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28 Fall Activities to Add to Your Bucket List

Enjoy every minute of the crisp autumn season with these must-do activities.


Make a creative Halloween costume

Store-bought costumes are stress-free, but making your own lets you get creative. Find a silly pun (a holy cow, perhaps?) or dress up as a random household object that's sure to get a few giggles. Get inspired with these 17 last-minute DIY Halloween costumes.


Enjoy a bonfire

When the weather is chilly but not frigid, a cozy bonfire can give your night a warm glow. Grab a few friends and some s’mores fixings, and share stories while you gather around the flames.


Visit a haunted house

Craving an adrenaline rush? Take a ghost tour through your town’s most haunted spaces, or set yourself up for a frightful night at a haunted house set up by your community. Reward your bravery afterward with a comforting cup of cocoa. Don't miss these 13 creepy haunted house mysteries no one can explain.


Start a gratitude journal

Thanksgiving is a natural time to appreciate everything you have to be thankful for, but don’t limit it to late November. Make a habit of acknowledging something you’re grateful for every day, and record it in a journal. Flip through whenever you’re feeling down.


Take a stab at an old family recipe

Do you miss your grandma’s apple pie recipe or biscuits just the way your uncle made them? If you have the recipe written down, try your own hand at a classic family recipe during Thanksgiving to keep the tradition alive. Try to incorporate some of these 27 foods that taste better in the fall.

iStock/Lauri Patterson

Host a chili cook-off

This is one of the tastier fall activities. Gather your friends and your best cooking skills, and compete for who can make the best chili. Reward the winner with a home-baked pie to take home, and have another on hand so everyone can satisfy their sweet tooth.

iStock/Pamela Moore

Volunteer as a family

Instead of (or before) sitting down for your own Thanksgiving feast, lend a hand at a local food pantry. Soup kitchens tend to see more volunteers and donations around the holidays, so make a commitment to volunteer once a week or once a month if you can. Don't miss these other fun fall activities that go beyond apple picking.


Perfect your stew recipe

Stew is great comfort food on a chilly fall day, and it couldn’t be easier to make. Throw your ingredients in a slow cooker before work, and come home to a hearty dinner.


Enjoy pumpkin spice

Love it or hate it, ’tis the season for pumpkin spice. Enjoy yours in latte form, or head to the grocery store for cookies, yogurts, ice cream, cereals, and more products that have joined the trend. Take a stab at pumpkin at home with these 20 savory pumpkin recipes.


Tailgate at a football game

If you don’t live near a pro team, head over to a local college and join the students in their pre-game festivities. With a big bowl of chili, some beers, and a cornhole game, you almost won’t even want to leave the parking lot for kickoff.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest