I live by Anne Shirley’s oft-quoted words: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Having grown up in New England, there’s nowhere better to solidify the truth behind this gratitude. The air turns crisp and the natural world is alight with all manner of autumnal colors. You spend Saturdays hiking and Sundays baking your comfort food faves (all the while, cozying up with the best books of the season). It’s why October has long been my favorite month, but having moved on to warmer horizons and the always-looming reality that is climate change, a new month has taken its place at the top. And boy, do I have a long list of things to do in November to help you fall hard for it, too.
The other day, I was joking with a friend that I have no aesthetic until fall. Though it might sound like hyperbole, there’s a truth to the claim. Summer sees me doing away with any attempt at sartorial success and embracing the beauty that is existing in your bathing suit at all times.
But thankfully, when fall (specifically November) hits, I can finally crawl under the coziest blankets and dive deep into the hobbies I could previously only do with the AC cranked up. In short, November—with its reintroduction of sweaters, slippers, soups, and stews—is perfect. And with that perfection comes a long list of things to do in November before my favorite month is up.
40 Things to Do in November
It’s for all the reasons above (and my countdown until Thanksgiving) that I’m reminded of the many things there are to be thankful for this month. November is the ideal time to crack open a new cookbook (or two), embrace your crafty side, and prep with joy for the wonderful, winter wonderland weeks to come.
But that’s enough context—let’s dive into your ultimate list of things to do in November before the holiday busyness sweeps us away.
1. Pop something cozy in the oven. November marks the start of many baking marathons to come. These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a seasonal fave and this pumpkin loaf—complete with lighter-than-air cream cheese frosting—is a dream dessert. And if your hankering for pumpkin has come and gone, may we suggest getting a head start on your holiday cookie production.
2. Make a monthly Pinterest board. Think of it like a digital vision board. I love getting cozy on the couch, playing a comfort show (Gilmore Girls, Suits, etc.) and enjoying a cup of tea while I browse my favorite site for inspiration. Outfits, things to cook, décor ideas, and more. You’ll end your browsing feeling so energized to take on the month.
3. Prep for daylight savings. If you live in a state that observes daylight savings, be sure to mark this Sunday, November 5, on your calendar. The darker days are a reminder to embrace the coziness of staying indoors. If you work from home or in a flexible office environment, try to take regular walks throughout the day to get some fresh air. And be sure to check out our tips for treating seasonal affective disorder.
4. Learn a new craft. Try knitting, sewing, or sign up for a ceramics class! (Or join me in learning to make the prettiest pie.) Bonus: While the initial results might not be worthy of the ‘gram, they do make the best, most heartfelt gifts.
5. Brush up on your conversation skills. If you’re attending a big gathering for Thanksgiving, this couldn’t be more timely. Head here for guidance on making meaningful small talk.
6. DIY your holiday decor. These Scandinavian Dala horse gift toppers are a minimalist’s dream. I’ve gifted many of these clay mushroom ornaments and recipients are always impressed. Oh, and you’ll never guess what these sweet star ornaments are made of (hint: hold onto your recycling).
7. Shop Target’s holiday collection. As much as I love getting crafty, I also get giddy when I see all the holiday decor turn up at my local Target. You’ll catch these mini trees on my mantle among a village of these ceramic houses. And how sweet is this wreath?
8. Have your coziest weekend. This quiz from Food52 takes you through all the steps of having a cozy weekend. Whether you’re spending the weekend indoors with your family, are planning an adventure with your partner, or you want to chill and relax with the best company (yourself), this is the ultimate guide.
9. Learn to wrap the perfect present. Once you start rounding up your holiday gifts, peep our guide with tips for wrapping the perfect present. And if you’re looking for more inspiration, we have you covered.
11. Brush up on your farmhouse skills. Preserving food, creating natural cleaning supplies, and making your own dried herbs—there’s plenty of creativity to be found in a DIY way of life. For credible info all in one place, Julia Watkins’ book Simply Living Well and blog are great resources. Or, if you prefer a class, be sure to check out the School of Traditional Skills.
12. Plan your future country house. Is there anything more inspiring than (mentally, wistfully) designing your ultimate dream home? Head here to find all our favorites and be sure to follow along as Camille shares her journey in transforming a 1950s beach bungalow in Malibu into a dream retreat.
