20 Ideas To Do This Autumn and Halloween
Make your own pumpkin spice latte
This is something that loads of people rave about - Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte. But why not have a go this year at making your own this Autumn and Halloween? There's loads of pumpkin spice syrup recipes out there - one of my favourite recipe sites is BBC Good Food - and to turn any coffee into a latte, use one shot espresso (or very strong made instant) and the rest milk. I'm looking forward to trying this one out, and when I find a recipe I like, I'll let you know. To make this Halloween-y, make in your favourite Halloween mug!
Decorate your front door for Autumn and Halloween
I love browsing Pinterest for all ideas home, and for Autumn and Halloween decorating this is no exception. Usually I pile a load of different varieties of pumpkins either side of my blue front door, and the foliage and flowers in the metal planters does the rest (although I may add a pot or two of russet coloured chrysanths). An autumn wreath on the front door completes the look nicely. I have seen some amazing displays, where autumn garlands are strewn around porch frames, or door frames, with pumpkins and leaves are interwoven. But my door can be quite exposed, and without a porch frame to hang these on, it can be quite a fiddly task. If you've got steps going up to your front door, you're on to a winner. Put a pumpkin on each step, mix it up with a plant pot or two, and voila. If you can, use terracotta pots for all the autumn and country feels.
To make this more Halloween-y, add carved pumpkins a day or 2 before the trick or treaters arrive, or hang some cute halloween decorations in your autumn wreath! If you've gone with garlands, these are great for hanging bats or witches flying on to! Or add a model hand into one of the plant pots! Gross!
Watch A Horror Or Thriller Film
You can't have an Autumn and Halloween ideas blog post, without a horror film! A must on Halloween night. Watch it in the dark, and keep the lights off afterwards for all the creeps.
Make An Autumn and Halloween Craft Project with Foraged Items
An activity that we usually reserve for kids, but actually, some of the artists that I love use foraged items from their walks as their mediums. And let's face it, if people can do this for a living, we should definitely make more time to do this for our own wellbeing. Go for a long walk, and collect up beautiful forged items that represent Autumn and Halloween to you. Conkers, nuts, leaves, acorns, beautifully shaped stones, and bring them home. A project can be as simple as a small display on a shelf somewhere, making jar art from the nuts, or decoupage the leaves on to a glass jam jar, and pop a tea light inside. Make it spookier with the addition of googly eyes in amongst the leaves, or bu making your finds into a Halloween motif.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Well, I couldn't not add this, could I? Check out all the details on our very own pumpkin patch here.
The epitome of Autumn and Halloween is the pumpkin, and the pumpkin patch is growing in popularity in the UK every year. You'll be able to find one within an hour's drive of your home. A good place to hear about them are Community noticeboards, either online, in person or via social media. Most will have Halloween feel about them, or may even have Halloween specific activities going on.
A Day With No Electronics
We don't realise how much we rely on electronic devices for our downtime until we don't have them. Try taking a day off completely - no mobile phone; no tablet; no laptop; no computer; and no TV! A digital detox is an activity that ALL self care experts talk about, and I truly believe that Autumn and Halloween is a great time to do this. In fact, if you look at the sheet at the bottom of the blog post where I've collated all of these ideas into a fun bingo card, you could incorporate several ideas on there into a day of no devices.
An Evening Of Candlelight
One of my favourite things about Autumn is the desire to light my candles. All of them! We regularly will watch a film in candle light, and the time around Autumn and Halloween makes this so much easier, as the nights draw in earlier, and our need to cosy up kicks in. This is definitely a way to give yourself all the Autumn and Halloween feels, really easily. Use black candles on Halloween night if you like, and Autumn scents are an absolute must.
Host An Autumn and Halloween Barbecue
October in the UK can be beautiful, and although it may not be typically warm enough to be outdoors in the evening, with the addition of a few blankets and fleece ponchos, an outdoors meal for Autumn and Halloween is something we love doing. Use corn on the cob which is in season during early Autumn, and jacket potatoes on the embers gives a beautifully simple but filling meal. Add some large marshmallows, or have a go at making the American favourite S'Mores and drink mulled cider, or apple juice for the drivers.
Plant a Tree
Autumn and Winter is the time to be planting new trees, whilst they are dormant, and it is a great way to connect with nature and the seasons. If you don't have a big enough garden to plant, see if you can find a community planting scheme locally to you. The Woodlands Trust is a great place to find out further information, or use your local community noticeboard forums.
Write A Letter To Your Future Self
Autumn and Halloween in the spiritual community is a time for winding down and introspection. Time to withdraw, a little like hibernation, and to reflect on what you've sown this year, and whether it came to fruition. We remember the dead more poignantly, especially around Remembrance Sunday, and this can also be a good time to reflect on our relationships, with loved ones and those who have passed on. Halloween is a time where those spiritually minded will attempt to converse with the ancestors, make amends with the living, and there is no reason why this should not be applied to ourselves. How are our relationships, our thoughts, and our actions and what do we think we may wish to change. Writing a letter is a form of journalling, and can be very powerful for the present. In ten years time, what did today's you think of what was going on? And how much have you changed?
