped cookies
66. Visit an animal sanctuary
67. Read autumn books together
There are 65+ ideas for autumn activities you can do as a couple, a family, or with a few friends. I hope you make the most of this autumn and create some beautiful memories. Remember, you don’t have to go all out with really flashy autumn activities to make this season special, a lot of the time the memories are made in the small moments of eating crumble together, or quoting Hocus Pocus at each other.