Much like Maria von Trapp adores whiskers on kittens and warm woolen mittens, I myself am captivated by everything fall has to offer. While many of us (myself included) complain about the Michigan weather more often than not, I challenge you to find a sight more beautiful than our great state in autumn.
Instead of sitting on your tush waiting for winter to roll in (yikes), get going on your fall bucket list! You don’t have one, you say? Don’t worry, I’ve compiled one for you.
Your official 2013 Ode to Fall checklist includes the following items:
Go on a color tour. If you have a route in mind, great! If not, check out Pure Michigan’s tour from Detroit to Port Huron and back. It’s best to embark on the 195-mile tour in late October, when southeast Michigan’s foliage is at its peak. If you’d rather not spend time in the car, grab a camera and take a walk through your local metropark. A hike is another great way to take in the sights.
Have a bonfire. Should you be under the impression that bonfires and s’mores are for summer only, you would be wrong. The only thing better than snuggling up by a warm fire with a blanket in the crisp fresh air is doing so while enjoying a toasted marshmallow. If, like Scotty Smalls, you don’t know what a s’more is, I can’t help you.
Visit your local cider mill. You better believe that as soon as Plymouth Orchards opened for the season, I was there the very next day. I don’t care if you’re “on a diet,” just eat a dang donut. Cider mills are one of the very best parts of the season, and are not to be missed.
Pick your own produce. Now is the time of year when local orchards and farms offer u-pick fall produce, which includes pumpkins, apples, berries and pears. Once you’ve harvested your ingredients, it’s time to make a home cooked fall feast!
Carve a jack-o-lantern. Carving pumpkins is not just for children. I mean, have you seen the Food Network’s Halloween Wars? Whether you want to carve, paint or bedazzle your pumpkin, you can create your own masterpiece. Get your creative juices flowing by checking out these ideas from Country Living.
Get creative with your Halloween costume. While there’s nothing technically wrong with being one of seven naughty nurses at a fiesta, perhaps try something a tad more unique. Grab your closest friends and come up with a killer group costume, or do something fun and different on your own. But please, for the love of everything, do not, under any circumstances, go anywhere near these.
Indulge in all things scary. That means put your big girl (or boy) pants on and go through that four story haunted house you’re terrified of, and watch the horror movies that give you nightmares for days. ‘Tis the season!
Go on a hayride. If you’ve got young children, this is a great way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon with the family. If you’re an adult with a penchant for pop culture, you might enjoy Blake Farms’ Zombie Paintball Safari, where you get to take down zombies as they approach the wagon. Remember, aim for the head.
Get a head start on the giving season. It’s as simple as going through your closet. That sweater you haven’t worn since your freshman year of high school? As opposed to letting it collect dust for another decade, donate it to someone in need. You’ll feel good about ridding your life of unnecessary clutter, but more importantly, helping someone else.
Jump in a giant pile of leaves. This is just a given.
As one of my favorite quotes by F. Scott Fitzgerald says, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” Now, get going on that list!