13. Get to know the biggest design trends. From Japandi to Barbiecore, we’ve been tracking the biggest, most influential design aesthetics of the year. Whether you’re looking for guidance in designing a complete renovation or simply want to feel inspired for small changes down the road, consider brushing up on these trends (and looking ahead to what the winter has in store).
14. Prep for holiday guests. Because we knew this moment would come, we did the work in advance of asking one of our favorite designers how to create a comfy and cozy guest room. With tips from what essentials to stock to ideas for designing a soothing environment, get ready for a stress-free visit.
15. Reconnect with your gratitude practice. Don’t just give thanks on Thanksgiving this year. Develop the art of practicing gratitude daily this month with these simple habits that can have a big impact in your life.
17. Make pasta from scratch. It’s way easier than it seems. Camille’s sweet potato gnocchi is a great place to start.
18. Prepare the perfect Thanksgiving table. Whatever your vibe, we have all the holiday table inspiration you need. Your guests will have plenty more to gush about than just the pies this year.
19. Host a football Sunday. I’ll admit, I don’t know all the rules, but there’s something so cozy about gathering with friends to watch the Sunday games. Make a big pot of chili and ask your guests to bring snacks. It’s such a low-key way to get together.
20. Help your kids practice a morning routine. Are the AM hours hectic in your house, too? We get it. Learn to curate more mindful mornings with your kiddos. Trust us, they’ll love these ideas.
21. Create a cycle syncing planner. IYKYK—our menstrual cycles shift how we feel all throughout the month. Pair your energy levels with the appropriate activities and supportive meals to help you feel your best. Use this cycle syncing planner to start your journey.
22. Host a girls’ night. If you haven’t heard, they’re back—and we have all the girls’ night ideas you need to ensure your evening doesn’t just end up another wine night.
23. Become a morning workout person. It can help reset your circadian rhythm and boost your energy all throughout the work day. Get started with our favorite YouTube workouts tailor-made for AM movement.
24. Experiment with our new favorite squash. You’ve probably seen honeynut squash turn up at your local grocery stores and farmer’s markets. They’re not just cute—they’re absolutely delish. Roast ’em with hot honey, pecans, and rosemary for your go-to November side dish.
25. Get Shira Gill’s new book. Organized Living, written by our favorite professional organizer, is the guide you need to transforming your home. (Without having to do a full-on Marie Kondo edit.) Get more of Shira’s tips and insights here.
26. Get a head start on flu season. Immune-boosting soups for the win! 15 recipes that are soothing and oh-so-cozy. Is there anything better?
27. Visit Vermont. Because is there anywhere more beautiful to be in November? We’re booking this chalet, stat.
28. Order your holiday cards. It’s never too early to get these started. By prioritizing them earlier in the month, you can ensure they’re still a joy to write and send out.
29. Curate the perfect charcuterie board. They’re the easiest way to feed (and wow) a crowd. Try our favorite fall charcuterie board and invite everyone over.
30. Make a simmer pot. Cozier than a candle and so simple to make. We love the combo of sliced apples, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and a little maple syrup to sweeten the deal.
31. Drink coffee outside in a cozy blanket. I love feeling the fresh November chill while my mug keeps me warm. It’s the perfect way to get a little sunlight first thing. Bring your book with you for even comfier vibes.
32. Watch Gilmore Girls all the way through. It’s now or never, folks!
33. Host Friendsgiving. Keep the vibes casual and chill. Do it potluck-style and invite everyone to bring their favorite dish for the holiday. It’s so fun to learn about everyone’s unique traditions.
34. Sign up for a Turkey Trot. If you’re a runner, more power to you. But most races also include a walking option, which I’ll definitely be doing.
35. Write gratitude cards. Share them with all the people in your life who make your days a little lighter, easier, and brighter. Just writing them will make you feel warm and cozy inside.
36. Shop locally. Not just on Small Business Saturday, but as you start going through your holiday list, make an effort all throughout the month to purchase from local stores.
38. Collect all the new holiday magazines. Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple—the list goes on. I love cozying up on the couch ready to plow through a stack brimming with inspiration.
40. Watch a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Nothing beats a classic, right?
This post was originally published on November 3, 2019, and has since been updated.