Writer’s Note: Just so you know, I’m not getting paid to write about any of these things! I just wanted to share my favorite things about fall 🙂
Despite the fact that the high in Charlotte today is 92 degrees, it actually is fall. The Lord decided to bless us, and the high for Sunday, October 1st, is only 74! Woo!
I have a lot of information to share with you, so if you love fall like me, get ready…
Celebrating Fall in Your Home
If you’re looking for ways to get that fall-feel in your home, here are some ideas:
Candles set the right tone.
It’s essential that you have at least one autumn-scented candle in your home. If you want to make good first impressions when people come over, try placing it towards your entryway. Another great place? In your entertaining space, wherever that may be.
For me, I have a plethora of fall candles that I keep near my front door, in my living room, and in my kitchen. My go-to are any pumpkin-scented candles from Bath and Body Works (this is my favorite!), but if you can afford Yankee Candles, go for it.
Festive decorations give your home a little something-something.
I have a place right at my front door (see picture in candle section) that is my seasonal/holiday space. I change it up with different decorations and candles depending on what season we are in or what holiday is near. It’s nice to have a dedicated space for fun so that I don’t need to have decorations all over the place.
Sure, for certain holidays (Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and others), I might have some decorations in other places around my house, but having a seasonal spot takes the pressure off of having to get stuff that you want to put up (and saves you money!). Once you find your favorite items for each season, hold onto them and reuse them next year! Over time, if you see something you really want to add to your collection, maybe your spot will grow, or maybe you’ll retire a piece.
Fall foods are about more than just Pumpkin-Spiced Lattes (but we’ll still take those!).
Seriously, if you go on Pinterest, you will find all of the fall food recipes. And you don’t have to be hosting a dinner party to make an awesome autumn dish. Sometimes it’s just nice to celebrate for yourself!
You can also find recipes in these things called cookbooks—shocking, I know! I have one from the 80s that features recipes for every season.
But perhaps the easiest way to get some fall foods going in your kitchen is Trader Joe’s. Seriously, this store is full of fall-everything—check out their current shopping list for a good idea of what they have. Here’s a (very) small sample of fall favorites that I currently have in my kitchen:
For those who don’t know, Trader Joe’s has an area where you can sample things. The day I went, they were giving out samples of that Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. It. Is. Incredible!! In fact, I had that very box for lunch today.
The Autumnal Harvest pasta sauce is super yummy too. Such an easy way to add some fall fun to your dinner—just serve warm over pasta!
They also had a sample of their pumpkin bread, but they added pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips to theirs! So good.
And you can’t go wrong with Spiced Cider! Delicious chilled or warmed.
Saturday mornings are for big breakfasts, and in the fall, that means pumpkin pancakes or waffles. Add a cup of coffee with Pumpkin-Spice creamer (I got mine at Target), and you’re just a happy person.
Things To Do: Anywhere
Don’t just keep your love for fall inside your home—get outdoors and do some fall activities! For those who aren’t in the Charlotte area, here are some generic things you can do in the fall:
- Buy a pumpkin and carve it.
- This is a tradition for my every year! I always change the carving up, usually doing something pop culture related.
- Bonus points if you go to a pumpkin patch to get your pumpkin!
- Find a fall festival or farm to attend.
- If you Google your city and the words “fall festival” or “fall farm,” most likely at least one of each will pop up. Fall fests vary, but they are always fun. Farms tend to have fresh produce to shop, hayrides, petting zoos, and lots of other fun activities.
- Go apple-picking! (if available)
- Pick an awesome Halloween costume.
- Points for creativity/topicality.
- Make candy/caramel apples.
- Buy fall-flavored craft beers.
- I mean, the least you could do is get the Samuel Adams OctoberFest? Not exactly craft, but you know, get in the spirit!
- Attend a football game.
- You know I had to include this, right? If you don’t have an NFL team/don’t want to pay to watch an NFL game, support your local high school one Friday night! Those kids work hard, give them some love!
Things to Do: Charlotte*
*Note: There are plenty of other places to go/things to do that aren’t listed here. I’m including the ones that I have either been to or want to go to this year!
Alright, Charlotteans and those in the surrounding areas—be sure to check out these awesome events/places nearby:
- Waldhorn’s Oktoberfest: Weekends, Now through October 14
- Charlotte’s famed German restaurant is celebrating Oktoberfest once again. Eat traditional German foods, drink lots of German beer, and listen to some polka music while enjoying this fall favorite.
- Fall Frolic at Anne Springs Close Greenway: Weekends, September 30—October 29
- This is another I haven’t been to, but it seems really kid-friendly! It’s in Fort Mill, and they have a pumpkin patch, wagon rides, petting zoo, pedal carts, face painting, horseback riding, and kayaking.
- Carolina Renaissance Festival: Weekends, September 30—November 19
- This annual festival is a Charlotte tradition. Be transported back in time to the days of jousting, knights, jesters, medieval torture, and massive turkey legs.
- Harvest Fest: October 14
- I honestly have no idea what this is, but it’s taking place at 7th Street Market, and I bet it’s going to be awesome! They have done it for a couple years now.
- Day of the Dead/Dia de Muertos Festival: October 29
- This one I might be most excited for. I have never been to this! But it looks amazing. Sugar Skull workshops?! Traditional foods?! Count me in!
- Hall Family Farm: Last two weekends of September, everyday in October
- Guys, I love this place, and not just because it’s like 5 minutes from my house. They have a corn maze, pumpkin picking, hayrides, apple cider doughnuts, funnel cakes, a big slide, and lots of other fun things. Check out the FAQs for a lot of helpful info!
- Rural Hill Amazing Maize Maze: Now through November 5
- This is another that I’ve never been to, but I’m so looking forward to going! They have a seven-acre (!) corn maze that you can try to make your way through as well as hayrides, corn-hole, pumpkin picking, trails, and more!
- Hodges Farm Pumpkin Patch: September 30—October 31
- Haven’t been here either, but they have a pumpkin patch, hay mountain to climb and jump on, hayrides, and yummy treats.
- Bush-N-Vine Fall Farm Fun: Saturdays starting September 30 through October 28
- I blogged about my first trip to Bush-N-Vine this spring—I’m definitely going back for their Fall Farm Fun! Each Saturday they have different activities going on including pumpkin picking, hayrides, bouncy houses, live music, and tasty treats!
- Windy Hill Orchard: All Weekends (check out the schedule here)
- I haven’t been here, but I’m dying to try their Hard Cider! I think their apple season is pretty much over, but there are still some left if you hurry! They have hayrides, live music, cider tastings, and more.
- Scarowinds: Weekends, Now through October 29
- Carowinds becomes Scarowinds on the weekends leading up to Halloween. As you walk the park, ghouls, goblins, zombies, and other monsters may find you… Visit the different scary attractions and be sure to ride your favorite rollercoasters.
- Scarrigan Farms: Weekends, Starting October 6; Every night October 26—31
- Carrigan Farms transforms into Scarrigan Farms on select nights in October. I haven’t been, but it sounds truly terrifying. No one under the age of 12 allowed. To quote: “If someone hasn’t peed in their pants by the end of the night we know we haven’t done our job.” Yikes.
I hope this guide to fall fun and festivities has inspired you to start celebrating the season! If I left out your favorite fall activity or place to go, please let me know in the comments of the blog or on social media!