While the end of summer is always a bit of a bummer, it’s also the prelude to what is arguably one of the best seasons of the year -- autumn.
Here are 10 special things to look forward to this fall.
1. Mulled wine
The easy way to class up any party, mulled wine is a delicious blend of red wine and spices traditional in Europe. Served warm (almost hot), it’s autumn’s answer to summer’s sangria, and it couldn’t be a better response.
Pro tip: Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both sell pre-made mulled wine mixes that make it easy to make right on your stovetop (it’s particularly impressive at dinner parties).
2. Beanies and tunics and leggings, oh my
One of the best parts of fall is the fashion. Whether you’re into tights, scarves, beanies, or sweaters over leggings, fall is the time to slip on a stylish scarf and boots and rock the chic-yet-cozy look.
The spectacular beauty of the colors of falling leaves is truly singular. It not only reminds us that the changing of the seasons is truly upon us, but that there can be great beauty in loss.
Pro tip: If you’ve never been to the White Mountains in New Hampshire for leaf peeping, make this the year. It’s unforgettable.
4. Jumping in leaf piles!
When all that foliage comes down in your yard, it’s time to bust out the rake or leaf blower. But the best part comes after -- dropping back-first into a pile of leaves is a luxury only possible at this season of the year. It’s the fall equivalent of making a snow angel.
The spookiest day of the year is also one of the most fun. What better than to go all out with costumes and watch scary movies at the same time?
Pro tip: See if there’s anything special going on in your city’s famous cemetery. There are often outdoor screenings of old-school horror movies, which can really get you in the mood for All Hallow’s Eve.
It’s hard to get behind baked goods when it’s 95 degrees out. But as temperatures dip, there’s nothing better than standing in the midst of a warm, yummy-smelling kitchen full of cookies, muffins, or bread-to- be.
You know it’s fall when you start to see all your male friends sporting small and then monster ‘staches. Movember is a challenge to grow a mustache for the whole month, to raise funds and awareness for charity. Since 2003, close to 5 million people have participated, raising a stunning $650 million for men’s health organizations.
Pro tip: Even if you don’t participate, it’s fun to track others’ progress on social media (and give to their campaigns where applicable).
8. It’s getting on fireplace weather
There’s nothing quite as comforting as curling up in front of a fire. Whether you’re there with a good book, a good dog, or a special someone, it’s a lovely feeling to know you’re safe and warm inside while winds pick up and leaves swirl outside your door.
The NFL is back, as are friendly rivalries or simply rooting for your favorite team with friends and neighbors. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as settling down in front of the TV with snacks and engaging in some good old-fashioned heckling.
Pro tip: On commercial breaks, look up some interesting trivia about your team and quiz your friends or family on it. Last one to get a question right has to refill the guac.
Bubble baths are truly one of life’s greatest pleasures, and they’re even better when there’s just a bit of a chill in the air (but not too cold to leave your teeth chattering). Go ahead -- sink into a heavenly scented tub of hot water and let all your troubles just melt away.
“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” ― Lauren DeStefano