Happy Fall, Ya’ll
I mean, I know we’re in the dog days of summer and it’s about ten degrees shy of Satan’s kitchen out here in the South. Can you really be too prepared for those great, breezy fall days though? I have Facebook friends sharing some great fall crafts and it got my wheels turning for some low cost fall themed ideas and activities to work up for myself and my four year old daughter. I came up with a handful of things and I just had to share. I can’t be the only one anxiously waiting for the moment it’s appropriate to don my holiday gear and binge eat some Candy Corn.
Here’s the list of my top 10 favorite Free or Low Cost Fall Themed Activities to keep your family busy during the fall season:
- Go leaf picking!
- -Make it a game to see who can find leaves with the most colors. Another great idea would be to have your little one collect leaves and bring them inside to make collages that they can hang throughout the house.
- -Not into leaves? Look into collecting pinecones. Pinecones are great for substituting for paintbrushes (they make cute patterns) or paint them orange to look like pumpkins. You could also do a little something for yourself – bake them low and slow (I’m talking lowest setting for 30 minutes) to kill off any creepy crawlies and then put them into a decorative bowl with cinnamon scented essential oils – instant potpourri.
- -Hit up your back yard or local park for home decoration inspiration. Fill a large glass container with the spoils of your hunt like we did with this fun (and FREE) Fall decoration activity consisting of acorns found in the back yard and some small inexpensive gourds from a local farm.
- Watch your favorite kid friendly Halloween movie!
- -Did you know this year is the 25th anniversary of the greatest Halloween movie ever, Hocus Pocus?! Pull out those old childhood favorites and pop them in to have the ultimate low cost fall themed night.
- -My daughter LOVES Mickey’s House of Villain’s on Netflix. She probably watches it 3 times a day during the fall season. It has great, older Disney cartoons that aren’t too scary for small children.
- -Of course, who could forget – It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. I’m in my 20s and I still put this classic on repeat.
- -If you have older children, introduce them to those great 80s classics like Ghostbusters and E.T.
- Check the local events in your area. They’re usually free for kids under 5!
- -We have a pumpkin fest in our town every year. This is a free event that is set up on the main street of downtown. Small businesses set up and you can purchase their products. Food vendors are there as well as face painting and games. They even have a pumpkin chunkin’ where they CATAPULT pumpkins to see how far they go and how big of a mess they make. These events are usually posted on your town’s social media site giving us the perfect list of low cost fall themed family events.
- -Most communities have farms that offer hay rides and corn mazes that are a lot of fun for families, too. Many have small stores where you can purchase farm-fresh produce like corn and squash and other items like gourds or homemade jams, jellies, pumpkin butters, apple butters, etc.
- Bake cookies or other homemade treats!
- -Or any other favorite Fall treat. You don’t have to be Betty Crocker for this activity. Those good, old fashion Pillsbury pre-cut cookies will do just fine. Let the kiddos help out – give them small tasks like adding ingredients to the bowl, stirring the ingredients, or cutting out the cookies with some fall themed cookie cutters. And let them lick the spoon! Just try not to worry about the clean up afterwards.
- -Make use of those extra apples or other fruits lying around once everyone has had their fill by making apple butter or fruit jam. It’s not as hard as you think and you can find tons of good easy recipes online. I usually start by hitting up the grocery store or local farmer’s market and seeing what kinds of produce I can buy cheaply to determine what kind of jams and butters to make.
- -Homemade pickles are another easy and fun activity. All you need are cucumbers, a collection of spices (or a ready-made spics mix) and some vinegar. Check out a post we wrote about how much fun this activity can be to include the whole family in!
- Visit a pumpkin patch!
- -Okay, I know. Some of those specialty pumpkin patches can be expensive. That’s okay! You don’t have to buy any pumpkins while you’re there. Make it a low cost fall themed event and take your camera with you and get some great shots of the kids playing. You may even consider taking a family picture while you’re there for your Christmas card.
- -See if there are farmers or farmers markets in the area that need some help. This would be great for teaching the kids responsibility and about where food comes from. Farmers are always willing to pass on the knowledge of growing crops. Maybe even take a tour of a farm, pick up some seed packets, and work together to grow some fall thriving veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and beans.
- Take a drive to the Mountains and go apple picking!
- -If you’re lucky enough to live near the Brushy Mountains, go! Not only is the scenery absolutely gorgeous, the fresh grown apples are perfect for snacking and baking. They’re crisp and perfectly sweet. Some apple tree farms even have hayrides that will take you to the picking areas. One personal recommendation (if you live in North Carolina) is to visit Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, NC. They have the best apples, hayrides, and small ponds where you can feed ducks. Kid-themed activities include a playground, a bamboo forest to explore, and a ‘bee themed’ train making this a perfect low cost fall themed family day.
- Have some backyard fun!
- -Grab a blanket and your favorite snacks. Pack hot chocolate in a thermos and enjoy that fresh air. Try some kid friendly snacks like oven ‘fried’ chicken tenders, sliced apples, or the classic PB&J.
- -Pitch a small tent and “camp out” in the back yard. Kids always think this is the coolest thing ever! If you have the means, make a small campfire to roast hot dogs or make smores.
- -Take this last chance before colder weather hits to allow the kids to have fun running through the sprinkler, have a water balloon fight, or set up one of those water slide toys. Before you know it, it’ll be too cool outdoors to partake in fun water activities.
- Check your local library for events!
- -Call and get the schedule of the children’s classes. Find days where they read fall themed books or have crafts available. While you’re there, check out a few books to read together at home.
- Try out Geocaching!
- -The idea around this is someone makes a container with unknown surprises and hides it. They map out coordinates to give a general location of where they have hidden the container and it’s up to the next person to find it. If you find the container, the rules are: you sign your name with the date on the notepad inside, take one item out, and leave one item of your own inside. To help you find all the areas where there is a cache ready for you to find, download a Geocaching app on your phone or tablet. Be sure to take pictures of all the items you find!
**I do not own any rights to these activities. I researched via Google and Pinterest and put my own personal spin on some of these ideas. There are so many different websites representing some or all of the same ideas throughout so I cannot place direct ownership. These activities are not endorsed or sponsored by any facilities listed**
Have more ideas for family fall activities? Let us know your ideas below!
© 2018, Beauty Brite. All rights reserved.