If you’re like me, fall is your favourite season. Whether it’s the beautiful colours, the fall treats or getting outside in the cool weather, boy do I have a list for you! I have been doing my best to enjoy the season by exploring “COVID-safe” fall activities that are cost-effective, easy to access and most importantly, support our local businesses.
1. Covent Garden Farmer’s Market
The Covent Garden Market is a London favourite. Both the indoor and outdoor Covent Garden Markets are open but I recommend the outdoor farmer’s market. The market runs from 9 am to 1 pm every Saturday. There is an assortment of vendors, everything from the usual baked goods and produce to smoked fish and preserves. I want to give a special shoutout to Helm Baked, which attends the market every Saturday. Helm Baked is a completely gluten-free bakery and has the best peanut butter cookies I have ever had!
The market is easy to get to if you don’t have a car: you can take bus routes 6, 13, 90, and 102 from main gates or 102, 2, 6 or 13 from the University Gates on Western Road.
2. Get out into nature!
We all know how beautiful the Western campus is, but if you’re hoping for a change of scenery I want to recommend a few places that are great to hike. My personal favourite is the Sifton Bog. It’s a long boardwalk over marshy wetlands. If you’re looking to go for a bit of a drive, Fanshawe Conservation Area is a great place to not only hike but also mountain bike! Another great place to walk that is much closer to campus is Gibbons Park. For those of us who have all of our classes online, it is so important to get out of the house and socialize in nature.
3. Make a fall wreath
Another great way to blow off steam between getting your assignments done is to be creative! Something I love doing with my sister is going outside and collecting things to make festive decorations for Thanksgiving. Pinterest has lots of instructional posts about how to make wreaths for your doors using twigs or wire with leaves and pine cones you’ve collected. For those who like candles, an easy way to embellish them is to collect pieces of birch bark and wrap them around the candle; it’s a simple but super pretty craft. Get back to nature and let the creative juices flow!
4. Try some new recipes: Mulled Wine
Do you have a crummy bottle of red wine hanging around or need to finish a box of it? Are you a fan of all the fall spices? If so, why not give mulled wine a try? When I make mulled wine, I pour a whole bottle of red wine into a saucepan, add some orange slices, a few whole cloves, two cinnamon sticks and about a cup of water or my favourite liquor. I personally don’t sweeten mine, but you can add white sugar, honey or maple syrup to taste. Once you’ve put everything into your pan make sure you put a lid on your concoction and let it simmer! The longer you simmer your mulled wine the more flavourful it will get, but the minimum length of time is around 20 minutes. Mulled wine is the perfect addition to a movie night with the girls or Thanksgiving dinner!
5. Apple Picking
Believe it or not, there are some great places near campus for apple picking! There are two main orchards: Apple Land Station and Crunican Orchards. Apple Land Station is open seven days a week. They have an orchard and a bakery for you to enjoy. A 10-pound bag of apples (which is a heck of a lot of apples) is $15 and you pick them yourself or can buy a pre-picked bundle! Crunican Orchards is a family-owned orchard established in 1877. They sell apples and a whole array of fall vegetables for you to enjoy. They recently opened their storefront which carries a load of local products like jams, cheeses and meats. Either of these places would be a great afternoon activity on the weekend or even a weekday with those in your inner circle. Both establishments are monitoring their capacity and limiting them to ensure social distancing.
6. Pumpkin Patch
Come on ladies, get out there and take your basic pumpkin patch pics! Phillips’ Farm is an Urban Farm on Sarnia Road in London, so it is super accessible! I urge you guys to get out there and buy your pumpkins from Phillips! It is so important to support local businesses, so before you grab a pumpkin from the grocery store, remember this farm! They have a pumpkin patch and sell other veggies as well.
7. Visit Locomotive Espresso
Locomotive Espresso is by far my favourite cafe in London. They are currently only open for takeout, but it is definitely worth the order. They have the best coffee, tea and breakfast with milk alternatives like oat and almond. They also carry home brewing equipment and their wonderful blends for take-home. Second to their coffee, my favourite part of Locomotive Espresso is that they carry Helm Baked goodies!
8. Learn some Witchcraft
Why not spook up your October and learn a little white magic? One of the simplest manifestations someone can learn is called the 3, 6, 9 method. It’s very simple, all you have to do is form a sentence that encompasses some things that you desire. Once you’ve created your sentence, write it down three times in the morning, 6 times in the afternoon and 9 times at night, and then it is believed that it will come true (as taught in The Little Book of Witchcraft). Call this white magic or call it thinking it into existence, but it seems like a very good way to stay focused on your goals!
Another way to step into the realm of white magic is to learn about colour-based magic. There are two ways of doing this, you can simply surround yourself with certain colours to manifest what you’re hoping for or you can recite spells from books that require a coloured candle to be burning at the time. For example, love spells often require pink candles, whereas spells related to money look for green candles to be burning! If you’re looking to get started I highly recommend The Little Book of Witchcraft by Astrid Carvel and Anna Martin.
So those are my eight suggestions guys. I hope you all get outside and give some of them a try! Just a reminder to look after yourselves this midterm season by getting out and doing things to relieve stress.
- Five New Creative Ways to Decorate Pumpkins
- 5 Ways to Get in the Fall Fever Mood
- How to Transition Your Wardrobe for Fall?
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