It’s FALL Ya’ll


It’s FALL Ya’ll

Posted on September 26, 2022 by Great Florida Homes
By Mindi Rudan


If you live “up north” there truly IS this almost imperceptible “change” in the air that seems to start right after the last embers of the LABOR DAY barbecues die down.

Sure, later into Fall —which BTW officially took place on Sept. 22 this year—the color-changing leaves “up north” screams, hey ya’ll it’s fall with or without a calendar.

Fall in South FloridaBut “down here” in South Florida?? Well, here, things are different. We don’t get color changing leaf signals. The temperature doesn’t significantly drop and suddenly we’re in “sweater” weather. Nope, WE pretty much are still roasting here. (In fact, we don’t really start getting morning lows under 70 degrees on a regular basis until early to mid NOVEMBER).

BUT … fall can also be a state of mind, if you want it to be. Stop into a local coffee shop and pretty much there’s a pumpkin spice something on the menu now.

Walk into a craft store and chances are there are cinnamon scented pinecones greeting you at the entrance.

It’s also our memories of fall —if we grew up, “up north,” that kick in. For some, they lament that the days do get shorter and shorter. Yes, we get less daytime after work hours to enjoy outdoor time, but there is also a sweet, coziness that comes with this time of year.

While we don’t have to go out and rake leaves, or stack wood, there are some things we can do to evoke the warmth of a season that brings with it, fun (Halloween), family (THANKSGIVING) and friends, (football, farmers’ markets and outdoor festivals).

Don’t ask me why, but since I’m in Florida now and not NEW JERSEY, I don’t spring clean. I fall clean. I love getting the house ready for Halloween decorating, then the December holidays. I go thru drawers and closets that haven’t seen the light of day all year. I try to purge (toss/donate) and organize a bit to feel lighter and freer. So we call the pressure cleaner, window washer, tree trimmer to tidy the outside in preparation of cooler weather and more “outside” entertaining and I go through the interior pretending I’m moving.

If you are a gardener, Fall in Florida is THE time to start seeds or START a garden—the polar opposite of up north. Tons of flowers and veggies thrive in our winter with cooler nights and warm but less humid days. Tomatoes in particular are perfect to start now. By the time they are ready to bear, the weather is picture perfect. There’s nothing like picking juicy, sweet tomatoes in January!! And flowers? Fall and winter are the only real time in South Florida that most flowers will put on the display they were bred for.

Even though they are water hogs, I plant huge beds of sunpatiens in early October. By December, they are full, lush and bursting with vivid color. Geraniums planted in pots and urns now, give a non-stop show until early May when the humidity gets to them. Even humidity hating petunias grow beautifully in South Florida from our fall through our winter. Planting in the fall in SOFLA gives you the most bang for your time, money spent and effort.

Fall Farmers markets in south florida

Fall in Florida also signals the start of fabulous craft shows, outdoor festivals and farmers’ markets. When the weather suddenly goes from scorching to pleasantly warm, there is so much to do in SOFLA. A look through events on Facebook or local cities’ activities pages turns up more fun things than you can imagine. For example—ever been to an OCTOBERFEST?

—October 7– 9 and 14-16: It’s a celebration that mixes German culture with food and fun! “Oktoberfest in Lake Worth” has been named one of the best Oktoberfests in Florida. You can chow down on bratwurst and schnitzel, sip imported and domestic beers and enjoy live foot-stomping entertainment. Bring the kids, as there are plenty of family-friendly features of this event, including arts and crafts, carnival games and folk-dancing.
—October 13-15 brings the annual Southern Handcraft Society’s Holiday Extravaganza at the La Quinta in Coral Springs. (3701 N. University Dr). From the moment you walk into this juried indoor arts and crafts festival, you are awed by the sights and smells of Fall thru Christmas with some of the most incredible handmade, hand crafted goods that will put you in the Fall frame of mind.

