Fall Bucket List & Kids’ Faves

Happy October, y’all! Around late September every year, our home and the world around us just comes alive to me. I live in anticipation for weeks (or months if I’m being honest) and cannot wait for the fall festivities to start. I love it all. The fun holiday stuff, the special food, the crafts. But I love the cozy feeling and rhythms like warm drinks by fireside wrapped in blankets just as much. I’m an autumn soul.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about our traditions, so I wanted to share a little fall bucket list. It’s ironic to me they’re are 31 things on it…I didn’t even realize that until after the fact, but these are all things we do each year (beginning in mid-September and continuing through Thanksgiving).

Some of these need no description, but for those that want a little more detail on what we do:

1- Bring out Fall books – I have holiday and seasonal books put away and as each season comes, I switch out the books in our living room book basket. For fall, I have early fall books (apples mainly and some pumpkin – these stay out until Christmas), Halloween books, and then Thanksgiving books. I add in the Halloween books around October 1st, sometimes a little after. I love to enjoy that early fall! And then switch to Thanksgiving on November 1st.

2 (3,4, & 5)- Apple Picking & Apple Baking – Fall usually kicks off for us with apple picking at our favorite orchard. We go to the same one every year and it’s magic. We come home with a bulging bag of apples and make all the things! The apple baking lasts weeks for us and it is such a fun signal that fall is here. While we make a lot of things, the ones we talk about and look forward to each year are broken out on the list above.

6- Buy Pumpkins – We have some fall decorations that come out each year, but we mainly decorate with real pumpkins. I’ve found a local farmer’s market that has a fall fest in late September each year. The pumpkins are so cheap. We mainly get smaller ones (saves money and the kids are obsessed with them), but I do get a few large-ish ones to mix in with small on the front. Look around to find a place that feels like a fun outing, but has good prices – I don’t pay more than $7 or so for large pumpkins at this spot. (We buy just decorating pumpkins here and buy our carving later). In our house, we call this Pumpkin Day! This is the day that I usually make our favorite creamy pumpkin soup for supper and the kids get surprised with their fall/Halloween pajamas at dinner.

7 & 8- Decorate the House – Once we have our pumpkins, we get so excited to decorate. This year, Rosie was SO into it, y’all. We took a weekend and decorated the outside first and then spread pumpkins and fall cheer around inside. We make special food, we drink apple cider, and it’s the coziest, most fun time! I also love doing nature walks in the fall and collecting “nature” as the kids say. I love for them to add to our decorations throughout the season with pinecones and things they find.

9- Go to Pumpkin Patch – We go back to the apple orchard in mid-October for a special fall family day. They have switched over to Pumpkin picking and we go together and eat pumpkin doughnuts, drink apple cider, and pick our pumpkins to carve out of the patch. They also have a corn maze we love to do now that the kids are getting a little bigger.

10- Pumpkin Baking – Just like with the apples, I love starting pumpkin baking in October. We make a pumpkin chocolate chip bread throughout the season and love baking pies too. As you’ll see later on the list, homemade PSL’s also make a fun appearance! All of our recipes are dairy and gluten free and I’m going to share this year as we bake it all!

11- Pick Halloween Costumes – We talk about what the kids are going to be for awhile before we actually find them. This year, I found Hanna Anderson Halloween costumes and fell in love because they’re paired with pajamas and you’re just buying an accessory or two to layer on top. And the quality is amazing! I’ll share my faves down below.

12- Make a Trader Joe’s Halloween House – Do y’all do this? They technically call it a Haunted House, but we’ve renamed it šŸ™‚ It’s a Halloween version of a Gingerbread House. We love making it a week or two before Halloween and then the kids display it proudly in the kitchen.

13- Watch the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown – I love making special movie nights with the holidays. This is an old favorite and I like making it extra magical with a special fall-themed snack.

14- Paint Pumpkins- We love having a special (or two) pumpkin painting day where the kids go crazy on some of the little pumpkins we bought. Then, we display their creations until Halloween.

