Fall activities can feel special when you live in an area that experiences weather changes each season.
I live in Michigan, and fall is my favorite season. The temperatures are cooler, and we can break out our flannel shirts, visit farms, and enjoy bonfires. Fall is my favorite time of year.
While lists of fall activities abound, I hope you will find some unique ideas for your fall bucket list below.
Pumpkin Themed Fall Activities
Pumpkins are ready to harvest in the fall and provide many opportunities for fun fall activities.
Visit a pumpkin patch. Spend an afternoon at a farm where you can choose your own pumpkin. Remember that there are many fall pumpkin varieties. The variety used for making pies is different than a pumpkin for Jack O’Lanterns.
Carve pumpkins. Take a few hours to carve pumpkins. Kids may need help cleaning out the pumpkins and using carving tools. Make a scary face or use a pumpkin stencil. Then, you can decide if your kids are ready to learn the history of jack-o-Lanterns.
Roast pumpkin seeds. Set aside the pumpkin seeds when preparing a pumpkin to be carved. Then you can roast them. Some people find them to be quite delicious.
Make a pumpkin pie. Use fresh or canned pumpkins to make a pie for a fall gathering or to enjoy with your family. Many canned pumpkin cans have a recipe on the label. Fresh pumpkin will take a few more steps. Learning to make a fresh pumpkin pie could be an exciting fall activity if you enjoy cooking from scratch.
Enjoy pumpkin soup. Make your own, or you may find pumpkin soup at a restaurant during the fall. I’ve had it a few times, and it reminded me of pumpkin pie. Your experience may vary!
Everything Pumpkin Spice. Many food and drink items with pumpkin spice flavor are available for a limited time in the fall.
Outdoor Fall Activities
Many outdoor activities are unique to fall. And other outdoor activities can be given a fall spin.
Visit an Apple Orchard. In the fall, many orchards will process apples into apple cider. At an orchard near me, there are times when you can watch the process. In addition, the orchards usually sell fresh cider on location. You may also be able to enjoy fresh apple-flavored donuts.
It’s also a great time to purchase local apples for snacks or apple pie. If apple picking is on your list, check if the orchard allows people to pick their own before going.
Go Through a Corn Maze. Many farms have a corn maze in the fall. The corn mazes can have elaborate digital designs. Usually, the farm will have a photo of what the maze through the maize looks like from above.
Go Through a Sunflower Maze. Like a corn maze, a sunflower is a maze through a sunflower field. Last year was the first time I ever saw a sunflower maze. Look for sunflower mazes at the beginning of fall, as you’ll want to go through them while the sunflowers are in full bloom.
Pick Wildflowers. There is a farm near me that grows fields of fall flowers. You can go through the field cutting the flowers of your choice to make a beautiful arrangement of fall flowers.
Go on a Hayride. While visiting a farm for the above activities, they may also offer hayrides around the farm.
Family Photoshoot. Take a fall-themed photo with the family. Some farms offer hay bales or other fall-themed backdrops for pictures (which may or may not be free).
Picnic. On a beautiful fall day, go on a picnic at a park. While picnics can be done any time of the year, they can feel special in the fall when leaves fall and just before the weather turns too cold to enjoy eating outside.
Watch a Sunset. According to The Weather Channel, sunset colors can be more vivid in the fall. Find an excellent sunset viewing spot near you to go to on a clear evening.
Stargazing. The night sky will look different in the fall than in spring. Visit a dark sky park or preserve to see more stars than possible in a typical backyard in a city. Check for dark sky parks and preserves, as they are different designations and may not appear on all lists. For example, the International Dark Sky Association does not list all locations.
Make a Scarecrow (or a be Scarecrow). There seem to be many ways to make scarecrows, and you can dress them differently.
Here’s why I’ve never made a scarecrow. When I was trick-or-treating as a kid, what looked like a scarecrow on someone’s porch, turned out to be a man dressed like a scarecrow. When the kids stepped onto the porch, he yelled, “boo!”. So, I’ve been suspicious of scarecrows since that day when daylights were scared out of me.
Jump in the Leaves. Fall yardwork usually includes raking leaves. To make it fun for adults and kids (and perhaps dogs), rake a huge pile of leaves and then jump into it! You may also be able to use the fall leaves as scarecrow stuffing.
