Festive Fall Bucket List

Fall is here.

Fall is finally here (well officially on September 22nd).  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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The Delafield Brewhaus

Delafield Brewhaus 2021 Fall

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! It’s also not hard to be socially distanced outside (each farm has their own protocols this year) especially if you can sneak out on a week day when the crowds are smaller. This year we are going to return to Busy Barn Adventure Farms in Fort Atkinson- it is so fun and my kids love when there are animals!

Weekend guide Best Local Parks Cushing Park Delafield Julie Collins Weekend Guide Lake Country Waukesha County

  • 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.
  • 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’ll be there in person this year!
  • 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, which will be a drive thru event again in 2021.

Halloween Spooktacular Boo at the Zoo Milwaukee County Zoo

  • Check out the The Hollow at Phantom Lake event!  Take a social distanced 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! Or go on a Night Run Pumpkin Train ride in Cedarburg (worth the drive)!
  • 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).

Waukesha County & Metro Milwaukee Trick or Treat Guide

  • Attend local fall festivals and events – as MANY as we can. A new one in 2021 including a Lightning Family Fest Fun night in Hartland on October 8th!
  • Attend fall rummage sales. Kids seem to have grown out of their winter clothes since last year. Try the 1st annual outdoor booth rummage at Divine Redeemer in Hartland on October 3 this year.
  • Find local Sunflower Patches this fall.  They are great for fall photos and viewing.

Pumpkin Train Rides

  • 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.
  • 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!

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Festive Fall Bucket List

Looking for more FALL Fun?
Check out our FALL FUN PAGE with guides to Haunted Houses, Pumpkin Farms, Fall festivals and more!

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