Fall for Autumn Fun: 10 Affordable Family Activities

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It’s no secret to those who know me, I love autumn! The leaves are changing from green to bright orange, red, and yellow. The air has that familiar crispness to it.


The days of sunning at the beach and swimming in the pool may be over for most of us, but that doesn’t mean the family fun should stop. There are many fun things you can do with the whole family to enjoy the cool autumn days that are upon us – and most importantly, looking for activities that help us not go over our budget!


Here are 10 fun and affordable ways to keep you and your family falling for autumn!


1. Visit a pumpkin patch.

Find a local pumpkin patch and if the price is right, spend the afternoon indulging in fall fun! Most pumpkin patches will let you on the hay ride to the patch for free, as long as you buy a pumpkin. So, it’s the double the fun for one price!


2. Carve and decorate pumpkins.

Well, you can’t visit a pumpkin patch and not expect to carve or decorate them! Your local dollar store typically sells pumpkin carving kits for a dollar, or if you aren’t into carving and have some paints lying around – let your kids go to town and paint the pumpkins any way they wish.

3. Collect leaves.

My six-year-old daughter has loved leaves since she started walking, so each year we walk around town or even in our backyard and collect leaves. Especially when you live where the trees turn all sorts of beautiful colors, collect your favorite hues and have kids make a collage or you can even decorate around the home with them. Don’t forget to shake off the leaves for bugs!

4. Leaf peep.

Living in the beautiful Garden State, I don’t ever get tired of leaf peeping. We typically take walks throughout our town, but with a little research you can find events that are dedicated to leaf peeping. These events are usually free (minus food of course), but it is a wonderful way to spend a beautiful autumn day and perhaps get some breathtaking photo shots.

5. Bake.

This time of year has the perfect weather to get creative and make yummy treats for your family. While I am not a fan pf pumpkin spice, I do love fall desserts and let the entire family join in on the baking fun. Make a weekend out of it and let the kids not only participate, but perhaps bake treats for friends and family as well.

6. Take a Hike.

The summer can be quite torturous for hiking with the bugs and rising hot temperatures, but the autumn season is the perfect time to get outdoors and explore. Making it a bit more tolerable, take the kids and spend the afternoon exploring a new area. Perhaps even do a little research on the area and discuss with the whole family.

7. Stay in and make it a scary movie night.

Halloween isn’t far and if you’re a family that enjoys scary movies; stay in, make some popcorn and watch some of your favorite movies. We make a must-watch list every year to ensure all our favorites are seen.

8. Find festivals.

Fall is the time of year where festivals, antique shows and flea markets are everywhere! These types of events usually aren’t too hard to find and most events offer free admission. Festival tip; pack a boxed lunch for everyone and find a nice area to unpack and have a picnic. Sometimes the food at these festivals is where you can blow the budget!

Grab the whole family and get out there and explore the joys of autumn!

What budget friendly autumn fun activity did I miss from this list? What is your favorite activity ? Share with us in the comments below.


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About the blogger: Angela Caban is former USAA Community Manager and an Army National Guard spouse, published author and branding expert. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network,  a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband and two children.


Post originally published in 2018 and revamped for 2022.