Check out these 23 Frugal Fall Activities for Kids if you're looking for some inexpensive, family-friendly fun this Fall for the whole crew.
Frugal Fall Activities for Kids
With fall comes cooler weather, bright leaves, and plenty of opportunities for family fun. In my family, fall also means “birthday season”. Nearly all of my relatives, extended family included, celebrate their birthdays sometime between the start of September and the end of November. After spending all of that money on cards and presents, I usually don’t have much room in my budget for autumn activities. Because of this, I’ve been on the lookout for inexpensive, family-friendly things to do this fall. If you, too, are strapped for cash this season, this list of 23 Frugal Fall Activities for Kids will help you find some great, cheap ways to keep you and your children entertained this season.
23 Frugal Fall Activities for Kids
1. Go to a festival. Fall-themed festivals are pretty much everywhere this time of year, and it’s pretty easy to find some that are cheap or even free. Just make sure to eat beforehand or bring a packed lunch, so you don’t end up spending unnecessary money on festival food.
2. Build a scarecrow. Take some old clothes and stuff them with shredded newspaper to make your own scarecrow. You can use your child’s old clothes so that everyone can make their own mini-scarecrow, or you can work as a family to make one adult-sized one.
3. Ride bikes. Fall is the perfect time for bike riding. The air is cooler, so you don’t have to worry as much about overheating or dealing with bugs. Younger kids will enjoy riding tricycles up and down the sidewalk, and older kids will love riding their bike down a trail and seeing all the colored leaves.
4. Go to pumpkin farm. This was a tradition in my family for years. Take your children to a pumpkin farm and let everyone pick out their own pumpkins. It’s also fun to just walk around and see all of the different sizes and shapes!
5. Decorate pumpkins. Whether you and your children carve the pumpkins or paint them, decorating pumpkins is a great fall-themed activity. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
6. Attend a football game. You might not be able to afford going to see the pros, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on football this Fall! Take your kids to a local high school game and cheer on the home team. Or, you and your family can play flag or touch football together at home.
7. Read books. There are tons of cute fall-themed children’s books around. If you don’t have any on hand, take a trip to the library with your children and have fun picking out the best ones.
8. Make fall treats together. There are so many fall treats that your kids can help out with. Try making caramel apples, pumpkin pie, applesauce, or whatever else you can think of. It might take longer if your children are part of the process, but the memories will be more than worth it.
9. Tell scary stories. Share old favorites or have everyone write their own! Just make sure to not make them too scary if you have younger Children.
10. Go for a walk. Take your child for a walk around the neighborhood or on a nearby trail and look at all of the changing leaves. You can even turn it into a scavenger hunt by writing a list of fun fall items (like acorns, pinecones, different colored leaves, etc.) to find. Collect the items in a bag for fun projects later.
11. Rake leaves. Everyone needs to jump into a big pile of leaves at some point in their lives! Older kids can even help with the raking (and the bagging, once you’re done). If you don’t have a yard, ask neighbors if you can use theirs. They probably won’t mind, especially if you dispose of the leaves afterwards.
12. Go apple picking. Nothing says “fall” quite like going to an apple orchard and picking your own apples. Younger kids can pick apples off of the ground, and older kids can help carry the bag and pick from the trees. The best part? Most orchards only make you pay for the apples you bring home, not the experience itself, and the apples are usually much less expensive than the ones at the grocery store.
13. Bake pumpkin seeds. If you decided to carve pumpkins this year, carry on the fun by making a tasty snack out of the seeds! Your child will love getting a little messy and picking all of the seeds out of the pumpkin.
14. Plant bulbs. Spend some time with your children in the garden this fall by planting bulbs together. Your kids will love digging in the dirt, and you’ll love seeing the flowers bloom in the spring! Just make sure to check that you’re planting the right flowers for the time of year and for your climate.
15. Have a movie night. Find some cute fall-themed movies (or even scary movies if your kids are older), pop some popcorn, and snuggle up under blankets for a fun family night in.
16. Make a bird feeder. Have your child tie strings around the end of pinecones. Then, spread peanut butter on the pinecones and roll them back and forth in a pile of bird seed. Hang them in your yard, and enjoy watching the birds eat!
17. Walk through a corn maze. You can usually find a cheap or free corn maze at fall festivals, and it’s so much for fun kids to run around and try to find their way out.
18. Camp inside. If you missed the opportunity to camp this summer, you and your family can still have that experience by setting up a tent in your living room. Make s’mores on the stove, sleep in sleeping bags, and enjoy the fact that you’re not being eaten by bugs.
19. Bird watch. Many birds migrate during the fall, and it can be super fun for kids to watch them all flying. Just take your child to a park for a few hours, and see how many birds you can spot.
20. Visit a haunted house. While some haunted houses may be expensive, there are tons of cheap or free options around. Just make sure to check for prices and recommended ages before you commit to one.
21. Bob for apples. This classic fall game is still loads of fun. Fill a tub up with water, dump some apples in, and get bobbing. If you’re worried about spreading germs, or if you have younger children, you can also have your kids try to get the apples out of the tub by using chopsticks instead of their mouths.
22. Make fall crafts. There are so many cute crafts (such as leaf rubbing and hand-print turkeys) that you and your children can make for the fall. Set aside some time and get creative with the art supplies you already have in your house.
23. Donate to a cause. Get your family in the giving spirit before Thanksgiving by having them pick out old toys to donate to less fortunate children. You can also go to the store and have your children pick out some yummy canned food to give to your local food drive.
You don’t need to empty your wallet to have a great time with your kids this fall. With this list, your family can fully enjoy all of the wonderful things that autumn has to offer, regardless of your budget.
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