Make Toffee Apples this Autumn and Halloween
Toffee Apples always remind me of the Autumn/Winter fair that travelled to our local rural area every May and November. The crisp green Granny Smith's apple, with a coating of red sugar over the top was one of my favourite treats, and these days a reminisce of my childhood Autumn and Halloween. Nothing like the offerings in the supermarkets where the apples are soft and the toffee is starting to go gooey, making your own is THE way to go. Use your favourite apples, and make sure you have somewhere for them to sit and harden, on some greaseproof paper is ideal. I'll look up my recipe for them, and drop it in to a blog post soon.
Go For A Long Walk With Your Flask
A long walk is so good for the soul. And Autumn and Halloween time is perfect for getting out the flask, or even better the hip flask! A small mug of steaming mulled cider to drink with some sharp cheese and crusty bread and butter is the feast of kings, and no fuss if you're out walking in the hills. And I'm not talking about drinking pints of the stuff either! A flask cup is more than enough!
Hang Autumn Decorations from a Branch Display this Autumn and Halloween
With the increase in popularity in Autumn decorating, so too is the rise in tasteful Autumn and Halloween decorations, that may have put some of you off decorating in the past. One of my favourite Autumn activities, is to collect some branches on a walk out, and to decorate them when i get home with my small collection of Autumn and Halloween themed decorations. I wrote a blog post last year on how I do this, check it out here along with some other ideas of easy decorating for Autumn and Halloween. Check out our collection of Autumn decorations here and specifically Halloween decorations here
Host A Bonfire Party
Every child knows 'Remember, remember the fifth of November' and with the COVID restrictions, bonfire night events may not be quite as readily available as they were. Bonfire (or maybe campfire) parties make a great social gathering though, especially with a barbecue, and if fireworks worry you, try just sparklers instead. You can get mini ones, as well as full size ones very readily from party shops. Wrap up warm, and feel like a kid again!
Flower Arrange in a Pumpkin
Instagram and Pinterest are full of beautiful flower arrangements during Autumn. those beautiful deep colours, contained within a pumpkin, an unusual vase at any time of the year, creates a real piece of interest, and immerses you in the world of Autumn. Or of course you could buy one. These make beautiful table centrepieces, or a cheery welcome in a hallway. Keep them cool and well watered.
The game of boyhood dreams. Even Gwilym still talks about tactics he used to try and get his conker to win over everybody else's. If you're hosting a barbecue or bonfire party this Autumn and Halloween, this would be a great party game to play! Conker trees are not quite as common as they once were, so maybe using your friends network to locate some would be a good idea. We go to either Builth promenade, or to Llyswen by the river. To play, you need to drill a hole through the middle of the conker, and tie a string through. Then playing in pairs, the goal is to smash the opponents conker by whacking it with your own. There are some rules: it needs to be kept at arms length; take it in turns to hit; but these are easy enough to google if you're going to have people who are likely to get serious!
Make Mulled Cider or Apple Juice
The smells that emanate from mulling are the epitome of Autumn for me. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, it reminds me of chutney making season whilst Gwilym was beating for a pheasant shoot when I was heavily pregnant, and I'd listen to Mumford & Sons whilst the rain was pelting down at the windows!
Although I also make this on Christmas morning for breakfast :-)
Make a Recipe Using Gourds
The lesser known cousin of pumpkins, gourds are in season for Autumn and Halloween, and are an interesting twist on pumpkins. It depends on the variety, but these tend to be a little sweeter than pumpkins, but can be cooked in similar ways. I like to have individual ones, fill a third of the way with a gruyere type cheese, a third cream, and cook for about half an hour. Make sure you put them in a tray though, as they will flow! Serve with crusty warm bread. Yum yum.
Visit an Apple or Cider Farm
There are loads of small cider breweries, but also keep an eye out in your local delis for apple juice makers. These farms will often hold open days where you can go and see the fascinating process of making juice/cider from apples, and the different varieties you use. Herefordshire and Somerset, particularly, have loads of places you can visit, but check your local deli shops or community noticeboards for ones close to you if you live elsewhere in the UK. If you have trees, you could have a go at pressing your own apples for juice, contact our local apple preservation society for details on how to hire a press.
Visit a Fireworks Display
A professionally produced firework display is something that is a sight to behold, and with a flask of soup can be a really easy way to get the Autumn and Halloween spirit going. They traditionally were held on 05 November, but quite often these large town displays will be on a Saturday night, either side of November 5th, or around Halloween, to incorporate some spooky fun for little ones. This can feel really quite romantic if you don't have kids! Just wrap up warm!
20 Ideas for Autumn and Halloween
So, there you have it. Twenty ideas for you to celebrate Autumn and Halloween! If you've got other ideas that you do that haven't been mentioned here, then please drop me a comment below, and I'll add it to next year's list of ideas. In the meantime, I've made this into a fun activity sheet for you to print out and stick on your wall at home, so that you can take inspiration form it when you have a day off, or need to entertain the kids! Enjoy!
- Annabelle Summerfield