Autumn's Simple Pleasures for Family Fun

Autumn's Simple Pleasures for Family Fun

What's your favorite thing about fall? Is it fresh, crisp apples? Carving pumpkins? Halloween? The beautiful colors of fall leaves? Relax and enjoy some of our favorite simple pleasures and tell us your favorites in the comments. —Brett Leveridge

  • Guideposts: A bushel basket filled with autumn's apples

    Autumn's Apples

    Whether you visit an orchard to pick your own or purchase them from a roadside stand, autumn's apple varieties, with evocative names such as Ginger Gold, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady and Northern Spy, can't be beat. Eaten fresh off the tree or baked in a pie or turnover, you can't go wrong.

  • Guideposts: A collection of colorful small gourds are artfully arrange to evoke an autumnal  mood.


    These diminutive globes, displayed on a coffee table, sideboard, or even an office cubicle, are perhaps the simplest of autumnal pleasures. Purely decorative, these festive gourds serve to bring a bit of the outdoors inside.

  • Guideposts: Two college football teams face off in front of their loyal fans.


    Whether it's high school teams squaring off under the Friday night nights, a college game played in front of tens of thousands of faithful fans, or a field full of professionals showing off their amazing skills, football season and fall go hand in hand.

  • Guideposts: Wood smoke wafts skyward from the chimney of a suburban home.

    A Hint of Wood Smoke in the Air

    Whether it's from a neighbor's chimney during an evening stroll or a campfire intended for toasting marshmallows and roasting hot dogs, the smell of smoke is a cozy and comforting fall aroma.

  • Guideposts: A mom buttons up her young daughter's new dress on the first day of school.

    New School Clothes

    Kids aren't always thrilled about the start of a new school year—it's not easy to bid goodbye to summer, after all—but the new clothes that so often accompany that first day of school make it just a bit easier. Even all these years later, we experience a yen to go shopping for new clothes when autumn rolls around.

  • Guideposts: Beautiful orange pumpkins, as far as the eye can see.


    Whether they're in the form of a pie, a soup, a spiced latte, or a jack-o'-lantern, we can't get enough of these delightful members of the squash family. If it's pumpkin-flavored, count us in.

  • Guideposts: Five very cute trick-or-treaters smile at us from the porch of a welcoming home.


    We don't know who has more fun: The tiny pirates and princesses who knock on our doors seeking tasty treats, or those who of us who get to greet these cute youngsters, bowl of sharable sweets in hand. We'll call it a tossup.

  • Guideposts: A closeup shot of fallen autumn leaves in a wide range of hues

    Fall Foliage

    Albert Camus perhaps said it best when he wrote that autumn is "a second spring when every leaf is a flower." We couldn't agree more, and we're grateful for the inspiring bursts of color we see each year at this time. We love the turning leaves when they're still on the trees, it's fun to scuffle through them once they've fallen to the ground, and it's a treat to see the little ones take running jumps into the leaves their parents have so carefully raked into piles.

  • Guideposts: A folded woolen sweater on a shelf, with a single autumn leaf resting on it.


    There's nothing like that first crisp fall evening that inspires us to take those boxes full of sweaters down from the closet shelf. The cozy, warm feeling of slipping into a sweater is hard to beat.

  • Guideposts: A packed ballpark cheers on the home team during a playoff game.

    October Baseball

    From the exciting final days of the divisional races to the early rounds of the playoffs to that traditional Fall Classic, the World Series, we still feel a tingle of excitement when we hear the words, "Play ball!"

  • Guideposts: A country wagon decorated with autumn themes advertises hay rides

    Hay Rides

    The modest charms of a hay ride are timeless, but they really must be experienced to be appreciated. A ride in a horse- (or tractor-)drawn wagon filled with hay, undertaken at a plodding pace? Kids raised on the fast-paced action of video games might not grasp the appeal at first, but after their first ride, they'll understand.

  • Guideposts: A woman enjoys a long walk through the fall foliage.

    Long Walks

    Summer strolls yield their own particular pleasures, but the heat and humidity can be oppressive at times. On a brisk autumn day, on the other hand, we'll set out for an evening constitutional at sunset and not return home till well after dark. 

  • Guideposts: NYC apartments abut Central Park, with trees aflame with fall foliage

    Autumn in New York

    It was no accident that Vernon Duke wrote the classic song "Autumn in New York" about the Big Apple in 1934. Then as now, there was something magical about the fall season in this city. New York's fun to visit any time of year, but autumn is when the old town is at its best. Duke captured our sentiments perfectly in the last line of his lyrics: It's autumn in New York; it's good to live it again.


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