Finally it’s Fall!

As the Fall Equinox is upon us, signalling the end of another Summer in New York City, businesses everywhere dust off their orange decor and the signs for pumpkin spice everything suddenly begin to appear!

As a Queenslander, I never truly understood the big fuss everyone made over fall/autumn. The excitement at the apparent changing colors of the leaves (ours just stayed green) and the dramatic changing of the seasonal wardrobe (our outfits remained the same, you would just add a cardigan on a chilly day). For us, it was simply summer lite.

In 2017, I moved to Vancouver and thought maybe this fall thing would finally make sense. October eventually rolled around and, if anything, it made less sense! It was raining constantly for two and a half months straight. If the leaves did turn orange or red, they were crushed on the ground, wet and brown by the time you saw them. How is this everyone’s favorite season?

Then in January 2021 I moved to New York and come October I finally got it. I am officially a member of the basic fall girl community. I have joined the masses, counting down until I can pull out the fall scented candles, until I can buy 20 varieties of apples at the Farmers Market on a Saturday (and then make hot apple cider with them that night), until I can pack away the summer wardrobe and release all the shades of browns, greys and burnt oranges once again. I feel the tingles of excitement in my fingers just writing this!

So, with the arrival of the best season, here is a list of my favorite fall activities.

Take a walk around Central Park

Very soon, if not already, your Instagram feed will be flooded with pictures of Central Park as the leaves begin to change color. Even seeing these beautiful shots, the real thing still doesn’t disappoint. Beautiful in every season, the array of colors is just breath taking. For an extra something special, after you have walked the park head over to one of the rooftop bars overlooking the park for a bird’s eye view. The Roof on 57th has stunning views and great cocktails!

Photo: Marta Wave on www.pexels.com

Stock up at the Farmers Markets

Fall is New York’s time to shine when it comes to fresh produce. Carrots, potatoes, beets, an immeasurable number of squash varietals and twice as many types of apples. The wait for fall fruit and vegetables is finally over. Seasonal cooking was not something I had ever experienced in Australia, almost everything was available year-round. The change in produce here is a very tangible signal of the changing seasons and fall is arguably one of the best! Pumpkin soup, brussel sprouts, turkey with fresh cranberry sauce, chili, apple pie, pumpkin pie – there are so many recipes to try. It’s also a great time of year to hit up your favorite restaurants for their fall menus.

Enjoy all the Hot Drinks

Hot chocolate. Mulled wine. Apple Cider. The choices are endless (and delicious). Check out the options around town or make your own. If you don’t have the spices needed, most wine shops will sell pre-made spice bags to add to your mixture.

Photo: Hannah Pembert on www.unsplash.com

You may have noticed I failed to include the most notable drink of fall – the pumpkin spice latte. This is the one part of fall I haven’t quite fallen in love with yet. Having said that, 2022 may be the year so if you have a good pumpkin spice latte in the city I should check out, let me know!

Embrace your Inner Child

Fall activities are made for embracing your inner child. Corn mazes, apple picking, pumpkin carving – try it all!

Photo: Elise Webb
Work in progress. Photo: Elise Webb
First pumpkin carved Photo: Elise Webb

Visit the Hamptons

If you have a long weekend to spare, I recommend heading out to the Hamptons (which is much more budget friendly after summer). There are some fantastic orchards, great pumpkin farms and fall activities to boot. The farm stalls are also still well stocked, so after a day of adventure you can cook delicious local food and enjoy it around the fire. This is also the perfect time of year to visit the wineries in the region, which are less busy and far more temperate for a day of drinking.

Photo: Elise Webb
Not pictured: S’mores. Photo: Elise Webb

Get Spooky

Halloween was never something that appealed to me in the past. As Australians, I think we are far more adept at finding excuses to dress up for any party – we love a theme. Given this, the appeal of Halloween just wasn’t there for me. Then, I experienced Halloween in New York with some Halloween-obsessed friends and it changed everything. Spiders everywhere, ridiculous Halloween themed foods, the Village Halloween Parade – it’s amazing! So, enjoy all the eyeball and worm shaped treats this year, try some Halloween inspired cocktails and re-watch Beetle Juice. And once November 1st rolls around, stock up on all the heavily discounted Halloween themed treats!

Photo: Karsten Winegear on www.unsplash.com

So from this Queensland girl to you all, I hope you have a magnificent fall season!

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