Traveling made me realize how stuck in a routine I am and that I don’t take the time to push past my comfort zone. And so, I’m taking that same mentality that had me romanticizing the most mundane of tasks, abroad and bringing it home. I made a list of things I would do if I were traveling this fall and decided that I can do them at home. Here are the activities that are on my fall bucket list.

1. Learn How To Ice Skate

My friend Laura, author of What’s Hot? blog started taking ice skating lessons this summer and inspired me to look into classes in my area. I’ve always wanted to learn how to ice skate. In Chicago, there is a beautiful outdoor rink in the city and a lot of ice skating events that I’ve wanted to go to for years, but I always forgot to take lessons before the rink came back in season. I’m hoping to be on the ice for my birthday in December. 

2. Take A Weekend Road Trip

There’s a spot in Michigan I’ve been meaning to spend the weekend in, for a few years now but never really made it a priority or a plan. After 2020, we now see the importance of seizing the day and making the most of our time because we truly never know what the future holds. There is so much uncertainty and all we can do is make the most of our time here on Earth. I can’t wait to make more memories and to spend time with loved ones (safely, of course adhering to restrictions) on a weekend fall getaway.

3. Watch All Of The Hallmark Channel’s Fall Movie Premiers

A few years ago I developed a love for The Hallmark channel and have made it a priority to watch each season’s new movie premiers. With international travel this summer, I wasn’t able to watch the premiers. I can’t wait to see the fall lineup and the countdown to Christmas. Click here to view my posts on The Hallmark Channel. Read actor interviews, movie reviews, and more!

4. Make Smores

My neighbor and I have been talking about making smores and having a bonfire for ages now. I’d love for us to make a plan and do it this fall. We were also thinking of setting up an outdoor movie night. Our local library has free projectors we can check out for the weekend along with a selection of movies.

5. Go Apple Picking

My love for The Hallmark Channel resurrected my desire to participate in this aesthetic fall activity. There are quite a few spots within a few hours drive, around the Chicagoland area that I can get to.  I’d love to use the fresh apples to make homemade apple pie and other apple-based recipes. 

Rain boots placed outside by a red door in the countryside of England during autumn

6. Explore New Thrift Stores In My Area

Fast- fashion is one of the top contributors to our environmental issues. I don’t really buy new clothes aside from athleisure, but I do want to pick up some new fall pieces. Instead of purchasing from these brands/stores that are negatively impacting the environment and exploiting people, I want to get to know the thrift stores in my area. I’ve been following a few bloggers and Instagrammers with expert tips for maximizing slow fashion/sustainable clothes shopping. I can’t wait to apply these tips and see how much I can save by shopping more consciously!

7. Learn How To Make Pasta

Two Christmases ago I received amazing cookbooks with pages full of gluten-free recipes. A majority of those recipes are pasta, which is music to my ears. Pasta is my favorite and it would be great to learn how to make it. I’ve been putting off learning how to cook for as long as I can, but alas the time has come for me to put the chef’s hat on and learn how to make a few dishes.

8. Walk A New Hiking Trail

The autumn before the big “C” hit, I joined my friend on an outdoor yoga-hike class and it was incredible. I’d love to go back to that area and explore the other hiking trails. The city of Chicago has a few walking trails I’ve wanted to try out, too. Plus, Southern Illinois is home to  Starved Rock. It would be great to spend the weekend there or even a day. My dog also loves walks, so this is the perfect activity for us to bond and both get in exercise.

Related: Cold Weather Running Gear I’m Looking Into

9. Take An Art Class

When I was in Jersey this summer, I revisited my artistic side. I was able to book a few art days with the guys at Luddite Press. It was incredibly freeing to immerse myself in something that didn’t need to be completed for work and to have a hobby that wasn’t required to be shared with others or monetized. A part of me had forgotten the pure joy of having a hobby to expand themselves and think of the world through a different lens.

10. Be a Tourist In My City For The Day

There were a few activities I didn’t get a chance to do while abroad. Looking at the list of those things, I realized quite a few could be completed back in Chicago. And so, that inspired me to also see what I could do around the city and suburbs to explore the state of Illinois as if I were a tourist. I realized that despite living in such an incredible area, I don’t fully utilize the activities/resources that are available to me. This is something I want to change.

11. See A Play/Musical

Chicago has a great theater scene that I want to be more involved in and support. Quite a few companies are offering shows to those who are fully vaccinated while having remote shows. I’d love to see what’s playing this season and support my local artists.

12. Shop Local At The Farmer’s Markets

As many times as I said I would go to that season’s farmers market, I never make the time. I want to. There are many benefits to shopping there––from supporting locals, saving money, and shopping more eco-friendly––it’s also a fun thing to do on the weekend and brings a different kind of energy to a mandatory task/errand.

13. Attend More Free Outdoor Community Activities

My neighbor is the queen of planning activities for her kiddos and taking advantage of all the wonderful events/opportunities the town and surrounding areas are offering community members. I’d love to attend/participate in more of those virtual and outdoor activities. Plus, I think it’s a great way to meet new people!

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