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Your Fall Bucket List: 15 MUST Do’s Before It Snows

It’s almost that (dreaded) time of year again. Autumn has zipped by and winter is on its way. The trees are slowly shedding their leaves warm and the 70-degree weather won’t last much longer. But there’s still so much left to do!

What if you haven’t taken full advantage of the fall season? Did you go on a hayride? Did you carve the perfect pumpkin? Have you worn every trendy scarf you own?

Just in case you haven’t, here’s a list of a few more autumn activities to check off your fall bucket list before the season is over. From enjoying seasonal treats at home to taking trips around the city, these activities are sure to add a little bit more (pumpkin) spice to your fall season.

Fall Bucket List:


1.  Embrace the pumpkin flavor!

Has the fall season really happened if you haven't eaten something with pumpkin flavor? Pumpkin spiced lattés, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, even pumpkin cookies are the perfect treat to satisfy that pumpkin craving and let your taste buds celebrate fall. Eat them all at once for the perfect pumpkin spiced explosion (or maybe not all at once).

2. Bake a pumpkin pie!

Speaking of fall-themed treats, this one's always a classic and a crowd-pleaser: baking a pumpkin pie! Make a quick stop at the grocery store, grab a couple friends and look up a recipe. Not only will your house/apartment/dorm smell amazing while the pie's baking, but you'll also end up with the perfect treat to share (or not). 

3.  Wear your favorite fall outfits.

Now's the time to put on your favorite pair of fall boots or that stylish peacoat sitting in the back of your closet. Skirts, dresses and shorts can slide by for a few more days before the winter air hits, so throw together your coolest autumn look while the weather is right!

4.  Go for a run by the lake!

The chilly winter weather will be strongest by the lake this winter, making it less than desirable to go for a run in below freezing winds. So take advantage of the sunny weather while it lasts and go for a run by the lake. Enjoy the view before everything is just a giant pile of snow.

5.  Have a bonfire with s’mores!

Nothing could be better than gathering a group of friends and hosting an awesome bonfire! Share stories about Halloween and much on some gooey s'mores over the fire for a sweet autumn evening. 

6.  Have a picnic in the park.

Picnics are a thing (seriously)! Pack up some of those fall treats you made, throw on a light jacket, and find a nice park or patch of grass to enjoy the end of the perfect fall weather with some friends. 

7.  Guard/paint the rock.

Painting the rock is an NU tradition everyone should do at least once! The catch is, you have to guard the rock first, which isn't a thrilling activity when it's -10 degrees outside. So make time to guard the rock soon, before it looks like an iceberg.

8.  Play in the leaves!

This might sound like something you did when you were a kid, but there's no shame in finding a few friends to jump into a nice pile of colorful leaves with you. Just make sure you get them all out of your hair when you're done. 

9.  Go apple picking! 

There's still time to grab a basket and take the Metra to Wisconsin for some quality apple-picking. It may sound far, but it's a lot closer than you think, and totally worth the homemade apple pie you'll be able to make later. 

10.  Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo.

The zoo is always a fun place to stop by at any time of year. During autumn, though, Lincoln Park Zoo hosts a range of seasonal events like hayrides, pumpkin carving, and more. Don't miss out!

11.  Take a bike ride along the Chicago lakefront.

Use one of autumn's last days of good weather to ride your bike along the Chicago lakefront and enjoy the beautiful view of the water and the city. You could even make it an event and invite some friends to ride with you.

12.  Make tasty caramel apples!

If you haven't had enough tasty fall treats, take those apples you picked and some caramel sauce and get creative with candy apples! Throw on some mini marshmallows, chopped peanuts, chocolate chips, or anything your sweet tooth desires. 

13.  Take a long nature walk and snap some Instagram-worthy photos.

Nature walks can be just the relaxing break you need from midterms or classes, and now is the perfect time to take one! Whether it's a walk in the park, a walk through campus, or even a walk through Chicago, make sure you have your phone with you to snap some Instagram-worthy photos of all those colorful leaves scattered on the ground. 

14.  Create a scrapbook of pressed leaves.

While you're on your peaceful nature walk, maybe even stop to pick up a few brightly colored leaves and save them to be pressed in a scrapbook. You could add notes and photos of you and your friends and all the crazy things you did together while checking off your bucket list. Once it's complete, you'll have the perfect fall memory book you can add on to for years to come. 

15.  Stargaze on a rooftop.

Getting on a rooftop might not be the easiest thing to do, but once you're there at night, you'll have the perfect view of the stars shining all above the city. When winter comes, standing outside on a rooftop in freezing weather will not be ideal, so make sure to look up at the stars soon and make the most of fall while it lasts!

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Chanel Vargas


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