Cool Ideas

Fun and Frugal Fall Activities

No doubt you are still recovering from back to school expenses, and with the holidays right around the corner, now is the time to save. The good news is that you don't need to spend tons of money to keep your kids entertained this fall. With just a little creativity, you can find plenty of activities that fit your budget—and may even be waiting in your own backyard! Read on for some of our favorite frugal ideas.

Fun and Frugal Fall Activities
  1. Apple picking: Take advantage of the only time of the year when you can pick apples straight from the trees. This is a great way to bond with your family, plus get some fresh fall air and exercise. Many local orchards offer apple picking for a small admission fee, and you'll get to keep what you pick. Also try a nearby pumpkin patch, and your kids can hand pick their Halloween pumpkin. Many pumpkin patches offer added activities, such as corn mazes, cider making, and even hay rides.
  2. Baking: Take those freshly picked apples and pumpkins and turn them into something delicious. After all, nothing goes better with fall weather than a warm piece of pie. Your children will love learning how to bake, and the entire family will love the final product. If you're really ambitious, try your hand at making apple cider, or roast those pumpkin seeds for a delicious and healthy snack.
  3. Hiking: Fall is arguably the best time of year to take a hike. Between the cool, crisp air and colorful leaves, this is a family-friendly activity for all ages. Bonus? You can collect acorns, pinecones, and pretty leaves along the way for some free autumn craft supplies. If possible, go somewhere you have never been before, so the entire family can enjoy a new experience and learn a little about their surroundings.
  4. Playing in the leaves: Parents, this one is for you! You hate the leaves all over the lawn, and kids love playing them. Strike up a deal that allows them to play in the piles—provided they rake and bag them up after, of course.
  5. Crafts: When it comes to crafts, the possibilities are just about endless. This is the perfect way to spend a cold day indoors sans the television. You can make a collage out of leaves, craft a pinecone into a bird feeder, and even make the Thanksgiving centerpiece out of tree branches. There are hundreds of ideas available on the Internet, and many of them use supplies you already have in your home.
  6. Community activities: Did you know your community calendar is chock full of free and low cost events that are family-friendly? From library readings to movie nights, you could learn a lot by checking out your town or city's local Web site.