Autumn is an exciting time of year because although the days get shorter and colder, there are so many special events to look forward to. Whether it’s Halloween, Bonfire Night or picking your very own pumpkin to carve, there is plenty to do as you begin to wrap up and watch the brightly coloured leaves drop from the trees.
If you read our Summer Bucket List, then you’ll have discovered plenty of outdoor options to add to your list. Just because it’s Fall doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do outside too, especially when there’s a crisp feeling in the air which makes it magical.
The most important thing for any bucket list is that you’re trying something new, whether it’s by yourself, with a loved one or family. In fact, you may want to add something more personal to yours, that we haven’t even thought about. Bucket lists are all about making memories and Autumn is the perfect time of year to begin.
Autumn Unique and Fun Things to Do
1. Head to a Pumpkin Patch
It would make sense to start with something that we all associate with Autumn and that’s picking your own pumpkin. This has become an increasingly popular activity with more and more families heading to a pumpkin patch, rather than grabbing their pumpkin from the supermarket. When we imagine pumpkins, we obviously think about Halloween and the excitement of dressing up and trick or treat. But choosing your pumpkin is the perfect way to start the Fall season.
There are lots of farms around with pumpkin patches, and most of them allow visitors. In fact, more and more have expanded by adding kids play areas and cafes to make the day more special. So, make sure you do a little research into which of your local farms is the best one.
As you may know, the bigger the pumpkin the more it will cost, so just check prices before you head out to the field. The rule of thumb is the darker the pumpkin the better and you want a smooth, evenly coloured orange skin.
If you’ve never picked your own pumpkin then now is the time, so grab those wellies and wrap up warm. It’s a beautiful sight seeing a field adorned with vibrant orange pumpkins, and even better that you get to take one home with you.
2. Carve Your Pumpkin
You may have picked your own pumpkin from a farm or quickly grabbed one from the supermarket. The next step is to get creative and carve it, to make a spooky decoration for the Autumnal season. Scooping out the guts of the pumpkin is incredibly messy, but then again that’s what makes it fun.
We mentioned in the pumpkin picking section about how to choose the right one. Another way to find a good pumpkin to carve is by tapping it and listening for a hollow sound. Then you’ll need a decent pumpkin carving kit, which you can easily find online, but we like the look of this one on Amazon.
Deciding what design you’ll carve into your pumpkin is the next difficulty, but thankfully there’s lots of free templates online to choose from. We’ve seen some incredible Jack O’ Lanterns designed by friends such as the Cheshire Cat, Star Wars characters and even Minions.
When it comes to carving the pumpkin, you begin by cutting a circle into the top then scoop out the guts and seeds. Draw your design on a piece of paper and tape it to the pumpkin, then punch holes through the lines of the design into the skin. When you remove the paper, you will see the outline of the shape in holes. Use your cutting tools and carefully cut and shape your design. Once that’s all done you can place a candle inside and turn off the lights to enjoy your spooky creation.
This bucket list item is ideal to do with kids, especially on those colder rainy days when you’re stuck inside and looking for something fun to try.
To make life easier we have written a full guide on How to Carve a Pumpkin, which includes tips and tricks.
3. Take Part in a Halloween Costume Contest
Halloween is the biggest day in the Autumn calendar, so it makes sense to celebrate in style by piecing together an incredible costume. Most people grab an off the rack option, but you maybe a little more creative and want to make your own. If it ends up looking good, then why not enter a Halloween costume contest to see if you can win the top prize. If you struggle to find one, then you and your friends can always create your own contest to see who’s the winner.
4. Jump into a Pile of Leaves
With the Autumn season creeping in, you’ll see the leaves change colour and begin to fall from the trees. It’s one of the more beautiful parts of this season and can make everywhere look picture perfect as the floor is covered in orange, yellow and reds. As the crisp leaves begin to pile up why not make the most of it by jumping and rolling around in them, enjoying that crunchy sound as you do it. This is the perfect activity for kids or for those who are still young at heart.
5. Cuddle up Somewhere and Spend the Day Reading
Most of us sadly fail to prioritise a little bit of self-care into our lives, so why not add it to your bucket list to make sure it happens. The ideal way to take some time out is to spend the day reading, whether it’s a book you’ve read before or a new one you’ve always wanted to. If you want to make it bucket list worthy then make sure you have a comfy blanket, curl up on the couch, turn off your phone and have plenty of snacks. Why not try a classic, because they’re known as classics for a reason. You may find that after you’ve done it once, you’ll want to book out reading days on a regular basis.
