I hope these fun activities inspire you to create your own fall fun this year!
Cooler temperatures can only mean one thing – more time outside! I love the summer, but the brutal heat can stress me out in the same way it stresses my animals out. So as the chill in the air swims through the breeze and gently carries away the leaves from trees slowly going to sleep, I can’t help but smile and look for a few more ways to snag the last of the sunshine before winter truly settles in.
If you’re looking for fun fall activities too, then you’ve come to the right place! Here are my 30 free or cheap fall, family activities!
What do you do in the fall for kids?
From fall festivals to fall crafts, there are so many things you can do in the fall for kiddos.
I’ve broken this list up into season-specific activities and indoor activities. Some are free, some have an expense. All are fun!
1. Walk through a corn maze
Our area corn maze is a bit of an attraction. For a day pass, you have access to things like bounce houses, dried corn kernel pits, food trucks, a corn maze, and more. So whether your corn maze is complex like ours or simple, it’s sure to be a day filled with fun!
Keep an eye on your corn maze around October, too. There are plenty that doubles as a haunted house of sorts. Fun for Mom and Dad as a spooky date night!
2. Go to an apple orchard or go apple picking
The access we have to area farmers is incredible! Don’t let fall fool you into thinking your access has come to an end!
Apple orchards are a great way to get out and enjoy what great, cool weather is left for the year. Research your area and see what kinds of farms you have local to you. If your orchard is a bit of a drive, make it a family day! You can bring a picnic and see how the scenery is changing colors to prepare you for fall (which is another fall bucket list item on this list!)
While you’re picking your apples, be sure to ask about all the ways you can use your apples. Cider, applesauce, pie, and cobbler fillings. The endless uses prove what a great resource this is to stock up on!
3. Listen to live music
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love fall because it’s one of the best seasons to spend some time outside! The chill in the air isn’t anything a sweater can’t fix.
While you’re enjoying the last good weather of the year, look around your area and see if any concerts are going on! My city doesn’t tend to host any, but cities just 10 minutes away from us do. While you’re there, touch base with the musical acts and see where they will be playing next!
4. Go on a hay ride
Is it truly fall if there isn’t a hayride?
I love hayrides because they usually stay off main roads, they’re kid-friendly, and inexpensive! If there is a fall festival in your area, be sure to check out a hayride!
5. Attend fall festivals
Growing up, the fall festivals we always had were at school. It was a fun time to do things like cake walks, have a costume contest, go bobbing for apples, and just enjoy each other’s company.
Today, area churches and businesses will have fall festivals! Not all of them have a costume element to them, either. So look around and search for things like chili cook-offs, festivals, or gatherings. You’ll be surprised at what you may come up with!
6. Tour local farms
If you haven’t already toured your area farms and met with your local farmers, the end of the growing season is a great time to do so! We are huge proponents of knowing where your food comes from, but also understanding the work that goes into growing your food!
Your local farm is also a great way to get connected with things like hayrides, petting zoos, and live music. Research to see if any farms in your area are hosting fall festivals. Support local!
7. Go to a petting zoo
Fall is a great time to go to a petting zoo because the colder temperatures make it more comfortable for the animals! Not to mention, more comfortable for you and your kiddos.
Fall is also a welcome break from the summer, which is riddled with heat, pests, and show seasons if you’re involved in something like FFA. Not to mention, some petting zoos operate well into winter! Our area petting zoos host seasonal gatherings themed around things like sunflowers and pumpkins. So if you’re looking for a creative homeschool activity or fun outing, be sure to search for things like that, too.
8. Go to a local park
A great, free way to take advantage of what warm days we have left! If you’re looking for a family picnic or a way to stretch those mornings to make it to nap time, I encourage you to head over to your local park.
Our area is rife with them. What’s cooler? Hyperlocal Instagram accounts and news sites have been writing reviews about them! Check out your area by searching hashtags like #(myarea)parks #(myarea)motherhood and see what comes up!
9. Volunteer at a food bank
Thanksgiving is an incredible reminder for us to slow down and appreciate what we have. What a sweet reminder after the growing season!
If you’re able, consider giving your time to those less fortunate than you are this season. In our area, there are several opportunities to serve. If you don’t have a dedicated food bank, look for an organization that works with the homeless and less fortunate, or even a church. Any of those organizations should be able to point you in the right direction.
10. Go pumpkin picking
You know you have a good pumpkin when it just sounds right. Or so I thought as a child.
There was nothing like traipsing through a field to find that one pumpkin that sounded like the watermelons I had so dutifully chosen just a few months before. Hollow, but with a thick stem. Then I tried to roll the pumpkin to the checkout stand because I had to choose the biggest one! Oh, the memories!
These days, pumpkin patches also come alongside some sort of attraction, whether it be a photo booth or a food truck. You’ll be spending a few dollars on some pumpkins, but the memories will be priceless.
11. Host a bonfire
If you can’t make it to a hayride or fall festival this year, create the magic in your backyard! Build a smores tray and a small fire. Grab a blanket for chilly nights and enjoy the company of your friends and family!
12. Attend a football game
Do you live near your high school? Go back for a game! This could also be on the pricey side of things, but dancing with the band and meeting the mascot will give your children something fun to talk about this winter.
13. Go on a nature hike
Nature hikes are similar to nature walks, but I encourage you to pack a lunch. You can also turn this into a great learning opportunity about things like foraging, first aid, hibernation, and the seasons in general.
14. Jump into a pile of leaves
15. Go on a car ride and admire the changing leaves
There is a particular part of our highway that is breathtaking when the seasons change. As you live city life and venture into the more rural parts of this community, the views are incredible!
