Fall is here.
Fall is here. It’s one of my family’s favorite seasons. Can you imagine living somewhere without Fall? I can’t. Wisconsin is perfect for Fall lovers. Below I put together my personal Fall Bucket List and may I say it is very “Festive”. I hope you enjoy Fall as much as we do! Share your favorite Fall activities in the comments below.
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View the SE Wisconsin Apple Picking Guide here.
My Festive Fall Bucket List
- Pick apples and get the kids involved in making a new apple recipe, maybe a desert one. If you are looking for organic apples, head to Peck & Bushel, our favorite local apple orchard.
- Update the mantel with fall decor items. We’ve done this already and my son was in heaven. He loves helping to decorate for new seasons. He also loves to cook (not me!)
- Open the windows and let the fresh air in. I LOVE having fresh air come in the house. It’s the one time of year that the air and heat are both off (saving money, cha ching) and the house is full of fall air. I’m also obsessed with pumpkin soy candles.
- Visit a pumpkin patch or 5! The Lake Country and surrounding areas have so many pumpkin farms. It’s hard not to do them all! My family loves the opportunity to be outside and find a less crowded pumpkin patch, especially if you can sneak out on a week day when the crowds are smaller. This year we are going to return to Basses in Colgate it is so fun and my kids love it!
- Build leaf piles over and over and jump in them with the kids! This is the favorite memory my kids have from last fall. Just be sure to check for ticks even into the fall.
- Take a nature hike and enjoy the fall colors. Hiking is a great family activity and there are many trails around here. View them in “Best Hikes and Trails” section of this guide. Also check out the Scarecrow lane self-guided walk at the Retzer Nature Center here.
- Shop local at a Fall Farmer’s Market. The awesome Oconomowoc Farmer’s Market runs through Halloween!
- Navigate a corn maze. I have never done this before with my kids, but I think it’s time. There are so many to choose from. Erin has been to quite a few with her kids including Schuster’s in Deerfield, among so many other local ones.
- Get spooked at a haunted house. We have an annual girl-friend outing to a local spook. Can’t wait for this year. If a house sounds too scary, try a Ghost Walk, there are Ghost walks in Waukesha, Milwaukee, Madison, Lake Geneva and Wisconsin Dells all presented by American Ghost walks! We did the Ghost walk in downtown Milwaukee in October 2021. It’s great if you love history and have a fun guide to lead you.
- Carve pumpkins and roast the seeds. I rinse them and pat them dry then bake at 300 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with salt before baking. Stir occasionally and monitor. You want golden brown. They are so yummy and healthy!
- Attend some fall Beer Gardens! Yay, Lake Country for having some great beer gardens that go through end of October. The Patio Beer Garden at the Delafield Brewhaus is huge and a great place to try their festive Apple Ale!
- Watch a scary movie. Something about those days really up the scare factor. Turn all the lights out, light some candles for ominous glows…Whooo!
- Visit Milwaukee ZOO. Attend the annual Boo at the Zoo event.
- Check out the The Hollow at Phantom Lake event! Take stroll through a world of enchantment, filled with over 1000 hand carved illuminated Jack O’Lanterns.
- Put my feet up and watch football games on Saturday (college) or Sunday (NFL) afternoons with a pot of chili or butternut squash soup on the stove and the pumpkin candle lit. I tried a new recipe this year for my paleo hubby and it is delicious – Roasted Autumn vegetable soup.
- Preserve pretty fall leaves with wax paper – and make it a fun project with my kids. Here’s one way to do it.
- Eat caramel apples. Try not to eat more than 1.
- This year, we are going to go to Little Amerricka to ride the Pumpkin Train. Check them out in our Train Guide in the Fall section. Lots of fun in fall for train lovers!
- Enjoy fall flavored coffee in fall sweaters and boots. Check out the list of all of Lake Country’s local Coffee Shops.
- Go Trick or Treating – like, multiple times. We check the Trick or Treat guide and join friends in various cities on various days to get the most out of our costumes. Then we donate extra candy to candy buy back programs (and keep some good chocolate pieces in the freezer for enjoyment all year long).
- Attend local fall festivals and events – as MANY as we can.
- Head to Old World Wisconsin in September – KIDS ARE FREE SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS ALL MONTH!
- Attend fall rummage sales. Kids seem to have grown out of their winter clothes since last year.
- Find local Sunflower Patches this fall. They are great for fall photos and viewing.
- Go for a night pumpkin train ride! It’s such a fun, FREE time. It’s close to my parent’s house, so we make a night of it, but it’s a little north of Waukesha County. Worth it! On the way home check out the Lightmare Before Christmas Light Show in Germantown.
- Make divine pumpkin bread. Recipe here.
- Get outside. Even with the cooler temps, there are still so many ways to get outside and enjoy the area. There are 10 ideas for outdoor fall fun in the Ultimate Guide to an Outdoor Fall.
- Try fall camping at Bear Paw Beach in Caledonia. Check out their Fall adventure attractions like the Nighttime Glow Adventure, pumpkin painting and haunted trail pass.
- Last but not least, as Erin says every week in her eNewsletter emails, take time to just BREATHE. A lot is going on in the world this year, but making the best of each day and taking in the fall air is the best remedy for the soul!