6. Have a Scary Movie Marathon
As it gets darker outside, we find ourselves enjoying staying in and curling up on the couch with our loved ones. This time of year is perfect for having a movie marathon, but why not specifically theme it to tie in with the build up to Halloween and watch scary movies. These can be the super gory options such as Nightmare on Elm Street and Saw, or something a little more classic and old school such as The Pit and the Pendulum. If that all sounds a little too much, then you could always make it family friendly and watch epic scary movies such as Casper and Hocus Pocus. Of course, the ambience is a vital part of a good scary movie marathon, so close those curtains, light some candles, throw on those comfy blankets and grabs lots of snacks.
Autumn bucket list ideas such as this are perfect for pretty much everyone because they can be a solo affair or with the entire family. Plus, you’re not spending a fortune, aside from making sure you’ve got plenty of nibbles to enjoy.
7. Learn How to Knit Something Warm
We’ve explored knitting in our hobbies bucket list guide because it’s a really easy one to start. But learning how to knit is ideal for this time of year because we’re looking at wrapping up that little bit more due to the colder weather creeping in. There are lots of knitting guides and advice sites online, or you could join a local group, where other members will help show you what to do and provide expert tips and tricks. The obvious place to start is by knitting a scarf which is relatively straight forward and can be used when you head into winter. You can find knitting kits online or at most craft stores, but really all you need is the needles and some wool.
For our list of hobbies, check out our hobbies bucket list which pretty much covers every type you can imagine.
8. Visit a Farmers Market
You may think that this doesn’t sound much of a bucket list item, but it will surprise you that the majority of people will have never been to a farmer’s market. Most will head to supermarkets to grab any produce that they need. The best part of visiting a farmer’s market in the Autumn, is that the types of fruit and vegetables will vary from the other months. This is when you’ll find an abundance of squash and root vegetables will appear, because they’re ripe and in season.
Farmer’s markets are quintessentially Fall, and they are the ideal activity for a few hours on a weekend, where you can stroll and take in the beauty of nature. Why not treat yourself to a new type of fruit and veg you may never have tried, or something organic.
9. Complete an Autumn Themed Jigsaw
If you’ve read our guide to completing a large jigsaw, then you’ll know we’re huge fans of puzzles. We added jigsaws to our bucket list as a way to reduce the time we spent staring at screens. Not only did it fulfil that goal, but we realised there was a thrill to working on a jigsaw and completing it. Autumn is a great time to begin your puzzle passion because it’s cold and wet outside, so you’re stuck indoors with little to do. We found this beautiful natural Autumn Elk 1,000-piece puzzle on Amazon which is a great one to start with. The varying shades make it a little easier for beginners and you can always look at having it framed once it’s completed.
Check out our ‘How to Do a Large Jigsaw Puzzle – Expert Tips and Tricks to Complete it Fast’. This will give you everything you need to know about each stage and the tips we have picked up along the way.
10. Decorate your Fireplace in an Autumn Style
We decorate for the Christmas season, so why not do the same in Autumn? Over the last few years, we have seen more and more of our friends decorate their homes in the build up to Halloween. This could be a black tree with spooky decorations on or giving your home a more autumnal vibe. Think gold, reds, and orange colours, with beautiful leaves, pinecones or pumpkins adorning your fireplace. Then light up your pumpkin spiced candles and you create the perfect atmosphere, giving your home an inspirational cosy feel.
11. Make your Own Candles
We’ve mentioned candles a few times already and that’s because there is a calmness and beauty to having lit candles in your home when it’s dark. You could always go out and simply buy your autumn scented candles or take it a little step further and make your own. Candle making isn’t as difficult as it seems, and you can create various scents using oils. There are candle making classes in most areas, or you can buy the kit and follow an online expert instead.
12. Visit a Haunted House
There are lots of haunted house experiences around, or you could try something a little different such as a prison or castle. The number of haunted location experiences ramps up as we head into Autumn, so you will have plenty to choose from. The majority are at night, and you spend a couple of hours walking around a location as the tour guide explains the spooky history of the place. Make sure you take plenty of pictures because you never know, you may catch a ghost or an orb in your photos.
13. Head to a Spooky Cemetery
As well as spooky houses you will also find there are plenty of historic cemeteries which you can visit and learn about the many resident’s lives and deaths. We have visited a few in our time including Lafayette Cemetery No.1 in New Orleans, which we did in the day. If you have the opportunity to do a tour at night then you will add a whole new level of intensity and fear, but that is all part of the fun.
