Need some new ideas for your fall bucket list this year? You’re at the right place! Here are ten suggetions to add to your fall bucket list from a pumpkin feast to a trip to Longwood Gardens.
Host a Pumpkin Potluck
Pumpkins are versatile, and we’re not just talking about pie filling and Halloween jack-o’-lanterns. Whether you’re using a can of pumpkin or the fresh veggie, you can create a wide variety of pumpkin recipes, including pumpkin soup, pumpkin cookies or bread, pumpkin pie smoothies, pumpkin scones, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie lattes, pumpkin ravioli and so much more. Invite your friends and family to a pumpkin-themed potluck and ask each person to bring their favorite dish with the recipe to share. And come hungry! Maybe this is the time to carve a pumpkin or roast some pumpkin seeds. Is there anything more appropriate to a fall bucket list than celebrating the Great Pumpkin?
Go for a Hike on Old Rag
The crisp, cool air and autumn sunshine are ideal for taking a hike. Check out the changing colors of the leaves, try a new trail, enjoy a beautiful view or just spend some quiet time in nature. There are so many great places around the DC metro area to hike – or even just stroll. Try the Capital Crescent Trail or the Billy Goat Trail. For a bit of a challenge, climb Sugarloaf Mountain or Old Rag. Take a stoll along the C&O Canal and enjoy feeding the ducks while learning a little bit of history.
Organize a Blanket Drive for People or Animals
As temps drop, it can become uncomfortable and even dangerous to be outside, so shelters fill up fast. This time of year, they are often in desperate need of warm blankets or clothing. Help out shelters—both the human and animal variety—by hosting a blanket and/or coat drive at your school or in your neighborhood. Homeless shelters prefer new or gently used items, and animal shelters will often welcome your more well-loved blankets and towels. Call ahead to find out what items they could most use, or check out these things animal shelters desperately need right now. If you want to donate your old blankets, towels, sheets or comforters to a local animal shelter but don’t have the time to drop them off, give me a call and I will pick up your donation and deliver it for you.
Try a New Veggie
Pumpkins get all the love this season, but many delicious and nutritious vegetables are at their peak in the fall months. Think root veggies like turnips, parsnips, celeriac, rutabagas and potatoes. Branch out of your comfort zone—purple potatoes, anyone? Toss them with a little olive oil, salt and fresh herbs, then roast them for a hearty side dish or meal. Here’s a full list of foods that taste better in the fall –all perfect for your fall bucket list!
Visit a Local Farmer’s Market
Heading to a local farmers market is one of my all-time favorite fall activities. (It sure beats tackling the list of things you need to do to get your home ready for fall.) People often consider this a summer outing, but there are still a few months left to enjoy seasonal, locally grown food fresh from the farmers market. Bring your pickings back, and get creative with apples, beets, leeks, parsnips and mushrooms—all of which are best in the fall. I am never sure whether the farmer’s market at Dupont Circle or the one at Bethesda Elementary is my favority market. Why don’t you try both and let me know!
Add a Ghost Tour to Your Fall Bucket List
The dead are a lot less scary (and a lot more interesting) when you learn their history. Tudor Place in Georgetown is offering special guided tours of the historic house from October 3 through November 5. This tour reveals almost 200 years of mourning customs as expressed through artifacts and décor and explores the evolution of funeral and burial traditions among Peter family members. Tours will consider the traditions of enslaved and free domestic laborers, which reflected generations of inherited customs and collective values. You can tour ghostly locations on Capitol Hill, Alexandria, Georgetown, Lafayette Park, and even the Congressional Cemetery. Face it – with all the scary things going on in the news, it might be nice to spend the evening following a few ghosts! Your fall bucket list will thank you!
Run in a Turkey Trot for Your Fall Bucket List
Fall is full of fun runs, ranging from 5Ks to the Marine Corp marathon. The cooler weather is ideal for outdoor cardio, and a footrace is great for both serious runners and people looking for some fun with their exercise. The most popular races this time of year are the turkey trots, hosted in nearly every city in America around Thanksgiving. Have fun, enjoy time with loved ones, spend the afternoon outdoors and burn a few calories before indulging in the big feast. Thanksgiving not your favorite? Look for Halloween-themed runs, featuring costumes (or high heels,) haunted or glow-in-the-dark courses, and night runs.
Go on a Hayride and Bring Back a Pumpkin
Pile into the back of a truck or a horse and buggy and get chauffeured around while you watch the changing leaves and feel the crisp fall air. Most of the pick your own pumpkin farms take you out to the fields in a truck filled with hay. It is definitely a bouncy ride – but lots of fun.
Visit Longwood Gardens to Get Inspiration for Your Own Garden Next Year
Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is a perfect day trip since it is just 110 miles north of DC. Until mid-November, Longwood is celebrating fall’s favorite flower—in its many forms, hues, and varieties—during the Chrysanthemum Festival. Cherished for their exquisite beauty and delightfully distinct variations, chrysanthemums take center stage at Longwood —and for very good reason. Complex by nature, chrysanthemums range from the tiny pompon to the great irregular incurve—all on full, radiant display. There is also a pumpkin festival through the end of October. Beginning in mid-November, Longwood begins its retro Christmas celebration with trees draped in throwback baubles to shimmering tinsel to childhood-favorite toys.
invite Your Friends to a Chili Cook Off Coupled with a Sunday Football Game
Host a chili cook off coupled with a Sunday football game. You will want to clearly state in your invitation that you will be hosting a Chili Cook-Off and what that means for your guests. You should state the rules, prizes (if having) and exactly what you want your guests to bring with them. When I have done a Chili Cook-Off, I asked guests to bring a pot of their award-winning chili. I explained that we would be voting on our favorite chili and the winner would receive a $25 gift card. I chose to have one overall winner but you can pick multiple winners for different categories, such as Best Overall, Spiciest and Most Unique.