Upperclassmen Advice: D.C. Fall Essentials

Image courtesy of Andy Feliciotti 

By Olivia Wingert and Caroline Pitman

With a three day weekend and cooler temperatures on the horizon, now is the perfect time to get in the fall mood. Living in a city sometimes makes it difficult to really feel the change of seasons, and the pandemic has already taken away Halloween, the best part of fall, but there are still many fun ways to celebrate the changing seasons. 

There are no easily accessible pumpkin patches, but most grocery stores have pumpkins ranging in size. From miniature pumpkins to place on your desk, to large carving pumpkins, it feels so festive to have a piece of fall in your room. For a fun weekend activity, carving pumpkins is another option. Carving sets are under five dollars at Target, and will get you a lot further than a Pryz knife, speaking from personal experience. 

For a free activity, taking a walk around Brookland offers the chance to see foliage. The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is particularly beautiful in the fall with centuries-old gardens that feel more like Europe than Brookland. A short walk from the monastery will take you to another Brookland gem, Fort Bunker Hill. This National Park offers trails for hiking and walking and a little history of the former Civil War battle site.

If you’d prefer an indoor activity, baking really sets the fall mood. The pumpkin bread mix from Trader Joe’s is phenomenal and will make your whole floor smell amazing. Trader Joe’s also has the best apple cider donuts and pies which are both fun pre-made treats.

 The Dupont Farmers Market also offers a great selection of fall baked goods and even some fresh apples, and nothing screams fall more than a bag full of farm-fresh apples. The farmers market is easily accessible via the Red Line, or bike, and is open from 8:30-1:30 on Saturdays and Sundays. Another great farmers market option is the Penn Quarter Farmers Market. It is open on Thursdays from 3-7 p.m. and is located right behind the National Portrait Gallery. Hop off at the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro stop and walk over to pick up some mini pumpkins, apples. Hands down the best part of the market is the Timber Pizza mobile wood-fired pizza truck. Plan out a Thursday night when you and your friends head down the red line to have a fun fall mini-farmers market dinner night.

 Cities are often thought of as having little foliage and green spaces, however, DC actually is full of parks, nature paths, and green spaces. Visit the National Arboretum for a day of hiking around to see the colors change on the trees. Pack a picnic lunch and even bring your readings for your LC classes. The beautiful surroundings and hint of fall in the air just may make reading Plato’s Five Dialogues a little less painful.  

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