The fall season is one of the most enjoyable times to spend with your family. The air is crisp with a light winter nip and families are constantly looking for fun things to do. Unfortunately, families are on tight budgets these days so that can become expensive. If you are willing to be a bit creative and step outside the box, you can certainly find plenty to do without spending a ton of cash.
Here are some awesome family activities that cost little to nothing at all:
1. Join in a Hayride – Kids and adults alike all love to go on a hayride. If you get to know your local farmers, finding a free hayride is super easy to do and tons of autumn fun.
2. Go for a Hike – If you want to have some fun that brings you close to nature and teaches at the same time, spend some time on a hiking trail. Few things will nourish your soul better than the forest.
3. Visit a Pumpkin Patch – Walking around a pumpkin patch brings you right into the season. See number one to see how to get this for free. Knowing the right people means everything! Make sure to check out our big list of Pacific Northwest Pumpkin Patches.
4. Build a Leaf City – Pile up a big batch of leaves and then spread them evenly over an area of your yard. You can also do this in the park if the leaves have not been raked up yet. Once they are spread out, walk through the leaves clearing a “road” as you go. When you have a whole family doing this, you end up with a little city of roads to play in.
5. Go on history a ride – Whether it is local history or your own family history, taking everyone around and viewing the important places of your past is a ton of fun. Even the kids will enjoy visiting their old homes, schools and heritage.
6. Head to the mountains for leaf viewing – If you are going to go leaf hunting, few places are better than the mountains. Leavenworth is a beautiful place to see the changing leaves (make sure to check out Sia’s post on ways to save at Leavenworth, where to stay, and more). We’ve also got a list of the best places to view the fall leaves in the Northwest.
7. Go swinging on swing sets – There is a pretty good chance that swing sets are far into mom and dad’s past. Revisiting this simple pleasure is particularly fun in the fall.
8. Visit the library – A library card is still a wonderful, free thing.
9. Watch a spooky movie – With Halloween looming, it is certainly logical to give yourselves a scare or two. Throw in some old spooky movies and cuddle up on the sofa.
10. Make a hearty soup – Some hot potato soup on a chilly day is tough to beat. Gather everyone around the table and enjoy a classic for next to nothing. Here are a few of our favorite hearty soups: Slow Cooker Sausage & Pumpkin Chili, Taco Bean Soup, Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup, Zuppa Toscana Soup, and Chicken Corn Chowder to name a few.
11. Play some tennis – Now that the summer heat is gone, games that require some exertion like tennis become a bit more enjoyable. Head out and have some good old family competition.
12. Go through winter clothes for charity – With the cold weather coming, families will be in need. This is an excellent way to get your kids involved and learning about charitable living. Go through the old and get rid of what you don’t need. Same goes with your pantry – go thru your pantry & give your extra to local food banks (here’s a list of Northwest Food banks)
13. Window shop for Christmas – Although it is early yet, window shopping is absolutely free. Head out and have some fun pretending what Santa will be bringing.
14. Watch a pee wee football game – NFL or college football games are a ton of fun but taking a family of four can be crippling financially. Instead, consider going and watching the little guys for free. It is worth every moment of your time and you will never enjoy a game more as a family.
15. Go to a fall festival – Festivals certainly include plenty of temptations, but a family that wants to simply walk around and see the sights can go for free. Many fall festivals have petting zoos and various other attractions that cost nothing. Go have some fun just enjoying the ambience. Check out our list of Pacific Northwest Fall Festivals going on this autumn season.
Fall fun does not have to be expensive. Go out and get busy with the family and feel good about it!
What are your favorite free fall activities to do with your family?