The fall season can often be a busy time of year. School is in session, sports are in full swing, and the day-to-day activities of life often leave little time for family bonding. Additionally, some fall activities are cost prohibitive, especially if multiple people want to participate. This is our list of the least expensive fall activities for families.
Budget-friendly Fall Activities Families
Looking to connect with your family this fall, but need some inexpensive ways to do it? These are just a few ideas for budget-friendly fall activities for families.
1. Become a Leaf Collector
Turn a play activity into a learning experience by encouraging leaf collecting. There are so many things families can do with leaves. Use crayons or pencils to make a rubbing of different types of leaves.
Glue leaves onto handmade greeting cards. Press them into books to display or use as a bookmark. The possibilities are endless.
2. Take a Nature Hike
Get outside while the weather is comfortable and explore. Make up a game to play while you hike or take a field guide along to help you identify plants and animals you may come across.
3. Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Depending on the type of farm you visit, there may be an entrance fee or a “pay-per-activity” fee. Either way, enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of a real, working farm is just one of many special fall activities for families.
Hold a child’s attention by making the experience a scavenger hunt. Encourage kids to look for fall icons like scarecrows, corn stalks, a jack-o-lantern, or a hay bale.
4. Give Apple Picking a Try
If pumpkins aren’t your thing, give apple picking a try. Many commercial orchards will often let you pick your own in season. This is an opportunity to share with children where food in grocery stores comes from. It can be a fun and educational fall activity for the whole family.
5. Escape From a Corn Maze
While you’re at a farm for apple or pumpkin picking, why not try their corn maze? Mazes are just one of the iconic fall activities for families that everyone can enjoy. If you’ve got older kids, look for a corn maze that turns spooky at night for some extra frightful fun.
6. Go on a Hayride
Many of these activities can all be accomplished in one spot, including participating in a hayride. Often hayrides are included in the fee for a visit to the pumpkin patch, so it is an easy way to check two activities off your list. Again, if you have older kids, look for local farms with “haunted hayrides” that might raise their interest level more than a traditional hayride.
7. Build a Bonfire
This activity may require visiting your local state park or somewhere where open fires are legal. However, you could also invest in a firepit for the backyard and enjoy some quality time with your family at home. From roasting hotdogs and marshmallows to teaching fire safety skills, the possibilities are wide open for this unique experience.
8. “Camp” in Your Own Backyard
While you’re building that bonfire, you might get the urge to camp. Keep it simple by pitching a tent in your backyard. Enjoy the experience of camping without the hassle of loading up and going somewhere to camp. Bonus: nearby restrooms and shelter in case of foul weather.
9. Go to The Movies Right at Home
With so many excellent streaming services nowadays, you really don’t have to shell out a boatload of cash to see a great movie. In fact, streaming movies from home might be better than a theater because you can pause the film, get cozy with your own pillows and blankets, and enjoy your own food or treats without the exorbitant cost.
10. Jump in a Pile of Leaves
Combine yardwork with good old-fashioned fun. A time-honored tradition for kids can become a great fall activity for the whole family. Rake up some leaves, jump in the pile, rinse, and repeat.
11. Create Fall Art With Your Family
Not into carving jack-o-lanterns? That’s ok! There are plenty of other ways to get into the spirit of fall. Consider painting your pumpkin or decorating it with a store-bought kit. Gather leaves, pine cones, and fall wildflowers to create a decorative wreath or centerpiece. Use what you find in nature to keep it budget-friendly and simple.
12. Make Your Own Mulled Wine or Apple Cider
Mull your own wine or make fresh apple cider from all those apples you picked. Either drink calls for some boiling water with all the ingredients combined, and the perk of making your own is having that wonderful smell permeate the entire house. A yummy drink and a fragrant home make for a winning combination.
13. Host Your Own Tailgate at Home
Fall means football, but whether you support collegiate or professional football, attending a game in person can be quite expensive. Gather your family and friends and use what you have at home for a cozier spin on traditional tailgating.
You’re likely already paying for the channel the game is on with your cable or streaming plan, so all you need is food and drinks to go with it! Invite friends and keep your cost down by having everyone contribute something to the group.
Spend Time With Your Family This Fall
Fall is a great time to reconnect with family and friends. Finding fun fall activities for families doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. You can make the fall season enjoyable for everyone with a little creativity and planning.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks Travel.
Sarah Gilliland is a travel journalist and editor for Wealth of Geeks with over ten years of experience writing, editing, and producing content related to family travel. She freelances for several online outlets, including Yahoo, Insider, Conde Nast Traveler, and Attractions Magazine. Sarah's beats include theme parks, family travel, cruises, and road trips. When she isn't traveling or writing freelance columns, Sarah can be found on her website, On the Road with Sarah, or binging the latest geeky thing on Netflix or Disney+.