Autumn is in full splendor, with its striking colors. Many people are outdoors, enjoying the crisp, cool days. Whether you delight in gazing at fields of ripe grain, vibrant fall foliage, or drooping sunflower stalks, autumn’s gold is a feast for the eyes. The fall season is a good time to present some activities with a gold theme. The color gold is full of rich symbolism. Here are a few shining examples for your golden friends.

  • Celebrate the fall harvest with some golden decorations: yellow mums, wheat stalks, Indian corn, gourds and pumpkins.
  • Pass around fabric swatches in shades of yellow/gold and ask participants to suggest a name for each different shade (e.g., cornsilk, lemon, mustard, canary, goldenrod).
  • Listen to some radio comedy from the “Golden Age of Radio,” the 1930s and 1940s. Ask participants to name some of their favorite comedians on old-time radio – Jack Benny, Fred Allen, Jimmy Durante, Bob Hope, Red Skelton.
  • Enjoy some slapstick comedy by watching the silent film The Gold Rush, starring Charlie Chaplin. Ask: Did you ever try to “strike it rich”? Did you ever “strike gold”? Tell us about the experience.
  • Listen to Ginger Rogers sing “The Gold Diggers’ Song (We’re in the Money)” from the musical film Gold Diggers of 1933. Ask participants to recall other Depression-era songs, such as “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”
  • Explain the principle of the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Ask: How would you teach the concept to children?
  • Display some vintage gold jewelry, such as a brooch, ring, or locket. Ask: Did your family have any heirloom jewelry that was passed from generation to generation?
  • Define “golden.” Relate the meaning to the following terms: golden opportunity, golden egg, golden years, golden arm, golden anniversary, golden girl/boy.
  • Reminisce about the late 1930s fad on college campuses – swallowing live goldfish. Ask: What fads did you enjoy as a young adult? What do you remember about stuffing people in phone booths? About panty raids?
  • Display a bouquet of yellow/golden sunflowers, dahlias, mums, and gerbera daisies. Ask participants to describe how the sunny mix makes them feel – cheerful, warm, happy.
  • Sample some of autumn’s tasty produce, Yellow Delicious apples. Make a batch of cinnamon apple muffins with golden honey.
  • Listen to Neil Diamond sing “Heart of Gold.” Ask: Did you ever know or love a person who had a “heart of gold”? Describe his or her personality.
  • Read some autumn poetry and note any “golden” images. Suggestions: “The Huskers” by John Greenleaf Whittier, “Ode to Autumn” by John Keats, or poetry by Robert Frost.
  • Spray paint some pebbles metallic gold and display them in a small basket. Ask participants to discuss the meaning of the proverb “All that glitters is not gold.” Ask your group to share a real-life experience that illustrates the meaning of the proverb.
  • Name some gold medal awards and prizes, such as the Congressional Gold Medal, Olympic Gold Medal, and Nobel Prize medal. Ask: Have you ever won first place in a competition? What was the occasion or event? Did you ever receive a trophy or medal?


Munch on milk chocolate wrapped in gold foil – gold coins – as your group enjoys the following trivia quiz.

  1. Which state is nicknamed “The Golden State”? California
  2. Goldfinger is one of many novels written by Ian Fleming. Which famous character did Fleming create? (Hint: 007) James Bond
  3. Which wedding anniversary is celebrated with a gold theme? 50th
  4. Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty starred in which popular TV sitcom. The Golden Girls
  5. Yellow minerals often mistaken for real gold are referred to as what? Fool’s gold
  6. Finish the song title: “Silver Threads Among…” The Gold
  7. Pure gold is measured in how many karats? 24
  8. Most of the U.S. gold reserves are kept in which location? Fort Knox, Kentucky
  9. According to Irish legend, you can find a pot of gold at the end of what? Rainbow
  10. In which city can you find the Golden Gate Bridge? San Francisco

“AUTUMN IS GOLDEN” written by Sue Hansen. © 2008 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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