Flannel, and leaves, and pumpkins, oh my! It’s autumn again and that means cooler weather and lots of fall outdoor activities. Whether you live in the chilly north or the sweltering south, there’s a fall activity to suit everyone that won’t break anyone’s bank.
8 Great Fall Outdoor Activities
As the temperature goes down the opportunities for fun go up. So put those flip flops away, break out your best plaid scarf, and try these free and cheap outdoor autumn activities.
1. Find a Fall Festival
Many cities, schools, and churches host fall festivals throughout September and October. You can take part in classic fall festivities such as hayrides and bobbing for apples, as well as carnival games, face painting, and of course, funnel cake.
These festivals are often free to enjoy and kid-friendly, so bring a lunch and take the family out to enjoy the last few warm days before winter.
2. Swap Your Memberships
In many cities during SWAPtember, if you’re a member of your local zoo, aquarium, museum, etc, you can visit partner attractions for free during the month of September.
If you’re not a member, September is a great time to get a membership so you can enjoy all the upcoming holiday activities they offer. Attraction participation and rules vary so search for your city’s SWAPtember rules to see where you can go.
3. Visit a U-Pick Farm
Fall is the season for produce, and you can take advantage of it by picking your own apples and pumpkins at a U-Pick farm.
You’ll not only have fun, but you’ll also be supporting local agriculture and small business in your community. And by purchasing directly from the farm you’ll be saving money on your groceries.
4. Decorate Your Door
When friends and family come to visit for fun fall get-togethers, make them feel welcome the moment they step up to your porch by adding some inexpensive decor to your door.
Try making a wreath out of fall leaves, arranging pumpkins, or painting a welcome sign. If you have a little money to spend, add spooky ghost lights for Halloween or get pots from the thrift store and fill them with autumn colored silk flower arrangements.
5. Celebrate Halloween
Halloween festivities are a cheap and fun way to get outside your comfort zone and be somebody else! You probably already have most of the pieces to make one of the dozens of free costume ideas creative people have come up with.
Be sure to see what free Halloween events are going on in your community. You can find lots of local goings-on, from haunted hikes to trick-or-treating, on Facebook and in the local newspaper.
6. Go Camping
Camping in the fall is magical. Warm days full of soaking up the sun transition to cool nights snuggled around the campfire. Bring marshmallows to roast for a sweet treat and remember to wear layers and pack your bug repellant.
Campgrounds and parks are affordable places to pitch your tent and enjoy all that fall camping has to offer. If you’re not into tent camping, look into renting a travel trailer or popup camper through a site like RV Share, which allows RV owners to rent out their RV when not in use.
7. Take a Hike
Whether you’re camping or just getting outside for the day, a day hike is a can’t-miss activity in autumn. National and state parks offer a full spectrum of fall foliage. If you want to make a trip out of it there are places you can stay at for free near many national parks.
But you don’t need to leave the city for a great hike. Parks, trails, and arboretums also serve great views of fall when you’re short on time.
8. Visit a Corn Maze
Corn mazes are peak autumn. They vary from 5-acre labyrinths to kid-friendly mini-mazes. And they’re more than just a walk through the cornfield. Most mazes take around 20 minutes to complete while some can take all day.
The mazes have interactive elements, music, games, and can even be designed to look like people and pictures. Admittance costs around $10 but you’ll get unlimited time in the maze and usually hayrides, live entertainment, and more after.
Make Fall Your Most Budget-Friendly Season of the Year
Don’t break your budget trying to fit expensive activities in your fall schedule. This time of year is chock full of fun outdoor activities.
To keep yourself from overspending, take out your calendar and schedule in the free activities in your area. Your family will be thrilled and your wallet will love the planning just as much.
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