15 Rituals to Welcome Fall That Aren’t Apple Picking

published Sep 10, 2022
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Cute autumn home decor arrangement. Tiny wooden cabin balcony with heather flowers in pot, lavender in bottle vase, candlelight flame, soft beige plaid waiting on comfortable garden furniture chair
Credit: Getty Images/ Helin Loik-Tomson

As temperatures cool, it is time to honor fall with some creative rituals you can do with family and friends. Everyone has heard of the typical fall activities — apple picking and pumpkin carving — but what about trying some out-of-the-box rituals to celebrate the arrival of the season? 

Check out these 15 rituals to welcome fall. 

1. Build a bonfire.

I always think of bonfires as an activity reserved for traveling to some off-site location, but why not start a tradition you can participate in annually? You can create a bonfire right at home if you have a fire pit. Break out the marshmallows to roast and make your own s’mores. If you can’t have a bonfire because of local ordinances, take the family to a nearby campsite and rent a pit. 

2. Write a letter.

The change in season is a perfect excuse to reignite an old connection. Reach out to a friend by writing a letter — this may come as a pleasant surprise not only for you, but for the person receiving the letter. You can make it a ritual by buying special stationery, envelopes, and a nice pen. 

3. Bake some bread.

Looking to try a new bread recipe? Fall is a great time to get baking. Banana or pumpkin bread makes for a wonderful afterschool snack or after-dinner dessert — not to mention, fills the kitchen with a delicious autumnal fragrance.

Credit: Getty Images/ Maria Kovalevskaya / EyeEm

4. Indulge in everything pumpkin. 

Fall is the time to indulge in everything pumpkin. Whether it’s a latte from your local coffee shop or a maple-frosted scone, most grocery stores and restaurants will offer an opportunity to try your favorite pumpkin food or drink. 

5. Take a hike somewhere new.

A hike in an unexplored area could be a great way to start a weekend morning. Gather family or friends together and try venturing out to a different hike every month in the fall. After the hike you can grab a bite at your favorite local restaurant. 

6. Become a tourist in your city. 

Sometimes people resist exploring their own city because they don’t think there’s anything new to discover in their own backyard. Research online or ask your friends the best place they’ve visited in the city and add them to your city bucket list and make some time to see what it is about. 

7. Do an autumn-themed puzzle.

Usher in fall by purchasing or borrowing a 1000-word piece puzzle and make a point of working on it throughout the season. Keep it in common place so any time you have a moment you can put parts of the puzzle together. It’s the perfect cozy activity to embrace delayed gratification and the season. 

8. Play some pickleball.

Pickleball is storming the country. It requires minimal equipment, all you need is a tennis court, and it’s great for any age or skill level. With temperatures cooling, pickleball is a way to warm up while moving your body and socializing with friends. 

9. Go for a bike ride. 

Bike riding will help you relish the changing colors of the foliage and enjoy the weather. You can plan a bike ride that is more urban or choose to stay close to the city. The fact is you will pay attention to the fall in a way you just can’t in a car. 

10. Enjoy fall-scented candles. 

Lighting fall-scented candles can usher in the season, marking the end of summer and welcoming fall. It will add a sweetness to the air and definitely feel like fall has arrived. 

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11. Pack a fall picnic.

Grab a picnic basket and fill it with the essentials, like sandwiches, grapes, and wine. Scout out your favorite park or picnic area and have a nice fall picnic. This could easily become a tradition you revisit every fall, whether it’s with friends or solo.

12. Gaze at the stars.

One way to enjoy the cooler nights is to head outside for stargazing. Create a fun challenge with your family to name as many constellations as you can. Or, if competition isn’t your thing, you can simply look up and take in the beautiful night sky. 

13. Head to a drive-in theater.

Sometimes it is fun to go old-school and revisit an activity you enjoyed as a child. Why not change it up and head to the local drive-in theater to catch a classic? The bonus is you can get comfy in your car and also pack your favorite snacks. 

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14. Make candy apples.

Get into the fall (and Halloween) spirit by making your own candy apples. Pick out your favorite kind of apple, caramel, and a variety of toppings, like oreos, peanuts, or sprinkles for coating. It’s a guaranteed hit. 

15. Tailgate a football game.

If a football game is your jam, why not turn it up a notch and tailgate outside the stadium? Get family and friends involved and have a gathering that celebrates food, company, and of course, rooting for your favorite football team.