With Labor Day over, cool weather moving in and the first day of fall right around the corner, I can't help but crave all of those wonderful things that make this season so enjoyable: sweaters, fires, food, mums... the list goes on and on and, of course, fall activities do not disappoint either.
The fall season sparks so many opportunities for wholesome family fun without spending major dollars to get those authentic smiles. It could be as simple as a day at the pumpkin patch or picking apples at an apple orchard. If your little ones like helping out in the kitchen you can also use those same pumpkins and apples in different recipes for quality time spent baking.
Here are 15 fun and mostly free fall activities for the whole family
1. Apple picking
Picking apples is fun, but snacking on them as you do so is even better! There's nothing quite like picking an apple, fresh off the tree and taking a bite. Whatever makes it home can be featured in any number of desserts.
2. Bob for apples
Whether you use good ol' store bought apples or farm fresh, you can quickly set us this fun and free fall activity for your little ones or any party guests to take part in. Grab a bowl, an empty cooler, throw a few apples in there and see who can get one the fastest. You can also tie the apples on a string, hang them up and watch as everyone tries to get the most for some memorable family laughs.
3. Jump in leaf piles
This is great for getting kiddos involved with cleaning up the backyard—after they've had some fun. Rake as many leaves as you can and create different piles or even just one huge pile. Afterwards, everyone can lend a hand with putting the leaves away.
4. Make popcorn balls
These are not only delicious, but so fun to make and pack to school in the lunchbox. Here's one of my favorite recipes.
5. Corn maze
Last year we managed to get lost in a corn maze. In the moment, I never thought I would say it was fun—but now I totally do. We pulled together as a family and found our way out. We still laugh about it to this day!
6. Make leaf crowns
You can make your crowns by stapling, gluing or, even, taping leaves, flowers or anything else you've gathered onto a piece of paper or cardboard that's been cut and shaped to your head.
7. Road trip
There's nothing quite like the leaves changing in the fall. Pack some snacks and other road trip staples then hit the road and admire nature's beauty.
8. Pumpkin patch
Walking through the pumpkin patch is a core childhood memory. Depending on where you go, you might even have the chance to go on a hayride!
Now that you've gathered your favorite pumpkins, get the crew together for a family carving event. You can even make a competition out of it if you have older kids!
10. Roast pumpkin seeds
Like apples, pumpkins really are the gift that keeps on giving. So, instead of dumping the seeds from your jack-o-lantern project, turn them into yummy treats. I like playing around with several different flavor options, such as sweet, spicy and savory.
11. Go on a hayride
Hayrides are a lot of fun no matter what age you are. If your local pumpkin patch doesn't offer them then you might find a farm close by that does.
12. Make leaf people
Rainy day or cold fall day, if the weather calls for a day at home then some arts and crafts fall activities might be just the thing to keep your child occupied. Fun and free fall activities for the win!
13. Draw pictures of the changing scenery
Other arts and crafts ideas can come from being inspired by all that's changing with the season. You might encourage your child to think about any changes they've noticed around them and doodle whatever their imaginations come up with.
If your crew loves a homemade getup then taking the time to canvas your house for possible costume ideas can count as part of your fun fall activities list. We've done the research for you and put together ideas in this post here.
You might be ready to outfit the porch or front yard in outdoor Halloween decor but just in case you're not, then you can also start your fall decorations with handmade crafts your child makes or pumpkins (faux and real) galore.
There is so much beauty in the fall season—and it's all so much sweeter when spent with family. Enjoy!
A version of this post was published September 20, 2018. It has been updated.