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16 Ways to Make the Most of Fall

All. Pumpkin Spice. Everything.

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Recently, it was reported that Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes contain no real pumpkin. (Are we surprised by this?) But don’t go without a gourd-flavored fix this season! Opt for treats that actually list pumpkin right on the label, like Thomas Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice English Muffins. Or make your own seasonal sip.

Photo: iStock

The Scenic Route is Super Scenic

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Plan a weekend “leafing” trip up north, where the trees are exploding into colors that would rival any fireworks display. One of our favorite spots: New Hampshire’s Lake Region, which has one of the longest leafing seasons (it extends through late October). For the best views, kayak or hike around one of the area’s many lakes.

Photo: Getty

Leaf Jumping

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For nostalgia’s sake, find the nearest pile of leaves and cannonball into it. (Just be prepared to pick up a rake to fix the mess you make after.)

Apples, Apples Everywhere

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First, go apple picking. Then use the surplus (trust us, there is always surplus) to flex your skills in the kitchen. On top of the usual apple pie and applesauce, you can try making an apple tart, a tasty apple “sandwich”, decadent caramel apples, comforting apple bisque, a nutrient-packed apple salad…the possibilities are endless!

Corn Mazes

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Race your pals to see who finishes first. Or go with your guy—if the two of you end up getting sidetracked in a secluded corner, no one will be the wiser.

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Pumpkin Carving

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Enter a contest (like the Pumpkin Masters carving contest, which has a grand prize of $5,000) or just display your art on your front stoop for the neighborhood kids to enjoy.

RELATED: 20 Ways to Sneak Pumpkin into Any Meal

Photo: iStock

New Nail Colors

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Polish companies have released their newest fall nail colors. Paint on a solid coat or a fun pattern to get into the seasonal spirit.

Flannel Sheets and Shirts

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Make your bed up with flannel sheets and pull your super-soft button-ups out of the back of your closet, then snuggle up. The warm embrace of the thick, cozy fabric will instantly make it feel like fall.

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Soup Swaps

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There’s nothing more comforting on a blustery autumn day than a hot bowl of hearty chili—until you’re on your third day of leftovers. Get more variety by hosting a soup swap: Ask your friends to bring their own fave recipe packed into single-serve containers to exchange. Instant variety!

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Rustic-Chic Centerpieces

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Did you go a little crazy at the pumpkin patch this year? Pile your extra gourds into a big fruit bowl, place on your dining table, and voila: instant fall-themed centerpiece. If you’re a little more DIY savvy, this time of year is bursting with decoration inspiration.

Photo: Getty

Razor Rest Stop

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What’s the point of putting away your cute sundresses and mini skirts if you can’t use pants season as an excuse to get a little lazy with shaving your legs? We won’t tell.

Homemade Pies

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It doesn’t have to be apple—or even have a homemade crust! But when you start to smell the delicious, comforting scent wafting out of your oven, you’ll thank us.

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Thick, Warm Knits

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Even if you have two left feet…err…thumbs, you can knit yourself a cozy cardigan or thick scarf, courtesy of knit kits from Wool and the Gang. Once you find something you like, you can choose to either just buy the item, or purchase a kit containing everything you need—yarn, needles, a pattern—to knit it yourself.

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Football

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Whether or not you like watching football on TV, you can definitely enjoy it outside. Start practicing now, and your spiral will put your boyfriend’s to shame by next game day. Bonus: A casual game of touch will burn 277 calories in 30 minutes.

RELATED: Need another reason to watch? Check out the 24 sexiest guys of the NFL.

Bonfires

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Sure, your hair will smell like smoke for a day or three. But that’s a small price to pay for a night full of s’mores, scary stories, and snuggling around the fire pit.

Photo: Getty

Harvest Festivals

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Check our your state’s tourism board website to see if any town nearby is hosting a harvest festival. You can usually enjoy locally grown, seasonal foods and drinks, live entertainment, and more at these fun, family-friendly events.

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