— The local Mac Daddy of Farmer’s markets has to be the Yellow Green Farmers Market (3080 Sheridan Street. Hollywood, FL 33021 – 954.513.3990). Saturday & Sunday 10am – 8pm

HUGE—it’s a year-round multi-faceted outdoor venue that connects local producers and artisans with the community. A diversified shopping and eating experience, this marketplace is a place to gather, engage, support, and enjoy the fruits of South Florida. Broken into sections, you CAN and often WILL spend the whole day there. There’s antiques, collectibles, farm fresh produce, restaurants and “road stand” type eateries, mini bakeries, every ethnic take-out cuisine you can imagine. Some places serve cocktails too! There’s live music, crafts, wellness, home goods+ Pretty much anything you can imagine. It’s truly a fun-filled, sensory overload kinda day. We’ve met friends here for breakfast and ended with dinner and cocktails and a packed car!

—And of course Coral Springs, Parkland, Coconut Creek, and other local cities all start their farmers’ markets in the fall, so check local websites for dates and times.

—Decorate for Fall. Make a point to hang a fall wreath or swag on the door, put a garland of fall leaves around a mantel or over your entrance way. Add a few pumpkins to your dining room table. Time goes by so fast, stopping to celebrate a “season” many of us barely notice here, slows life down a bit.

South florida corn maze—Get lost in a Corn Maze. While they don’t abound here like they do up north, Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market usually hosts one. (10066 Lee Road. Boynton Beach, FL 33473. 561-733-5490. Mon-Sat: 9am-6pm. Sun: 9am-5pm). It’s a year round U-pick farm and starting Sept. 24 thru Oct. 31 they offer a $25 pp FALL FESTIVAL that includes tractor rides, u pick pumpkin patch, sunflower patch, an animal EDVenture mini park, home churned ice cream out front, corn roast, and admission to their corn maze & more. While their corn maze WON’T keep you occupied for hours, (like the one created by Cool Patch Pumpkins in Dixon California which was 60 ACRES large and won the Guinness World Record for the largest corn maze!), from the moment you get out of your car, it feels like Fall at Bedner’s.

—Host a “Friendsgiving” – Friendsgiving, a growing tradition spawned from the custom of Thanksgiving has been a favorite among many in recent years. The mash-up word between “friends” and “thanksgiving” entered the Merriam Webster dictionary in 2020 and it is your typical Thanksgiving meal but just for your closest of friends who you may or may not see on THANKSGIVING when many host just family or are away for the holiday. We’ve been going to one on the Sunday after Thanksgiving for years but many people host it a week or two before. It’s a wonderful, warm excuse for a holiday party BEFORE the craziness of the holidays fully arrive.

—-“Tailgate” at a FOOTBALL GAME. Football is synonymous with FALL! And for those who never have heard the term “tailgate” before, it’s when you have a casual gathering in the parking lot of a stadium prior to a game (typically football). Time-honored American traditions such as tailgating speak to the crisp fall weather and are enjoyed by all – even those who don’t enjoy football. And some who don’t go to football games at all— can just recreate the tailgate experience with some snacks, some friends to cheer for their teams from the comfort of their backyard or couch. When everyone brings a dish to share, it’s an easy, yet fun way to enjoy fall AND football.

—JUST crank the A/C down a few notches, grab a small saucepan, heat water to near boiling, then turn it down to barely simmer. Mix together some of the hot water in a cup and plain cinnamon and ground cloves from your pantry. Mix well and add to saucepan. In an instant your house smells like fall! OR… light an apple-cinnamon candle. Scientists believe that smell and memory are so closely linked because the anatomy of the brain allows olfactory signals to get to the limbic system very quickly. Experts say memories associated with smells tend to be older and thought about less often, meaning the recollection is very vivid when it happens!

So while we may not get traditional autumn leaves, there’s still so many ways even in South Florida to embrace and enjoy fall, ya’ll!


Mindi Rudan lives in Parkland with her husband and “pack” of 4-leggeds. A writer, former magazine publisher, sometime event planner, she’s currently a prolific wreathmaker (and loving every minute). Find her on FB (Mindi Siegel Rudan).