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Don't Miss Out on This Fall Season: Your Ultimate Fall Bucket List for Toddler Moms

hayride wagon

As the calendar flips to October, a cool breeze sweeps in, whispering promises of pumpkin-spiced adventures. It's a season when the world transforms; the poolside adventures fade out and in come fall walks, pumpkin patch visits and cozy sweaters. For some, it may simply just be another month, but for us it's the best month of the year. Along with a season of apple picking, bonfires and movie nights, it's the time of year my husband and I celebrate our marriage and the birth of our beautiful baby girl.

For me, October holds an extra special place in my heart. In 2014, it marked the month when my husband and I tied the knot, a memory painted with the vivid colors of fall foliage and the warmth of family and friends. In 2021, October brought us another precious gift – the birth of our baby girl, a long-awaited joy that filled our hearts with overwhelming love.

October, it seems, has always been the bearer of beautiful gifts, but our little one is, by far, my favorite.

As a toddler mom, I've come to realize that October isn't just a month of celebrations; it's an opportunity. An opportunity to curate moments of joy, laughter, and connection with my family, not just to celebrate our wedding anniversary and our daughter's birthday but to make it about more than that. There's a quote I keep seeing on instagram, that goes something like "I can't stop, I have someones childhood in my hands." Every weekend that thought comes to mind – this is her childhood, my motherhood, and I want to make it one we both look back on with fond memories full of laughter and adventure. What better way to do that than by crafting the ultimate fall bucket list? This list isn't just a collection of activities; it's a promise to make the most of this enchanting season, ensuring that we won't miss out on a single moment. So join me on this journey through the heartwarming wonders of autumn as we embark on a quest to savor every moment of this splendid season!

In this post

Pumpkin Patches

Corn Mazes

Scenic Fall Hikes

Pumpkins Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Fall Beverages

Bread Recipe

Pie Recipe

Book List

Fall Crafts

Crockpot Recipes

Family Friendly Halloween Movies

Farmer's Markets and Fall Festivals


This post may contain affiliate links. That means we may make a small commission on items purchased through links in this post at no extra cost to you!


Pumpkin Patches and More:

We have several great places local to us to visit, including:

Jackson's Orchard (Bowling Green, Ky)

Just Piddlin farms (Woodburn,Ky)

Ruby Branch Farms (Franklin, Ky)

Bottom View Farms (Portland, TN)

Honeysuckle Hill Farm (Springfield, TN)

Shuckles Corn Maze (Greenbrier, TN)

Cheekwood (Nashville, TN)

family at Jacksons orchard

One of our favorite, top of the list, must do every fall season is visit a pumpkin patch. We are so lucky to have so many to choose from, and if you're local, these are a few of our favorites. If you're not, I'm sure a quick query in your favorite search engine will point you in the right direction. The first pumpkin patch I ever visited was Jackson's Orchard, and it's been a tradition in my family for a long time. They have the cutest barn shop where you can purchase pumpkins, apples, flowers, apple butter and so many fall themed must-haves. I never leave with a gallon of their apple cider. They also have a cute fall concession stand where you can buy the apple cider by the cup, as well as hot dogs, bbq sandwiches, chips, fried apple pies, and more. They have larger bins with pumpkins you can pick or you can take a hayride (there is a fee, FYI) and just a short ride later, be at the pumpkin patch. Next to that is a wonderful corn maze and a place to pick apples. (Another note: get there earlier in the fall season for apple picking because we went on October 8, and the pick your own apples was already done for the season at Jackson's) Throughout Jackson's are so many great places to snag a quick family photo, and they even have a playground for the kiddos. Even though Jackson's has been our favorite for years, we always try to visit a few other patches.

baby in corn

Corn Mazes and More: Before having Addie, Andrew and I could take long, leisurely walks through a corn maze, just talking and enjoying each others company. With a toddler in tow, it's proven a to be a little more difficult, but that's not going to stop us from trying!

Chaney's Dairy Barn (in Bowling Green, KY) is a great place that is not a pumpkin patch that has a corn maze. They are another one of my favorite places to go not just at fall time but year round. They have a wonderful restaurant, ice cream shop, farm, playground, and jumping pillow. During fall time they have a large corn maze. Notable (albeit slightly off topic) mention they have 4 bathrooms each with a changing table which I am immensely impressed with and is a huge part of what makes it such a favorite place to visit for our family. It helps that they are close to family, and I actually worked there in my teen years for ny first job! Can you tell we love places full of personal history and nostalgia?

