The calendar is (finally) flipping to fall. That’s right, bird lovers, the best season of the year is upon us. Fall is so activity friendly that we felt the need to organize ourselves so as not to waste a second of this gloriously leafy time. Chicago falls aren’t built to last, so you better get to it before winter’s cold sets in! Here’s what we’re gonna do:
- Cheer on McHenry High School at a home football game. Go Warriors! Go popcorn and cocoa!
- Carve a pumpkin/eat pumpkiny things.
- Take in a long drive somewhere with trees.
- Listen to Simon and Garfunkel’s discography. It just sounds like fall.
- Take more pictures, because everything (including my wardrobe) looks better.
- Drink seasonal beers. Beerunion made us an awesome list of suggestions.
- Ride some haunted coasters at Six Flags Fright Fest. Shorter lines and lower temps than the summer.
- Enjoy the wonders of television. With all my favorite shows back, and some new ones to check out, I will definitely be spending some nights cuddling on the couch with my boo and kitten.
- Visit a pumpkin patch. Next to the 57th Street Book Fair, my favorite fall family outing is a trip to a pumpkin patch. Trains, corn mazes, gourds (for a garland, perhaps?), hay rides, caramel apples, farming, popcorn, ponies, and, of course, picking out your sacrificial pumpkin. What’s not to love?
- Drink hot beverages. Chicago fall tends to be precipitous, and nothing complements chilly, windy, rainy weather like drinking hot liquids. Lattes, peppermint tea, apple cider, hot cocoa – mulled wine? Let it pour!
- Eat cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. The best holiday ever created – no presents, no religion, only food – is not complete without cranberry sauce. I want to mix it into mashed potatoes, smother it on a biscuit, and shove it in my face.
- Wear boots. (Subtext: Buy boots!)
- Step on crunchy leaves. Satisfaction has many forms.
- Listen to December. George Winston’s soothing piano album was a constant in our home during the holidays – now it’s the soundtrack to my memories and perfect listening for a quiet autumn evening at home.
- Get a haircut. My would’ve-been-rad-in-the-’80s hair doesn’t do anything I want in the summer heat and humidity, so I don’t even bother. But fall is the time for a new cut and a fresh look – plus my wardrobe is built around fall, and the only opportunity year round where I can look put together. And you know I gotsta look fly for all the wedding events coming up this season.
- Join a CSA . As I learned the hard way last winter, I can’t sustain my local eating habits on the sparse cold-weather farmers’ markets without one. I’ve got my eye on Irv and Shelly’s Fresh Picks. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I always claim summer is my favorite season. I mean what’s not to love: beach days, rompers, my birthday, sun hats, and drinking on outdoor patios and roof decks – love. But even before September hits, I’m ready to trade in my bikini and sun dresses for cardigan sweaters and scarves. I think I’m finally ready to admit that fall is my favorite season. By the time April rolls around, though, I might be singing a different tune, so don’t hold me to that!
Besides snuggling down with my sweetheart, my favorite autumn activities include:
- (Getting the obvious ones out of the way first) Apple picking! I plan to throw on my favorite sweater, pick up a soy latte from my local coffee shop, and head to the apple orchard to search for the perfect macintosh while the endless recipe opportunities swirl through my head.
- Naturally baking apple crisp (with those perfect macintoshes) is next on the list. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you’re in need of a delicious recipe, this is the best one I’ve come across (and it’s a super cute blog, too).
- Making chili. The vegetarian variety, of course. I substitute the ground beef out for Smart Ground (an organic, soy-based product). Even meat-lovers may not notice the difference!
- Getting the bejesus scared out of myself at the Haunted Sanitarium at the Theater on the Lake. It’s surprisingly really frightening, so take someone you can hide behind! Rumor has it that it actually used to be a sanitarium for babies with tuberculosis until it closed in 1939. Located at 2401 N. Lake Shore Drive. Call (312) 742-7994 for dates.
- Choosing my Halloween costume. I’ve already locked down the perfect ensemble but can’t give away my secret until after the 31st… stay tuned!
- As we’ve all identified, fall is the season of fashion. I look forward to dressing as preppy as possible – my fav outfit being dark jeans, tall riding boots, a button down-collared shirt, a sweater, and most likely either a trench or scarf, or both.
- Planning a winter snowboarding trip with my love. Last year we flitted off to Zermatt, Switzerland last minute to celebrate his birthday and decided right then and there it was going to be an annual event. Planning is half the fun… well maybe a quarter of the fun.
- RED WINE – while enjoying a glass (or two) is on my agenda year round, there’s something about savoring a full bodied red, like a bordeaux or super tuscan, when it gets chilly outside. Throw in a fireplace and maybe a deck of cards (and my man) and you have yourself one happy girl!
What fall festivities do you have planned?