I am now officially enjoying the cooler weather, the leaves changing colors, and all of the comforting foods that I haven't cooked since early last spring. In fact, I have a chicken cooking right now that's going to be turned into chicken noodle soup and chicken pot pie. Yum.
Eating and preparing the comfort foods that fall brings with it are experiences that I love once October hits. There are many other experiences that are perfect for October, too — ones that will leave you with good memories.
Celebrate Oktoberfest at a local brewery. Many small, craft breweries host Okotberfest celebrations. Find out if one near you is celebrating this traditional German festival, and then head on out to drink some good beer and support the brewery. If you can't manage to make it to a festival, check out this list of top Oktoberfest beers and pick one up.
Take a hayride out to the pumpkin patch. The only thing more fun than carving a pumpkin around Halloween is carving a pumpkin that you picked yourself. Pumpkin Patches and More lists farms that invite you to come pick your own.
Bake it forward. Celebrate Fair Trade Month by baking something delicious using Fair Trade products and giving it to someone else, also known as baking it forward (it's OK to a bake second one for yourself). There's a special tin that you can purchase that educates the recipient about the importance of Fair Trade. Then that person can bake it forward, too, and give away their treat in the tin to the next person.
Take a ghost tour. I can't handle haunted houses — even ones meant for little kids. But, I love a good ghost tour because it's usually half history lesson/half local mythology with a little bit of spookiness thrown in. If you're looking for a little bit of spookiness as Halloween approaches, look into a local ghost tour. Many cities and historical towns offer walking ghost tours at night. If you're going to bring children with you, make sure the tour you're taking is appropriate for them. I'm sure that some ghost tours are spookier than others.
Plant spring bulbs. Spend an afternoon planting bulbs in that spot in your yard. You know which spot I'm talking about. The spot that every spring you say, "I really should have planted tulips (or daffodils, or ...) there last fall." This year, do it. If you want to go totally organic, Eco Tulips offers organic bulbs for tulips, daffodils, crocus and muscari (grape hyacinth).
For more on experience consumption, check out my original post Why I'm optimistic about 2010: Experience consumption as well as the ideas for January, February, March, April, May and June and July and August and September.
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