Sustainable Fall Bucket List: 10 Cozy Activities To Reconnect With Yourself And Nature

Let the autumn fun begin 🍁

Bidding goodbye to the summer must have felt bittersweet. Fall is the time to put all pretty summer clothes in the back of the closet. But on the brighter side, the holidays are just a few weeks away (yay!) with celebrations galore. 

The arrival of autumn means pumpkin spice latte and cider are back on the menu. Time to spend lazy weekends by the window, in a cozy sweater with a favorite book, taking in the beautiful autumn colors – sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

Fall foliage
KJP / Instagram

We’re already drooling, thinking of all the epic feasts to enjoy over the holidays. From amazing apple cider donuts to yummy pumpkin pies, we just can’t get enough. 

On that delicious note, we can think of so much to do to shake off the autumn blues. Even if there’s not much sunshine, we should make the most of this not-so-hot, not-so-cold fall weather. 

Here’re some ideas in our sustainable fall bucket list that are absolutely fun to enjoy with family, friends, or even by yourself.  

Autumn activities to have fun outdoors 

Let’s start with things to do on the weekend away from home, to reconnect with nature this fall. 

1. How about apple picking? 

sustainable fall bucket list ideas - apple picking
Curtisorchard / Instagram

There’s nothing better than that first bite of a freshly baked apple pie! We can already taste the fresh filling, as it melts in our mouths.  

We love spending time in nature, whether with family or alone. There’s just something so calming about breathing in clean air, with the aroma of apples (ready for the picking!)  

It gives us time away from work desks and laptop screens. We can spend a cozy Sunday afternoon strolling around the apple orchard, to feel rejuvenated and enjoy some quality time with family. 

Our favorite spot close to home (or Chicago) is Curtis Orchard, located in Champaign, Illinois. The farm has around 30+ varieties of apples and many other activities, including – a goat petting zoo, munchkin land, slingshot gallery, giant slide, an obstacle course, and much more. 

They also have a pumpkin patch and corn maze. Both these activities are also a part of our sustainable fall bucket list. A two-day trip to this orchard will make one heck of a fun-filled weekend with family. Make sure to book in advance, the place gets sold out really quickly. 

2. Pumpkin patch visits for the harvest season and Halloween!

pumpkin patches
totallystaugustine / Instagram

It’s close to the Halloween season! The satisfaction of carving the jack-o-lantern just the way we like is simply unmatched.  

The entire activity of choosing from the different shapes and sizes of pumpkins and gourds is really fun. It helps us tap into our creative side when decorating our homes with the fall harvest. 

When it comes to pumpkin patches, we love the one right here in Chicago – The Jefferson Memorial Park. Every year the park holds a unique fall fest with some amazing games, and of course, pumpkins. 

Oh, and yes! Don’t throw away these pumpkins after Halloween. Just use them up, one way or another. If not, then either compost them or give them away to local farms. 

Related Article: Use The Leftover Pumpkin Post Halloween In 3 Cool Ways 

3. Short walks and hikes to explore the fall foliage 

fall foliage and roads
KJP / Instagram

The onset of fall means the year has nearly come to an end. This is a great opportunity to take some time alone, to reflect and retrospect before the holiday hustle begins. 

It sometimes gets very difficult to get this quality time in the city, with our busy schedules. What’s better than spending some time alone in a small town, away from the humdrum of the city? 

According to Healthline, “studies have shown we can have a physiological response to being in natural environments, reducing our heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. 
There can also be a level of psychological restoration, with the lowering of cortisol, improved concentration, and feeling a deeper sense of connection.” 

We recommend taking a solo workcation to places such as Vermont or Hudson, New York City, to enjoy the fall foliage.  

For us, solo walks by the riverside are extremely great to start the morning on a higher note. Witnessing a beautiful sunset after a hectic day takes away all the stress in minutes.

4. Bonfire nights are a big hit, every fall

Bonfire with family
kylamariecharles / Instagram

The weather in fall is simply perfect to have a bonfire. It’s a great opportunity to spend some quality time with loved ones. A bonfire in the backyard sounds great to enjoy some good vibes. 

Nothing beats sitting around a bonfire on a chilly autumn night with family and friends, rekindling old memories. Save the funniest and most embarrassing stories for last 😉 

To lighten up the mood, put on some soft music and play a few fun games. Oh, and yes! What’s a bonfire without s’mores and spooky stories?! 

It is pretty easy to set up a bonfire in the backyard. And if you’re looking for a short weekend getaway with the family, visit the Crater Lake National Park in Oregon and the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. 