Decorate Your Porch or Front Door. Use corn stalks, pumpkins, straw, gourds, and your creativity to create a fall-themed porch. You could also make a fall wreath. Pumpkins are my easy go-to, as local farms have them in many colors besides orange.
Farmer’s Market. Farmer’s markets usually end for the year sometime in the fall. However, pumpkins and fall crafts can be found at most farmer’s markets early in the fall. You may also find fall-themed decorations if you do not want to make your own.
Attend a Fall Festival. Fall festivals are popular, with craft booths, art, and food trucks lining the streets on fall weekends. The activities will vary by festival.
Photograph a Sunflower Field. Capture the beauty of a sunflower field with your camera. You may need to complete this activity early in the fall before the plants die. Also, remember to be safe if you pull off to the side of a road to take pictures.
Fall Color Drive. See the fall foliage in its glory! You’ll need to plan for this activity based on when the leaves begin to change colors in your area. Michigan has an interactive fall color map to help you plan. So your state may have something similar.
Walk in the Woods. Another way to appreciate the fall colors is walking or hiking in the woods. You can likely find a park near you with trails. Fall trees can be breathing taking. I enjoy the smell of fall leaves as they begin to decay.
Have a Bonfire or Campfire. There is something special about sitting around the fire when there is a chill in the air while wearing flannel shirts and snuggling under a blanket. And having a small campfire in your backyard pit is okay instead of a massive bonfire out in the country. But remember to be safe, whatever you choose!
Go Birding. Look for migrating birds or count how many different species you see. You can use the Merlin Bird ID app to identify birds by their songs (and other sounds). I like using the app to help me learn the name of the birds. It’s also great when you can hear birds but not see them.
Indoor Fall Activities
Remember that some of the pumpkin-themed themed suggestions can be done indoors.
Make Chili. Chile can be a fall comfort food.
Make Fall-Themed Food. Make soups from fresh squashes (butternut, pumpkins, etc.) or make cookies in the shape of acorns and fall leaves. There are many fall-themed cookie cutters available.
Attend or Host Thanksgiving Dinner. Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada and the United States during the fall. If you attend a gathering at another’s home, say thank you to the Thanksgiving Host.
Make Fall-Themed Crafts. Pressing fall leaves can be fun to do with kids. There are different ways to do the leaf pressing. You can look for guides or try this leaf-pressing method that doesn’t require ironing.
Debate Fall vs. Autumn. Do you prefer to say autumn or fall? Why are there two words for this season but not Spring, Winter, and Summer? Have a friendly discussion with your friends and family members.
Write Thank-You Notes. During the fall, you can use fall-themed note cards. For example, you can kick off your fall thank-you note writing by thanking your neighbor on National Neighbor Day which is September 28. And all of October is Pastor Appreciation Month so surprise your pastor with a pastor thank you message.
How a family celebrates Halloween varies based on their beliefs and background. Here are a few activities that you can decide for yourself if they are suitable for your family.
Halloween parties. Attend or host a Halloween party. Make it fun and require adults to wear costumes.
Trick or Treat. Take the kids trick-or-treating or pass out candy. Although, if your neighborhood has only a few kids for Trick or Treat, you might want to pass out candy (stickers, etc.), you may want to find a friend or family member whose home is popular with trick-or-treaters and hang out with them instead.
Trunk or Treat. Like trick-or-treat, trunk-or-treat events are set up in parking lots and sometimes at churches. Car trunks and truck beds are decorated with a theme, and the adults and children often have costumes of matching themes. Check out these Trunk-or-Treat ideas to see examples.
Ghost tours. Learn the spooky history of your area. Check the tour description in advance to ensure the tour is what you expect. Some ghost tours may include paranormal elements. Also, you’ll want to ensure the tour is age appropriate if you plan to take kids.
Haunted Houses. If getting scared is on your fun list, look for a haunted house to creep through.
Visit an Amusement Park. Some amusement parks have Halloween-themed decorations and events in the weeks leading up to Halloween, such as Cedar Point’s HallOWeekends.
There are many fun fall activities that you and your family can enjoy. This could be the year to start a new family fall tradition.
Bonus points if you write thank-you notes during the fall!