The leaves are starting to turn, pumpkins are popping up around the neighborhood, and the aroma of apple cider fills the air- it’s time for fall! So as we gear up for this beautiful season, here’s a fall bucket list filled with fun fall activities for families that don’t cost too much money!
Every day, we are bombarded with tasks to do. We’re expected to spend more time getting to work, doing chores, and paying bills than spending time with family. But, when fall arrives, there’s nothing like the crisp weather and changing leaves that make us want to reconnect with our loved ones. There may not be much of a budget for entertainment, but here are some of the best things you can do with your family in the fall.
Here are some of the fun fall activities that every family should have on their fall bucket list.
Fall Bucket List: Fun Fall Activities
Go on a Nature Walk
Nature is always beautiful, but fall is an especially gorgeous time- with all the leaves changing colors or lush greenery (depending on your location). Autumn also usually has great weather for extended walks- not too hot or too cold. So grab a light jacket and explore your neighborhood with a nature walk.
Make yourself a yummy, hot cup of tea and curl yourself up on a couch reading a book or watching a movie. Is there anything else that conjures up such a cozy, autumn feeling?
Read a Book
I love books, so you had to know it would end up on this list! So grab a hot drink and cuddle up on the couch with a nice novel or a kid’s book to read to your children. Talk about a perfect afternoon.
Make a Nature Craft
It’s the season to celebrate nature. Use the treasures you collected on your nature walk and create a beautiful masterpiece or evoke fall colors by doing a DIY paint night or another seasonal craft.
Pumpkin is not just for pie! So grab a pumpkin and peruse any of these pumpkin recipes and make something perfectly fitting for the fall season.
Play with Leaves
Is your lawn perfectly raked? Too bad! Let your inner child out and toss those leaves all around. Jump in huge piles and get into a leaf fight! Your kids will have a blast, and you will have tons of fun. And the clean-up afterward? We all need some extra exercise!
Take a Picture
This may be cliche, but who cares? Take a beautiful photo (by yourself, with family, or with friends) wearing fall sweaters with the gorgeous fall foliage as a background. Then you can share it on Instagram if you are so inclined or print it out and display it in your home.
Go to a Harvest Festival
Many towns host a harvest festival in the fall, so be sure to check it out if one is near you (although it may be worth it to travel a bit just to join one). Harvest festivals are traditionally a time for a community to get together and celebrate. Last weekend our town had a free art fair that our whole family loved! Kids activities, live music, and playing with friends from school. It was a really fun no-spend activity.
Do you have pinecones on the ground in your area? Go hunting for the ones that fall perfectly intact! You can collect them and put them back when you are done or bring them home and use them as decor to make your home get into the fall spirit! For an extra fun fall activity, spray paint them silver and gold and use them as a centerpiece on your table.
Collect and Paint Rocks
Have you ever painted a rock? If not, add this to your fall bucket list! Look for rocks that are smooth and large, so you can paint nice designs- what a great keepsake to help you remember the fun you had completing your fall bucket list.
Make Homemade Cider
I love making homemade cider- just for the delicious smell that lingers the whole day. There are so many easy recipes you can follow, and it’s a great way to use up any extra apples that are not in perfect condition (or any apples you pull out of your kids’ lunchboxes).
Make and Eat Candy Apples
Yes, you can buy candy apples, but where is the fun in that? Making candy apples is actually simpler than it seems, and you can add whatever toppings you want! But, of course, don’t forget to brush your teeth afterward!
Go on a Hike
Fall is the absolutely perfect time to go on a hike! Put on some sneakers, take a lot of water (even though the weather is mild, you still need to drink plenty), and go on a hike with the whole family. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture some of those great fall shots.
Pick Pumpkins or Apples (or anything you want)
Pumpkin patches and apple orchards are open in the fall and are great fun activities for the whole family. Most places charge by weight, so don’t go overboard picking too many! Instead, take the apples home and make apple cider or…
Make Apple Pie
Apple pie is, and always will be, the perfect fall dessert. Sorry pumpkin pie! Grab all those apples that you picked and make a delicious home0baked apple pie! Didn’t go apple picking? Apples are usually cheap in most grocery stores this time of year.
Wear Fall Sweaters
After a long, hot summer, I love taking out my sweaters and feeling all cozy and chic. Dress the whole family in your fall sweaters and look like a catalog ad. Don’t forget to take a picture.
Make a Fire
Fire’s are so cozy this time of year. Make a bonfire outdoors or light up your fireplace (if you have one) and enjoy the warmth! Don’t forget to follow fire safety rules and never leave kids unattended near a fire.