Scenic Fall Hikes: Lost River Cave (Bowling Green, KY) Shanty Hallow (Bowling Green, Ky) Mammoth Cave (Cub Run, Ky) Window Cliffs (Baxter, TN) Cummins Falls (Cookeville, TN) Natural Bridge Hike (Slade, Ky) Truthfully, when it comes to hiking in the fall, we have considered anything in a 3 hour radius as "local" which, in hindsight, may need some adjusting because the last thing you want to do after a big hike is drive three hours to get home. With a toddler in tow, I'm not sure if we will be attempting some of the bigger hikes this season, and if we do try for a further away hike, it will most likely need to be an overnight adventure. Addie hates car rides, but she adores spending time outside. There really are too many great places to venture out to, so I just listed some of our favorites.

One of my favorite local scenic hikes that is perfect for our toddler is the scarecrow trail at Lost River Cave. It's a light, beautifully decorated trail during the fall season that is family friendly and offers a little something more. Whether it's a fall-curated walk, or just a trip through nature, there is nothing better than the crisp fresh fall air, and the beautiful changing and fallen leaves.

baby sitting with pumpkins

Pumpkins: What is a season of fall without the pumpkins? I'm not sure I would even know what that would look like, but there can be so much more than just going to a pumpkin patch. Now, to be honest with you, before having a toddler I have never washed or even really thought about washing a pumpkin that I was going to decorate. It didn't really occur to me, but when doing some research for fall activities, it was one thing that came up. Reading about the benefits to letting a toddler help with washing a pumpkin really spoke to me, and I am actually excited about trying it with her this year. She is a very strong, independent girl, who loves brushing her teeth, washing her hands, and taking a bath, but only when she is driving the task. The act of cleaning, allowing her some independence, the texture of the pumpkin itself is all a part of the reason I'm adding it to this year's bucket list. In addition, she painted a pumpkin this year, and she seemed to enjoy that as well. Again, more honesty– I helped her with it, at her cousin's birthday party. They had pumpkins and tons of kid-friendly paint, but I'm fairly certain she was more interested in cupcakes. I was afraid she might get paint all over her so I dipped her fingers in the paint and let her poke the pumpkin. We did different colors and she also stuck her whole hand. In the end, it was a very cute activity we both enjoyed it. A little closer to Halloween, I plan to try carving the pumpkins and roasting the pumpkin seeds to let her try. While I know this will have to be a more hands on activity, I'm looking forward to it!

pumpkin seeds

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds When carving those pumpkins set the seeds aside and rinse them really well under cold water. Spread them out and let them dry. Preheat your oven to 350° F.

You can toss them into the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper and call it a day. Or you can toss them into a bowl, add some oil or butter then season (Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Paprika) This seasoning is very flexible, so use what sounds good to you. Toss until coated then spread on the pan.

Roast for about 15 mins, stirring or mixing about every 5 mins to help them roast evenly. Let them cool before serving.

Seasonal Fall Drinks:

Another favorite part of fall for me is all the fall drinks. Apple cider, pumpkin spice latte, hot chocolate, chai latte, and the many, many variations as we begin the transition that will take us from summer to winter. From Starbucks to local shops, even to homemade variations, I love them all. On a cool night, with a good book (or movie, whatever is your thing) there is nothing better than a nice warm fall drink. I absolutely love grabbing a fall drink when I'm out, but for those times I want to do a little something extra here is a fun crockpot recipe for apple cider. It tastes so good and makes your house smell amazing. Crockpot Apple Cider

My favorite way to do this is to take a mixture of apples from Jackson's (or any apple orchard) and cut them up. (I usually do this when I have more than I can eat leftover.) Apples from the supermarket will also work.


8 Apples Quartered (a mix of red, green, gala, etc. is the best way, if possible)

2 Oranges Quartered & Peeled or 1 Cup Orange Juice

3 Cinnamon Sticks

2 Teaspoons Ground Cloves 7-8 Cups Water (Less if you are using orange juice)

1/3 Cups Sugar (Add Last)

Step 1: Wash the fruit.

Step 2: Place apples, oranges and spices in the crockpot. Add enough water so that the fruit is just barely floating. The water level should be about an inch or so below the top of the crockpot. Give the mixture a stir to make sure the spices are incorporated.

Step 3: Put the lid on and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Step 4: After cooking, use a potato masher or large spoon to mash the fruit. Mash it up as much as possible. Ladle the fruit mixture into a fine mesh strainer, a little at a time, allowing the liquid to drain into a large pot. Use a spoon to press the fruit mixture into the strainer and remove the juices. Discard the solids.

Step 5: While the cider is still warm, add granulated sugar to taste. Ladle into a cup and enjoy!

