15 Fun Things To Do With Your Girlfriends This Fall

Katie Jacobs Fall Tailgate at Pumpkin Patch Jeep Packed with Supplies
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Production: Katie Jacobs

Fall makes it easy to feel like a kid again. Beyond getting excited for classic activities—such as visiting pumpkin patches, apple orchards, haunted forests, and the State Fair—there are more adult autumnal pursuits like game days, mountain getaways, and hard cider crawls. There is no better time to find your way through a corn maze, go glamping in the Smoky Mountains, or host a pumpkin-carving, pie-making party.

There are bushels of ways to make the most of autumn, and it's all made better when done with your best girlfriends. Whether you're looking to host a party at home or plan a road trip to a nearby destination, fall is a season for gathering your girls and celebrating what makes it so great. Here are 15 fun fall things to do with your friends this autumn.

01 of 15

Head to the Pumpkin Patch

Katie Jacobs Fall Tailgate a Gentry Farm Pumpkin Patch
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Production: Katie Jacobs

Nowadays, a trip to the pumpkin patch has a lot more going on than just picking out a pumpkin. There are corn mazes, food trucks, corn hole stations, and all the hay rides to fill your childhood nostalgia tank. Grab your girls, and head to your favorite local patch for a fun-filled weekend activity.

Here are the South's best pumpkin patches by state.

02 of 15

Go on a Cider Crawl

Cider Flights at Castle Hill Cider
Zoe Denenberg

Venture up to North Carolina or Virginia—Charlottesville is bustling in the autumn season—to get a taste of hard cider. Visit a local cidery, such as one of these beloved Southern cideries, and make sure to spring for a flight of seasonal flavors. You'll be treated to stunning views of the orchards while you're sipping on a brew.

Read more about things to do in Charlottesville, Virginia.

03 of 15

Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway

Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway
Robbie Caponetto

Fall in the South is something stunning to behold, and you can see it all while driving (or train-riding)along this iconic road in the North Georgia mountains. Get ready to see a kaleidoscope of fall color.

Stay in the cozy mountain town of Blue Ridge, and embark on a set of autumnal pursuits like apple picking at Mercier Orchards (which has been in business over 70 years), riding the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, or hiking a nearby scenic stretch of the Appalachian Trail.

04 of 15

Throw a Pumpkin Carving Party

Pumpkin Carving Templates
Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

Pumpkin carving is one of those childhood activities we never truly get tired of. Take those pumpkins you picked at the patch, and host a carving party for all of your friends. After you've all carved your monsters, ghosts, or fall-inspired designs, line them up on the porch and take a snap.

Try one of these pumpkin carving ideas.

05 of 15

Go on a Glamping Trip

Under Canvas Glampsite Tent Smoky Mountains
Courtesy of Under Canvas

While many Southern gals don't always jump at the chance of camping, glamping is another story. This more comfortable take on the outdoors will have you "roughing" it in ultra-luxe conditions. Book a spot like this Smoky Mountain glamping site that features safari-style canvas tents, hotel-quality beds, and live music. All with a side of s'mores.

Or head to Texas Hill Country to stay at one of these unique glamping rentals.

06 of 15

Host a Chili Cook-Off

West Texas Chili
Southern Living

Everyone likes a little competition, right? Ask each person to make a pot of their best-ever chili recipe, keep tally of everyone's favorite—other than their own, of course—and then send your leftovers home with a friend. You get to show off your chili skills and go home with a new batch to freeze for later.

We suggest making our West Texas Chili if you're in it to win it. Serve right inside individual-sized Frito bags to really impress the crowd.

07 of 15

Head to the State Fair

Go to the State Fair
Mint Images/Getty Images

It doesn't matter if you're hitting up the Alabama State Fair or the Texas State Fair, just get there and grab the nearest funnel cake you can find. Most Southern states host their state fair in the months of September and October, so check out the closest one. Ride the carnival rides, play a ring toss or two, and see how many fried things you can eat along the way. Fried Oreo, anyone?

08 of 15

Have a Pie-Making Party

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

One thing cannot be denied: Everyone loves pie. We particularly enjoy pie during the fall when our favorite recipes—pumpkin, apple, and pecan—are on full display. Invite your friends over for a pie-making party, and let everyone take home a slice of each. You can't go wrong with any classic recipe, but we're partial to this Old-Fashioned Apple Pie that tastes just like grandma's.

09 of 15

Plan a Fall-Inspired Picnic

Katie Jacobs Fall Tailgate at Pumpkin Patch Jeep Packed with Supplies
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Production: Katie Jacobs

Tartan thermoses, handmade quilts, picnic baskets—it's all going in the trunk. Make a batch of Sparkling Caramel-Apple Sangria, and enjoy a lazy afternoon with your girlfriends. Bonus points if you're doing it with a view.

10 of 15

Go to the Movies—In Your Backyard

Outdoor Movie Screen
Southern Living

Not every town has a vintage drive-in movie theater, but you can mimic the cozy effect by creating a DIY movie party in your backyard. Lay out picnic blankets and pillows, set out a spread of snacks, sprinkle string lights all around, and have yourself a blast with your gals.

You'll need a movie screen to show the film of choice. Start by hanging a white sheet with a rope and drapery hooks somewhere in your backyard. Then, simply use a projector to stream the film for everyone to see.

Get more tips for your backyard movie night from Ivy Odom.

11 of 15

Celebrate Game Day

A Sunshine State Boatgate, September 2018, Boatgating
Cedric Angles

We might all have different allegiances, but pick one and spend a game day weekend cheering on the Dawgs, War Eagles, Tide, or Vols—it's bound to bring you back to your college days. In Jacksonville, Florida, there's even tailgates on boats.

Read more about the South's best college towns.

12 of 15

Make a Pumpkin-Spice Tasting List

Pumpkin Spice-Chocolate Marble Loaves
Linda Pugliese

The whole pumpkin spice thing will never go out of style, primarily because it tastes so good. Keep a tally of all the pumpkin spice drinks, treats, and dishes you and your friends consume throughout the season. Whoever tries and documents the most pumpkin spice products gets a prize.

Here are 27 pumpkin spice recipes you can make at home.

13 of 15

Head to a Haunted Forest

Head to the Haunted Forest
picture alliance/Getty Images

Southerners have access to some of the spookiest haunted farms and forests ever. There's nothing like getting the Sam Hill scared out of you and then going for post-scare ice cream with your girlfriends. Find a local farmer who sets up a hair-raising show and support the cause, that being to scare you.

14 of 15

Go Apple-Picking

Go Apple-Picking
Robbie Caponetto

This autumnal pursuit might be the ultimate fall activity. Head to the nearest orchard, grab a bushel or two of Southern-grown apples, and snag a bag of apple cider donuts on your way out. It's the easiest thing to get you in the fall spirit.

Visit one of the South's best apple orchards.

15 of 15

Book a Girlfriend Staycation

Lake Austin Spa Resort
Robbie Caponetto

You likely spent the spring and summer going on action-packed girlfriend getaways to your favorite Southern cities and small towns. Now that fall is in full swing, why not plan a little staycation? Find a hotel nearby with pampering amenities like a relaxing spa, rooftop restaurant, or in-house yoga classes—and get some much-needed R&R with your friends.

Visit one of these South's best resorts if you're a local looking to act like a vacationer.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles