5 Ways To Fall Back Into Your Childhood this Autumn

Finally — summer’s over! It’s time for sweaters, boots, Starbucks’ signature fall drinks, and for those leaves to start falling. You could spend all fall hunched over your computer worrying about mid-terms, or you can get in touch with your seven-year-old self that took time to relish the changing leaf colors, the local pumpkin patches, and of course, the cooler weather.

Here are five things that you probably enjoyed during your childhood that you can still enjoy this fall. (Editor’s Note: especially if you add a little spiked apple cider.):

1. Go Apple Picking: Throw on some jeans, find a cardigan, and head to the nearest apple orchard. Now that fall is here, apple orchards should be open to the public. Not sure where the closest apple orchard is? Check out Pick Your Own for all the details of the farms and orchards near you. Not only will this get you outside to enjoy the nice fall weather, it will give you a reason to bake. Once you pick out those perfect apples, call your mom and ask for her apple pie recipe, make some caramel apples, or brew cider (feel free to add alcohol, of course). Baking isn’t your thing? Well, you know what they say: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and that can’t hurt either.

2. Jump in the Leaves: Once the leaves start falling, don’t let them go to waste. Get your friends together, rake as many as them up as you possibly can, and get to jumping! You loved this a kid, and if you get past it being a kids’ pastime, you will still love it. So many schools have an abundance of quads filled trees and leaves all around them. The crunch of the leaves will be worth it, especially since this amusing activity won’t crunch any money out of your wallet.  Oh, and it turns out jumping in leaf piles is actually good for you:  According to the Children and Nature Network, “Children are smarter, cooperative, happier, and healthier when they have frequent and varied opportunities for free and unstructured play outdoors.” So, since it won’t cost you anything and will make you a happier, healthier, and smarter you — why not?

3. Get Lost in a Corn Maze: Nothing is better than getting together with your friends and heading off campus on a Saturday. And now that fall is here, it’s the season to seek out the closest corn maze near you. Not sure where to look? Check out this list of corn mazes across the nation. Corn mazes these days aren’t just for kids;  many farms get super fancy with their designs turning their cornfields into aerial pictures of Abraham Lincoln on a penny and the elaborate design of a baseball. Since corn mazes usually are on larger local farms, expect a whole day of fun that will bring you back to your childhood — many have petting zoos, pumpkin patches, corn canons (yes — you can shoot corn out of a canon!), and loads of tasty treats.

4. Pick a Pumpkin and Carve It: Now that fall is here, Halloween isn’t far off (!!). While you’re at the local corn maze, you and your friends can probably pick up some pumpkins. If not, don’t worry — pumpkin patches will be in abundance as soon as October rolls around. Remember the first time you helped carve a pumpkin and your parents let you pull out all the seeds? Find a pumpkin that suits you, get a carving kit (they usually cost between $3 to $10) from your local grocery store or Wal-Mart/Target, and get creative. You can do something simple or opt for a more elaborate design. If you really want to get back to your childhood, put the movie Hocus Pocus on while you carve away. Who says you can’t enjoy seasonal activities while in college?

5. Anticipate Halloween: Remember when you were seven and all you could think about was your Halloween costume for that year? Well — get excited and start planning. Although Halloween costumes were a lot less slutty and a lot more cutesy than what you’re probably thinking about now, you should still be excited about finding the perfect costume. Get your friends together and hit up the local costume stores that are probably already popping up. Figure out what costume will best fit you this year. Will it stand alone or work in as a group? Are you buying or making? And, most importantly, what sort of fun-size candies will you be eating when you finally get to wear it?

Saturday Read: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Saturday Read: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
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