Now that the heat of summer is gone, Central Texans can emerge from the safety of the AC and get back out into the fresh air! Break out the scarves and tights, and switch those coffees from iced to hot — fall is here!
The autumn season is short in Austin, and that’s all the more reason to take advantage of every minute. Here are 9 things you can do to get into the fall mood!
Visit a pumpkin patch!
A pumpkin patch and corn maze is the quintessential fall experience. At Barton Hill Farms, our Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch is right around the corner.
Opening on October 3rd, a day on the farm is the perfect way to spend a sunny fall day.. Pick out a pumpkin for the family Jack-o’-lantern, and get lost in our 3.5 acre Scooby-Doo corn maze.
Grab a local Oktoberfest beer in the brand new Biergarten, and enjoy a hand-made burger from 100% Barton Hill Farms beef. There are tons of activities for the kids, or just come out with your friends and watch the river roll by.
We’ve gone cashless and have reduced our capacity this season. Learn more about our COVID-19 policies here.
Get your discounted preseason tickets now! (Available for a limited time.)
Get Into Seasonal Flavors
Break out the pumpkin spice! ‘Tis the season for fragrant nutmeg and cinnamon, savory rosemary, and roasted everything.
Bake some snickerdoodles or maple cookies to make your house smell like a fall candle.
Or look for unusual ways to incorporate fall flavors into your diet. Ever tried sprinkling pumpkin spice on a sweet potato?
How about an apple cider mimosa (for adults only)? Combine 2-parts sugar to 1-part cinnamon, and dip a champagne flute with a moist rim into the mixture. Then fill the flute ¾ full with champagne, and top off with apple cider!
Spruce up the Decor
The leaves in Texas stay green until late in the season, so let’s get in the mood with traditional fall colors! A wreath of orange and red will make your front door feel festive, and a few tiny pumpkins scattered around the house will bring the outdoors in. The white ones work with any color scheme!
Add a cozy throw over the back of the couch and replace bright summer bouquets with more muted tones of orange and burgundy. Light a candle with cinnamon and nutmeg notes to complete the effect.
Watch a Spooky Movie
When we were kids, what was the most exciting thing about fall? Halloween! That fall/Halloween connection persists into adulthood. So autumn is the ideal time to watch a spooky movie.
There are lots of kid-friendly movies that parents will still enjoy, like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, or Hocus Pocus. Fall is also a great time for a Harry Potter marathon!
For adults, pick a classic like A Nightmare on Elm Street, a horror comedy like Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, or a terrifying new release like Hereditary.
Make some popcorn and turn out the lights if you dare…
Enjoy a Backyard Campfire
It’s time to clean the leaves out of the fire pit and start collecting firewood! A warm fire on a cool night — is there anything better?
Make hotdogs and s’mores over the fire for an easy dinner that kids will love. Or get really ambitious and roast a chicken on a spit! You can also wrap potatoes in foil and nestle them in the ashes for a delicious roasted side dish.
Finish Outdoor Projects
If you’ve been putting off repairing trim or cleaning the windows, now may be the time to get it done. Wrap up these outdoor “nesting” projects now, so you can stay indoors where it’s warm when it gets really cold.
Read a Cozy Mystery
A cup of tea and a cozy mystery can set the fall mood. The exact definition of a cozy mystery is up for debate, but they generally take place in a small town, and the detective is often an amateur rather than a member of the police force.
Some of the most famous names in the genre are Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, G. K. Chesterton, and Dorothy L. Sayers, all from the “Golden Age of Detective Fiction” — the 1920s and 1930s.
Take a trip to Agatha Christie’s fictional St Mary Mead and follow Miss Marple on one of her adventures!
Shop for School Supplies
School may look a bit different this year, with many kids learning from a laptop instead of the classroom. But that’s all the more reason to keep the “back to school” shopping tradition alive. Create a sense of normalcy and get in the fall mood with fresh new notebooks, folders, and pencils for the school year.
No kids? No problem! Wander the aisles of Staples or Office Max (mask on!) and pick up a new planner or notebook. A new academic year is always a great time to get organized before the cold sets in.
The holiday season is when many of us start to think about giving back. But in this tumultuous year, maybe we should hop on the giving train early. Instead of waiting until Thanksgiving, get in the fall mood by getting involved.
Do a little fall cleaning and donate things you don’t need to a local women’s shelter. Or if you’re tech savvy, you could volunteer with an organization like Austin Free-Net to teach computer skills and help people seek work.
Happy Fall, Y’all!