21 Free Family Fall Activities To Do With No Cost




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These 20 family fall activities to do with little or no cost are great activities to do that have many benefits including health benefits With kids back in school and leaves changing colors, fall activities for your family are here.  It’s a bittersweet time for me.  Yes I like having my kids back in school, but I am not quite ready to sign over my life to the school messaging apps!

Shortly, my cell phone will start to blow up with emails from school secretaries, principals, district communications directors, school fundraiser drives, and the teachers themselves.

It’s a bit of an information overload on child education for a parent.

Being a parent in 2018 is completely different than it was 20+ years ago.  Fall to me has always been a transition period at least in the Midwest.  We are done with the beaches and building sand castles, but not quite ready for sledding and snow pants.

Below are some great fall activities with little or no cost for families to help everyone ease back into the school routine and enjoy the fall season.

21 Best Free Family Fall Activities To Do

1.  Trail Bike Riding

One of my favorite things to do is bike riding on trails.  This is a great fall activity to do because not only is this activity healthy, but you can also explain how leaves change colors if you happen to live in a climate where the trees lose their leaves .  It can also be very beautiful to look at all the different colors.

2.  Create a Leaf Collage or Leaf Scavenger Hunt

Have your kids collect a different types of tree leaves or maybe leaves of different colors.  Take those leaves and put them on a poster board with a string attached.  The posters can then be hung in their rooms or in your garage for some “Fall Artwork.”

You can also have your kids look for certain types of leaves as well from particular trees.  This is a great way to turn a family bike ride into an educational, fun, and healthy family fall activity.

3.  Make a Leaf Fort

One thing I loved to do as a kid was to have my dad rake up our leaves in our yard.  I would then not only jump and try to do freestyle swimming in them, but would also create a leaf fort.  Massive construction took place with piles and piles of leaves in our front yard.  There was also a tunnel or valley system I made to travel from one pile to the next.  All in all it was a great fall activity I did every year until about 23 years old!

Just kidding, more like 13.

4.  Collect Pine Cones (Potential Side Hustle)

This is a great fall activity that might actually yield some money for you and your kids.  Have your kids collect pine cones and sell them on Craigslist or eBay.  A lot of people who do crafting will pay money for pristine pine cones.  I remember my grandma had like a gazillion of those pine cone wreaths and they were all over the place.

If you want to go one step further with your kids and turn this into a craft, have them assist you with creating these winter wonderland wreath charmers.

5.  Apple Orchard

This is on the list of many for one of the best fall activities to do with a family.  Go visit an apple orchard.  My favorite fall activity to do with my kids is to get warm cinnamon donuts at the apple orchard and fresh apple cider.  Who does not love donuts and cider?!

6.  Make Caramel Apples

It’s almost a healthy treat, almost!  Buy some apples at the apple orchard or at the grocery store and some caramel.  Buy some skewer sticks to put the apples on.  Dip the apples into the caramel and let them cool on a baking sheet and set in fridge.  Presto, instant caramel apple treats!

7.  Bake Cookies (Potential Side Hustle)

Nothing says cheap fall activities than baking cookies.  Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, another fall activity to do with your kids is bake cookies.  Come up with some fun shapes or get stencils such as leaves, or gingerbread men, and decorate them.

You can also turn these into gift baskets if you make them close enough to the holidays.  What grandparent does not love cookies baked from their grandchildren?!

8.  Make a Bird Feeder

Go to the hardware store and spend a few bucks and buy some scrap wood.  You can find easy directions online how to make a cheap and small bird feeder.  Have your kids help by painting it when all done or filling it with bird seed.  Hang the feeder in your yard and instant screen-free entertainment!

9.  Garden (Potential Side Hustle)

Gardening ranks high for best fall activities to do for families.  First, create a garden in your yard.  You can either create a garden box, or designate an area of your yard as the garden, and prepare the ground.   Get some seeds for what you would like to plant and have your kids plant them in the yard.

