Pumpkin Carving, Bonfires & Scary Movies: Fall Fun in the D

By: Toni Cunningham | September 29, 2014

You would never know it by the string of mid-70-degree days we’ve been having, but fall has indeed arrived. Blink and you just might miss autumn in the mitten, but if you’re the kind of guy or gal who likes to soak up life’s sweetest moments, there are plenty of opportunities to seize the season in Metro Detroit.

Whether you’re looking for some fun fall date ideas or unique ways to spend a cozy afternoon with your bestie, the following list provides some great options for enjoying fall in southeast Michigan (most of which are free, or little to no cost!). Put on your coziest scarf, grab your favorite pair of Ugg boots (or, uhm, Timberlands or something if you’re a fella), and read on for 10 different enjoyable and creative ideas:

Have a scary movie marathon

You can do this from the comfort of your own living room by renting some of the classics, i.e. “Halloween” (John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and Rob Zombie’s “Halloween II,” of course), “The Exorcist” and “The Shining.”

If you and your sweetie or group of pals would rather enjoy a night out on the town, consider the upcoming creepy movies being screened at the Main Art Theatre, 118 N. Main St., Royal Oak, over the coming weeks:

  • “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” on Friday, Oct. 10 and Saturday, Oct. 11
  •  “Cannibal Holocaust” on Friday, Oct. 17 and Saturday, Oct. 18
  • “The Monster Squad” on Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25
  • “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on Friday, Oct. 31 and Saturday, Nov. 1

And certainly, if anyone asks you on a Halloween movie marathon date and pops in “Halloweentown,” marry them immediately.

Cook up a fall inspired meal

Head to a local farmers market and take advantage of the bountiful fall produce! Pumpkins, squash and apples are all in season, as well as corn and Brussels sprouts. All of which can be whipped up into a variety of delicious dishes. What’s sweeter than spending time in the kitchen with your honey making dinner together?

Grab some ingredients from one of the following local produce stands or farmers markets:

Then, use the fruits and veggies you’ve just acquired to create a fall-inspired meal in your own kitchen from start to finish. Might I suggest something along the lines of the following dishes:

Host a potluck dinner party

Show off the fruits of your labor from above! Now is your time to brag, so pack as many friends and family members into your studio apartment as humanly possible. Prepare your best fall dishes, and ask everyone else to do the same by bringing something to pass. Your meal will be fall-inspired from start to finish!

Have a fall bonfire

Now is prime time to enjoy an evening bonfire. These unseasonably warm temperatures are just asking for everyone with a fire pit to sit outdoors on a nice night. Trust me, you won’t be able to do this for much longer, so enjoy it while you can! Snuggle up under a blanket with your boo, or roast marshmallows with your friends.

Get scared

While you look for a coupon code for one of Metro Detroit’s many spooktacular haunted attractions, do some ghost hunting of your own. Go take a peek at some supposedly haunted buildings and places in southeast Michigan, like the Denton Road bridge in Canton or the Historic Ft. Wayne. (For more on this topic, keep your eyes peeled for a local urban legends article coming in the next few weeks on “In the D”). Also, please observe all laws while tackling this one; I don’t want any of you calling me from jail because you trespassed somewhere.

Carve a pumpkin

The day I get too old for Halloween is, well, I’ll never get too old for Halloween. Head to a u-pick pumpkin patch, or select from ones already brought in from the field somewhere like Coleman’s Farm Market, 5415 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti.

Then, get your creative juices flowing and carve away! If you must, find a template online of your favorite sports team, a horror villain or something of that nature. You can also take a page from Good Housekeeping and turn your pumpkin into a pretty flower vase, or decorate it without carving it at all, with one of these tips and tricks. Which leads me to my next idea…

Have a craft day

If there’s one thing ladies love more than crafting in the fall, it’s wearing leggings and drinking a pumpkin spiced beverage while crafting in the fall. This one is an activity probably better spent doing with a group of girlfriends, as opposed to your boyfriend. However, if he makes you watch football every Sunday from sunrise to sunset, some crafting torture just might be in order!

There are plenty of local craft stores where you can pick up your supplies, such as My Craft Room, 6020 Rochester Rd., Troy. Before you go supply shopping, grab your girlfriends, scroll through Pinterest like your life depends on it, and pick out your projects! DIY a wreath for your front door, or create a festive centerpiece to put out at that super awesome potluck party you’re going to throw.

Spend an afternoon outdoors

Again, take advantage of this gorgeous weather! Spend a Saturday afternoon on a picnic blanket in the park. Take some of those delicious fall-inspired leftovers along to keep you from getting hungry, bring a book and spend some time with your sweetie. When you get restless, go for a nature walk and bring along a camera to document your adventures. Pick up and press some leaves when you get home, and 50 years from now, you’ll be able to show your grandkids your little crunchy leaf mementos.

A weekend afternoon can be well spent at any of southeast Michigan’s Metroparks, enjoying all that this beautiful state has to offer.

Go for a bike ride

I don’t know about you, but once the weather reaches a certain degree, I’m pretty much done with riding a bike until the spring. Now is the perfect opportunity to stroll through your own neighborhood, a park, or a downtown area on two wheels with your girlfriend or group of comrades at your side. You can’t take in the sights if you’re sitting indoors on the couch! Map out your own color tour and get going.

If you don’t own a bike, you can rent one or even take part in a tour courtesy of Wheelhouse Detroit, 1340 Atwater St., Detroit, or Tour de Troit, 2727 2nd Ave., Detroit. Or, step things up a notch and take part in a Slow Roll event!

Support the local arts

AND stay in the spirit of the fall season. Head to Detroit’s City Theatre, 2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit, to take in “Evil Dead: The Musical.” The show runs through the end of October, and you can grab your tickets here. This will keep you occupied as you eagerly await Bruce Campbell and the groovy “Evil Dead” televisions series. Perfect for a date night (if you like terror and tunes), or an evening out with a friend.

There you have it, readers. You’ll never utter the words “I’m bored!” throughout the fall season in Metro Detroit ever again. Now, go forth and have fun!