Beyond Pumpkin Spice: 10 Ideas for Fall

It’s officially autumn, a time for transitioning into cooler weather, favorite traditions and cozy moments. Although the appearance of pumpkin spice in everything from coffee creamers, popcorn flavor and car air fresheners is a sure sign of the season, there are many other fall pleasures to enjoy. After a summer of trips to the beach, BBQs and pool parties, it’s a time when it feels right to reflect and refocus on ourselves, our homes, our families and our friends. So breathe in the cooler air and soak up the changing rhythm with these 10 ideas for fall.

ideas for fall | woman's hands in white sweater, holding cup of pumpkin spice coffee next to leaves and a pumpkin

Embrace the pleasures of the season as you celebrate fall in all its glory!

10 Ideas for Fall

Go Outside

Dress for the weather and head outdoors. Notice the signs of the changing seasons on a sunset walk around the neighborhood, a picnic or a meal at a restaurant with an outdoor patio. Invite a friend to hike with you in a pretty spot. Anything that allows you to enjoy the changes in nature is a welcome addition to your schedule.


Think of how humans lived before electricity (and before caffeine). People slept in tune with the changing seasons, with the ample daylight of summer providing extra energy and the darkest days of winter leading to longer nights of rest. Today, modern conveniences interfere with that seasonal rhythm, from drive-through gourmet coffee shops to endlessly streaming entertainment. Yet, humans are still wired to respond to changes in the natural world. As the nights get longer, notice how your body reacts: is it harder to get up in the morning? Are you tired earlier in the evening? Get to bed a little earlier as the daylight hours are shorter, and aim for a little more rest and relaxation.

Color Your World

Reflect the changing season in your surroundings. Make sure toasty throw blankets in autumn hues are handy wherever you cozy up in the evenings. Add some easy seasonal décor with fresh or artificial plants, such as pampas grass stems in a stoneware vase or a centerpiece of red and gold leaves. Swap out the bright colors of summer for earth tones, burnt orange and eggplant purple. Your friends and family will find themselves lingering just a little longer as they feel oh so comfy and have something yummy to sip—cider, cocoa, or a homemade PSL.

Update Your Wardrobe

When you think about festive ideas for fall, your closet may not be top of mind. Give your wardrobe some seasonal attention by organizing your dresser drawers and closet. Put away the sundresses, sleeveless tops, shorts and other clothes of summer. Then, bring out the sweaters, long-sleeves, jackets, boots and other cool-weather gear. Get ready for the changing seasons by checking to see that items such as warm socks, flannel pajamas, gloves and hats are in good shape for another year of use.

Cook Up Comfort Foods

Shift gears with the foods you eat. Instead of the lighter fare and grilled items that seem perfect in the summer months, look for recipes that have a little more substance to them. Whip up a hearty soup, stew or chili – the crockpot is perfect for these. Add apples, nuts and crumbles of your favorite cheese to a salad. Incorporate the seasonal foods into your weekly menu, such as root vegetables, squash, hearty greens like chard and cabbage, and of course, pumpkin.

Light Up the Night

As the nights get longer, set the mood with thoughtful lighting. Hang some festive string lights around your yard or porch to cast a warm glow against the dark sky. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and earlier sunsets of fall and spend an evening with loved ones outside around a crackling fire (remember the smores!). Inside, light tapered candles on your kitchen table to eat by and start a roaring fire in your fireplace (no fireplace? Find a streaming video of a fireplace on YouTube).

Add Fall Accents

Incorporate autumn with simple touches around your home. A fall-themed doormat, wreath and, of course, fresh pumpkins make a cheerful addition to your entry. Simple touches such as dish towels in the colors of the season can add to the fall spirit. Switch to flannel sheets on the bed (unless you live in hot Texas) to increase the cozy factor as nights get cooler.

fall ideas | porch decorated for fall with flowers and leaves

Explore the Season’s Bounty

Fall is an ideal time to browse the farmer’s market. Get inspired to try new recipes with fruits and vegetables you purchase from local farmers. Visit a nearby winery for a tasting to discover a new favorite wine. Local microbreweries celebrate the season with Oktoberfest—the perfect time to stop by a local beer garden and try something new.

Plan for Indoor Fun

This is a season to nestle and turn inward, which means entertaining ourselves at home. Find a new book to add to your nightstand. Pick up a couple of puzzles depicting fall scenes, and keep one out on a dedicated table to work on when you have time. Find a few new board games to play with family and friends. Maybe this is the year you learn a new hobby—maybe one your grandmother shared with you some time ago. One of my friends is learning how to quilt, another is making a small investment in yarn and needles, following a tutorial online and learning how to knit. Find a class in your community and make new friends at the same time.

Bring on the Pumpkins

Whether you carve them, paint them, cook with them, add them to your décor or visit a pumpkin patch, be sure to enjoy this universal symbol of the season!

Be sure to check out The Protocol School of Texas. For more ideas for fall, you may also like Fall Etiquette Party Tips. Read Diane’s posts on Inc., subscribe to her articles on The Huffington Post, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on PinterestInstagram and Twitter

The post Beyond Pumpkin Spice: 10 Ideas for Fall appeared first on Diane Gottsman | Leading Etiquette Expert | Modern Manners Authority.

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