15- Family Pumpkin Carving Party – There are a few key events and markers in our fall and others we just fit in wherever. But one of the big ones is a family pumpkin carving party with those special pumpkins we picked out. We put it on the calendar, count down to it, and make something special for dinner. Can y’all tell that much of my celebrating surrounds food?

16 & 17 – Fall Cooking & Baking – It’s all about the food, right? We transition to making all of our favorite soups and stews. Welcome back crockpot season, right?! And we do a lot of fall baking, but a favorite are fall and Halloween cookies we decorate.

18 & 19 – Halloween Zoo Visit & Walk – The week leading up to Halloween is always filled with building excitement. I’ve found these two things we do in the mornings leading up to it that are so fun. Our zoo goes all out with decorations and in the mornings, there’s hardly anyone there! We love that fall zoo visit and take pictures with all the decorations. We also have a favorite street where we go trick-or-treating that goes all-out with decorations. We go on a walk there to enjoy the decorations and get excited. We call it going on a “Pumpkin Hunt” because they see how many we can find.

22 & 23- Trick-or-Treating & Party: over the last few years, we’ve developed a fun tradition where some family goes along with us and we trick-or-treat and then come back to our house for a party afterward. We have beef stew from the crock pot so it’s done and pumpkin pie! And the kids all have a blast going through their new treasures. We look forward to the party part as much as the big event.

24-26– Fall Nature Walks & Crafts: Like I said, we go on a lot of nature walks in the fall and I love going on them in peak leaf season (here it’s early November). We collect leaves, dip them in beeswax, and make a garland for the house. I love using them for other crafts as well.

27- Roll Beeswax Candles: We have beeswax candles burning almost constantly in the fall, so that means a lot of rolling! We roll candles in the fall at least once a week. I’ll do a post on that next week!

28- Friendsgiving: I love celebrating Thanksgiving with friends. Last year, Rosie had some little friends over for a kids’ version and it was so fun!

30- Jump in Leaf Piles: This needs no description, but when asked, Rosie said this was her favorite part of fall, so there you go!

OUR FALL FAVORITES:

There are some tangible ways that I love to celebrate the change of seasons in our home like matching fall pajamas and the big living room basket book exchange. It’s always an exciting day when the previous season’s books get packed away and the new anticipated seasons’ books come out. Here are a few of our fall and Halloween favorites for the kids:

I’m giddy just looking at it! First up, the matching pajamas. I love Hanna Anderson’s organic cotton pajamas. The quality is amazing and the prints are so cute! My kids only have a few pairs of pajamas at a time and they need to hold up, so these are perfect. They also run a lot of great sales, so I’m always able to get the pajamas at a great discount. All fall pajamas and Halloween costumes are 50% off right now!

This year, my kids had both outgrown their pajamas and they were on a great sale, so I got the orange stripe for fall in addition to the Halloween pair! They’ll wear those year-round until they out-grow them, but I love that they feel so fall right now and will feel so festive through Thanksgiving. And let’s face it, my kids will wear their Halloween jammies until they outgrow those too.

We love rolling those Beeswax candles and I love that this brand comes in the natural color I love, but also comes in a ton of other options! I really want to get the black for Halloween and I’m obsessed with the olive green…need those for the Burrow!

I could say so much about all of these books, but I’ll let y’all read them for yourselves! They are each really special and are favorites in this house!

One last group of fall & Halloween faves for y’all…I am OBSESSED with Hanna Anderson’s Halloween costumes. Can y’all tell I love this brand? Not sponsored, just love! But I love that their costumes are all designed around a pair of pajamas. So you buy a pair of pajamas (one of my kids’ few pairs), then you buy a few dress-up accessories to go with it. We’ve already gotten ours in and they feel so special!

Rosie picked out the ladybug costume and Dax fell in LOVE with this fireman. They’ve asked to wear them constantly since they arrived!

Here are a few more of my faves below (and they’re 50% off too right now!):

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Happy Fall, friends! There’s a little look at some ways that we enjoy celebrating this favorite season of mine. Do y’all have any favorite traditions we need to add to the list? Please share!!

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Cute ideas!! How old were your kids when you started carving pumpkins together? Iā€™m not sure if my daughter is old enough yet.