We Floridians can take only so much cold weather. That’s why God created a special place in the world where it’s summer 10 months of the year, then freezing cold just long enough to remind us: we want it to be hot again. That place is called South Florida. And in Florida, the transition from scorching death-heat to mild death-heat is called “fall.”
As our northern neighbors indulge in the crisp air and orange extravagance of foliage season, we spectate from our social feeds and plan cabin trips to get in on it all. But if you’re like me, you don’t intend to wait around for the temperature to drop to put out the pumpkins and excitedly welcome (or force) the fall season. Here are 10 ways that Floridians can get in the fall spirit even while it still feels like summer.
Get up early☀️ If you want to catch the first hints of fall, you have to get outside early. Go for a walk as the sun rises and the wildlife awakens around you. Your day will start with much more gratitude this way. Plus, it’s the only time you can actually wear long sleeves without sweating.
Decorate🎃 My mom always decorated for holidays and I loved it! Nothing will get you in the cozy fall spirit quicker than being greeted at home by a wreath on the door, pumpkins, spice-scented candles, and fluffy blankets.
Fall flavors🥧 October commences the time of year when it’s socially-acceptable to consume pumpkin spice in mass quantities (for most of us, anyway). Mix up dinner with fall-inspired recipes (we recently did spaghetti squash with ground turkey and a Tuscany pumpkin sauce), a warm apple cider toddy, or pumpkin-shaped pancakes for the kids!
Get out & fish🎣 Redfish, snook, sea trout, sheepshead, and tripletail are abundant and frisky as the temps cool down. Many fish begin moving upriver and into shallower waters in the winter making them easier to target from canals and shorelines.
Campfires🔥 Campfires are the gathering grounds of our ancestors—where tribes came together to dance, heal, share stories, and cook the day’s kill. Today, they remain a symbol of gathering and a place for connection. Gather your tribe for ghost stories, s’mores, cocoa, whiskey, or just taking in that nostalgic campfire smell.
Fall festivities🍻 Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, farmer’s markets, festivals, costume parties, oyster roasts, Oktoberfest. There are so many events that can help your mindset shift into the season.
Football🏈 Floridians are serious about football. We live all year for the Florida vs. Florida State rivalry game that falls on Thanksgiving weekend. Whether you’re tailgating or backyard BBQ’ing, there’s nothing better than getting rowdy while cheering for your favorite team.
A moody autumn playlist🎵 Music sets the vibe for any moment. I use Spotify to search “autumn playlists” for lush and moody tunes to match the cool weather I wish we had. You can even find playlists that just play the sounds of a crackling fire.
Movie night📽 This is the ultimate excuse to light those fall candles, cuddle up on the couch with some caramel popcorn and take in your fall favorites (Hocus Pocus, anyone?).
Traditions new and old🍂 Traditions give us something to look forward to and can be the key to kicking off your holiday spirit. As kids, we got so excited to lay out newspaper on the driveway, carve jack-o-lanterns, then cook the pumpkin seeds. Try hosting a Friendsgiving dinner as a fun way to gather with your friends. If you don’t have a tradition, why not start now?
I hope you’ll embrace the fall season and all its possibilities! Don’t forget this is the season of gratitude, gathering, and giving. Slow down, soak in time with your loved ones, and make a little extra effort to be kind to someone.
Happy fall, y’all!