Despite the beginning of autumn being officially decided by the moment Starbucks releases pumpkin spice on its menu, fall has a lot to offer. While some look forward to Halloween and others enjoy fall sports, fall has something for everyone.

Here is a look here at some of the many possibilities for some happy autumn adventures, as compiled by the members of Unleashed:

Cougar football

It would be an understatement to say that I grew up with Washington State University football. Some of my earliest memories include singing the fight song, yelling at referees, and standing right along the edge of the field with my brother as we watched the players warm up.

My family has held season tickets for years, but Cougar football is something anybody can enjoy. The season normally runs from early September to the end of November, and the campus merely about a three-hour drive from the Yakima Valley.

The best thing about it all is the camaraderie. In the stadium, you’re surrounded by people who love the team and the school and the state just like you do. I feel that’s something you don’t see too much of anymore.

During the coming weeks before college football ends again, I’d suggest snagging some tickets so you can experience it yourself. There’s nothing better than victory in the Palouse!

— Indy Hilmes, Selah High School, 10th grade

Thompson’s Farm

Located at 9535 Old Naches Highway in Naches, Thompson's Farm is a local favorite. Whether it’s shopping for area produce, picking pumpkins, or watching pumpkins launch out of cannons, everyone can find something enjoyable during their visit.

Walking the pumpkin-lined path through the orchard, there are 360-degree views of Naches. After picking your pumpkin right off the vine, a Thompson’s Farm member will weigh it to check the price. Starting at 50 cents per pound, any color and size of pumpkin, gourd, or squash is easy on the pocketbook. Ordering a hot cider and cinnamon-covered pumpkin doughnuts is essential before leaving.

Thompson’s Farm  is open every Saturday and Sunday in October from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

— Abi Longbottom, Naches Valley High School, 11th grade


If you’re looking for a great place to take your family for some Halloween fun, West Valley Church of the Nazarene’s trunk-or-treat is perfect. Located in the church's parking lot on the corner of Nob Hill Blvd. and 72nd Ave., the trunk-or-treat is full of games, food and, of course, free candy. It all happens Saturday, Oct. 30, from noon to 2 p.m.

In the past, this event has served as a way to help bring the community together, attracting 1,000 to 2,000 people each year. Each car trunk is decorated, and many even have unique themes. Trunk-or-treat is a tradition you don’t want to miss out on!

— Ruby Hoeger, West Valley High School, 11th grade

Costume making

Looking for something to do in the week before Halloween? Make your own costume!

As someone who sees tons of trick-or-treaters every year, the costumes that always stand out are the uniquely homemade ones. If you’re limited on time, you could go check out a local thrift store and see what you can find. Or, if you’re willing to dedicate a bit more of your week, you could break out the duct tape and some cardboard to make an amazing costume that only you would think of.

Whether you’re a parent trying to find disguises for your kids, a teenager coordinating with friends, or anyone else planning on wearing a costume, try making your own this year and see where it takes you.

— Kate Bethel, Riverside Christian School, 12th grade

Pumpkin bread

With the leaves falling in gorgeous shades of red, orange, and yellow gold, this is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Going on the last hike, bike or horseback ride of the season almost completes the picture. What’s missing? Pumpkin bread, of course!

We’ve all had the classic pumpkin pie and the pumpkin spice lattes, but what about pumpkin bread? Just imagine biting into a delicious, moist, cake-like bread with a cream cheese swirl in the center, and your favorite nuts for even more rich flavor. One bite and it’s hard to resist another piece. Before you know it, it’s all gone!

As the weather gets colder, baking pumpkin bread with family would not only be the perfect activity, but also one with a truly tasty reward at the end.

— Maham Khan, West Valley High School, 9th grade

Pumpkin cheesecake

Are you a fan of tasty cheesecake? Or the mouthwatering smell of pumpkin pie? No-bake pumpkin cheesecakes are the perfect dessert to add to your Thanksgiving menu this year.

Here is a list of the ingredients that you will need to create this delicious snack: For the crust, you will need 12 crushed biscotti cookies and 2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter. Next for the filling, you will need an 8 oz. softened package of cream cheese, a ⅔ cup of Biscoff Spread, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and one 8 oz. tub of thawed whipped cream. That’s it!

To get started, stir together the biscotti crumbs with the melted butter. Once mixed together, grab a jar and press in the mixture to create the base layer. Next, grab a large bowl and a mixer to beat the cream cheese and Biscoff Spread on a medium speed until it is smooth or at your desired consistency. Add the vanilla extract to the mix and continue mixing. Evenly put the mixture on top of the base and set in the refrigerator for about two hours before serving.

If you would like to add a little extra sugar, I recommend putting whipped cream and pumpkin spice on top to give it some of that special fall flair. I hope you have fun creating this beautiful and delicious fall treat. Enjoy and don’t forget to share!

— Lexi Barbee, West Valley High School, 11th grade

High school football

You don’t need to be a sports fan to enjoy a Friday night football game. Besides cheering on a local high school team, you can enjoy chatting with friends, buying concessions from school clubs or committees, chanting along with the cheer team and enjoying the band's performance.

It gets chilly on those bleachers, so bring a warm coat and/or blanket and be ready to clap and cheer to keep your blood flowing!

If you’re a Big 9 Athletic Conference fan, you can find information on the schedules for Davis, Eastmont, Eisenhower, Moses Lake, Sunnyside, Wenatchee, and West Valley by going to

-- Anabelle Kollman, Eisenhower High School, 11th grade

Fall apples and pumpkin spice

Autumn ushers in cooler weather and the scent of harvest in the Yakima Valley. It brings not only coziness and joy, but treats. If you adore fall, you’ve probably been on the lookout for fall comfort foods to enjoy this season.

Starting with the icon of the Yakima Valley, we have apples. With so many varieties, from the venerable Granny Smith to the new-school Cosmic Crisp, apples are one ingredient that you can stir into any recipe. A personal favorite is my grandmother’s classic apple pie made with the flakiest crust and perfectly sweetened Granny Smith slices. For a healthier alternative, homemade applesauce with a hint of cinnamon makes for a delicious side.

In addition to our apple favorites, you probably couldn’t help but notice that coffee shops have reintroduced the now-traditional craze of the fall season: pumpkin spice. Shops like Starbucks have brought their pumpkin spice syrups and pastries back onto their menus. It seems there is pumpkin spice in everything these days. Take a walk down your local grocery store aisle and you will find pumpkin spice cereal, granola bars, and even protein powder. 

So it all comes down to one question: Are you a part of this newest fall obsession, or are you more of a traditional apple pie fan?

— Macie Ladd, Selah High School, 10th grade 

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