Many orchards are close to campus and ready for apple picking (photo from 2019).

Happy Fall, Villanova. It’s always sad to see summer go, but come on…pumpkin spice lattes, hot apple cider and sweater season — who can’t get behind that? While things are evidently different this fall amidst the pandemic, there are still so many ways to enjoy the season on and around the University’s campus. Just don’t forget your mask.

Go pumpkin picking. How much more classic fall can you get than a pumpkin patch? There are many in our surrounding area, thanks to the lovely farmland of Pennsylvania. Sugartown Strawberries in Malvern is only 20 minutes away and takes visitors out to the patch in a tractor-drawn wagon. It also offers hayrides and sunset hayride-and-bonfire combos, and visitors can stop in the country store for fresh fall favorites. The patch is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and weekdays at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Go apple picking. Who doesn’t 

want to pick their own fresh apples? Nearby orchards, like Indian Orchards, which is only a 20 minute ride to Media, offer pick-your-own apples and other fruits. Visitors can then treat themselves to some fresh apple cider donuts and cider from the country store. It doesn’t get better than that. 

Go hiking. The crisp but not too cold fall weather is perfect for a good hike. There are so many trails around here, like Ithan Valley Park right down S. Ithan Ave. Take some time in nature and see the pretty colors of the changing leaves. 

Bake fall treats. If you have a kitchen in your dorm or apartment, it’s time to get cooking. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies (pumpkin everything), caramel apples, toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, apple pie and so much more. Stay tuned for The Villanovan’s Fall Cookbook, coming soon. 

Stock up on fall clothes. It’s online (or thrift) shopping season. Time to load up on flannels, huge sweatshirts, new jeans, comfy PJs, fuzzy socks and so much more. Your bank account will hurt, but you know you’ll be thanking yourself later.

Go to the farmers market. Find all of your fresh fall favorites. Choose from just-picked fall fruits and veggies from local harvests or freshly-baked pies and goodies. Lancaster County Farmers Market in Wayne has impeccable donuts, but there are lots of other awesome options nearby as well.

Get ready for Christmas. Enough said. 

There are so many ways to still enjoy this amazing season amidst all the COVID-19 global health pandemic. There are many safe and fun things to do to make life feel a little more normal, just remember to be safe and mask up.