Make a Gratitude List
Although every day should be about giving thanks, channel the spirit and make a list of things you are grateful for. If you have kids, this can be a great family activity, with each person sharing what they are grateful and thankful for. Nothing is too small. Keeping that list handy will help you cultivate more gratitude and happiness in your life,
Go in a Corn Maze
Ok, I will admit that I don’t have the best memories of corn mazes, after getting stuck in one for way too long as a child, but there is something so perfectly fall about doing a corn maze (although definitely take a map and maybe don’t pick a huge, endless one?).
In the United States, Fall means one thing: Football! Even if you are not a football fan (and I am definitely not), you can still have fun throwing the ball around. So grab the whole family and head outdoors for a fun game of touch football- rules optional.
Go to a Farmer’s Market
Head to your local farmer’s market and check out all the amazing fall offerings on sale. Fall is a particularly great time for Farmer’s Markets as many delicious fruits and vegetables are in season.
I don’t care if you do Thanksgiving or not; you still need a Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings! Have your turkey dinner on the day or on any old weekend! I like to make a Turkey Shabbat Dinner. Don’t forget the sides!
Host a Large Family or Friends Meal
As cold weather slowly sets in, it’s a time to slowly gather indoors with your loved ones. Grab the family or some friends and host a dinner with all the trimmings. This doesn’t;t need to be your thanksgiving dinner, but it could be. Grab those pinecones you collected and use them as a rustic centerpiece.
Wear Cozy Pajamas
Flannel, cozy pajamas are the best! Don’t tell the kids, but try to turn on the heat until you absolutely have to. Until then, have everyone cuddle up in their yummiest pajamas as the nights get colder and colder.
Eat something with Caramel
Forget pumpkin; caramel is the flavor of fall. So eat something caramel flavored and cross something else off your fall bucket list. I am particularly partial to caramel-filled Hershey Kisses, but that is just me.
Eat Fall-Flavored Candy or Chocolate
Limited edition candies and chocolate are coming out! Whatever your jam is (candy corn lovers unite!), grab a fall-themed candy or chocolate and enjoy. This is one activity that your kids will absolutely jump on board with!
Drink Hot Cocoa
Yum! Is anything more delicious than hot cocoa? Add some mini marshmallows or whipped cream for some extra yumminess.
Visit or Make a Haunted House
There is nothing like the feeling of being scared, and a haunted house is the perfect place to get that feeling. The ghosts and ghouls are all around you, and it is so easy to get lost in the thrills and chills. If there is not a haunted house near you, then make one at home! Check this out to get started: 23 Insanely Scary DIY Haunted House Ideas
Fall is a great time to give back to the community. Find out which organizations need volunteers for Thanksgiving or as they prepare for the winter and help someone.
Dance in the Rain
Autumn means rain, but don’t let that get you down. So grab your boots and go dance in the rain! It’s a great reminder that the best things in life are absolutely free, and all you need to do is stop and enjoy the roses or the raindrops.
For some reason, fall always puts me in the mood for more down-to-earth, homey activities. Baking bread is the perfect activity to make you feel productive and is very homey! The smell alone will put you in a good mood. Don’t get all fancy and try to make sourdough on your first try- make a basic bread loaf and enjoy!
Eat Something with Pumpkin Spice
Listen, pumpkin spice lattes get made fun of a lot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it! Whether it’s a latte or a doughnut, more and more stores are coming out with pumpkin spice treats- so grab the one you think you will like and let me know how it tasted!
Fall is about leaves. Find some beautifully colored leaves and bring them home to bring a taste of the beautiful fall inside your home.
Listen or Watch Something Spooky
While you are all cuddles up in your warm cozy house, drinking your warm, hot drink, then why don’t you… scare yourself? People are weird like that. Watch a scary movie or listen to a true-crime podcast to get you into that spooky mood. Don’t forget to lock your doors!
Nothing says fall like a warm cup of soup! It’s a perfect lunch, dinner, or snack! Make a huge pot (freeze some for later) and pour it into cups for everyone to enjoy. Then, you can take them outside and watch your fire bruising or have it with the bread that you baked.
Fun Fall Activities for Families
Fall is here, and the leaves are starting to change colors. This can be a very exciting time for children of all ages, as there are so many fun things that they can do during this season. So grab this fall bucket list and plan a full month of awesome fall activities for your kids and you!
This article originally appeared on Your Money Geek.
Robyn is a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. She has her MBA and has been studying Personal Finance on her own for as long as she can remember. She has always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start her blog after a period of extended unemployment. She says that experience really changed the way she viewed her relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education. Read more at A Dime Saved.