Hopefully the title of this post didn’t drive you into a deep, dark depression–holy hell, it’s the start of fall already? Sadly, yes. If you’re like me, you’ve been soaking up every ray of sunshine–hitting the pool, walking barefoot in your yard, sipping cocktails on the deck while the summer sun sets. But the best isn’t over yet. Fall is such a great time of year in many parts of the country. To make the most of it, welcome in the fall with these fun and stylish activities:
Host a bonfire
Cool fall evenings are made for staring into a hypnotic flame. Stock a cooler full of beer and sparkling water, plus marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers for S’mores. Set out lawn chairs and pile up some blankets. If you’re really feeling festive, string up white Christmas lights to add ambiance. Have a couple pals or neighbors over and gather ’round a bonfire to enjoy the last few nights where it’s warm enough to be outside. Don’t have a fire pit? Or enough lawn furniture? They’re likely to go on sale around this time and into the fall–keep your eye out for a deal. Alternative idea: Not a fan of smelling like campfire? Rent a movie projector and screen and show a great old classic on the side of your home, something like Casablanca or Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Visit the farmer’s market with a date
Some communities are lucky enough to have year round farmer’s markets, but for many the season is coming to a close. Take advantage of these last few weeks when you’ll be able to buy really fresh produce. The markets are still filled with tomatoes, summer squash, and beets, plus the first of the apple harvest. You know the cute coffee shop girl? Or the hot guy you’ve seen in the elevator around your apartment building? This is a great first date idea. Invite them to visit the market with you. Pick out some great fresh food, some flowers, take it all home to your place and cook a meal together with the take.
Perfect an autumn cocktail recipe
So many cocktails are seasonal–sangria and mojitos for summer, for example. Do a little research on cocktails that are autumn-appropriate, then test out and perfect to your taste. I’m thinking drinks that use ingredients/flavors like apple, cinnamon, pumpkin, or cranberry. Here’s a feat–I challenge you to come up with an appletini that isn’t sickly sweet and embarrassingly girly. I’m betting it can be done…and that this is the group of guys to tackle it. Alternative idea: If brews are more your style, attend an Oktoberfest celebration.
Attend Homecoming festivities
For those who attended larger colleges, there are likely a ton of Homecoming activities at your alma mater. If you’ve never returned to the scene of your misspent youth, why not do it this fall? Email all your old college pals and see who’s available to join you. Visit your old haunts–bars, restaurants, the dorm room where you first–well, maybe not that. Alternative idea: Have pals over for the first big football game of the season, and a potluck.
Plan a BBQ competition
If you’re in a climate where you’ll have to lock that grill away soon in preparation for winter, make the most of this fall and host a grilling/barbecuing competition of some sort. Send out invites to all your grill-master friends, with specific rules–maybe you want to limit the type of meat used, or specify saucy barbecue versus dry rub. Meet at a park with ample space for picnic benches and grills; those not grilling can bring the side dishes. Spend the day enjoying the crisp weather and the scent of slow-cooked meat. Ahhhh.
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