Fall is finally here! Well, we may have a few weeks until the official season change, but the crisp, fresh air, the already fallen leaves and my hankering for pumpkin everything all suggest that Fall has unofficially arrived.

Autumn is undoubtedly my favorite season. There is something about the cooler weather that makes anything seem possible. And after a fun-filled summer of day trips, vacations and get togethers the new season offers a great excuse to wind down and recharge before the hecticness of the holidays.

It is a beautiful time to reflect on the year, which appears to have flown by, and to catch up with our significant others or our close friends to reaffirm those individual bonds.

 
 

For those who have kids in college, or are even going back to school yourself this September, you know how motivating the start of the school year can be. It is a renewed opportunity to get organized, accomplish some of the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year or even to start something new!

Hayrides and pumpkin picking are timeless activities, but there are several other ways to spice up and embrace the start of this new season. Here are four fall activities to share with your friends and family.

Host a Dinner Party

A dinner party is a fun and chic way to share an intimate evening with friends and loved ones. One of the greatest ways we can show them we care is to invite those closest to us into our home and around our dinner table.

The meal can be as casual or extravagant as you like, but in the cooler evenings of Fall, comfort food always seems to hit the spot. My favorite is homemade Tomato and Basil soup served with a three-cheese grilled cheese sandwich – and of course, plenty of wine to go around.

Have a Paint Night

In recent years, professional paint nights have become quite popular! They are a fun way to get out and enjoy time with friends. But this is one outing that can easily be turned into a fun ladies’ (or even date) night in!

All it takes is a quick trip to your local arts and crafts supply store to pick up the essentials, and it is ready, set and paint!

Paint supplies you’ll need:

8×10” canvas

Acrylic paint assorted color sets

Paint brushes

A cup of water

I admit, the painting instructor they provide for you at the professional events is there for a good reason. Yet having a general idea of what the group can paint and a printed-out picture of it on display should work for your paint night-in adaptation.

Seasonal images are festive. Great to paint are things like a pumpkin, a foliage colored tree or even a scary ghost! You can even jazz up the fun by offering your guest a signature seasonal drink like an Apple Cider Bellini or Spiced Red Wine Sangria.

Apple Cider Bellini:

  • 1 ounce apple cider
  • 1 ounce apple vodka
  • Champagne or Prosecco to fill glass
  • Apple slices, for garnish

For a Pitcher:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) apple cider
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) apple vodka (I used Skyy Honeycrisp Vodka)
  • 1 (750ml) bottle Champagne or Prosecco
  • Apple slices, for garnish

Directions:

  1. To make one cocktail: add cider and vodka to a champagne flute, then top off with champagne and garnish with an apple slice.
  2. To make a pitcher: add cider and vodka to a pitcher, then fill with a bottle of champagne and apple slices.

Organize a Chili Cook Off

Need a bit more spice? Throw a chili cook off! Everyone thinks that their chili is the best so why not put your friends to the test?

A chili cook-off is an amusing way to eat great food, spend time with friends, and have a little healthy competition. Plus, besides your chili entry (that is sure to win) you won’t have all that much to worry about regarding food prep!

Starting a Book Club is a Great Fall Activity

Oprah did it, why can’t you? A book club is a great indoor activity and an educational way to pass the time during the brutally cold months ahead.

Reading within a book club will often make the experience more enjoyable, even for those not so avid readers. Plus, the conversation and discussion with friends after you’ve all read that month’s book will undoubtedly be stimulating!

No matter how you choose to spend this Autumn, try and make it count. The beginning of fall is a wonderful season to spend time with close friends before the winter months ahead bring us into hibernation. It also brings a renewed chance to accomplish all those New Year’s goals we have yet to accomplish.

What fall activities do you look forward to each year? What are your best fall recipes? Do you have any favorite fall activities? Please share in the comments below.

Molly WisniewskiMolly Wisniewski has cared for older adults living with dementia for over ten years. She is a recent graduate of the Erickson School, UMBC where she received her M.A. in the Management of Aging Services. Her blog Upside to Aging is dedicated to sharing an alternative and more positive side to aging.

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