This time of year can be a great opportunity to embrace seasonal activities, like taking walks with friends to appreciate the beautiful foliage, cozying up by the fireplace with loved ones, and carving pumpkins with your kids. And oftentimes, when we revisit an activity we loved growing up or try something new with a friend, we can deepen our connections and tap into our creativity and joy. 

We asked our Thrive community to share with us the activities they’re making time for this fall, and how it’s bringing them joy. Which of these will you try?

Visit your local pumpkin patch

“My favorite fall activity that brings me joy is visiting our local pumpkin patch. I know it is supposed to be just for kids, but there is something about petting baby goats, playing a little bit of corn hole, sipping hot cider and seeing a field of pumpkins that just makes me smile, not to mention walking through hay and just taking some time to reconnect with my community. We are often so busy with life that we do not realize that there is a whole other world out there, and slowing down just a bit puts us in touch with our more human side.”

—Elaine Hamilton, author, Santa Fe, NM

Cook a fall-inspired recipe

“Fall makes me dive into the art of healthy eating and nesting. I create a feast for all my senses. I get out my fall tablecloths and runners, buy flowers in Autumn colors to decorate the table, and then I gather ingredients and make earthy soups, like butternut squash soup with kale and white beans. I bake Brazilian Cheese Balls (aka Pao de Queijo) to accompany the soup. For dessert, I fill the house with the scent of pumpkin muffins, and I always have a cup of tea by my side. The next day, I start over and take my time looking through my cookbooks relishing what soup to cook next.”

—Marijke McCandless, writer, workshop leader, playfulness instigator, Las Vegas, NV

Use the autumn leaves for an art project

“Fall weather is a time for creativity. I’ve been collecting fallen leaves and acorns to make ornaments. I made the first one for myself, but then my mom wanted one for her house, and another for her friend. It’s easy to make, inexpensive and beautiful.”

—Alicia de la Peña

Enjoy a family baking day

“It wouldn’t be fall without apple and pumpkin picking with the family. We also enjoy baking everything from pies to apple cider donuts. Fall foodie family is what I call us.”

—Joshua Miller, master certified executive coach, Austin, TX

Go on a walk to admire the foliage 

“I never knew how beautiful fall was until I moved to Colorado! One activity that brings me joy during this season is going on walks with my fiancé to admire the vibrant autumn foliage and the fall and the Halloween decorations in our neighborhood, while recounting memories from our own childhoods and young adulthood. Fall is such a nostalgic season for me and this time of the year in particular reminds me of the warmth and love of my family and friends.”

—Emily Marczak, talent and OD consultant, Denver, CO

Train for a race with a friend

“I am running a 10K road race with a friend this fall. It is such a busy time and this will enable me to go out and run before training and then make time for something I love that is also good for me! It’s a double joy.” 

—Sam Greenfield, director of development, Sudbury, MA

Visit a local corn maze

“A favorite fall activity for my family is visiting our local corn maze and pumpkin patch. Every year, rain or shine, we meet friends and trek through the maze. Some years it’s muddier and messier than other years, but it’s always guaranteed to be fun. After the maze, we each pick out our Halloween pumpkin. The only rule: you must be able to carry your own pumpkin back to the car. We finish by warming up with hot chocolate around one of the firepits.”

—Emily Madill, certified professional coach (ACC) and author, Nanaimo, B.C., Canada

Play an instrument you love

“Autumn is when I love to reconnect with my piano. When the days are long and the weather warm, I prefer being outside. But as soon as it begins to get darker and cooler, and especially when it’s raining, I love settling down and learning something new. Generally that means belting out Lady Gaga ballads. My music space is really calming: the colors, lighting and scents. So it’s the perfect end to a busy day. And because playing is something I find challenging and wonderful at the same time, it’s a beautiful way to achieve a state of flow.”

—Audrey Mason, happiness coach, Glasgow, UK

Spend time with animals

“I’m spending more time at my good friend’s alpaca ranch in rural Texas. I find working in the barns (she has 65+ alpacas and babies) is good for me physically and mentally, especially since it is such a dramatic change from my day-to-day life in suburban Dallas. Life is simpler and quieter, and you can easily see the results of your hard work, whether sweeping out the barns, seeing the animals make a mad dash for the feeders once you open the gates and let them back in the barn, or mowing six acres of pasture on the riding mower. The animals are beautiful and curious creatures that just make you smile.”

—Karen C., PR/marketing/philanthropy consultant, Dallas, TX

Enjoy apple picking and fresh apple cider

“Fall activities, clothes, teas, and warm apple cider all create a sense of warmth and togetherness. I love apple picking with friends, baking with mom, and sweater weather while making s’mores. The sensations fall brings are different than any other season. I love the smell of that first apple pie, the taste of fresh apple cider, the feeling of putting on that cozy sweater, the sight of the leaves first changing. Fall is the first time we get to do all that again. It’s a wonderful feeling and that’s why fall is so special.”

—Angela Ficken, psychotherapist, Boston, MA

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Author(s)

  • Rebecca Muller

    Senior Editor and Community Manager

    Thrive

    Rebecca Muller Feintuch is the Senior Editor and Community Manager at Thrive. Her previous work experience includes roles in editorial and digital journalism. Rebecca is passionate about storytelling, creating meaningful connections, and prioritizing mental health and self-care. She is a graduate of New York University, where she studied Media, Culture and Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. For her undergraduate thesis, she researched the relationship between women and fitness media consumerism.