The Season of Autumn is upon us! Autumn is a time of year when the world seems to be preparing itself for a magical transformation. The changing of leaves, clear moonlit skies, the crisp air carrying an exciting energy, signaling a subtle urge to change, and my favorite, the scents and tastes of this magical season.
The season of autumn calls us to prepare our minds, bodies, and souls for what is to come in wintertime. This can mean getting outdoors more often, going on walks in nature , or hosting an Autumn celebration filled with rich traditions and rituals the way our ancestors celebrated life together with the rhythms of each season.
The eight seasonal transition days on the Wheel of the Year are special holidays for me. I love to gather with my friends and family, nourish myself with seasonal foods, and engage in meaningful rituals and traditions. Sometimes I celebrate these festivals by quietly observing nature’s subtle shifts at home. Other times I love dressing up and hosting a seasonal party featuring seasonal food while cultivating intentional conversation with my friends and family. I love to prepare special foods for these celebrations and engage in meaningful rituals that connect me with nature.
The truth is that you can find ways to celebrate the season of Autumn no matter where you live! There are so many ways to be a part of the season of Autumn. My goal for this article is to help inspire you and give you new ideas for celebrating the season of Autumn that are fun, creative, and easy. These activities will not only help you enjoy the season but also take your mind off of stress and open your heart to new change.
Here are 20 Inspiring Fall Activities to Make the Most of the Season that are fun for the whole family. Below you’ll find 10 unique and different ideas for celebrating the season of Autumn.
Ways to Celebrate the Season of Autumn
1) Observe and Reflect on Seasonal Shifts
During the season of Autumn and especially during the Autumnal Equinox, I observe the natural phenomena that occur at the change of seasons. I use them as cues to reflect inward and discover bits of personal wisdom that aid me in navigating my own life. In autumn, nature is aging gracefully and releasing its hold on summer’s bounty. I draw inspiration from this process to embrace my own aging, as well as aging within myself, my relationships, and my work. This way of observing nature helps me reconnect with what matters most: myself, the Earth, and those around me.
Find a cozy spot to curl up, reflect on your personal harvests, and take stock of what you have nurtured this year. Notice how that area of your life has evolved since spring. Make some notes about intentions for fall, so you can reflect on them at the winter solstice.
Download a FREE Autumn Journal HERE.
2) Fall Foraging
Before the rise of agricultural communities, our ancestors found sustenance through foraging. Acorns and walnuts were staples in the fall as they provided calorie-dense nourishment, including protein—a gift of the season available to anyone who looks closely enough. You can immerse yourself in these gifts on a fall foraging hike.
Along with vibrant views of the fall foliage, you can gather berries, tree roots and nuts to enrich your fall meals. Cattail has a white starchy material inside the long brown rootstocks that can be used to thicken your favorite fall soups and stews. You can even collect colorful leaves and pinecones on your hike to welcome nature into your home.
3) Perform a Gratitude Ritual
The autumn equinox is celebrated by many cultures and communities around the world. In ancient times, these festivals were held to honor the changing seasons. One of these festivals, called Mabon , was celebrated by Pagans on September 21st or 22nd (depending on the year) and is still observed by many today. Ancient Mabon rituals focused on the balance of light and dark , their inextricable link, and the coming darkness of winter.
Fire is a key element for Mabon ceremonies as it represents the transition from autumn, with flame-colored foliage, to the dark nights that grow longer each day until the winter solstice. One idea is to mark the start of the season with an equinox campfire. Invite your nearest and dearest to create a gratitude circle around the campfire and each share what gift of the season they’re most grateful for that has helped them find their own personal equilibrium. Have them write this on paper that can be tossed into the fire after sharing.
4) Host a Harvest Moon Celebration
Long before Europeans came to the “New World,” Indigenous people had many festivals celebrating the four seasons. One of the most celebrated for the Eastern Woodland Culture (like mine the Nipmuck) was that of Harvest Time. This festival was mainly celebrated by the Eastern Woodlands because of their strong agricultural base.
Of course these celebrations took place in Autumn but their actual time varied from place to place and was mainly dependent on the window of harvest time before the last hard killing frost. The Harvest Moon is a full moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox, which would be around September 21st or 22nd. The Harvest Moon is bright enough to allow finishing all harvest chores at this time; crops such as corn, pumpkins, squash and wild rice are ready for gathering during this time period.
