Since the fall weather set in later this year, I didn’t start my yearly fall traditions as early as I typically do. I narrowed my normally extensive list down to eight essential fall traditions that will inspire you this fall.
1. Bonfire at Picnic Point
As the crisp fall air sets in, cozying up with some friends around a campfire is the best possible way to enjoy the night sky. Add gourmet s'mores and you have created the perfect night (Life hack: replace Hershey’s chocolate with a square of Ghirardelli milk chocolate with caramel inside — your life will be changed).
2. Fall color walk
My family had a yearly tradition of going on a “fall color drive” when I was living at home. College may have taken away my ability to get behind the wheel, but it can’t take away my ability to enjoy the changing leaves. I plan to walk through Picnic Point, the Arboretum and Tenney Park.
3. Trader Joe’s run
It is no secret Trader Joe’s can create some of the wildest fall-flavored treats that taste amazing. Make sure to keep an eye out for their butternut squash mac & cheese, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin-spiced espresso beans and salted maple ice cream to spice up your pantry.
4. Curl up with a spooky book
Nothing screams cozy fall vibes like curling up with a good book. To keep with the fall theme, I plan to read “Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King, “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley and “The Hunting Party” by Lucy Foley.
5. Go to the farmers’ market
Many people are surprised to find out the Dane County Farmers’ Market at Capitol Square is open through Nov. 12. While the summer vegetables are delicious, I can’t wait to buy maple butter, honeycrisp apples and cider donuts. It is a must-do in Madison.
6. Get a pumpkin spice latte
A fall staple I can guarantee will be delicious. Is it really fall if you don’t get a pumpkin spice latte? Worried about being basic? Ditch the Starbucks and try Peet’s pumpkin spice cold brew with brown sugar jellies.
7. Go to a haunted house
Despite the lack of haunted houses on campus, there are quite a few in the greater Madison area. Schuster's Farm and Screamin Acres both have great setups and never fail to scare me. These will give you the shiver you’ve been missing during this abnormally toasty fall.
8. Decorate your room
Make your room align with the fall spirit by getting string lights, pumpkins or a flannel blanket. After decorating, invite friends over to watch a scary movie in your new space.
Short and sweet, fall is meant to be packed with activity. Make the most of the great weather by getting outside and spending time with friends.