100 Things to Look Forward to This Fall and Winter

published Oct 7, 2020
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If the chillier months approaching has you wondering what there is to do and look forward to when it’s not as nice outside, you’re not alone (especially in 2020). But there’s some great news for you: there’s plenty going on in the months of October through March—you just have to do a bit of looking.

I went ahead and pulled 100 (yes, 100!) things to look forward to in the fall and winter months. From timely events like award shows and movie premieres, to evergreen activities you can do at home whenever—mark your calendars for the happenings ahead. Believe it or not, there’s a bunch! Note: many things (especially premieres) are subject to change.

Credit: Emma Fiala

Timely Events

October

Sept. 15-Oct. 15: National Hispanic Heritage Month
Oct. 1-31: Freeform’s “31 Days of Halloween
Oct. 8: Draconids meteor shower
Oct. 13: “The Bachelorette” season premiere on ABC (will it finally actually be the most dramatic season ever?)
Oct. 14: Billboard Music Awards
Oct. 15: “Flip or Flop” season premiere on HGTV
Oct. 16:Dream Home Makeover” premiere on Netflix
Oct. 18:Supermarket Sweep” premiere on ABC
Oct. 20-21: Orionids meteor shower
Oct. 21: CMT music awards
Oct. 21:Black-ish” season premiere on ABC
Oct. 23: Hallmark’s holiday movie kickoff
Oct. 27:This Is Us” season premiere on ABC
Oct. 29: National Cat Day (aka, another day to shower your cat with goodies)
Oct. 30:In Search of the Sanderson Sisters: A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover
Oct. 30:The Mandalorian” season premiere on Disney+
Oct. 30: Sam Smith’s “Live from Abbey Road Studios” livestream performance
Oct. 31: Halloween
Oct. 31: Full Blue Moon (October’s second full moon)
Oct. 31-Nov. 2: Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead)

November

Nov. 1: Daylight Saving Time ends (aka, you gain an extra hour of sleep)
Nov. 1-30: Native American Heritage Month
Nov. 3: Election Day (vote, vote, vote!)
Nov. 14: Diwali (Festival of Light)
Nov. 15: E! People’s Choice Awards
Nov. 15:The Crown” season premiere on Netflix
Nov. 17: Take a Hike Day (so, go for that hike)
Nov. 17-18: Leonid meteor shower
Nov. 25:The Christmas Chronicles 2” movie premiere on Netflix
Nov. 26: Thanksgiving
Nov. 26:Stylish with Jenna Lyons” premiere on HBO Max
Nov. 27: Black Friday
Nov. 28: Small Business Saturday
Nov. 30: Cyber Monday
Nov. 30: Full Beaver Moon
Nov. (anytime): Friendsgiving (even though it’ll be much more distanced this year)

Dec. 1: Giving Tuesday
Dec. 1-25: Freeform’s “25 Days of Christmas”
Dec. 10-18: Hanukkah
Dec. 13-14: Geminids meteor shower
Dec. 21: Winter Solstice
Dec. 21: Crossword Puzzle Day
Dec. 21-22: Ursids meteor shower
Dec. 24: Christmas Eve
Dec. 25: Christmas Day
Dec. 26-Jan. 1: Kwanzaa
Dec. 29: Full Cold Moon
Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve

Jan. 1: New Year’s Day
Jan. 3-4: Quadrantids meteor shower
Jan. 4: National Trivia Day
Jan. 8: National Bubble Bath Day (plan accordingly!)
Jan. 10: National Houseplant Appreciate Day
Jan. 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Jan. 28: Full Wolf Moon
Jan. 29: National Puzzle Day (the perfect day to do puzzles all day)
Jan. 31: Grammy Awards

Feb. 1-March 1: Black History Month
Feb. 2: Groundhog Day
Feb. 7:The Puppy Bowl” on Animal Planet
Feb. 7: Super Bowl LV
Feb. 12: Lunar New Year
Feb. 13: Galentine’s Day
Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day
Feb. 16: Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)
Feb. 18: National Drink Wine Day
Feb. 20: National Love Your Pet Day
Feb. 27: Full Snow Moon
Feb. 28: The Golden Globe Awards

March 1: National Workout Buddy Day (grab your roomie and get to it)
March 1-31: Women’s History Month
March 1-31: National Craft Month (time to embrace the craft you love or want to try)
March 7: Critics Choice Awards
March 8: International Women’s Day
March 12: World Sleep Day
March 14: Daylight Saving Time starts (longer days, woo!)
March 14: National Pi Day (although unrelated, a great reason to eat pie)
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
March 20: Spring Equinox
March 20: International Day of Happiness

More things to do and celebrate

Send a book, get a book: Set up a book exchange with friends where you mail a book, read it, then send it along to the next person on the list. Once you’re done with one cycle, start another with a fresh selection of reads. You can also do this same system with other items, like puzzles or board games.

Establish a TBR fall/winter list: Create a “to be read” list of reads, then make it a mission to knock out all the books by the end of winter (deadline of March 21, set). While compiling your list, make sure to make it realistic for yourself—for example, if you’re a leisurely reader, limit it to five books (roughly one for each month). Hot tip: Get a friend to do it with you (with their own list of books) so you can hold each other accountable.

