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How to live your best fall life before the winter blanket settles upon Calgary

By Andreea Timis, October 18 2023—

The presence of fall in Calgary can only mean one thing: it could very well start snowing any day now. 

Relax, I’m only kidding (well, for the most part).

The winter season does have its positives. Christmas and New Year’s, snowball fights, tree decorating, ice skating and drinking a steaming mug of hot chocolate while bundled up in your warmest clothes to name a few. However, fall has that certain air of mystery that no one can quite put their finger on. It brings a sense of excitement through its vibrant red, yellow and orange colours and calm through its soft browns and creamy whites and beiges. This makes it one of the most versatile seasons in terms of activity ideas and aesthetics whether indoors or outdoors, during warmer or colder temperatures. 

Here are some of my best tips on how to make the most of your fall season before the harsh Calgary winter begins to take over. 

Coffee and all treats

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of “fall” without “coffee”. Spend the gruelling walk to your early morning classes drinking your homemade coffee, or buy one from any of the campus coffee shops.

If you’re opting for the latter, be sure to check out some of the exclusive fall menus, including Starbucks’ famous limited edition pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin cold brew, as well as Good Earth’s three new apple butter-based drinks and pumpkin pie caffe latte. 

Need a snack to wash down with your drink of choice? No problem. Starbucks also offers its year-round pumpkin cream cheese muffin and pumpkin and pepita loaf, while Good Earth has its seasonal pumpkin spice muffin. 

Or if you’re feeling extra creative, put your baking skills to the test by trying out all your favourite fall recipes to go along with your coffee! 


What better way to spend the outdoor fall season than reading a good book under a fiery-coloured tree? Cozy up with a good murder mystery or a thrilling Stephen King novel to kickstart your Halloween season as you watch the multicoloured leaves swirl around you in the fall breeze. 

And if the weather doesn’t permit, just curl up on your couch with your favourite blanket and your novel in hand while sipping on a hot cup of coffee and surrounded by the smell of a cinnamon-scented candle. 

Gilmore Girls

A fall classic and my current hyper fixation, Gilmore Girls tells the story of a mother-daughter pair of best friends as they navigate friendships, relationships, school and family in a comedic and emotional coming-of-age manner. The seven-season show is famous for its small-town fall aesthetics and is also perfect to watch during the back-to-school season since the majority of the episodes take place during the September to November season. 

Outfits play a major role in this show as well, from title character Rory Gilmore’s iconic white sweater in the pilot episode to her college-girl style cable-knit sweaters, skirts, knee-high boots and long coats, just to name a few. So whether you need inspiration for fall activities and outfits, or just need to have something playing in the background for study motivation, Gilmore Girls has got something for everybody to enjoy. 

Fall playlist

One of my biggest motivators to get anything done in general is music. More specifically, customized playlists. 

In a time when Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” is already fast approaching, help yourself stay in the fall mood a bit longer by combining all your favourite fall tunes while studying on campus. From The Neighbourhood’s classic “Sweater Weather” to girl in red’s “we fell in love in october” to artists like The Cramps, Vampire Weekend and Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller”. 

Or maybe your ideal fall playlist is chock full of all-Halloween tunes, like Andrew Gold’s “Spooky Scary Skeletons”, Danny Elfman’s “This is Halloween” and Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers’ “ Monster Mash”, among many others. 

You might also choose to do fall (Taylor’s Version), with songs like “cardigan” and “august” from the 2020 folklore album, “All Too Well” and “Red” from Red (Taylor’s Version) and basically the entire evermore album. 

Now of course this list doesn’t nearly cover all the fall-related songs and artists out there. The beauty of a personalized playlist is that it reflects the individual’s personality, and what one person considers to be a ‘fall’ song varies greatly from one person to the other. So your playlist doesn’t have to “make sense”; it’s enough for it to just be reflective of what you consider to fit the fall mood. 

Decorating for Fall/Halloween

If you’re someone who needs to be surrounded by themed decorations to help get you into the fall spirit, then this idea is perfect for you. 

While the most popular idea for this is decorating the interior and exterior of your home with Halloween decorations, you don’t necessarily have to restrict yourself to just that. Go for simplicities like mini decor pumpkins, letter boards, strings of fake fall leaves and scented candles as little starter ideas. Some stores also offer fall — or Halloween-themed makeup and body products like hand soaps, creams, shampoos and conditioners to spruce up your bathrooms. 

And if you’re still not motivated by any of these options, the ever-famous Pinterest contains hundreds of thousands of fall decor ideas for you to choose from.

Since many Calgarians begrudgingly view fall in Calgary as just an anticipation of cold, bitter winds and a sign of early winter, it can be difficult at first to get into the fall spirit. By providing my tips on ways to live your best fall life before the winter blues, I hope that at least one of the suggestions I have made above might be able to tame your inner fall Scrooge just a little while longer. 

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