Do you have a secret stretch of road that always takes your breath away? Be sure to visit them now that the sunset is sweeping through the trees! Don’t miss it – you don’t have long before winter hits.
16. Recycle Halloween costumes
My daughter has been into playing dress-up recently. And I can’t think of a better way to upcycle Halloween costumes!
You can also drop into your area donation centers and see if you can get costumes for cheaper than department store prices. Fill up a tote or a Montessori-style closet and you’ve just created a great indoor activity for when the days get colder!
Bonus tip – scout outfits that are specific to a story you love to tell. Reenact that story this winter as a family! Another family fun activity!
17. Visit area amusement parks
I love going to parks when the weather cools down. Amusement parks are a great way to get out and about before winter truly settles in! Spend those last beautiful days outdoors enjoying park rides before it’s too cold to spend more than an hour or two outside.
Fall and winter are also great times of the year to look into things like seasonal passes. If you have older kids who can manage taking a trip multiple times a year, this may make a great Christmas present! Snatch up your passes while you’re there at the end of the season. You may also hit a seasonal sale!
18. Conduct a neighborhood nature scavenger hunt
When I was young, we knew where all the blackberry patches were. There’s nothing like snacking on sun-kissed blackberries while you’re out for a ride on your bike! Autumn in your neighborhood may be no different!
Is there a neighbor who likes to grow autumnal flowers? Is there a tree that produces a beautiful leaf? Add these to your neighborhood scavenger hunt!
19. Go to area splash pads one last time
Splash pads may also be central to something, like off of a downtown area or in the middle of a park. Do some research and you may have also found a lunch spot, too!
Frequently asked questions
What do you do in the fall for kids?
My family and I love to cook, bake, and admire the scenery. But per this list, there are so many outdoor and indoor activities you can do, too!
How can we celebrate fall at home?
You can celebrate fall at home by decorating your home with simple, fall pieces. You can also enjoy the food that fall has to offer. Fiber-rich produce and bold spices are cozy and perfect for fall.
What are fall traditions?
Fall traditions are anything you and your family want them to be. Typically speaking, the end of the growing season is celebrated, as well as holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.
20. Go roller skating
We have a few skate rinks in our area. The most popular charges are $7 for admission and $3 for roller skate rentals. Say that you ate at home before you went – that’s only $10 per person for hours of fun!
21. Head to the bowling alley
Along with skating, bowling is a great way to get the whole family involved. In my area, bowling during the week before 5 p.m. is just $5 per person, per game! That’s half the cost of roller skating! If you’re looking for ways to keep kiddos occupied and get some family time in, bowling is a great option.
22. Visit an aquarium
I’m thrilled that an aquarium opened in my area summer of 2023! However, a day pass for my children is $14.00. A jump from the $10 we were able to get while roller skating or bowling!
23. Visit area museums
As a homeschool family, I am always looking for ways to turn a family outing into a bit of an educational opportunity. Museums are a great way to do that! We have Native American and art museums in our area. Not to mention the military parks close to us! Lots of educational opportunities while also getting out to avoid cabin fever.
Indoor fall activities
24. Host an at-home movie night
The only subscription we take advantage of is Amazon Prime. As a toddler mom, the last thing I want to do is drag my kiddos through the store on a Friday night when I’m just trying to find a great, family-friendly movie to enjoy. With Amazon Prime, I’m able to search by rating, rent, or purchase all from the comfort of my own home. If you’re looking for a way to beat the winter blues, consider trying Amazon Prime free for 30 days by clicking this link.
25. Play board games
26. Bake fall-themed goodies and pass them out to friends and family
Who says Christmas has to steal the show? Why not have fall-themed goodies, too? If you’d like to avoid sweets, consider making a craft with your finds from your nature hike. Or, create a stovetop potpourri or candle gift set for cozy evenings.
27. Paint pumpkins
Thanks to Pinterest there are so many incredible things you can create! Painted pumpkins included. If you’re looking for a fun way to include your children in sprucing up your front porch, I recommend painting pumpkins. If you use food coloring pens or edible shimmer dust you could even feed the pumpkins to your chickens!
There are also several tutorials for creating flower arrangements using pumpkins as your base. How creative!
Bonus tip – other fall-themed crafts include building scarecrows, painting with apples, any crafts using leaves, making turkeys by painting your hands, or simple, paper wreaths.
28. Make a fall wreath
If you’ve been here for any amount of time, you know how much we love to upcycle. There’s something so special about reusing something or simply giving it new life. You can do that with your summer wreath! If you have dried out things like leaves and sticks from your nature walk, consider adding those to your wreath.
You can also add pops of color. I love fall, but adding a complimentary dark teal or cream is a great way to customize your wreath.
29. Spend more time in the kitchen testing out fall recipes
Have you tried my pumpkin butternut squash pasta sauce? I love to pair it with sausage and homemade bread.
You can also try your hand at making bone broth, creating a soup, or cooking more pumpkin-centric dishes.
30. Finish your yearly reading list
I love to read. Every year I set a goal for myself to read a certain number of books. Since having children. those goals have been derailed a time or two. But the quiet time that fall brings is a great way to get caught up. And since you’re inside anyway, don’t scroll your phone! Get your hands on a book and see how many you can complete before the year is over.
What do you like to do for fall?
This list is by no means extensive. I didn’t even thoughon the fun, family traditions we have saved for this time of year! If you and your family have any fall traditions, comment on this blog post and let me know what they are!