While I’m sad for summer to end, there is a lot I’m looking forward to this Autumn, which is my favorite time of year to be in London. The leaves changing to beautiful bright colors and the cool, crisp weather make for pleasant days at the parks or out in the countryside. There are plenty of activities going on throughout the season, from picking pumpkins to decorating for Halloween to jumping in leaves to cooking up some delicious comfort food to (for us) celebrating Thanksgiving. Here’s what is at the top of my autumn bucket list;
Pick Fruit at a PYO Farm
We’ve already ticked this off the list with a visit to Garsons Farm in Surrey on a beautiful sunny day last week. While it wasn’t a good day for picking apples (most were rotten and/or had already fallen on the ground), there were still plenty of other items available for picking and we loaded up on raspberries, plums, sweetcorn and a couple of sunflowers. The raspberries and plums were fantastic and the most fun for Little T to pick. The Pick Your Own farm is open through October when we’ll be back to pick pumpkins (and perhaps some squash and sweetcorn)!
I tend to avoid central London for days out during the busy summer holidays, and early autumn before the October half term is a great time for us to visit the local museums and attractions without the crowds. I have a long list of museums I hope to visit, some new to us like the Museum of London and the V&A Museum of Childhood, and others that we haven’t been to in a while, including the Science Museum, Horniman Museum and the British Museum.
Take in the Fall Foliage
The leaves have already started to turn in London! I have so many places I would like to visit with our National Trust membership so I hope to tick a few off the list over the next few weeks while enjoying the scenic countryside and bright colors of autumn. Cliveden, Winkworth Arboretum, Wakehurst and Ham House spring to mind.
Pick, Carve and Decorate Pumpkins
It’s become an annual tradition to pick pumpkins that I carve with assistance from Little T, who scoops out the seeds. I had a sneak peek at a couple of Garsons Farm’s pumpkin patches while we were there last week and they’re looking great! I’ll still carve a couple for jack-o-lanterns but I’ll also be looking for ideas for Little T to paint and decorate his own.
Enjoy Halloween Activities
There are loads of activities going on around London during the week of Halloween, with most museums, National Trust sites and other attractions hosting pumpkin carving, spooky trails, arts and crafts and plenty more. I’m sure Little T, who is turning 3 soon, is going to have even more fun this year dressing up and getting involved in the Halloween fun. The neighborhood I live in is also great for trick-or-treating, with quite a lot of people decorating their houses and handing out treats.
Cook and Bake Fall Recipes
Autumn may just be my favorite time of year for cooking and baking – I love making stews and soups with the slow cooker and cooking up roasts with plenty of vegetables. Pies are my favorite baked treats too, especially apple and pumpkin pies – which I also look forward to having when I’m back in the States. I also plan on making pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin oatmeal, roasted pumpkin seeds, bit of a theme going here…
Visit Family in San Diego
We’ll be in San Diego in early November to catch up with our family and we also try to squeeze in some sightseeing and, weather permitting, beach time during our stay. While I plan on returning to old favorites like Balboa Park, Coronado Beach and La Jolla Cove, I’m also thinking about visiting a couple of places I haven’t been to in years, like the Maritime Museum and the tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument.
Last November was a hectic month for us, with a trip to San Diego during the first half then a trip to Italy during the week of Thanksgiving. Since we didn’t end up celebrating Thanksgiving, this year I’m really looking forward to ordering a turkey and preparing a big dinner, on the Saturday when Mr. G is at home so we’re all together for the day.
What are you looking forward to this Autumn? Do you have any favorite crafts or recipes to share?