1. Put away your shorts and t-shirts...then get them back out again.
Everyone loves that first week that the temperature drops. The leaves start to turn, the evenings are brisk. You pack up your shorts, flip-flops and t-shirts and get out the sweaters, jackets and warm socks, only to find that the next week, Utah’s temperatures are back in the low 90’s.
2. Buy school supplies.
It doesn’t matter if you have a kid in school or not. How can you resist 19 cent notebooks and 50-count packs of new pencils for less than a dollar? I don’t care who you are...you can never have too many Post-it Notes.
3. Start thinking about Halloween.
When fall begins, Halloween is still almost 8 weeks away, but the store displays and sporadically cooler weather spur thoughts of the Halloween parties in the future. If you’re going to rent a costume, you’d better get to the costume shop before all the good stuff is gone. If you’re making your own, it’s time to start designing and gathering materials. And the time to decorate your front porch is right around the corner!
4. Do the pumpkin spice thing.
I think most people are really tired of hearing about the Pumpkin Spice Latte (me included). But fall really is the time for that cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin flavor. You don’t have to be a Starbucks fan to enjoy it this fall. Bake some pumpkin spice cake (or buy it at your favorite bakery), eat some pumpkin cookies or partake of any of the other fall flavored goodies like sweet potatoes, pumpkin-squash ravioli, etc.
5. Watch a kids’ soccer, hockey or football game.
You don’t even have to be a sports fan for this fall activity to potentially apply. Do you have kids who play? Nieces or nephews? Or do you just live next door to a high school or park? Soccer and football is everywhere in Utah during the fall. As long as we’re not in one of those 90-degree weeks, grab a chair and watch a game.
6. Pay money to watch sports.
I don’t have to tell you that it’s football season — even if you’re not a fan, you’re certainly aware. College football is in full swing now. In my opinion, this is the best time of year to watch football — especially if you don’t like to freeze your butt off. The Grizzlies hockey season starts in October; college hockey started in September. And, you still have time to catch the last two regular season Real Soccer home games in October (the 14th and 17th).
7. Get your tailgate on.
You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy a tailgate party. Wings, homemade chili, BBQ of all kinds, drinks of both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety and plenty of party atmosphere can make a football fan out of anyone (I know this to be true from personal experience).
8. Head for the hills.
Fall in Utah is a perfect time to go hiking. The leaves are turning, the weather in the mountains is cool and you might even see some wildlife.
9. Arm yourself and head for the hills.
If you want to fill the freezer with vension or elk, the time is now. Muzzleloader deer season is currently underway (September 23rd to October 1st); the general rifle deer hunt starts on October 17th. The elk hunt starts on October 3rd.
10. Run for your (or someone else’s) life.
It’s cross-country season for high school and college teams, so if you’re a student (or the parent of one), you’ve probably already been to a cross country meet. You can also get out there and run yourself. Fall is a great time to go for a run, and there’s plenty of 5ks and longer races that benefit a host of charities. In October, you can even wear your Halloween costume for many of them! Of course, if the zombie apocalypse occurs this fall, you’ll want to be in the best cardio shape possible.
11. Clean up your yard.
It’s time to clear away all those dead branches, rake up all the ugly bark, pull all the dying weeds. In many municipalities, bulky waste pick-up is in full swing, which helps you avoid that trip to the dump. And your yard will look so much better in its snow blanket without all that dead stuff underneath!
12. Check your tires.
Now’s the time to figure out that you need new tires, NOT the first snow day it snows. I once waited at a tire store for FIVE HOURS to get new tires, when I realized that my tires were bald during the first Utah snowstorm of the year. Prove that you’re smarter than the average writer (and more responsible). Replace those crappy tires now and avoid the throngs of deadbeats later in October when it snows.
13. Go for a drive.
Seriously, get out and see that fall foliage! The quantity and quality varies from year to year, but there’s always some red, orange and gold to see in Utah’s mountains.
14. Buy your season ski/board pass.
If you ski or snowboard, now’s the time to get the best deal on a season pass. Alta’s early discount ends September 30th; discounts at most other resorts end during the month of October.
15. Pick a pumpkin.
The pumpkin patches are bursting with ripe pumpkins. Get out there and choose one (or many) for your front porch!
16. Get out the canning jars.
Not everyone knows how to can vegetables or make jam, but you probably know someone who does. It’s that time of year — time to can tomatoes and preserve the last of the year’s harvest. Yum!
Which of these is your favorite fall activity? What others would you add to the list?