Entertaining your family in the fall doesn’t need to cost a fortune. It can be tempting to If you want to keep things simple, but still feel like you enjoyed fall before it slips away, I’ve got some simple fall activities for you to try.
Fall is the busiest time of year for us. Our oldest child plays football and has practices and games at least 3 days a week, school and activities start up, and we have to keep up with all of the falling leaves. Although fall is my favorite holiday, I sometimes feel that I get to enjoy it the least. That’s why it’s extra important to me that I find small, simple ways to enjoy fall before winter is here.
When you have a family, it’s hard not to give in when they beg you to do ALL. THE. THINGS. They may hear about what their friends are doing and want to do the same. Or, they might just only offer extravagant and expensive ideas when they get bored. Either way, if you are trying to live simply, it’s important to make wise and intentional decisions about how you spend your time and money.
This will look differently for every family depending on what you love to do together. Obviously, we are all willing to spend a little more money on something that’s extremely important to us. Say, those concert tickets to see Twenty One Pilots. 😉 I’m not trying to guilt anyone into doing simple, inexpensive things as a family. But I do want to give some ideas for simple fall activities for those of you feeling like you don’t know what to do without blowing your budget.
Here are 10 simple fall activities that you may want to try with your family:
10 Simple Fall Activities
1. Jump in a Pile of Leaves
Pretty simple, right? Rake up some leaves, and jump in! You could make it a contest. My son loves contests. Who can jump the highest? Who can jump the silliest? I’ve found that even though this seems like it could be lame (especially for your older kids), they really just enjoy that you are doing it with them.
PSA: don’t forget to bag up the leaf pile before you have dead grass. 😛
2. Make Decorations
Get artsy! If you aren’t feeling like your creative juices are flowing, check out Pinterest for some ideas. Just don’t take on something too difficult that will stress you or your family members out! You could make decorations for fall, Halloween, or even Thanksgiving.
3. Pick Apples or Pumpkins
Find a place in your area that has free activities for the family. Trust me, they’re out there. You can find a place where you only pay for apples and pumpkins, should you choose to buy them. We recently checked out a local pumpkin patch and the kids had fun even though the corn pit and maze were smaller. Bonus: we didn’t get lost in the corn maze this time.
4. Bake Cookies
Every fall, my kids ask to make pumpkin butterscotch cookies. They are huge, and soft, and are more the texture of a cupcake or muffin. So. Good. (Find the recipe for my pumpkin butterscotch cookies below!) Who doesn’t love pumpkin anything this time of year?!
5. Look for Fall Colors
Take a hike or a drive to see all the beautiful colors of nature this time of year. Bring a camera and take some pictures. You could let each kid take a picture and give them “awards” for their wonderful photography. If it’s nice out, have a picnic lunch or snack in a particularly gorgeous area. Soak in the sights and smells and discuss them with your family.
6. Play a Board Game
For those days that are just crummy outside, try a new board game or one you haven’t played in a while. This Oregon Trail card game just might bring you back to your childhood. Maybe your family loves video games and you could play a multiplayer game together. We like Mario Party.
7. Go On a Bike Ride
Ride your bikes as a family one last time before winter is here and it’s too cold and icy! Simply ride around your neighborhood, or explore a new park.
8. Enjoy a Hot Beverage
Make some hot cocoa, apple cider, tea, or coffee. My personal favorite is a hot chai latte. I used to only enjoy these when I went to a coffee shop. But, a blogger friend (you should check her out!) recently shared with me her secret: you can make them easily with this chai concentrate. If you’re craving pumpkin, try this one. Then, cuddle up with your family and some blankets. You could read a book together, watch a movie, or just talk!
9. Make a Bird Feeder
You could make a simple bird feeder using a pine cone. Or there’s this one using a hollowed out orange. I found lots of fun and easy ideas on this website. Hang your bird feeder from a tree that you can see from one of your windows. Now it’s time to do some bird watching!
10. Have a Bonfire
I personally think this is the perfect time of year for a bonfire. It’s cool outside AND it gets dark earlier. Give your kids some glow-in-the-dark bracelets or necklaces so you can keep track of where they are. They’ll be safer, and they’ll have more fun. If you can’t have a bonfire where you live, you should definitely light some candles.
I hope you found a couple of simple fall activities to help you and your family enjoy the rest of fall!
How do you enjoy the fall with your family and friends? Share with us in the comments!
Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup canned pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.
- Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color (roughly 1 minute).
- On low speed, mix in the pumpkin, oil, and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture just until incorporated.
- Mix in the butterscotch chips.
- Scoop mounds of about 1/4 cup of batter onto the cookie sheets, spacing the cookies about 2-3 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for about 16 minutes, or until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.
- Cool the cookies on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes, then use a metal spatula to move the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from “Big Fat Cookies” by Elinor Klivans
Theresa Bedford is a syndicated freelance home and travel writer with regular contributions to the Associated Press wire and MSN. She helps everyday people love the life they have through simplicity, organization, and prioritization.