It’s October! I am a definite summer person but I do really love this time of year – most of the time. The majority of the UK are now currently experiencing tighter regulations again, so we could all do with some inspiration to keep ourselves feeling positive, entertained and productive. There are an abundance of things we can all do to embrace the crisp cold mornings, colourful leaves and cosy evenings, as well as activities indoors all of which can keep the winter blues at bay. So here’s all the Autumn things to do over the next couple of months.
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Just to note these are general things, they aren’t specific to Newcastle or the North East, but all are doable in the UK, even with tighter restrictions at the moment. I’ve already ticked a few off and plan to get through as many as possible.
‘I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers’– Anne of Green Gables
Decorate For The Autumn Season
Buy seasonal flowers, even if they’re fake
Get new cushions, beddings and throws. I got mine from Dunelm they’re so soft and comfortable. H&M Home have some great seasonal pieces too.
Buy or make an Autumn door wreath. Go to your local florist and shop local.
Plant your tulip bulbs ready for Spring
Decorate your porch with pumpkins. Not enough people do this in the UK in my opinion.
Invest in some Autumn candles. The White Company have Lime & Bay, Autumn, Fig Tree and even their Winter range in now. I saw Asda have a Gingerbread flavour in, and my favourite at the moment is Our Lovely Goods ‘One Evening’ or ‘Winter Spice’.
Carve a pumpkin. Too many people leave this until a few days before Halloween but you can make non scary decorations with them through the whole month and into November.
Pick conkers and either include them in home made decorations or put them on your windowsills, they keep spiders at bay! It really works.
Make potpourri with Autumn foliage
Build a scarecrow in the garden.
Make pine cone bird feeders For your garden.
Build a fairy house
Visit your local park or nature reserve for a wrapped up walk through the crunchy leaves. Misty mornings or for orange sunsets are the best times to go.
Go apple picking or visit a pumpkin patch. Who cares if it’s cliche if you enjoy it.
Go stargazing. The clear, freezing cold nights are perfect for it.
Take dog walks on the beach now they are all open to dogs again.
Go on woodland trails to spot deer, mushrooms and squirrels
‘Get your fat pants ready!’
Be Creative in the Kitchen
Make seasonal drinks, and I don’t mean pumpkin spice lattes. I don’t really like pumpkin drinks and if you dont either maybe try winter sangria or apple cider. I have this planned for the weekend and I’ll share how it goes next week.
Visit a farmers market for seasonal produce – pumpkins, squash, apples, cabbage, corn, mushrooms, onions. They’re almost always bigger and better than from the supermarket.
Learn new recipes for hearty winter meals, comfort food and Great British Classics. Now is the time to perfect Sunday dinner and even practice making Christmas dinner.
4th October is National Taco day. It might just be in the US but get on board with home made or takeaway tacos.
Make homemade soup
Make savoury pancakes and French toast for breakfast
Experiment with coffee flavours – salted caramel, gingerbread, cinnamon, pumpkin spice
Watch the Great British Bake off and make your own.
Perfect your hot chocolate recipe with whipped cream, sprinklers and marshmallows.
Do a virtual wine tasting. A quick google for your area will bring up plenty of choice.
Update Your Wardrobe
Clear out your summer clothes into storage, the loft, under your bed…wherever.
Buy a new winter coat and boots. There are lots of mid season sales coming into my inbox at the moment, bargains to be had.
Buy new fluffy socks and slippers. Is there anything better?
Take a look at the sunglasses sales. The sun is lower in the sky than ever so have them on hand for driving.
Switch your pinks and corals for dark nails
‘And all at once summer collapsed into fall’– Oscar Wilde
Trips Away – within Your Household
Go glamping. Not just a summer activity as long as you get somewhere good with heaters, a camp fire or a log burner it will be fine. My recommendations for the North East include Hill Top Huts or Westfield House Farm Shepherd Huts.
Book a luxury hotel getaway in this country. I always look to Scotland or the Lake District for this time of year. Tartan prints, roaring fires and stag decor just make it all the more atmospheric, especially as most match their restaurant menus to the season too.
‘Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.’– F. Scott Fitzgerald
Embrace the Cosy Nights
Have film and popcorn nights. Although the summer months of lockdown were probably spent in gardens or taking walks, Autumn/winter is for film marathons or box sets with cinema food. Hot dogs, popcorn, nachos.
Create a photo book of summer memories, bet there are more than you think despite a rubbish year.
Do your own at home spa day. World Mental Health Awareness day is 10th October, so practice that self care.
Perfect your skincare routine. The cold weather affects everyone’s skin, not helped at the moment by all the mask wearing.
Re read Harry Potter, or any series you choose. If you really want to get into the ‘cosiness’ feeling purchase this book on the Danish concept of ‘hygge’.
Play board games
Have an at home date night
‘It’s all just a bunch of Hocus Pocus!’– Max, Hocus Pocus
Halloween & Bonfire Night
Watch scary films, who doesn’t love Hocus Pocus the week of Halloween?
Have a fancy dress/face paint competition on a Zoom call. It makes me sad to think that many of us are back to Zoom calls to see friends and family, but they can still be fun.
Buy sparklers and take pretty photos with them in the dark.
Build a bonfire on bonfire night. Safely of course, as who knows if the local councils will be able to put the public ones on.
Plan a street firework display, early in the night so you dont disturb dogs or babies, and do it from your own garden.
Plan a contactless trick or treat experience with neighbours for the kids. I’ve heard a lot of parents doing this so children dont have to miss out this year.
Make home made Halloween decorations
Dress up your pet
Look up the haunted tales from where you live and go visit them
Might be a good time to check the batteries in all your fire alarms.
And finally I hate to say it but start planning for Christmas. There are 3 months to go, and you won’t regret planning ahead especially in case we have restrictions in place for shopping, food, and seeing family.
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