Host a Harvest Moon celebration and serve dishes with seasonal and traditional foods such as corn, pumpkins, squash and wild rice. Make it even more magical by holding it on the night of the full moon. Gathering in the light of the full moon with loved ones is a beautiful way to celebrate cycles in nature. The energy of each lunar cycle peaks at the full moon. It’s a great time to gather with community, celebrate what’s happening in nature, and embrace your own rhythms before turning inward as the lunar energy wanes.
5) Have an Autumn Tea Ceremony
Tea ceremonies can provide a rare opportunity to connect with nature. We live in fast-paced urban environments, and often fail to take notice of the natural world around us. In the tea ceremony, however, we are able to slow down and connect with the spirit of the earth. Starting your own tea practice is very simple, and you don’t need much equipment. Begin with organic tea from a reliable source, or herbs that you either foraged or grew yourself. You’ll also need cups/bowls that are nontoxic and pleasing to you.
A tea ceremony can be a magical experience. It’s an opportunity to step out of your everyday life and into a ritual focused on the senses. This article by Magnifissance will get you started. Here are a couple of my favorite herbal teas for fall:
6) Plan an Autumn Picnic
Autumn is my favorite time of year. There’s something exciting about turning the page on another season, and I love that you can still have a picnic when it’s not blazing hot out. While there’s no shortage of things to love about sweater weather, at the top of that list is taking advantage of crisp, sunny afternoons to have a picnic and do some nature sitting and leaf peeping.
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean picnicking needs to be put on hold. The best picnic foods can be made in advance, travel well, and, of course, take advantage of seasonal produce. Here are a few of my favorite fall recipes that would be perfect for packing in your picnic basket:
7) Sunrise Yoga
During the season of Autumn, we celebrate the Equinox. Derived from Latin words meaning “equal night,” this symbolizes the balance earth finds on the equinox when the equator is closest to the sun and the length of daytime and nighttime are almost equal in length, roughly 12 hours each.
Greet this nature cycle with a morning yoga practice that helps you find your own balance and alignment with this seasonal shift. As you flow through a series of poses, your muscles will loosen as you energize your body.
8) Make Autumn Nature Crafts
Nature’s bounty is always extra generous in the fall. Make the most of it with some nature crafts for autumn! So, head out to the garden, forest, or fields and collect some materials. Here are a few of my favorite Autumn crafts:
9) Making an Autumn Wreath
Wreaths, symbols of the cycles of the seasons and the great wheel of the year, are hung on doors and over doorways during sacred holidays and are magical charms which invite prosperity and abundance in – and keep negative forces out. Wreaths woven with ribbons, sheaves of grain, and field flowers ensure a rich, prosperous harvest; they are still a central feature of harvest festivals which originally occurred around the time of the Autumn Equinox. The grain from the wreath is set aside for next year’s sowing; it is invested with the power of new life.
The Autumn Equinox is one of two times during the year when night and day are equal in length, i.e. an excellent time to affirm balance and harmony. And as a turning point in the wheel of the year, it is also the perfect time to turn something around in your life. It also is a time for celebrating the fruits of the harvest, to dive deep into ourselves to get rooted for winter – and make a foraged dried flower wreath for your front door! Magnolia has directions for making a gorgeous dried flower wreath. Check it out HERE.
10) Create an Autumn Altar
Setting up an altar is one of the easiest ways to celebrate the season of Autumn. Use gifts you find in nature, candles, and the magical tools you already own to decorate your Mabon or Autumn altar. Incorporate the colors of the season of Autumn such as brown, crimson, gold, and orange. Decorate with harvest symbols like corn, apples, pomegranates, and pumpkins. Scatter seeds, pinecones, seed pods, and nuts. Add dried fall flowers, crystals and stones that correspond to this season, and incense and small candles for atmosphere.
There are so many ways to celebrate Autumn that it’s hard to decide if there is a best way. As you visit some of these fun and creative ideas, the best part will be that each celebration represents you, your family, and your interests. Choose the activities that speak to you and let the love of Autumn warm your heart!!