14. Host Bonfire Night
Once Halloween is done, our attentions turn to Bonfire Night, and where we’ll head to enjoy the fireworks. If you like to be the host, then why not have your own Bonfire party, and set up a firework display. Your guests could warm up near the fire and roast marshmallows, whilst sipping warm apple cider.
15. Make Toffee Apples
They are the ultimate Halloween sweet treat and a perfect way to enjoy yourself whilst fitting in your five a day. Known as Caramel Apples in America, they are incredibly easy to make and can be added to a buffet table at your Halloween or Bonfire party. Their popularity at this time of year is due to that fact that it is the time of the annual apple harvest, so there’s a plentiful supply of our favourite fruit.
16. Attempt a New Soup Recipe
As it gets cooler, not only do we dress differently but our food choices change too, and we crave warmer options. For most a family favourite is a hot bowl of hearty soup. But instead of grabbing a tin, have you ever considered making your own? It’s easier than you think, and most supermarkets sell soup packs which have all the ingredients together already chopped up. If you google home soup recipes, you will find a multitude of options pop up, but why not try and add some lentils and beans for something a little different.
17. Take a Bike Ride
Before winter sets in, we want to spend as much time outside as possible, especially with family and friends. Why not arrange a date with those you love, pack up a picnic and head out on your bikes. The scenery in autumn will be beautiful, as the leaves change colour and start to drop. It’s the ideal way to reminisce about a wonderful summer and remain grateful for the people we have around us. There are plenty of local trails you can follow, and lots of sites online which will direct you.
18. Host a Board Game Night
If you have ever wanted to host a board game night, then why not add it to your autumn bucket list. To make it bucket list worthy why not make it extra special and gather your family and friends, grab sweet treats, and pour some tasty drinks. You could even get cosy and make it a pyjama games night, with prizes given to the winners, which could be handmade gifts such as candles, bath bombs or IOU (I owe you) vouchers for raking the leaves or washing the car. There are lots of great games available whether it’s cards such as UNO and Cards Against Humanity, or board games such as Monopoly, Cluedo and Trivial Pursuit.
19. Watch a Sunrise or Sunset
As we move through autumn, the nights get longer and the days get shorter, so before that happens why not take the opportunity to tick watching a sunrise or sunset off your bucket list. It could be as you’re sat in your garden, or if you’ve travelled to somewhere new and want to make a lasting memory. Watching a day begin and set will remind you of how special every single day is and to be grateful.
20. Throw a Halloween Party
If you normally go to friend’s parties or pre-arranged ones, then what about throwing one of your own. Yes, it will take some planning and effort, but the results will create memories you’ll cherish forever. You could have a fancy dress competition and create a prize for the winner and have spooky themed food and drinks.
21. Grab the Ouija Board and Speak to the Spirits
The Ouija board is a classic around Halloween in America, but its popularity has spread throughout the world. The classic Ouija is over 130 years old and came about after the American Civil War. Families became desperate to talk to loved ones who had died during the war and spiritualism gained popularity. The spirit board or talking board is a flat board marked with letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0 to 9, and the words ‘yes’ and ‘no’. To ask the spirits your questions, you use a planchette which is a small heart-shaped piece of wood, and it will move to spell out messages during the Séance. Most of us will have watched scary movies with teenagers messing around on a Ouija board and evil spirits being contacted. So, dare you add this one to your bucket list and invite friends and family round to see if you can reach the other side. Why not make it a full night and have them stay over, with sleeping bags on the floor.
22. Take a Scenic Road Trip to Watch Fall Leaves
Autumn is a pretty spectacular time of year, because you can still enjoy warm sunny days but with a crispness in the air. As well as beautiful leaves changing colour and falling making a carpet of colours. So, make the most of it, jump into the car and drive around areas you’ve always wanted to visit, the more natural the better. There are lots of little festivals everywhere celebrating the seasonal change, so why not visit a new little town or village.
23. Take a Final Trip of the Year
You’ve probably had a few trips or holidays through the year, and you’ll know that winter is around the corner with its dark nights and cold temperatures. So why not make the most of the last bit of sunshine and head off on a final trip of the year. It can be something closer to home or you can head off to another country and explore. We’re big fans of September and October for travelling because you’ll find most places still have beautiful weather and it’s not too hot.
24. Sign up for a Cooking Class
Although we’re enjoying the autumn, most of us will be preparing for the next big festive event of Christmas. Whether it’s starting to buy presents or making plans for the big day. But what about taking on the biggest responsibility of cooking the Christmas dinner? If you’re not the greatest cook then why not sign up for a cooking class in autumn, so that you have plenty of practice time. You can make fall related meals and hone your skills, so you’re a little more prepared for the invasion of the family on Christmas day.
