Cozy movie nights or apple picking, these classic fall activities will give your family a fun taste of the season.
Fall is a season synonymous with family togetherness: Cozy nights indoors with hot chocolate and a movie. Good food, celebrations, and seasonal traditions.
Even though your family has returned to its regular routine—school, work, sports, and all the things that keep you busy—it’s important to do the things that make fall fun. After all, there are some things that you can only do during this season.
If you don’t know what fun things to do, here are twenty-one timeless and beloved fall activities to help your family bond this season.
Classic Fall Activities That Help You Bond with Your Family
You can go to the zoo or play sports any day, but sometimes you just want to do something that screams fall. These activities are fall classics that will put you in the mood for colder weather and vibrant scenery. With just a little planning, you can give your family a needed break and start a new fall tradition.
1. Go Apple Picking
Many local orchards are open to the public during the fall season. Research the orchards in your area and plan a visit. You’ll get to pick fresh apples right from the trees, and you can use them for traditional fall desserts like apple pie or homemade cider. And even better than that, some orchards even offer additional attractions like cider tasting and hayrides.
2. Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Carving, painting, or decorating pumpkins is a fall must. Just add another activity to your tradition and personally choose your pumpkins from a pumpkin patch. The trip will be an experience for the whole family because some pumpkin patches also offer fun activities like corn mazes and petting zoos.
3. Collect Leaves on a Fall Hike
Changing leaves are usually the first sign of fall. When nature becomes a scene of vivid hues, take a leisurely nature walk or hike to collect fallen leaves of different colors and shapes. This is a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn about the changing seasons, and they’ll love picking out their favorite colors in nature.
4. Plan a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Leaves aren’t the only thing to see during the changing of seasons. A great fall activity is to go outside and take in all the things that make fall, well, fall. Create a list of items like pinecones, acorns, or specific leaves, and have a friendly competition to see who can find them all first.
5. Tackle a Corn Maze
Corn mazes can be found at many farms and are especially popular during the fall. Challenge your family to navigate through the towering cornstalks to find the exit. If your family lives for thrills, you can find a haunted corn maze before Halloween. But if you’re just into the cozy season, there are plenty of options out there for you.
6. Go on a Hayride
Nothing feels more like the harvest season than exploring farms. Hop on a tractor-pulled hayride that takes you through scenic farmland or a wooded area. It’s a relaxing and enjoyable way to appreciate the fall landscape, and you get to experience that unforgettable “harvesty” feeling.
7. Bake a Fall Treat at Least Once a Month
Since fall is the harvest season, some of the best activities lie in food. Spend time in the kitchen baking fall-themed treats like apple pies, pumpkin muffins, or cinnamon rolls. Kids can help with measuring, mixing, and decorating. I recommend doing this at least once a month (everyone wants treats), but you may find that your family wants to bake every weekend. If so, do it! Baking is a great way to spend time together, and your house will smell like fall.
8. Have an Outdoor Picnic
With the cooler weather, it’s not only prettier outside but much more comfortable! Spend time outside getting cozy with warm clothes, blankets, and food. Pack a picnic basket with your family’s favorite fall foods (think sandwiches, apple slices, and hot cocoa) and enjoy a meal surrounded by the beautiful autumn scenery.
9. Roast Marshmallows over a Campfire
Campfires are a great way to get warm when the fall weather is cool. Set up a safe backyard campfire, complete with marshmallow roasting, storytelling, and perhaps some stargazing. The whole ambience will be exactly what you want the season to feel like. I guarantee this is a fall activity your family will want to do every year. Plus, it’s easy!
10. Make Fall Crafts
The season makes nature feel like fall, but it’s up to you to bring fall inside your home. Rather than buying everything, spend time together as a family to make fall decorations yourself. Getting creative with your fall crafts is the best way to bring the fall spirit into your home. You can make leaf rubbings, create scarecrows out of old clothes, or paint and decorate pumpkins.
11. Visit a Farm
If you want a more hands-on exploration of the harvest season, plan a visit to a local farm. Kids can interact with farm animals, learn about crops, and perhaps even participate in farm-related activities like milking cows or gathering eggs.
12. Join Your Local Fall Festivals
Nothing combines family togetherness and community bonding quite like a fall festival. To experience the foods, sights, and activities that signal the start of fall, attend a local fall festival. With food vendors, games, pumpkin decorating, live music, animal shows, and baking competitions, your family will have a fall-themed blast.
13. Take a Scenic Drive
Sometimes you need to get away from your hometown to see the changes of fall. Explore the beauty of fall foliage by taking a scenic drive through the countryside or a nearby national park. You can pack your favorite foods, fall treats you made together, and car-ride activities to help you revel in the fall atmosphere.
14. Host an Outdoor Movie Night
Busy weeks make it hard to do big activities, but a movie night is perfect when you’re short on time. Set up an outdoor movie screen or projector and enjoy a family movie night under the crisp autumn night sky, complete with blankets and popcorn. You’ll feel the spirit of fall without breaking your back.
15. Jump in Piles of Leaves
Raking might be a chore you have to suffer every fall, but it can also be a fun fall activity. For your whole life, you’ve probably seen those videos of kids playing in the fall leaves (or you’ve done it yourself). Why not make it a family tradition? After raking up fallen leaves, create a massive leaf pile in your backyard and let the kids (and adults) jump in for some fall fun.
16. Create Nature Art
Sometimes you don’t want to just appreciate the fall scenery; you want to keep it. Use the natural items you collected on your hikes or scavenger hunts, like acorns, pinecones, and leaves, to create beautiful art and crafts. You can make wreaths, mobiles, or even leaf collages. You’ll be able to save your fall memories forever—or at least until you make new ones next year.
17. Have a Family Photoshoot
Capture the memories of the season with a family photoshoot among the colorful fall foliage. You can do this at home or in a local park, and then you’ll be able to use your picture for a seasonal greeting card. You can make the experience a fun fall activity to help your kids who won’t sit still.
18. Try Bird Watching
Fall migration is a great time for bird watching. Learn about the different bird species in your area and go on bird-watching excursions. You can bring binoculars and field guides to identify the birds you spot. This is a great activity to teach your kids about seasonal changes and animal migration patterns, and you’ll get to visit beautiful scenic spots.
19. DIY Halloween Costumes
For some families, the fall season is spooky season. If your family has a deep love for all things Halloween, involve them in creating unique Halloween costumes. This is a fun way to bond and ensure everyone has a costume they love. You can wear them on Halloween, or make excuses to wear them all month long.
20. Plant a Fall Garden
While spring is often regarded as the time when plants grow, there are plenty of plants that thrive in fall and winter. Plant fall flowers like mums or bulbs like tulips or daffodils. Or you can start planning for your winter crops. Gardening is a great way to teach kids about plant life cycles and growing food.
21. Volunteer Together
Fall is a season of gratitude and plenty. Find local volunteer opportunities as a family to share that traditional fall spirit with others. You can help with community cleanups, food drives, or other charitable activities to give back during the season of giving.
Books to Inspire Your Fall Activities
- Big Book of Family Games
- ¡Viva Desserts!
- A Fall Frolic in the City
- Thankful Animals, Thankful Me
- Why Evergreens Keep Their Leaves
Shaelyn Topolovec earned a BA in editing and publishing from BYU, worked on several online publications, and joined the Familius family. Shae is currently an editor and copywriter who lives in California’s Central Valley.