5. Corn maze for the puzzle lovers 

Corn maze
Lowe Family Farmstead

The corn maze tradition goes way back. Farmers carve out a maze in their farms. While cartoon and celebrity faces are common, some farms also follow a particular theme or tell stories.  

For someone who loves puzzles, it’s a great activity to blow off some steam. For Harry Potter fans, it’s exactly like reliving the scenes from the final round of the Tri-wizard Tournament (without the scary end, of course!) 

We hear that the Lowe Family Farmstead in Kuna, Idaho, and Long & Scott Farms in Mt. Dora, Florida, have some great activities planned. 

Bring some fresh corn cobs back home and make delicious kettle corn. Just like watermelon is a must-have for summer, kettle corn is a must in the fall. 

In case someone gets lost in the maze, don’t panic. These places always have people from the farms taking rounds to help out visitors. It is also likely to bump into other visitors who can help out. 

Bucket list ideas to enjoy fall indoors

Not all autumn days are bright and sunny. There might be days with grey skies and pouring rain. Here’s how we can add some excitement to those gloomy days while staying indoors.

6. Time for decor upgrades 

fall decor ideas
decorwdrea18 / Instagram

Store-bought décor items have lots of plastic in them, and these items are rendered useless after fall. This can easily be remedied by trying out some fun DIY fall decor projects.  

Be it a standout centerpiece for Thanksgiving or a Jack-o-lantern for Halloween, we can easily make these using – old mason jar lids, cotton yarn, and by reusing old clothes.   

Don’t believe us? Check them out here

7. Delicious food and fall go hand-in-hand 

bake pumpkin pie sustainable fall bucket list
Pixabay / Pexels

Good food, good life! Autumn is the season to cozy up and tuck into flavorful soups, stews, risotto, and curries.  

From apple pie to carrot cake, from cider to pumpkin spice latte, we love to dig into all these delicious treats in this weather. Get comfortable with a plate of apple crisps or a slice of pumpkin pie. 

These scrumptious recipes are super easy to make at home. Within minutes of placing them in the oven, our home is filled with fall vibes indoors. (We bet it smells way nicer than it reads!)  

What are you waiting for? Let’s whip up these fall-favorite desserts already.  

Pro Tip – Brew some mulled wine too. It’s basically a concoction of red wine with a few spices. We assure you, it will make your home smell heavenly and will go nicely with all the desserts! 

8. Don’t forget skincare and style 

fall skincare
april_harrison_derm_pa / Instagram

With the weather getting slightly chilly and dry, it’s also time to update our beauty routine and wardrobe for the fall.  

We suggest including more hydrating and moisturizing elements in your fall skincare routine. This will not only keep your skin and hair healthy in the fall but also prepare you for colder weather in the winter.  

Pro Tip – Don’t skip the sunscreen even on cloudy days. Sunscreen protects us from UVA and UVB rays. Remember: clouds can block the sun, but not the UV rays. 

For harsher and colder weather, we recommend comfy clothes made with sustainable fabrics and proper layering.

9. Movie nights and books for cozy evenings at home

movie marathons on chilly autumn nights
Taryn Elliott / Pexels

Not much of an outdoorsy person? Here’s something to keep things warm and cozy indoors, this fall.  

Our favorite thing to do on a chilly autumn night – light up some scented candles and put on our favorite socks. Cuddle up in a blanket with a steaming cup of pumpkin spice latte (or hot chocolate). Read a good book before calling it a night. 

When having friends over, we love a good movie marathon. There are some amazing autumn-themed movies like Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings, Dead Poets Society, etc. It is the perfect way to spend a chilly fall night, snuggled up on the couch. 

A Halloween-themed horror movie night is also a wonderful fall time activity. Some truly scary movies like The Grudge or The Conjuring will help spook things up on a long fall night. 

Psst… Get a bowl of popcorn already! 

10. Thank you cards and mixtapes  

thanksgiving cards
RODNAE Productions / Pexels

Thanksgiving is also around the corner! It the best time to write thank you cards for our loved ones. It’s the last autumn activity on our bucket list while also making a fall playlist. 

Old school, much? Might as well make a fall-themed mixtape for friends and family. We are sure they will love it! 

Some good music, paired with delicious fall treats, is just what we need on a cozy autumn evening. Pick out all the favorite songs (while swaying to the tune a little), before finally getting some work done.

All these amazing autumn activities add layers of fun to the season, something to look forward to in the fall. This sustainable fall bucket list will make days more fulfilling and help bring home the holiday spirit!  

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