Fall Bucket List

June Hill, Executive Editor

Fall is by far my favorite season. Maybe that sounds basic, but I am seriously in love with this season. The changing leaves, chilly sweater weather and all the great food that comes with this time of year. Ugh, it’s just the best. For this October J List, I chose to make a fall-themed bucket list full of activities to help you celebrate the season. For each activity, I put together a sort of shopping list, which is basically things you might need to make each activity as enjoyable as possible. Woah- I just realized it is a list within the J list. Crazy. Anyway, I hope these ideas are a bit unusual and make you excited to get out there and make some memories with family and friends this fall. Enjoy!

Graveyard Walk

Maybe this sounds a little weird, but stay with me! I do these with my family every once and awhile, and they are always so peaceful. They are especially relaxing in fall and winter when it’s quieter. If you have never been to a cemetery, don’t be afraid! They are actually very beautiful places. Take your time to explore, and remember to be respectful on a graveyard walk. You don’t want to be haunted by an angry ghost, do you?

Graveyard Walk Necessities:

– Warm beverage in a thermos (hot chocolate, tea, coffee etc.)
– A snack if you plan on staying for a while
– Warm clothes and good walking shoes

Movie Night

Who doesn’t love movies? If you don’t, you’re weird. On a chilly day, you might not want to be outside at all, so a cozier idea would be to have a movie night with family or friends.

Horror movies are especially fitting the closer we get to Halloween, and I would recommend some to you if I were not too terrified to actually watch one. Obviously, there are more family friendly alternatives if you are watching with younger siblings. For example, The Night Before Christmas, Charlie Brown Halloween (aka my literal childhood) and Beetlejuice are classics.

Or you could opt for TV shows instead to make it a binge-worthy night. Stranger Things, American Horror Story and Black Mirror, for example. For a more nostalgic touch, watch some Scooby Doo and the old Addams Family from the 60’s and 70’s.

Movie Night Necessities:
– Multiple movies/ TV episodes just in case you want to make it a marathon
– Blankets (make a fort if you feel crazy)
– Popcorn
– Candy
– Drinks

Baking

All summer, I feel like it’s just too hot to bake in my house. I love all things sugary, though, so when fall comes around, it’s my time to freaking shine. I really like loaves of things because they are generally easy to pull together and always delicious. Banana bread, pumpkin bread, LEMON POPPYSEED BREAD! There is a great one by Melissa Clark on the New York Times. Just look up Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake and it should show up. Oh man, that’s the stuff.

If you want to make it a real party, though, bake a ton of cupcakes and then invite people to decorate them with you. You can even find weird things like candy eyeballs and candy knives online if you want it to be more of a Halloween themed experience. I did this for my birthday one time and everyone had a lot of fun with it.

Baking Necessities:
– Your ideal recipe to bake
– Obviously, make sure you have all the ingredients. It is so sad when you get all hyped to bake something and then you are out of flour or or something stupid.

– For a decorating party: enough icing and cupcakes to go around; gummy worms, candy eyes, knives and even gravestones can be found on Amazon

Pumpkin Carving

Okay, maybe this one is a little obvious, but it is such a fall thing that I had to include it. I do this with my family every year, and it always gets a little competitive, which makes it more memorable. Invite a bunch of people over to have a carving party! To make it a little different, have a movie or some music playing in the background. Put some food out for everyone, because pumpkin carving might make people hungry. Just have fun with it!

Pumpkin Carving Necessities
– Enough cleaned out pumpkins for everyone (cleaning them is not the fun part, so don’t make people do that)
– Carving tools
– Newspaper or something to cover the floor, which will help with the clean-up process
– Some mood music, snacks or a cute Halloween movie
– Little votive candles to light the pumpkins up

Camping Trip

This one would take a little more planning, but I just did it with a friend and it was so much fun. We went to Chain O Lakes state park for a night and did some hiking, hung out by the campfire and played some board games. It was nice to be outside and gave me a chance to relax and live in the moment.

I would highly recommend going on an overnight camping trip with your family or friends. It’s best in the fall because it’s not too hot and the bugs will be gone, but make sure to pick a good location and a weekend where it won’t be too cold. Chain O Lakes is kind of a perfect place. It’s not too far away, and it has lots of easy and pretty trails; plus, there were all these cute dogs when we were there.

Camping Necessities:
– Enough food for the overnight
– Trying to make food over the fire is always fun!

– Logs to build a fire (you can buy these at the park but it is more expensive)

– Camping gear (tent, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, sleeping mats etc.)
– Board Games
– Warm clothes