Bake A Loaf of Bread

I don't know what it is about fresh baked bread that just brings so much joy to my mama heart. But watching my little girl bite into a fresh roll is more enjoyable than eating it myself. Here is a bread recipe so simple, anyone can make it.

bread roll



3 cups (395 grams) all-purpose flour , or bread flour

½ Tablespoon Kosher salt

¼ ounce instant or active dry yeast packet , or 2 1/4 teaspoons

1 ½ cups warm water , 105°F

Instructions Make dough: Place the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Then pour the warm water (about 105°F) over top, making sure it's not too hot. Then you can use a dough whisk, spatula, wooden spoon or your hands to mix together. The dough should still be somewhat wet and sticky, but add more flour if it's too sticky to handle.

Once the flour is all mixed in, cover with a towel or plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick spray for 2-8 hours, or you can leave on the counter overnight. The longer you let it rise, the better. You can leave it on the counter to rise for up to 12 hours.

Shape: Generously flour your hands and turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. The dough will be sticky. Do not punch it down, knead it or roll it out. Gently work the dough into your preferred shape. I typically work it into a French boule (round circle) or 2 loaves and tuck the ends under.

Lightly dust the top with flour and then use a bread knife to add 1-4 lines across the top.

Bake: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a baking stone, a pizza stone, dutch oven or a iron skillet into the oven. You'll want the bread to cook on a hot skillet, so let it preheat for about 20 minutes. Place a piece of parchment paper onto a pizza peel or the bottom of a skillet or pan. Lightly flour and then place the dough on top and let it rest about 20-30 minutes.

Slide the dough with the parchment paper underneath onto the hot stone. Quickly place either 1 cup of hot water in a small broiler pan or 5 ice cubes into the bottom of the oven and shut the door to trap the steam. Then bake for 25 minutes or until browned.

Allow to cool on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes. Slice the bread and serve. Store in a paper bag so it doesn't soften.

Notes Tip: If the dough feels too sticky to shape, add a little more flour at a time. Then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes (this will make the dough easier to handle) before shaping. At this point, you could also refrigerate for up to one week if you want to bake later. The longer it rises, the chewier it will be. It can rise on the counter for up to 12 hours and up to a week in the fridge.

Bake A Pie Baking a pie has been on my to do list for years, but really, when it comes down to it, I often feel nervous. My first and only attempt at baking a pie was apple pie, and it was terrible. I decided to take this task on again and reached out to mama friends who actually bake and pumpkin pie was the clear winner in what I should make. Scratch the only attempt being Apple Pie – I have made a chocolate pie with the help of my great grandmother and in recent years, but in my mind, I just don't think of it as a fall pie.

Pumpkin Pie


1 pie crust

1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin puree

1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Step 1: Check the crust, I am using the Marie Callender's frozen pie shell. Let it thaw 10 mins, prick the bottom with a fork. Mix pumpkin purée, milk, eggs, and spice together and fill crust. Cover with foil.

Step 2: Bake at 425° F for 10 mins, thenreduce heat to 350° F and cook for 30 mins or until the pie looks set. Jiggly, but not liquid in the center. Remove from oven and let cool; chill before serving.

If pie is not you thing or you want something even easier, try a Berry Crumble Cobbler. It's so good and so easy to dump in a pan and pop in the oven.

Read a Book

When the weather has cooled down, after everyone has gone to bed, or sometimes early in the morning, I love to make myself a hot drink and grab a book. I'm currently working on A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

Everyone's taste varies when it comes to books, but these are a few on my list to read once I finish ACOTR.

Enchanted to Meet You By Meg Cabot Nineteen Steps By Millie Bobby Brown

A Flicker in the Dark By Stacy Willingham

Murder at the Book Club By Betsy Reavley

Wrong Place Wrong Time By Gillian McAllister

Pumpkin Spice and Not So Nice by Becky Manson

The Ex Hex By Erin Sterling

There are countless others, but realistically, I know I won't be able to finish all of these before the end of the year, but I'll certainly try. Feel free to use these as a jumping off point, and let me know if there are any good books I left off that I really should add to the list.

Of course, these are ones I read in the few times I take a little time to myself. I also love to read fall books to my daughter, and I just ordered To Catch A Monster for her Boo Basket.

Fall Crafts

Another thing on our bucket list is to do some fall crafts.

Earlier in the year, we did a small outdoor walk where we collected leaves and talked about different aspects of nature outside. I plan to redo this activity on our next fall walk. You can read more about when we did that craft here.

Another easy fun craft is to take some clear contact paper and stick it up to a wall or window where the toddler can safely reach. Next is to give them leaves – either fake decor leaves or real leaves and let them stick to the contact paper. Honestly, I have found that my daughter stays interested in tasks longer that don't really involve the 'fancy' toys I think she wants.

