By Annika Tomlin
COVID-19 limits what we can do, but there are things we can do. With a little creativity, we can do a lot of things all while maintaining the restrictions to keep everyone safe and healthy. Here is a list of 11 things to add to your to-do list this fall.
#11 Buy new fall clothing item
Before spending a boat load of money on a whole new fall wardrobe, check and see what you already have and see what you need to complete your outfit. That could be a new pair of jeans—after all, COVID 15 is a thing—or just a new fun sweater to spice up the season. Nothing quite says fall like snuggling up in a fluffy sweater on a chilly November night.
#10 Enjoy a fall drink
This time of year is all about pumpkin spice and apple cider. But don’t forget about a cup of classic hot chocolate that can easily be made into a creation of one’s own with different syrups or flavorings. If you are of age, a little spiked eggnog or Baileys is a great addition to an evening cup of hot chocolate shared with friends around a firepit.
#9 Take nature hike
Now that the hot summer days are gone—hopefully—it’s a pleasant time to go out and enjoy the great outdoors. We no longer have to wake up before sunrise to go hiking before it gets too hot for the day. Take a new trail or find a new hiking buddy. We can literally look in whatever direction and see some kind of hill or mountain that is just waiting for to climb.
#8 Sit around the firepit
Firepits are way more user friendly than bonfires and are less likely to cause a wildfire because it’s contained. Plus, you can roast marshmallows or other food over a firepit more easily. There is nothing like grabbing a group of friends and having a drink around a firepit and just talking about life. Check for no-burn nights and the proper tools to extinguish the fire when it’s time to leave.
#7 Take fall photos
Now is the time to start thinking about Christmas card photos, but also just taking photos to update your social media page. Places like the Sunflower Field at Rocker 7 Farm Patch in Buckeye or the Dixie Mine Trail in Fountain Hills are great backdrops for an outdoor fall-themed photoshoot. A day trip up north could also offer amazing photo opportunities—as long as the weather cooperates.
#6 Decorate for fall
You likely have decorated for fall, but now it’s time to put away the Halloween décor and get ready for Thanksgiving and beyond. Thankfully pumpkins are still in season when it comes to home decorations and can still be customized without having to deal with the molding of an actual pumpkin. Try your hand at making a colorful wreath for the front door. No need to buy the most expensive items out there; at least 98% of what you might need can be found at the Dollar Store. Hot glue gun may be needed.
#5 Create an autumn playlist
There’s nothing that sets the mood like a playlist and a fire. Don’t forget to include classic songs like “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood or newer songs like “Cardigan” by Taylor Swift to get the mood going. Challenge your friends to find the most fall song and take turns of who plays the next tune.
#4 Try a new crockpot recipe
Baking bread may have been popular during the spring and summer. Now it’s time for the slow cooker. Try something sweet like an apple dump cake or something savory like corn and sausage chowder. There are thousands of recipes online to try.
#3 Scary movie marathon
Halloween might be over, but scary movies don’t have to disappear. They’re always “in” and are a great way to bond with others. Ask for recommendations or rewatch your favorites. Time to snuggle under a warm blanket and watch movies that’ll give you nightmares.
#2 Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping
COVID-19 has changed the way some companies are looking at Black Friday. Walmart, for instance, will spread its deals throughout November. The deals will be offered online for the first few days and then will head to the stores. Don’t forget about Cyber Monday, and look at other companies to see what they are doing this year as well.
#1 Talk traditions with grandparents
Ask your grandparents how they celebrated the holidays when they were your age. You’d be surprised how different things were 50-plus years ago. You might even decide to bring back one of their traditions to honor them.