The Autumnal Equinox Is This Afternoon. Fall Is Here

(Assuming you’re in the northern hemisphere. Otherwise — Happy Spring!)

With the arrival of fall comes the changing leaves in the Northern Hemisphere, on display in this 2011 photo taken in Westonbirt, England. Dan Istitene/Getty Images hide caption

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Dan Istitene/Getty Images

With the arrival of fall comes the changing leaves in the Northern Hemisphere, on display in this 2011 photo taken in Westonbirt, England.

Dan Istitene/Getty Images

According to the National Weather Service, at 3:20 p.m. EDT today, the Autumnal Equinox (the moment when the length of daylight and darkness are almost perfectly equal) occurs.

And with it? The official* start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere.

*If you are a human that follows the Starbucks calendar, PSL (and thus fall) season started in August.

In celebration of this season ahead, we’ve gathered some resources for a safe and enjoyable autumn.

Making the most of the changing weather

Colder temps in much of the U.S. means outdoor socializing gets a bit more challenging. But it also means more time for cozying up and binge watching all the new shows and movies.

Update your “To Watch” list with this guide (which you can filter by streaming service) from the Pop Culture Happy Hour crew.

Plus, brush up on staying warm while socializing outside with Life Kit.

As inspiration for all trees preparing their autumnal hues, here’s a beautiful red oak photographed in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district on October 28, 2020. DAVID GANNON/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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DAVID GANNON/AFP via Getty Images

As inspiration for all trees preparing their autumnal hues, here’s a beautiful red oak photographed in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district on October 28, 2020.

DAVID GANNON/AFP via Getty Images

Season-specific adventures

Speaking of seasonal changes — if you’re planning an adventure to enjoy the peak fall foliage in your region —check out this great map Smithsonian Magazine shared with county-by-county updates of when to expect the most beautiful colors in your area.

Before you go: Here’s a refresher on why leaves change colors at all from Short Wave.

Apples and their many uses are often associated with the fall. An apple tree orchard in Poland, taken in 2014. JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Apples and their many uses are often associated with the fall. An apple tree orchard in Poland, taken in 2014.

JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

And we cannot forget the food of fall. If you’re looking to enjoy the best apple cider doughnuts near you, consult Alex Schwartz’ map! He’s on a “life-long mission to try every cider donut” and shares reviews on Instagram at @ciderdonuteur.

If you’re new to cider doughnuts, check out their origin story, here.

And if you prefer your cider in liquid form, it’s worth checking out this story from the archives on its resurgence as an “adult” beverage.

This story was originally published on the Morning Edition live blog.

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