Guess that scent: Put your nose to the test with this fun guessing game. Grab the candles you already own, put them in brown paper bags, mix them up so you’re not sure which is which, and try to sniff out the scents. Take notes, then compare with what the candle actually is when you reveal it, and find out how well you really know your candles. If you have housemates, have them join in on the fun, too.

Virtual potluck, “Chopped” style: Write common pantry staples on individual strips of paper, throw them in a bowl, and pick three at random. Then, communicate the ingredients to a group of friends, and let everyone get cooking/baking with the three ingredients, plus up to three additional items of their choosing. Pick a night to come together with what each person made, share findings, and—most importantly—have a lot of laughs.

Short story club: Start doing a virtual short story club with a group of friends or family. Someone different picks a short story (that’s available for free online), and every week you pick a night to discuss. It’s a low-lift way to keep reading and stay in touch with friends. If you want to go an extra step, everyone make a $5 donation for the charity of your choosing every week.

Treat yourself with learning: Browse MasterClass, Coursera, Airbnb Online Experiences, etc. and treat yourself to one class that’s something you’ve always wanted to learn more about or have a passion for. Don’t think about it in a practical sense—and who knows where it might take you (like, discovering your purpose, perhaps?)

Dream virtual destination: Pick a destination that you’ve always wanted to travel to (perhaps it was on your 2020/2021 list) and create an at-home itinerary that’s inspired by it! For example, if you select the Greek islands, take a virtual tour of Mykonos, sign up for a virtual Greek cooking class where you can learn to make a traditional dish, play Greek music in the background all day—even take some Greek lessons on Duolingo, if you feel inspired to do so.

Credit: Santi Nunez/Stocksy

Future trip planning: While international travel isn’t really a thing right now, there’s nothing preventing you from planning that dream trip. Pick the destination and do some fun research—browse rentals, search for the best restaurants/activities, what you would do for transportation, etc. That way, when you’re finally ready to take the trip, it’s all planned out. After all, as this Nat Geo story brings up, the anticipation of a trip is nearly as enjoyable as actually taking it.

Coloring pages-turned-wall art: Create your own piece of wall art while getting to expressively color. Buy a thematic coloring book from Etsy or download/print out free pages, go to town with some colorful pencils or crayons, then pick your favorite(s) and get to framing. Easy, affordable, and productive!

Switcharoo Day: Set a date with a family member/friend to gather up five home items each of you no longer want (board games, planters, books, blanket, etc.), then trade them for the five items they want to give you. It’s a great way to refresh your space without having to buy anything new (sans the shipping cost, if it’s not in person) and recycle things you no longer use.

Thematic TV/movie night: Do a pop culture binge-watch night where you set the scene and make drinks/snacks based off of what you’re watching. An ideal example for watching season six of “Schitt’s Creek” on Netflix: make some enchiladas like David, wear old fashioned PJs like Johnny—with a wig, if you have one, like Moira)—and put on your favorite lotions and light candles like you’re shopping at Rose Apothecary. Oh, and obviously have red and white wine.

Pen pal partnership: Establish a pen pal to keep in touch with throughout the fall and winter months. Use your favorite stationery, shower your envelopes with stickers, create a fun theme for every month’s letter, ask a fun question at the end of each note to leave you in suspense—make it fun and personal.

At-home spa time: Recreate a spa-like experience at home. Grab a glass of wine and take a nice warm bath with all your fave salts/bubbles (or a hot shower), do a beauty mask, use your favorite smelling lotion, give yourself an at-home mani/pedi, the options are endless.

Let is snow (angel): If you happen to live in a place where there’s snow, don’t just let it sit there on the ground (although it is pretty to watch). Grab your waterproof pants and jacket, head outside, and get down (literally) with making some snow angels.

Credit: VioNet/Getty Images

Old-fashioned snowball fight: Again, if you live where it snows, round up your housemates and any neighboring friends and family for a playful snowball battle. Not only is this activity free and comes with easy setup (thanks, Mother Nature), but it also abides by social distancing rules.

Epic fort-building: Revisit one of the best childhood activities and build yourself the best fort with everything around you. Grab a kitchen chair, drape your favorite massive fleece blanket over it, throw every single pillow imaginable underneath, and continue on the mission to achieve the ultimate coziness.

Leaf decorating: Put all the vibrant, unique leaves that fall to the ground to good use within your home. Go outside, take a long walk around your neighborhood, and gather the leaves that catch your attention along the way. Then, find a glass vase or bowl and arrange them inside, or hang them all on a string or wire and drape your walls with them.

Cozy happy hour:
Pick a day in the middle of winter and schedule a virtual happy hour with friends and/or family where everyone comes with their favorite hot beverage of choice, from mulled wine to hot cocoa and chamomile tea. Make sure everyone shows up in their comfiest lounging clothes, too!

DIY sanctuary space: Work on creating a peaceful area at home where you can practice wellness, if you haven’t already established one. This can be a room, table, even a corner—just a place where you turn off all devices and can sit with yourself and reflect. Perhaps there’s a meditation cushion, or a reflection journal where you write in, a yoga mat that you do your favorite stretches. Any and all feel good items are welcome.

Virtual walk/run: To keep you moving, sign yourself up for a virtual walk or run in the fall or winter months. Not only is it great motivation to practice wellness, but you can also do it for a great cause. Check out some charity events here, or poke around your community resources to see if there’s already something like this happening in your local area.