25. Make an Autumn Craft
You can find that you’re spending more time inside as the season moves on, so take advantage of it and get crafty. You could add a little nature and go outside and collect acorns, pinecones, leaves, and berries to whatever you’re doing. There are lots of ideas online, especially places like Pinterest, but it could be a wreath for your front door, napkin rings or something for your fireplace. If you’re not naturally crafty then head to YouTube where you’ll find plenty of online tutorials to help. You can even adapt it with a little holly and glitter so it can be used for Christmas.
26. Roast Some Chestnuts
They taste absolutely delicious, they’re highly nutritious and an autumn favourite. Simply buy some chestnuts or forage for them and then roast in the oven. You can serve them in beautiful salads, with roasted vegetables or simply as a snack.
27. Bake a Pie
Is there anything better than a piece of pie, especially when its cold and dark outside and you need warming up. If you’ve never baked a pie before, than what about adding it to your fall bucket list. Whether it’s a family favourite such as an apple pie, or something sweeter such as cherry or even a little different such as pecan or rhubarb pie. There are plenty of guidance videos on YouTube and once you’ve made your masterpiece, you get to eat it afterwards. Or you could give it to friends and family to brighten their day and get some feedback. The best thing about baking is that it’s quite cathartic, so this is the perfect activity if you’re feeling a little stressed and need something to take your mind off it.
28. Create a Gratitude Journal
For my American readers you’re heading into the time of year when your focus is on being thankful. But it seems the perfect time of year for all of us no matter where we are from to think about what we’re grateful for. So why not create a list of all the things you’re grateful for, or even a daily journal and make it a regular habit. We combine our gratitude list with our daily journal and write down three things every day. It provides us with a moment where we have to consider what it is we’re grateful for and that changes every day. It could be your family, partner, your home, or something simpler such as a good cup of coffee or heating in your house. Numerous studies have found that focusing on gratitude and happiness can help fight depression, reduce inflammation, and improve overall health and wellness. Not bad when all you’re doing is taking some time out for yourself and thinking about what it is that you love or enjoy.
29. Get a Spooky Manicure
Whether it’s the first manicure you’ve ever had or your first ever themed one, why not go spooky for the season or try fall colours. Whether it’s black and whites, or browns, oranges, and reds, you can add a little fun to your life and celebrate the start of a new season whilst looking fabulous.
30. Create a Fall Themed Cocktail
As you cosy up at night with your friends and family, you may want to enjoy a tipple or two. But to make it bucket list worthy why not create your own fall themed cocktail. You can focus on fall flavours such as pumpkin, figs and cinnamon. Try pairing it up with a warm apple cider or mulled wine. If this sounds like a lot of work, then you can always Google autumn themed recipes and the internet will provide.
The best place to begin is by ordering a cocktail making set and we’ve seen a great one on Amazon which has a lovely wooden display.
31. Make a Fall Playlist
Having a seasonal play list is the perfect way to get you in the mood, especially during the spooky season of autumn. If you’re a little too busy for that you can always check out what fall play lists have already been created and simply listen to them. But we love having our own personalised list because it brings back happy memories and helps us create new ones; Monster Mash anyone?
32. Work Your Way Through a Corn Maze
Also known as a maize maze, a corn maze is lots of fun for everyone, as you try to work your way through from the start to the finish without getting lost. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon with the kids and will really get everyone in the fall spirit. Why not make a day of it and go pumpkin picking as well, to have the true autumn bucket list experience.
33. Attend an Autumn Festival
There will be lots of music and harvest festivals at this time of year, but one of the most popular all over the world is Oktoberfest. The main Oktoberfest is held in Munich, Germany, but you will probably find one closer to where you live. We love the annual Oktoberfest in Alton Towers theme park, where they serve Bavarian beer and food options.
If you want to know more about Alton Towers, then check out our guide on this incredible theme park.
34. Throw a Friendsgiving
Although Thanksgiving is a holiday within America, celebrating the harvest and blessings of the year. We have seen its symbolism spread throughout the world, with many people throwing their own versions of Thanksgiving. This has led to the popularity of a new type of holiday called Friendsgiving. It’s a perfect way to spend time with your friends and let them know how grateful you are to have them in your life. You could all bring a set dish and make it a potluck or do the whole thing yourself and decorate your table all fancy.
35. Plan a Special Thanksgiving
This may not be very bucket list worthy if its something you do every year, but if you’ve never held a Thanksgiving then why not make it a special one. Invite all the people who you cherish and are grateful for, then add in all the traditional Thanksgiving foods. The most important part is to focus on the reason why you’re all together and that’s to show your gratitude to everyone around you. This type of practice doesn’t have to be specifically for our American readers, it’s something that can be done wherever you are.