This one is probably more for me than her, but I love to make cute crafts with her hand prints, paint her hand orange, then after it dries decorate it like a pumpkin or jack-o-lantern.

Another idea is to cut an apple in half and let them dip it in paint and make a stamp on paper.

I love these because they are relatively simple and inexpensive.

Three Fall-Themed Crockpot Recipes:

During the fall time there is nothing better than coming home from a busy day to a warm crockpot ready to go. I love these year round as a great easy meal to fix, but there is nothing like a nice bowl of chili in the fall. Three of my favorites are taco soup, chili, and Mississippi Mud Roast

Chili and Taco Soup are very similar

Chili - 28 oz can tomato sauce, diced tomatoes

15-15.5 oz cans light red and dark red kidney beans, black beans

1 lb ground beef, browned, sautéed frozen pepper and onion mix put it all in crock pot on low for 6+ hours. Serve with Fritos scoops, shredded cheddar and sour cream

Taco Soup - same tomatoes, black beans, sautéed peppers and onions mix, frozen bag mixed veggies (corn, peas, green beans, carrots) 1 lb ground beef, browned. Combine all in crockpot, put on a thin layer of taco seasoning over entire surface, mix in, repeat, put on low for 6+ hours. Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese and sour cream. Another serving suggestion is grilled cheese, can be made with pepper Jack cheese for some extra kick.

Both of these are the toddler friendly/people who can’t do spicy recipes. For either to be the full, a little bit more spicy recipe, add in a small can of rotel

Mississippi Mud Roast

Chuck Roast

Packet of Ranch Seasoning

Packet of Au Jus mix

3-4 Pepperoncini Peppers


Step 1: Brown Roast in a skillet

Step 2: Place Roast in crockpot

Step 3: Mix Au Jus Packet with water according to packet instructions then pour over roast.

Step 4:Add ranch seasoning.

Step 5: Add Pepperoncini Peppers

Step 6: Add Stick of Butter

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Family-Friendly Halloween Movies:

If there is toddler-free time I love a good classic scary movie - Freddie, Jason, Michael Myers, are all men I love to see on screen this time of year. But it's a little much for my 2 year old, so this year we are planning to look at Disney + for family-friendly films and some halloween cartoon episodes.

Some of our favorite family-friendly features are:

Hocus Pocus The Halloween Town Series

The Harry Potter Series

Haunted Mansion (Both the Eddie Murphy version and the 2023 version)

Make a Bonfire & Roast S'mores

My toddler prefers to eat her smores deconstructed, but I won't let that stop me from trying to make her a S'more and allowing all of us to enjoy some time outside around a bonfire this year.

large pink mums on porch

Visit Farmer's Markets & Fall Festivals

Farmer's Markets and Fall Festivals are a great way to connect with your community and support your local economy.

Some dates to take note of coming up, if you're local to me:

October 14 Harvest Festival @ SOKY Marketplace (Bowling Green)

Scarecrow Trail October 1-22 Lost River Cave (Bowling Green)

Cheekwood Harvest (Nashville) Sept - Oct 30

Goblins and Giggles at Opryland (Nashville) Sep - Oct 29,2023

Boo at the Zoo (Nashville) Oct 13-14, 20-21, 27-28

In conclusion, October is more than just one month out of the year. It's a canvas on which we paint memories and receive experiences shared with family and friends. The leaves change, and the air becomes crisp but time is fleeting and we should take every opportunity to make traditions. This fall bucket list is not just a collection of activities; it's a promise to make the most of this season, ensuring that we don't miss a single magical moment. So, as we venture into this splendid season, may we find joy in pumpkin patches, warmth in homemade treats, and connection in the simplest of crafts. May our hearts be warmed by the stories we share and the laughter we create. Let us remember that the true essence of this season lies in spending time with loved ones, making memories, and finding delight in the beauty of fall. So, here's to a season filled with love, laughter, and cherished moments. Let's savor every second of this enchanting journey through the heartwarming wonders of autumn.

Thanks for reading!

Don't forget to check out my freebie page where you can download my autumn bucket list!



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Hi, I'm Angie

Hello there! I'm Angie, and I appreciate you taking the time to visit. I proudly embrace the role of being a mom to a delightful 20-month-old, while also embarking on a personal journey of self-discovery. Moving forward, I intend to delve into a wide range of topics, such as our daily routines, effective cleaning strategies, and dive deeper into our adventures with ASQ-3 Testing, helmet usage, and any other exciting aspects that arise along the way.

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