This is also a great way to not only save money on vegetables, but it’s also beneficial for your kids.  By having them pick out the seeds and types of vegetables, this will expose them to vegetables they may not normally eat.  Having them work on this garden and take care of these vegetables might encourage them to be more open to trying new foods they may not have tried previously.  You can also sell your produce at a local farmer’s market.

10.  Plant Flowers and Bulbs

Fall is the optimal time to plant bulbs for flowers to come up in spring time.  You can have your kids prepare the soil, dig the holes, and also place the bulbs in the ground.  Come springtime, the kids will be able to see their actions bloom into beautiful flowers all around your house.

11.  Building Forts

My kids love to build forts especially if it is a rainy day and they cannot go out.  This is a great fall activity that can be done indoors.  Gather up some chairs, blankets, and pillows and let their imaginations run wild.

Speaking from parent experience, I have found it better for my kids to use those 18 gallon plastic totes to build forts.  For one, my kids like to stack these things.  They have made some pretty impressive castles over the years with them all in the comfort of my living room.

12.  Check Out your Library (no pun intended!)

Take a look at your local library for great fall activities.  The library I used to go to as a kid always had great programs to do on weekends with my parents.  Some of those were special sales on books or there would be movies that would also play there as well.

It’s a great way to get your kids involved in reading at a young age.  Sign them up for a library card and have them check out some books of interests they have.

13.  Take a Trip to your Local Museum

A trip to your local museum is often times a great thing to do as a fall activity with kids.   The one where I live is actually FREE to residents of certain counties.  It’s great to expose kids to things like artwork and history because this will help them become well-rounded young adults.  This will also aide them when they get into the older grades with their education because they have already been exposed to these things.

14.  Board Game Night

I am ALWAYS looking for new ways to get my kids off of their screens and electronic devices.  One thing I have done has been to do a family board game night.  Although I usually get KILLED on monopoly, game night has been a great family activity to do.  It also reinforced math skills as well for my kids.  It has been a win-win all around.

15.   Make a Road with Chalk

My kids love to ride their bikes and scooters.  Using chalk is a great way to draw out a course for them to drive in on your driveway.  I have been known to put obstacles down as well to make it more challenging for them to navigate.

Once the other kids from the neighborhood see this, don’t be surprised if you start picking up other kids here and there to drive on your track.  Just make sure that you have the proper parental consent forms signed and completed!

16.  Painting

Have a day where you make paintings and artwork with your kids.  Make sure that you use washable paint.

17.  Decorate a Mason Jar (Potential Side Hustle) 

Another one of my top fall activities to do is to create and decorate a mason jar with items from fall.  Put things in there such as acorns, walnuts, and pinecones.  These make great centerpieces as well around your house.

18.  Make Fall Decorations 

Take a stick about 2-3 feet long and tie fishing twine from the branch so they hang down.  At the end of the line, tie things such as pine cones or acorns to them and you can hang these in your windows or on your front door as great cheap fall decorations.

19.  Create Cardboard Art

Cut out pieces of cardboard into strips.  You can make the dimensions any kind as long as they are rectangle so they can be folded into squares.  Have your kids pain the cardboard.  Then glue the ends together so they form a square.  These squares can then be stacked and your kids can build sculptures or anything that they desire.

20.  Make a Tent Frame out of PVC

This might cost a little bit of money.  Go to your hardware store and get some 1” PVC pipe and make a frame for an A frame tent.  Have your kids get blankets and cover up the top of the tent frame.  They now have an instant tent to play in.

21. Watch Movies at Home

Another great free family fall activity to do is watch movies at home for free. There has been an explosion of services online that allow movie watching with not cost. Check out free movie streaming sites no sign up to see a list of all options available.

Wrap Up

Regardless of what your views on fall are, these are some of the best family fall activities that can be done with little or no cost.  These are great activities to do as a family and will help curb the time your kids spend on electronic devices.  Additionally, some of these fall activities also offer a way for kids to potentially learn how to make some money.  Increased family time, earning money, and having fun…what’s not to LOVE about that?!

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