Summer's beginning to wind down, and soon we'll be bidding adieu to backyard barbecues, beach days, and jorts. There is one last barbecue on the horizon, but as soon as the coals eventually cool on Labor Day weekend, summer too unofficially cools down into the new season. Before shedding a tear over summer Fridays and fading tan lines, take a moment to acknowledge all the reasons to look forward to fall.
Consider the classically fall delights we wait so patiently to return every year — from complicated coffee drink orders to oversize sweaters. Think about all the potential the new season brings — fireplaces, warm boozy beverages, and ample opportunities for cuddling. Pull out your knits, and tweeds, and corduroy, and scarves, and get eager to layer. Perhaps you're already totally over summer and its endless parade of sweaty commutes occasionally reinvigorated by rooftop happy hours.
There couldn't be a more appropriate example of how to feel about the end-of-summer situation than the final scene of 500 Days of Summer. After the emotional roller coaster ride that was Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character's relationship with Zooey Deschanel's, he hits it off with Minka Kelly while waiting to be called in for an interview. Once he successfully asks her out for coffee, he introduces himself and she replies with, "Nice to meet you. I'm Autumn." Gordon-Levitt looks straight at the camera with a glimmer in his eye. Appreciate summer for what it was, but look forward to the crisp, cozy days ahead that promise so much more.
1. Changing Leaves
Summer boasted sunsets that spanned across beaches, yet even the most brilliant ombre skies can't compete with the fiery reds and oranges of autumn's changing leaves. Check out the best places to see the leaves change, and take in the beauty of fall's foliage on a lovely day trip.
2. Seasonal Drinks
'Tis the season of the pumpkin spice latte, as well as a lineup of other complicated coffee orders that are more dessert than drink. Fall also means cocktails that feature autumnal flavors and hotter temps, so get excited about everything you'll be sipping on once the leaves begin turning.
3. Harvest Festivals
You aren't experiencing fall unless you experience a harvest festival, so round up your family and friends and head out for a day of hayrides, corn mazes, bounce houses, and live music. The events are perfect for all ages, and are the perfect thing to get everyone in the autumnal spirit.
4. Lower Electricity Bills
Let's not forget that with cooling temps we'll also see a much-needed dip in our electricity bills. Without the sticky humidity to combat with blasting AC, we'll be able to cool off old-school style with an open window.
5. Sweater Weather
Cooling weather is synonymous with sweater weather, and who doesn't love an opportunity for layering? After three months of sweating through our best tanks, rompers, and dresses, suiting up in skinny jeans and stepping out with a sweater has never felt so liberating. Fall is a chance to pull out wardrobe pieces we haven't laid eyes on since February and an excuse to shop around for a few new cool weather staples.
6. Pumpkin and Apple Picking
If there are two must-do things on the fall agenda, they couldn't be more quintessential than pumpkin and apple picking. Head out to a pumpkin patch and pick out the perfect lineup of soon-to-be Jack-o'-lanterns. Grab a group and go apple picking, then try your hand at these recipes to make with your orchard haul.
7. Mulled Wine
Nothing warms you up like a hot drink that also happens to be boozy. Mulled wine is one of the most seasonally appropriate things you can make with wine this season, so get to cooking. In addition to the satisfying results the recipe brings, it also fills your home with the archetypal aromas of autumn — cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, ginger, and star anise.
Summer is synonymous with sweating through sheets, but fall is all about being cozy and warm beneath layers of blankets and throws. Get out your cold weather bedding and get ready to get snuggly again.
Fall boasts a solid lineup of holidays, the first most meaningful of which is Oktoberfest. Grab a stein and some wurst-centric nosh, and ready yourself for a day of heavy drinking. If you want to bring the party closer to home you can even host your own Oktoberfest, because who says the best Biergarten can't be in your own backyard? Prost!
10. Your Favorite TV Shows Return
Fall is when our favorite TV shows return to the tube, and the weather couldn't be more perfect for cozying up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn. In addition to the usual suspects, you can also expect an enticing lineup of new shows you'll soon be addicted to. So get that remote and lie back for a season full of entertainment.
It's no secret fall features one (arguably two) of the best holidays. Halloween has plenty to get excited about for all ages, so gear up for a heavy dose of childhood nostalgia and all the costumes and candy that go with it.
If you love to cuddle, the end of summer couldn't be more welcome. Say so long to sweaty cuddle sessions where you end up on opposite sides of the bed just to cool the inferno that was your combined body temp multiplied by the heat and humidity of the summer night. Say hello to crisp fall days where curling up under a blanket with that special someone is an exemplary addition to the equation.
13. Pumpkin Everything
Along with pumpkin spice lattes, you can expect pumpkin spice-flavored foods of every genre. Hummus, yogurt, Oreos, you name it. Get them while you can.
14. Daylight Saving Time Ends
Enjoy an extra hour of sleep when clocks "fall back" this season for the end of daylight saving time.
Football season kicks off in fall, and there's nothing better than hitting the parking lot to tailgate or heading to your favorite bar with friends to catch the game. Whether you're painting your face for your college team or losing your voice over all the NFL action, football season is a definite perk that comes with the end of summer.
Who can argue with Thanksgiving as a holiday we hold dear to our hearts (and stomachs)? Between gathering with loved ones, eating all the dishes, and drinking all the booze, there's a lot to love about the holiday.
While we'll miss the bonfires of summer, there's something ever so cozy and romantic about indoor fireplaces. Even if your living accommodations force you to compromise with the one on TV, curling up next to the crackling flame seems to just soothe the soul.
Ice cream may have been a summer hit, but the one thing better is enjoying ice cream with your favorite pie. Fall promises all sorts of pies — apple pies, pumpkin pies, pecan pies, chocolate pies. From holiday classics to weekend treats, all these pies are sure to please.
19. Skipping Shaving
There are plenty of reasons to just stop shaving, but cold weather and constant pants-wearing might be the best excuse.
20. The Holidays Are Coming
The end of summer means fall, which means the eventual end of fall. If you're not following my logic, I mean the holidays are almost here. If you're definitely obsessed with everything that means, the approaching of Labor Day means you're already planning your winter vacation and checking things off your gift giving list. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or something else, they'll be upon us before you know it, so consider fall as your brief interlude to all the festivities to come.
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