Frugal Fall Activities for the Whole Family

Fall is the perfect time for families to enjoy the outdoors, breathe crisp air, and make lasting memories. Whether the kids are jumping into a pile of leaves or navigating a corn maze, many seasonal activities are surprisingly frugal. With a little extra planning, you can ensure a fun-filled fall season for the entire family! Here are some of our favorite fall activities for families on a budget:

Visit an apple orchard

A trip to an apple orchard is the perfect way to get into the fall spirit. Apples are a quintessential part of the season, and picking them yourself is a great way to spend time together while taking in nature's beauty.

Try to visit an orchard that offers on-site treats and activities so you can make a day of it. Popular attractions often have on-site petting zoos, playground equipment, apple cider, seasonal baked goods, and more.

Explore a corn maze

Corn mazes are commonly found in apple orchards, farms, pumpkin patches, and agricultural centers. Depending on their size, corn mazes can offer hours of entertainment as you wind your way through the different pathways.

Plus, since finding your way out is challenging, this activity is fun for adults and children alike!

Plan a picnic

With colorful leaves dropping right along with the temperatures, fall provides an ideal backdrop for a family picnic. Find a quiet spot in nature where you can spread out a couple of blankets, savor a meal, and unplug for an afternoon.

If you're worried about keeping the kids entertained, bring a portable outdoor game to the picnic. Some favorites include horseshoes, cornhole, ring toss, balloon darts, and Jenga.

Make a scarecrow

Building a scarecrow is a memorable activity the whole family can enjoy. It's also a great way to spruce up your home's curb appeal for Spooky Season!

To build a seated scarecrow for the yard or front porch, you'll need:

  • A wooden frame
  • Old clothes, such as a shirt, overalls, and a hat
  • Straw or plastic bags for stuffing
  • A Jack-'o-lantern pumpkin head

Cover the frame with the clothes and start stuffing until the scarecrow sits up straight. Ideally, you want to shape the scarecrow wherever he'll be sitting, whether it's in a patio chair or on a hay bale, making sure the position is sturdy enough to accommodate the pumpkin head. Secure the scarecrow with staples or string as you go. Remember, it doesn't have to look perfect!

Have a scavenger hunt

Fall is the perfect time for a themed scavenger hunt! To pull off a great scavenger hunt, decide where you want to have the event and identify objects at the location that participants can look for. Make sure the items on your list are appropriate for the ages and abilities of your participants.

Next, create a list of items. Consider adding riddles or clues to the list to make it more challenging! You can either have participants collect the items they find or take pictures.

To make the scavenger hunt more specific to the season, include objects such as brightly colored leaves, acorns, woolly worms, and spiderwebs.

Carve pumpkins

Pumpkin carving is a creative activity that brings the whole family together! You might even plan a trip to a local pumpkin patch so everyone can choose their own pumpkins.

Worried about the mess? Skip carving and decorate your pumpkins with paint or markers.

Enjoy a scenic drive

Depending on where you live, a family road trip can be the best way to experience the changing season. To keep the kids engaged, play a game of "I Spy" or ask them to count how many fall colors they see.

Make a seasonal recipe

Making fall recipes with the kids is a great way to bond with them and teach them about cooking. It's also a fun way to get them excited about the season!

Kid-friendly fall favorites include caramel apples, homemade applesauce, apple crisp, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pancakes.

Go on a hayride

Hayrides are a classic family tradition strictly reserved for fall, making them extra special! You'll need to research different locations to find nearby hayrides, but most are found at local farms, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes.

To make the most of your hayride experience, dress in comfortable layers and go early in the season to avoid the crowds.

Take family photos

Gorgeous jewel tones and cooler weather make fall the ideal time to capture family memories. If you want to save money by taking your own family photos, you'll still need a basic tripod to mount your mobile phone. Just be sure to practice using your phone's camera and timer settings before heading to the photo shoot.

Prefer to invest in a professional portrait session but you're short on cash? Consider a small personal loan to reserve your spot before the season ends. Whether you're hiring a professional or taking the pictures yourself, be sure to bring a few fall-themed props and coordinate the family's clothing.

Discover more frugal living tips from Advance America

Experiencing the fall season with the family doesn't have to be expensive. Whether you're exploring local farms or crafting autumn-themed decor with the kids, you're creating precious memories to last a lifetime.

Want to learn more cost-saving tips for your home and family? Check out our Money Tips blog!

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