36. Build a Blanket and Pillow Fort on a Cold Rainy Day
Most of us will have built a blanket or pillow fort when we were children, but have you done it as an adult? Revisit your childhood and grab lots of sweet treats and drinks, then create your own fort, but make sure it’s sturdy with a good amount of headspace. Just building it will be an enormous amount of fun, but then you get to cosy up inside, by yourself or with a loved one. Bucket lists don’t have to be about impactful moments, they can be simply creating memories for yourself and those you care about.
37. Enjoy a Pumpkin Flavoured Drink or Treat
We’ve seen a huge growth of pumpkin spiced food and drinks over recent years, but we haven’t actually tried any ourselves, so we’ll be adding it to our bucket list. Why not try a pumpkin spice latte to start your autumn season off in a special way.
38. Go Apple Picking at an Orchard
There are plenty of orchards around who offer the opportunity for visitors to go apple picking. Apples are so heavily associated with fall because it is the time of year when they are harvested. So why not grab the family and spend the day with them, picking some of natures best sweet treats. Some orchards offer other activities for the kids, so research the one you’re going to.
39. Give Back to your Community
We’ve mentioned being grateful and thankful during this time of year, so it would make sense to think about giving back to the community. There are plenty of ways you can give back, whether it’s donating to your local foodbank, sending money to a charity you value, doing shopping for someone who needs help, picking up litter or asking a local charity if they have any volunteering opportunities. The key is you feel good as you do it and that you enjoy yourself.
40. Plant Fall Flowers
Whether or not gardening is your thing, why not consider making it a special event in autumn and planting flowers and bulbs which will appear in the spring. You will find plenty of advice online and tutorials on which bulbs are the best, but there are even apps which will help. We adore bluebells, snowdrops, crocuses, and tulips, in an array of beautiful colours.
41. Bake Pumpkin Bread
It’s the spice of the season so why not think about making your first pumpkin bread? This moist bread isn’t too complicated to make and is perfect if you’ve just made your Halloween lanterns, as you can use up the insides. You can then add ingredients such as nuts and raisins, but the best thing to do is to look up online tutorials and follow the recipe.
42. Go Star Gazing
As it gets darker earlier, you’ll have the opportunity to see more stars in the sky. Why not head away from the light pollution and take in the beauty of the universe. You could go camping for the final time of the year, or simply take a drive and stop with a picnic. This is the perfect romantic bucket list item, so why not surprise your loved one.
43. Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are nutritional wonders and the perfect snack for many of the other bucket list items above. As with anything pumpkin related, they’re heavily associated with the fall, so if you’ve yet to roast your own pumpkins then why not give it a go. There are plenty of tutorials online, but its as simple as a little oil and salt, then throw them in the oven until they crisp.
44. Make a Scarecrow
These decorations are the perfect way to give your home that harvest feel, especially if you combine them with pumpkins and making a scarecrow is lots of fun. You simply need some old clothes, a large stick or broom handle to prop them up against and some straw. We have visited towns where the high street has scarecrows down the pavement as decorations, and it was really fun and quirky. So why not get imaginative and maybe entice your neighbours into a bit of a competition.
45. Take Your Christmas Card Photo
If your annual Christmas Cards are ones you quickly purchase in a shop, then why not go bucket list crazy and make your own this year. Autumn is the ideal time to get your family together and take the perfect Christmas card photo. Whether its that beautiful fall sunlight or the incredible changing colours of nature, we’re sure your Christmas cards will put a smile on your friends and families faces. There are loads of companies online, simply google personalised Christmas cards and they should pop up.
That’s our list of Autumn Bucket List items to help you on your way but remember the key to a bucket list is that it is personal to you. So, think about all of the things you’ve always wanted to do at this time of year, and write it down. There maybe local gigs or festivals you keep planning on getting tickets for, but you always forget. The great thing about a bucket list is it’s a reminder of the activities you’ve always wanted to do.
If you’re thinking that money is tight as you head towards Christmas then don’t worry, there are plenty of options available which don’t require a lot of spending. Even if you take some time out and collect beautiful leaves and make a display, all that matters is that it brings your heart joy. We also have a low cost bucket list which is a great way to get started.
Autumn is such a special time of year, so let’s celebrate it and make those incredible memories.
If you add any pictures of your completed autumn bucket list goals to Instagram, then please tag us in. We love to see what our readers have accomplished, or what goals you’re planning next.