Picnic in the Park
Perhaps my favorite fall date idea, (because I’m clearly obsessed with picnicking always and forever) is to gather up your bites and refreshments and take them out for incredibly inexpensive date night. My suggestion? Go get that special cheese, you know the kind I’m talking about. From the fancy section of the grocery store. You deserve this fancy cheese. You’ve earned it. Pack up your favorite bottle of wine (word in the vineyard is Washington State makes some pretty phenomenal ones..) and other nibbles and enjoy a crisp evening in the park with your gal pals, or your main squeeze. For extra coziness, don’t forget to pack your fluffiest blankets and scarves so you can stay out until sunset.
Zach and I live in Queen Anne and Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle) is really a rocks throw away from our apartment, so we decided to take advantage of this gorgeous fall weather this city’s been giving us, and do dinner in the park. It was such a perfect way to spend an evening, and might just be my new fall tradition! P.S. we opened wine in the park. Don’t tell on us.
Pumpkin Patch or Corn Maze
Also filed under: How to Be Basic 101. But really, there’s a reason finding your perfect pumpkin with your pumpkin (aww cue the ridiculously annoying eye roll/vomit/are you kidding me emoji here ;)) is on every must-do fall list of all time in the history of ever. Because wandering through a pumpkin patch with your honey is probably the most quintessential activity you can do together to make you feel all those magical autumn feels. Is it even fall until you go to the pumpkin patch? Asking for a friend. Luckily, if you want to do more than pick a pumpkin and pose for a #candid Instagram photo, tons of pumpkin patches also have corn mazes in the same location. So if you’re more Children of the Corn than Halloweentown, find a patch that has a maze attached. Speaking of Halloweentown…
Yep, you heard that right. Not only is Halloweentown one of the best DCOM’s (DCOM=Disney Channel Original Movies for all your newbs out there) of all time, but Halloweentown is a REAL place. Lucky for all of us in the PNW, it happens to be located just outside of Portland, in St. Helens, OR. Of course Halloweentown is located outside of Portland. You won’t be allowed in unless you’re wearing a flannel and haven’t shaved your beard in approximately two weeks. Just kidding…or am I? Anyway, we visited this magical village last year and it was everything my middle school dreams were made of. So pop in to Halloweentown, get inspired, and head to St. Helens to catch a glimpse of the iconic Jack-O-Lantern in the town square. You’ll be hanuted by a town that’s completely decked out in spoooookiness. From haunted houses to haunted cabs, it’s every DCOM lovers dream come true.
Get Spooked at a Haunted House
I mean, need I say more? Why yes, actually I do need. I despise scary movies. Yet around Halloween every year I find myself wanting to watch scary movies. WHY. Why do I do this to myself. Somewhere along this line of selt-inflicted torture I also decide every year it’s a great idea to go to a haunted house. But for real, haunted houses are the ish, in the best/worst way possible. Your adrenaline is going a million miles an hour, you’re laughing uncontrollably (or are you crying…?) yet afterward you’re likely completely terrified. If you’re in the Seattle area, The Georgetown Morgue is actually terrifying. I’ve gone twice, and each time I panicked in a way that left me thinking “Why on earth am I doing this to myself?!” But just wait. Check back next year, and I’ll be doing the same thing. What’s that saying about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome? Something about insanity…? Hmm, oh well. Hey man, it’s part of the charm of Halloween!
Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner
These bad boys exist in pretty much every major city, and the fact I’ve never been to one is a disgrace to my love/obsession/overall infatuation with the (totally underrated) movie slash (also totally underrated) board game, Clue. Essentially this is Clue being reenacted in real life. With delicious food. And wine. Why have I never done this?! Adding it to my fall bucket list right now.
Relax with a Movie Marathon
Speaking of Clue (again I’ll say…most underrated movie of all time) stay in and get your ultimate cozy cuddles on and plow through the best Halloween movies, ever. Sometimes the best date nights are staying in and spending some QT with your main squeeze and not leaving the couch for hours on end as you dive deep into the scary-movie-marathon you’re now consumed by. Don’t you worry, I’m putting together a list of my favorite fall movies that I’ll publish soon!
Wine Tasting or Brewery Tour
This one can arguably be done at any time of the year but it get’s a primetime spot on this list because there is nothing that is more sensationally satisfying than a glass of delicious red wine on a crisp fall day. The other part about this time of year, is that in Washington, it’s harvest season. Meaning the fruit of these wineries labor is now in your glass. Literally. Ask the wineries aficionado how harvest is going, and it’ll make you love what’s in your glass even more. If you’re in Washington, luckily for you, we have over 900 wineries in the state to taste from. If you’re in Seattle, head to Woodinville (for more than 100+ wineries and tasting rooms) or down to SoDo/Georgetown for an after work happy hour that is anything but basic.
If you’re not a wino (p.s. you have no idea what you’re missing out on but I’ll let it slide…) breweries offer the same delicious harvest bounty, as hop harvest occurs (semi) near this time as well. Also luckily for you, more than 70% of the nation’s hops come from the Yakima Valley, right here in Washington State. How cool is that? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Washington is the best.
Stay In and Bake…Because, Coziness
I get it. It’s getting darker earlier. It’s cold. It’s potentially rainy. All you want to do is stay in, light a delicious candle, and get cozy. Girl I feel you. For those days when all of the aforementioned ideas require too much energy, stay in and do as the Pinterest-lovers do: bake. There are potentially more pumpkin flavored baked treats on Pinterest than any other pinnable item on that platform, so you’re in luck. If you’re not in the mood for something titled “The Best Pumpkin Spice (insert sweet treat/baked goodie here) Ever” Try this recipe for a blueberry tart, equal parts delicious and autmn-esque.
Get Your Jonny Appleseed on and Go Apple Picking
Speaking of sweet treats, there’s nothing that screams fall more than two things: apple pie, and apple cider. Again, I feel like we’re really getting spoiled here because Washington also happens to be bursting with another agricultural gem: apples. Did you know there are 10-12 BILLION apples harvested in our fine state every year? How incredible is that?! Many of these apple farms also allow consumers to come pick their very own apples. Talk about farm to table. Don’t miss out on a chance to taste Washington’s bounty, all while experiencing the much less basic version of the pumpkin patch. Go you. Go you get your Jonny Appleseed on girl.
Visit Your Local Farmers Market
Speaking of local bounty, this might be your last chance to visit your favorite farmers market before winter sets in. From fall blooms that will make your house as warm as can be, to gord-geous gordes (see what I did there…) you’ll get everything you need to fill your table with local, and delicious goods. Skip the grocery store for your produce this time, and wander through the stalls of local vendors with your main squeeze. Who knows? You might just find a new farm you need to go visit!
Plan a Hike
Last but certainly not least, get outside and be one with the beauty that is fall. There likely isn’t another time through the year when the outdoors are as stunning as they are right now. The colors..the crisp air…there’s a reason that fall is a favorite season for all of us. We’re spoiled with endless hiking possibilities here in the PNW, which makes it the best way to see the picturesque fall colors in all their glory. No matter where you’re located, skip the car ride to view these fall colors, and plan a hike instead. Your eyes, and your soul, will thank you for it.
Well now I’m feeling like I’ve got quite a bit to check off my fall bucket list! Do you have any must-do things during this season? I’m such a sucker for traditions, and want to add some new ones to my list!