30 Things to Do in September

Happy September friends! A new month and the start of a new school year. With back-to-school and the beginning of autumn, September always packs a punch. Even though it’s hard for me to say goodbye to summer (and we’ve had a spectacular one this year) there are so many great things ahead, I can’t help but get excited! 

Fall-tastic activities to enjoy this month: 

  • Visit the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival – from August 29th to September 2nd visit a wonderful festival with an amusement park, fireworks, shows and of course so many gorgeous hot air balloons filling the sky! 
  • Celebrate Labour Day – a wonderful way to say goodbye to summer, have the last hurrah by throwing a barbecue or party!  
  • Get into back-to-school yourself – every school year I get swept up in nostalgia for going back to school. Packing lunches and having a backpack full of pencils and pads brings back all the feels. September is a great time to continue your own education, taking a craft, baking, or coding course is a way to rejuvenate your mind and explore something new.  
  • Visit an agricultural museum – we’ve enjoyed amazing Ontario produce all summer long, yet there is something so wonderful about autumn’s harvest! It’s a perfect time to visit an agricultural museum and learn more about how your geographic location produces food. This isn’t just a fun activity for the family, it’s meaningful knowledge that helps foster a connection to the land we live on and share with others. 
  • Throw a football – this month is the start of the 2019 football season, and even if you are not rooting for a team, you can still have a blast throwing a football in the backyard!
  • Go to an airshow – there is nothing like the experience of seeing dazzlingly planes fly through the sky, if that is your jam then the Gatineau-Ottawa air show is happening September 6th-9th at the Gatineau-Ottawa executive airport! 
  • Have a pumpkin latte – love it or hate it, pumpkin lattes are a modern tradition, every year I have at least one and often my husband and I usually do this as an impromptu date. It’s also a fun way to shift gears from summer(ish) to autumn(y)! I’m actually really excited about Second Cup’s lineup this season – all their spice drinks look SO good.
  • Visit the farmers market – anytime is great to take a trip to your local farmer’s market, but especially the start of a new season, it is an awesome way to connect with your local farmers and makers and enjoy their labours of love.
  • Go apple picking – hands down one of my absolute favourite family traditions is going apple picking. Every year it brings me so much joy seeing the kids fill up baskets of apples. This is a fun outdoor activity that the whole family will love! 

Fall camping, reading lists, and jam, oh-my!

  • Take a camping trip – the warm weather of summer doesn’t just disappear overnight, and in fact, September is a lovely time to take a weekend camping trip and soak in some more sunshine! 
  • Make a big donation run – with all the winter gear pulled out sooner than later, this is a perfect time to take stock of what you have, need, and loved but are ready to let go. Going through all of your stuff and finding things that are in good condition but you no longer wear lets you tidy up your space and pass down items that others can use.
  • Create a fall reading list – in the scholastic spirit, planning a reading list for those evenings that are perfect to snuggle up lets you rediscover loved books and explore new ones, reading still remains a perfect screen-free alternative!   
  • Make jam and preserves – with so many delicious fruits like plums, peaches, and prunes in season, jam-making is a fun and rewarding experience. 
  • Plan your Halloween costume – with Halloween still a month away, right now is a perfect time to start planning an awesome costume for you or your kids. This will give you plenty of time if you are making them or even if you want to get a jump on some sales! 
  • Bake an apple pie – I love that it’s apple season and is there a better way to celebrate than by making your own apple pie? Baking is a journey, and if you are not confident in the kitchen, let me give you some advice – just go for it! In the kitchen is where you learn, and yes it will be messy and yes you may make a mistake or two but it’s worth it. Nothing tastes as good as what you cook with love, honestly!
  • Make your own Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer – with just a few simple ingredients, you can make your own delicious pumpkin spice creamer and create a decadent fall drink.
  • Cook Stuffed Baked Apples – could there be a more perfect dessert for a damp fall day? How they warm your belly and melt the cool right out of you. Not to mention, they’re mmmm….delicious. Cinnamon, nutmeg, apples, raisins – they speak the language of autumn.  
  • Try some new fall makeup trends – I love trying new makeup and changing things up from season to season. One of my favourite seasonal makeup looks is matte lip hues in colours like plum and wine.

Plan a trip to the fair or flea market!

  • Visit a fair – my whole family is crazy about going to the fair, from the food stands to the Ferris Wheel, it’s a blast! If you’re near the Ottawa area I suggest the 175th Richmond Fair, held September 19th to the 22nd.
  • Create your own fall tasting menu – this is such a fun thing to do for a party or even as a family. Creating even a simple three-course meal is a great way to sharpen your cooking skills and learn a thing or two! 
  • Visit a flea market – flea markets are a fun way to connect to local vendors and see some diverse goods and wares. The 613flea is happening in the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne on September 21st. It’s a great way to see a showcase of our local makers and maybe find an antique or two! 
  • Fall cleaning – just like a big spring clean, having a more detailed house cleaning helps your whole household transition from the warmer months to the cooler ones! 
  • Celebrate the beginning of autumn – September 23rd is the start of the fall season. With Thanksgiving, Halloween, and most of our household birthdays this season, I can’t wait!
  • Take a horseback riding lesson – horses are such majestic creatures and taking a riding lesson is such a fun experience.
  • Check out the Ottawa International Animation Festival – as an adult I fell back in love with animation watching Studio Ghibli movies with my husband, and now with two kids, I am just as excited as them when seeing new animation movies. If you love animation I recommend checking out the OIAF, it is the largest animation festival in North America and it’s happening here in Ottawa September 25-29th. 
  • Make your own applesauce – if you’ve already baked apples and apple pie, you can still make a super tasty treat with some homemade applesauce! 
  • Practice your Thanksgiving meal – our Canadian Thanksgiving is at the beginning of October (which confuses my American husband almost every year, lol). If you’re cooking for a big group, it’s a great idea to do a few tests runs for some of your recipes to make sure you’re ready for the big day 😉 Need some inspiration? Check out this Thanksgiving Menu!
  • Bike, hike or take a walk – there’s something about that autumn sun that just charges you like nothing else. Take advantage of being outside before it goes from crispy to downright cold! 
  • Enjoy some hot apple cider – yes, there has been an apple theme in my suggestions for September, because I love apple picking and then have to figure out what to do with all the apples! Hot apple cider is such a treat during those evenings when the crisp autumn air starts sneaking in. You can also mix things up with this delicious and refreshing Ginger Apple Cider Punch – perfect for a fall party!
  • Take in the majestic changing leaves – from the end of September to the beginning of October is a perfect time to see our leaves change colour in Ontario. Pick a sunny day around this time and go for a hike or a drive. It’s worth it to see how stunning the beginning of autumn is!

September brings with it so much beauty, from the crisp sunny days to the changing colour of the leaves, it’s truly a gem of a month to get outside and enjoy. And when it’s a cooler day or raining, there’s nothing like fall baking with the windows open and the delicious aromas of autumn wafting through your home. Whether you take the time to plan a walk in the woods or find the perfect spot to curl up with an enthralling read, I hope you embrace this beautiful time of year.

Emily Smith

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One Comment

  1. This is a great list but my favorite is visiting the farmers market because I like to support our local farmers and get awesome produce

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