The first snowfall of the year is a pretty magical tradition (even though I’ve never actually ever seen snow), but I’ll just say it: For me, nothing beats the first day of fall, when the first episode of Gilmore Girls gets turned on the TV. While fall doesn’t consist of much in the warm Florida temperatures, there’s one thing that’s never failed to make me feel more spirited about the season: Gilmore Girls.
The first time I watched Gilmore Girls was a memorable one. My sister, after months of convincing me to watch the show, finally got to hear my thoughts as I binged it all during my freshman year of high school. I had never connected so much with a character as I did with Rory — we were both bookworms, overly focused on our schoolwork, and even seemed to date the same guys. I found myself wishing that I went to Chilton and could get accepted to Yale, and I even followed in her footsteps with my love for writing. I found solace in the show throughout my high school years; it brought a sort of autumnal peace that always managed to help me relax and laugh, no matter how many times I rewatched it.
It’s officially been 20 years since the first episode of Gilmore Girls aired and, while I’ve only been a fan of the show for five years, I still wish I grew up in Stars Hollow. In honor of the 20th anniversary and out of pure spite that I didn’t grow up experiencing the autumnal season (or any season at all, for that matter), here are some of the best fall activities you can do that you’d probably see the Gilmores take part in. Oh, and you don’t have to be in Stars Hollow to do them!
- Have a Rory Gilmore-inspired 24-hour-readathon
If you want to really embody Rory Gilmore, there’s only one thing to do: read! Reading is the perfect fall activity considering all of the spooky book options out there, but it’s an especially great time to read classics — Rory’s staple! You can find a list of all the books mentioned in Gilmore Girls here, so start checking off those boxes! YouTube also offers so many reading challenge videos that are Rory Gilmore-inspired, complete with side challenges to get you in the Gilmore spirit. Set aside a full day to marathon a few of Rory’s favorite books, complete with a Luke’s-worthy coffee trip and some Gilmore Girls episodes to watch during your breaks. My personal favorite challenge was made by Ciara Foster and Carolyn Marie Reads, which I’ll be sure to try out this season.
- Visit a local diner or coffee shop
Let’s be honest: it wouldn’t be Gilmore Girls without the coffee. While Luke’s is a staple for the Gilmores, it’s unfortunate that none of us have the ability to visit it. So, take this chance to try out some new local coffee shops or diners! There are so many great local shops that need our support this season, so what’s a more perfect time to try a new hot coffee drink? Bonus points if you wear a flannel like Luke’s on your outing. Be sure to order a burger and fries with your coffee — it’s a classic Rory and Lorelai meal.
- Have a movie night with snacks from your local Doose’s
Take a trip to your local Doose’s market (or Publix, in our case) to grab some snacks and candy for a night in to watch a fall film of your choice! It’s a great way to have a bonding night with your roomies or family, and you can make the experience even more authentic by bringing along a guy who looks like Dean. Or, better yet, for an even more classic option, find a black-and-white film to screen, and pretend you’re watching one of Kirk’s original movies! Oh, and don’t forget the Pop-Tarts.
- Take a trip to a local pumpkin patch or corn maze (or hay bale maze!)
In all honesty, there was no way this could be left out of any fall activities list. Lucky for us, though, the Gilmores love the classic fall activities just as much as we do! Grab some friends and take a trip to your local pumpkin patch or corn maze to join in on some quintessential fall activities. If you can find a hay bale maze (good luck with that, though), try and find Luke in the middle of it.
- Create your very own Friday Night Dinner
If you’ve watched Gilmore Girls, you know that Friday Night Dinners are a staple for the entire Gilmore family. Nothing beats having a fancy meal with Emily and Richard (although Lorelai might argue with that), and ever since I started the show, I’ve always wanted to attend one. Well, here’s your chance! Create your own Friday night feast with your family or roommates. Cook up some Gilmore-inspired dinner recipes and bake some fall treats that will make Sookie proud. You can even make some mocktails to have with your dinner, in true Richard Gilmore fashion. Don’t forget the sarcastic comments.
- Visit a record shop in honor of Lane
Lane Kim would never skip on the chance to go to a record shop and browse some vinyls with Rory. If you’re a big music buff like Lane, autumn is the perfect season to buy some new records to play through your apartment (while baking pumpkin bread and burning some fall-scented candles, of course).
- Go antiquing at Kim’s Antique’s (or the closest antique shop you can find!)
While you’re out shopping for records, find a local antique shop to stop at! Wherever you live, there’s likely an abundance of local antique shops just like Kim’s Antiques. What better way to embrace the fall season like a Gilmore than by visiting a few and finding some pieces to thrift flip into something new for your apartment? Hopefully, though, the antique shop you go to will be easier to navigate than Mrs. Kim’s.
- Have a picnic (minus the bidding)
Ah, the picnic basket auction. While you might not actually be bidding on a picnic partner, grab one of your roommates or your significant other and have your very own picnic by the lake! Let one person pack the picnic basket full of surprise fall foods, and visit a nearby park to enjoy a socially-distanced lunch (or dinner!).
There’s no denying that Gilmore Girls practically claimed the season of fall. The show carries a cozy autumnal feeling, complete with a New England bed and breakfast, bright orange leaves and seemingly endless town festivals. Living in Florida, finding fall activities can be a bit of an issue, but these classic Gilmore family activities will remind you of the autumnal season in no time.