14 Ways to Enjoy Autumn After a Military PCS
You’ve survived your latest military PCS. The kids are back in school. Summer vacation, if you had one, is over. You are in the process of putting the pieces back together following the move. Sometimes, you are literally “putting the pieces back together”! At the very least, you might be filing a claim for lost or damaged pieces.
So how to pick yourself up, move past the emotions of a rocky PCS, and start enjoying life at your new duty station?
The days are getting a bit shorter. The nights are cooler and depending on where you are stationed; the leaves are starting to turn. It is autumn, a season of everything pumpkin! And it’s a perfect time to regroup and leave a disappointing PCS in the past. Throw your military brats into the car and head off-post for a little fun out in town.
Here is our list of 14 fun things to do during the fall season that will get you out of military housing and away from the installation to start exploring and enjoying your new duty station.
#1 Attend a Fall Festival
Every area has some sort of Fall Festival! Maybe it’s a Pumpkin Festival or a Craft Show. Check the local newspaper, on-base MWR or your Officer Spouses Club facebook page to find a festival that will appeal to your family.
#2 Pick apples
It’s apple season! And many areas of the country have apple orchards that open for you to enjoy an afternoon of picking. Start looking up apple recipes now!
#3 Make candy apples
Actually, this one is more 2A! Kids love these sticky delights!
#4 Go hiking
Whether you are in the mountains of Colorado or near the volcanoes of Hawaii, there is always a place to hike. Grab your best walking shoes and start exploring your new location on foot.
#5 Visit a corn maze or go for a hayride
A very popular activity in many parts of the country. In the Northeast, you can find a hayride almost every weekend in the fall.
#6 Tailgate at a football game
If you don’t live near a professional team, there might be a college nearby. High School football games can be very exciting, and the half-time show with the Band is usually worth the price of admission.
#7 Make a pinecone bird feeder
Before the birds head south (unless you are in the south!) offer a feeder and enjoy the show!
#8 Jump in a pile of leaves
Raking leaves is not much fun, but jumping in leaves will make you feel like a kid again.
#9 Bake a pumpkin or apple pie
Bakers love to get their jam on in the fall. For those of us who just like to eat, it’s a great time too!
#10 Carve your own pumpkin
Go pumpkin picking at a local farm and then let the kids design their own scary pumpkin face. There are tons of designs online. The really ambitious can attempt to carve their service seal.
#11 Make some chili
Nothing says fall like homemade chili! I even looked forward to this fall ritual when we were stationed in Miami, and the average temp was in the mid-eighties!
#12 Celebrate Oktoberfest
Most duty stations will have a festival of German food, beer, music and dancing somewhere nearby if not on the installation itself.
#13 Build a bonfire
Can’t always do this if living on-base, but for those out in town this is a fun activity sure to draw your new neighbors over.
#14 Start holiday shopping
The holidays will be here before you know it. Start making your list and shopping as you go, so it doesn’t pile up on you in the month of December.
Before you know it, the crisp fall temperatures will lead to the cold, shorter days of winter, depending on where you are stationed of course. Use these few weeks to explore your new duty station and get to know some of the locals. Nothing feels like home than having a few good friends to share new experiences with.
By Carla Olivo
A veteran News Journalist and Military Spouse, Carla Olivo currently serves as the Director of Strategic Communications at PCSgrades, a website where the military and veteran community help each other with the biggest relocation needs through trusted reviews. She previously served as the Director of Communications for Operation Hug-A-Hero and as the Media/Community Relations Officer for the Delaware Department of Transportation. She is a Society of Professional Journalists award winner and has garnered numerous TV industry awards including the Associated Press award for Spot News Reporting, News Writing, Enterprise Reporting, and Documentary Reporting.