I would venture to guess that autumn is the season most likely missed by family and friends who have moved away from the northeast.

The horizon lit with bright colored hues and a cool welcoming nip in the air, sweaters and sweatshirts, mountain hikes, football games, hot apple cider, pumpkin patches, crackling fires in the fireplace, and raking leaves (yes, even some yard work is more fun in the fall).

Autumn in New England. It’s simply magnificent. But to make the most of this wonderful season, you have got to get outside and really savor it. Let the magic of fall renew your spirit, recharge your energy, relax your stresses and recapture your childhood! It can be as simple as taking a morning walk in your neighborhood or as choreographed as planning a Victorian Halloween party, but you should do something to take advantage of what the season has to offer.

Plan some outings on your calendar or make a mental note of seasonal things to do.

Here are some ideas to consider:

Collect pine cones now so that you will have plenty on hand for upcoming holiday projects for home or school. I love to throw one into my fireplace for the sweet scent of pine. They can even be used to make bird feeders. Simply hang a big pinecone covered with peanut butter and rolled in sunflower seeds on a tree outside your window and watch the birds rejoice.

Simmer some mulled cider on your stovetop this weekend. Add some orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. It not only tastes good but also leaves your home smelling delightful!

Visit a pumpkin patch or farmers market this month. You don’t have to have small children to enjoy this adventure. Just go pick pumpkins. Pumpkins are to be enjoyed by all. Carve a jack-o-lantern, roast pumpkin seeds, bake pumpkin pie, or set a festive dinner table with pumpkin accents.

Plant your garden bulbs for next spring. Crocus, daffodils and tulips need your attention now.

Create a natural vase for autumn bouquets out of a pumpkin. Simply scoop out the inside of a pumpkin as you would for a Jack-o-lantern. Fill with a damp floral sponge cut to size. Add fall flowers and enjoy the beauty of autumn indoors.

Gather herbs from the garden before winter arrives. Clip them, wash and pat them dry, and freeze them in Ziploc bags to use throughout the winter. Best herbs to freeze are thyme, sage, oregano, chives and basil.

During peak foliage time, plan a picnic, a family hike or even just a drive through colorful country roads.

Gather leaves and enjoy the simple craft of leaf rubbing with paper and crayons.

Go antiquing.

Attend a football game at your local high school.

Build a scarecrow.

Dress up for Halloween. Enjoy!

Connecticut Media Group