Summer has come to end and fall is almost here! It’s time for pumpkin flavored drinks, autumn leaves, pumpkin carving and more. Living in New England, fall has always been one of my favorite times of year. The weather is perfect for outdoor activites and there are always new places to go and events to try out.
Here are 10 free fall activities and 5 frugal ones
10 Free Fall Activities
- Pumpkin/Harvest Festivals – My favorite pumpkin festival is the Keene Pumpkin Festival. The festival is known for its huge jack-o-lantern displays. Last year they set the Guinness world record for most lit jack-o-lantern’s on display with over 30,000! The event is FREE to attend and offers pumpkin inspired foods, art, and more! This event is located in New Hampshire but there are harvest festivals all around the United States, from California to the east coast. Here’s a great list of some of the best harvest festivals in the U.S. You can also find local events in your town or city’s newspaper!
- Football, Kickball, or Wiffleball – My large Italian family gets together on Sundays throughout the year. During the fall, these activities are a way to get the whole family up and active. Most can be adapted to play with large or small groups. Don’t have a football? Don’t worry! Before buying one check with neighbors and invite them to play. Someone will most likely have one and if not the football will pay for itself after one weekend in fun!
- Fall Scavenger Hunt – This is a fun activity for kids! Create a list of fall items (acorns, leaves, footballs, apples etc.) and look for them around your neighborhood. These should all be found outside so there’s no need to buy anything!
- Visit a Local Farm – My nephew just went on a field trip to a local farm and it was a hit. Many local farms offer free hayrides for families during the fall months.
- Hiking – Rhode Island has some amazing views that make hiking a great daytime date or family outing. Not only do you get to take advantage of the brisk fall air but you can also see wildlife and fall foliage. One of my favorite places to hike is the Pauchuag Trail in Exeter Rhode Island. It’s close to my home and offers great views of a local lake. Even better, you often see wildlife. Fun! If you’re looking for an exciting place to hike near you, the sites localhikes.com or alltrails.com are great places to start. Both sites offer trail descriptions, hiker reviews, and you can search for trails by location.
- Rake Leaves and Jump in Them – Kids love to play in leaves. Have kids compete and make the largest pile. Then, let them all jump in! Have your camera ready.
- Bike Rides – Just like fall is a great time to hike it’s also a great time to bike! Whether it’s a trip to a local bike path or just a trip around the neighborhood, a bike ride is a great way to have fun and exercise….for FREE!
- Star Gaze – Star gazing is a fun activity that can be done in your own backyard. Just set out a blanket and look at the stars. Make it into a date night with a bottle of wine or some hot chocolate. Yum! You can also use this as a time to educated you or your kids! The FREE Skyview App allows you to identify stars.
- Create Your Own Free Drive in Theatre – Many libraries allow you to rent projectors for free. This is an easy way to put a fun twist on a classic family movie night. Choose a favorite movie from your family’s home collection, borrow one from the library, rent one for $1 at your local Redbox Kiosk. Then, use a bed sheet taped to your garage door as a screen. Watch in the car or on a blanket in your front lawn. Fun!
- Draw on Leaves – Grab some leaves and a sharpie. Then, let kids do their work doodling! If you’d like, you can paste them to some construction paper and hang up their fun fall creations.
5 Frugal Fall Activities
- Apple Picking – My best friend (and neighbor) owns an apple orchard so I grew up going apple picking every year. Most apple orchards are free or charge a small fee. Normally, you simply pay for the apples you pick. This means a day of fun can cost you less than $10. Fresh apples are great when baked in pies or made into candy apples. Yum! To find a local orchard near you head to pickyourown.
- Corn Mazes – Who doesn’t love a great corn maze!? My siblings and I go to a local haunted corn maze every fall. Generally, it costs around $10-$20 for the chance to go through a haunted corn maze. Ours costs $20 and includes a haunted hayride along with the corn maze. That may seem pricey BUT you can also get discount family or group rates. Going with a large group will not only cut down costs but will make the experience more fun! Even better, there are often Groupons that offer discounts (sometimes up to 50% off!) on such events especially in September when the events have first started.
- College Football – Whenever fall rolls around I can expect to give up control of the televison on Sundays. My Dad and little brother are obsessed with football and have to watch thier games every Sunday. Attending pro-football games can be expensive, so college football games are a nice alternative for those who want thier football fix. While tickets to an NFL game can cost over $100, tickets to college games often cost around $10. Attending these games helps to support your local colleges and tailgating is a fun way to spend a day with friends and family.
- Donate to a Local Food Bank/Homeless Shelter – Around Thanksgiving food banks are always looking for donations. While you’ll have to shell out a few dollars to buy the food, the cost will be well worth it! You can also use coupons to save money or hold a fundraiser with friends. If you’re looking for a free way to help, donate your time! Volunteers are just as helpful as donated food and your effort will be appreciated.
- Make a Jack-O-Lantern – At Bargain Babe we love making jack-o-lanterns. Here are some of our favorite pumpkin carving ideas. To make this activity even more frugal, use those pumpkin seeds! Simply remove seeds and rinse in a colander, boil, salt, add a little vegetable oil and cook at 400 degrees for about 20 min. Watch this video for full instructions!