Fall can be a rejuvenating time of year. In many parts of the country, the air is crisp and leaves are beginning to change to their bright, colorful hues. The options for fun and budget-friendly autumn activities, including local outdoor concerts and flea markets, are also abundant, so be sure to check your community calendar. And remember that you can make your adventure even more cost-effective by searching for deals on sites such as Groupon.
Go pumpkin picking or take a hayride
As part of the pumpkin-picking experience, many farms offer hayrides that take you to their respective pumpkin patches. Many also have their own corn maze, which makes for great fun during your visit.
Visit an apple orchard
Many apple farms provide not only apple picking but also a variety of other activities, such as live music and organized games for the little ones. Some also have markets that sell jams, cider donuts, and other homemade baked goods. To finish off your day of fun, set aside some apples from your adventure and make caramel apples when you get home.
Take a nature hike or bike ride
Autumn weather is ideal for outdoor activities, so connect with nature by hiking or biking through a park—ideally where foliage is in full bloom. Pack a picnic lunch, and just enjoy the beauty around you; perhaps snap a few pictures of your family surrounded by nature and frame them as gifts for the holidays.
Pack up your camping gear for an excursion to a local campground. Depending on your location, you could rent a kayak or canoe (or bring your own if you have one) or take a walk to explore the trails. Finish off your night by playing games and making s’mores around the campfire. Don’t forget to bring warm clothing for the evening hours!
Enjoy a night of stargazing
Bundle up with your favorite sweater and blanket, head to an open space to take in the beauty of the stars, and enjoy the peace and quiet that surrounds you.
Take a scenic drive
Hop in the car and take a ride to behold the wonders of the fall foliage. Turn on your favorite playlist, put the windows down to breathe in the fresh, cool air, and enjoy the view.
Play outdoor games
Gather your friends or neighbors for a variety of games that everyone can enjoy: a relay race, cornhole, Frisbee, a scavenger hunt, or flag football. You could even organize a pumpkin-carving contest. Top off the night with an outing to your local ice-cream store.
Coordinate a family game night
A game night is an excellent way to spend quality time with your family. Cozy up with cups of hot cider or hot chocolate, play card games, board games, or charades, or extend the definition of “game” by starting a puzzle that everyone can then work on each day thereafter.
Host a game-day party
Get into the spirit of the football season by hosting friends or family. Let everyone bring their food of choice, put out chips and dip, fire up the grill, and enjoy the game from the comfort of your own home.
DIY house decorating
There are many simple, fun, and inexpensive DIY decorating options for the fall season. Adorn your front porch with tall cornstalks and a selection of colorful gourds, make a fall wreath constructed with pine cones and ribbons, or purchase a variety of colorful autumnal plants and flowers to disperse throughout your home. (See the sunflower article in this issue for some seasonal suggestions.)
Take a walk on the beach
If you live near a beach, make a day of it. Pack a lunch, a Frisbee, or your favorite book to enjoy. If there’s a nice breeze, bring a kite to fly along the shoreline.
Visit an animal farm or zoo
An excursion to see animals is always fun for kids and can be an inexpensive way to spend the day with your family. Be sure to invite Grandma and Grandpa too!
Take treats to your local fire or police department
Make some pumpkin muffins or candy apples, and deliver them to your local police officers and firefighters to thank them for their service.
Donate your time
If you’re looking for ways to give back to your community, volunteer at an animal shelter, a local food bank, or any other local charity. It’s a meaningful way to spend a fall afternoon.
Go on a leaf hunt
Keep little ones entertained on a fall day by helping them find interesting leaf shapes and colors. Later, turn the experience into a craft project by helping them trace the leaves onto paper and color them in.
Fall brings opportunities for fun that everyone can enjoy. Put on your favorite sweater, seek out the activities that appeal to you, and enjoy the season!