40 frugal fall activities for the family
Do you love Fall? It is absolutely one of my favorite times of the year! One main reason is my birthday is in the fall – Yay birthday week! Haha! Also, fall is just cozy and fun.
I enjoy doing things with my kids during every season, but I especially love the fall. Summer here in Michigan can get hot and muggy. And sometimes, it is a pain to take two kids outside in the heat. Yet, fall here in Michigan tends to cool down (although it was 90 a few days ago!) and we can enjoy the outdoors as a family.
Fall is a great time to find fall activities for preschoolers, fall activities for toddlers, and fall activities for school-age children. Basically, these fall activities listed below are intended for the family. These fall ideas will have you wishing it was pumpkin spice season all year long!
So grab your sweatshirt and blanky and cuddle up to read this list. Don’t forget to print the free fall activity planner at the bottom of the post so you can make sure to check everything off your fall bucket list.
Most of all, enjoy your family! Kids grow up way too quickly so we need to take advantage of the time they still want to be seen with us! LOL
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40 Fall Ideas for the Family that are Frugal or Free
1. Apple picking
Look up your local apple orchards and find a good time to take the family apple picking. I did this with my boys a few years back and they absolutely loved it. We even tried a few new apple recipes like apple crisp and apple sauce.
2. Bob for apples
Use the apples you picked to make a “bob for apples” game. The kids will get a real kick out of this!
3. Bake an apple pie
Again, use your delicious apples from apple picking to make a pie with the kids. Enjoy the smell as it bakes in your oven.
4. Make a scarecrow with newspaper
Decorating for fall doesn’t have to be expensive. Use some old clothing from around the house or stop at your local thrift store. Stuff your scarecrow with newspaper and put it on your porch. You can use a pumpkin for your head or make one out of poster board.
5. Go to a local park
Find a local park and enjoy the cool, crisp fall air.
6. Fall scavenger hunt
While you are at the park, create a list of fall finds and let the kids compete to see who can find everything first.
7. Cider mill
Who doesn’t enjoy a good cup of apple cider in the fall? Look up your local cider mill and take a family trip.
8. Leaf walk
It is always fun to see what color leaves you can find in your neighborhood or park. My kids also liked to see who could find the biggest leaf.
9. Visit a farm
Find a local farm or petting zoo and take the kids. My kids loved feeding the animals and it was only $.25 per handful of food.
10. Rake leaves
Living in a condo, we don’t have a yard to rake. So my kids think it is fun to rake leaves at the park. We even have kid rakes for them to use.
11. Jump in leaves
After all that hard work, enjoy a little fun! Take a jump with your kids!
12. Make an apple or potato or stamp
Use your apples to make a stamp. This also works with potatoes. Carve out a stamp and use paint to make a fabulous creation.
In our house, fall is not complete until we have gone on our annual hayride. Check local farms, zoos, or parks for hayrides.
14. A corn maze
Depending on the age of your children, you may enjoy a corn maze. Many places offer shorter corn mazes for the little ones too!
15. Popcorn balls
Make popcorn balls as a family.
16. Leaf rubs
Put your leaf under paper and color with crayons. Show your kids how to make a pretty leaf picture.
17. Dry leaves in a book
Find a hardcover book and put some leaves inside to dry. Check on them in a few weeks to see how they look.
18. Pumpkin patch
Take your kids to a pumpkin patch to pick out their pumpkins this year or just run around. I find pumpkin patches make for amazing fall pictures too!
19. Carve a pumpkin
Set aside an evening to carve pumpkins together as a family! Put some candles in and turn off the lights to enjoy!
20. Roast pumpkin seeds
Use your seeds from your pumpkin carving session to roast. Here is a good, easy recipe to try. Pumpkin Seed Recipe
21. Have a fall Halloween decorating party
We found so many cute and spooky decorations at the dollar tree. We made our own spider web and my kids put the spiders from the dollar tree up. They thought this was so much fun!
Here is a cute centerpiece idea you could do with your kids!
22. Bird watching
Get our your binoculars and check out a bird guide from your local library. Then take the kids out and name some birds.
23. Fall kids crafts
Look up cute fall crafts for your kids to make. Here is a roundup up of some really cute ones: 58 Fall Crafts for Kids
24. Make soups with kids
A warm bowl of soup on a cool fall night really hits the spot. Here are some of my favorite soup recipes.
Here are some great soup recipes to try!
25. Make smores at home
We love smores on a campfire, but when you don’t have a campfire, we just pop marshmallows in the microwave for around 10 seconds and smoosh them between two graham crackers and add chocolate.
26. Hot cocoa with marshmallows
Heat up some hot cocoa and throw in some mini-marshmallows. You can see a trend with the marshmallows in our family. I don’t much care for them, but my son LOVES them!
Here is a healthier version called hot carob that moms and kids will love from The Curious Frugal.
27. Use hay bails to decorate your porch
Find some hay bails at your local grocery store and decorate your porch or let your kids play on them. Either way, it will be a treat!
28. Free city Fall activities
Check your local city website. My city has a free trick-or-treat in the downtown area. See what your city or town has to offer.
29. Collect pine cones
Find a local park and collect pinecones. Use them for crafts or decorations.
30. Make a fort
Help your little ones make a fort out of twigs and leaves.
31. Handprints Turkey
Use your child’s hand to stamp a print and then turn it into a turkey for the perfect Thanksgiving decoration.
32. Pick out Fall books at the library
My local library always sets out seasonal books for the kids, which makes it really easy to quickly grab fall-themed books.
33 Local farmers market
Visit your local farmers market to score some deals on in-season produce and enjoy the freshness.
34. Go Camping
Camping is so fun in the Fall. You can enjoy the beautiful leaves changing colors and have a campfire to stay warm.
35. Tell Ghost Stories
While camping, pick some spooky ghost stories to read or make up your own.
36. Visit a haunted house
If your kids are old enough, visit a haunted house. Make sure to check the ratings before taking kids.
37. Try new candy flavors
Find your favorite candy or cookies and try the new fall flavors.
38. Have a fall photoshoot
This is more for mom, but you can use your fall photos for Christmas cards so it is a win-win! (Okay, let’s face it photoshoots aren’t fun for anyone! LOL)
39. Learn how to knit
Find some basic knitting tutorials and learn to knit something easy like a scarf or small blanket. Your kids will also enjoy learning with you.
40. Make homemade Halloween costumes
Instead of buying your costumes this year, try making your own. Here is a guide of a few cute ones to try!
-Free Halloween Coloring Sheets
40 frugal Fall activities for the family
Fall is always a great time to spend more time with your family. Let’s teach our kids to appreciate every season, by making fun memories. Sure it is sad summer is over and school is in, but Autumn has so many wonderful things to offer like changing leaves and Halloween. Just learn to live in the moment and have fun with your kids.