50 Ideas for Free Family Fun This Fall

The weather is getting cooler, which means that it's time to consider alternatives to playing in the swimming pool and at the lake. Check out the following 50 ideas for free family fun this fall.

  1. Go to a playground - Fall provides so many beautiful days to visit local playgrounds.
  2. Go for a hike - Fall is my favorite time of year for hiking. I love watching the trees change colors, and the sound of the leaves crunching on the ground.
  3. Visit the public library - In addition to free activities for families, our local libraries also have a lending library of toys and games. Yours might, too!
  4. Attend a free concert - Many communities offer free concerts in the park. Our local libraries often have free concerts, too.
  5. Take a walk on the beach and collect shells - Depending on what part of the country you live in, it may be too cold for swimming. There are other ways to enjoy the beach, though. Building a sandcastle and collecting seashells are great fall activities.
  6. Watch a movie together at home - This never gets old at our house. My kids love snuggling on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn and a movie.
  7. Find free museums in your area - Some museums have certain days when they're free, and others are free all year long. Check out what's available in your area.
  8. Play Hide-and-Seek - When was the last time you and your kids just played in your yard? Get some neighbors to join in for even more fun.
  9. Play a board game - Have a closet full of board games collecting dust? Take the time to pull one out and play it. Who knows, maybe it will become a weekly occurrence. 
  10. Put together a jigsaw puzzle - I am a huge fan of putting together puzzles. Unfortunately, none of my kids have enjoyed it as much as I do. That said, I have great memories of putting together puzzles with my mom and my grandparents as a kid.
  11. Volunteer to rake leaves for an elderly neighbor - I know that raking isn't fun for everyone but volunteering as a family to help out a neighbor is a great way to spend time together.
  12. Create a family scrapbook with items around the house - I bet if you take the time to look, you have everything you need to create a scrapbook, without going to the store. Grab stickers, paper, and pictures, and get the whole family smiling as you recount the memories.
  13. Write a story together - One person starts it out, and everyone gets a turn to add the details. You might choose to write it one paragraph at a time, or even from different perspectives. Either way, you are sure to come up with a masterpiece.
  14. Read a book aloud together - If you come from a family of readers, it might be easy to find yourself in separate corners of the house, immersed in entirely different realities. Take the time to explore an adventure together - right from your couch.
  15. Go to a free movie night in the park - It might be slightly cooler outside, but don't miss the opportunity to sit among the leaves and watch a family favorite. Check your local news bulletins for movie nights near you.
  16. Build a fort with pillows and blankets - Pick a cooler (or rainy) day and gather all of the household pillows and blankets to create an epic fort. Trust me. Once you get it built, you won't want to leave it.
  17. Campout in the living room - Now that you have that fantastic fort built, why not spend the night in the living room? Make some popcorn, read a book, and simply enjoy each other's company.
  18. Play kickball with other families on your street - Seriously, who doesn't like a good kickball tournament? Use the opportunity to spend time as a family and get to know the neighbors as well. 
  19. Play catch - Toss the ball back and forth in your backyard. 
  20. Go for a bike ride - The cooler weather might put a damper on some outdoor activities but, unless there's snow on the ground, riding a bike isn't one of them.
  21. Free projects at a local craft store - Check out your local craft store flyers for free project days. Of course, this is only effective if you don't find yourself tempted to spend money while you are there.
  22. Free projects at a local home improvement store - Likewise, the home improvement store in your area may offer free projects, especially for kids. Grab a local flyer or call the store directly for details.
  23. Create a chalk mural in your driveway - You know the chalk you purchase at the beginning of the summer that was overshadowed by the pull of the swimming pool? Now's a great time to get it out and work together as a family to create a driveway design your neighbors will envy.
  24. Have a paper airplane contest - Grab some paper and challenge each family member to make the best paper airplane possible. 
  25. Fly kites - A breezy day is a perfect opportunity to grab that kite and head to a large field nearby. (Bonus points if you can combine your kite-flying experience with #20!)
  26. Build a castle out of Legos - Have a tub of legos in your basement? Why not pull them out and challenge your family to build the best castle ever. You might want to consider challenging other families to do so as well and then post the pictures on social media so that your followers can vote for the best one!
  27. Play dress up in old Halloween costumes - Nearly every family in America has a pile of costumes or "dress-up clothes" lying around. Hold a fashion show or work on your make-believe skills. 
  28. Make holiday decorations and decorate your house - There's always a holiday to decorate for. Consider creating a fall-themed display or getting a head start on those Christmas decorations. Whatever you do, have fun doing it together as a family. 
  29. Play a video game - If your kids are anything like mine, they'll love this idea. Get out the XBox or PlayStation and enjoy some friendly competition. 
  30. Attend a community football game - Your local middle or high school likely has an online schedule of all of the home sporting events. Pick one that sounds like fun to you and head on out to cheer for your favorite team. 
  31. Make a Halloween costume from household items - Who doesn't like a creative Halloween costume? Chances are you have all the things you need to create several great options, so save yourself some money and do just that!
  32. Have a dance party - Crank those tunes up and dance up a storm. You never know who will have the best moves!
  33. Bob for apples - It's a fun event at the county fair, but why not invite the neighbors over and bob for apples in your own backyard. All you need is a little water and, of course, some apples.
  34. Go on a picnic - Take a picnic lunch or dinner and enjoy it among the changing leaves of autumn. Pick a local park, a place next to the river, or even your backyard. (If it's cool, don't forget a jacket!)
  35. Go on a scavenger hunt - Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt, and you can do it at home, in the neighborhood, or even around your city. Bonus points if you involve another family!
  36. Collect colorful leaves and make a collage or other art project - The changing colors of the leaves make it the perfect time to create stunning art projects. Press them between boards to dry them for a few days and then get out the glue and paper to see what you can come up with.
  37. Make a centerpiece for your table with items from nature - A quick look at Pinterest should provide you a myriad of options for fall centerpieces. You might want to combine this with #35 and scour your neighborhood and the surrounding areas for the items you need!
  38. Make a campfire and roast marshmallows - Whether you have a fire pit or access to a local campground, put some logs on the fire and roast some marshmallows. (Note: make sure to check for burn restrictions in your area!)
  39. Have a fashion show - It's time for everyone to dress up. In your Sunday best, those new outfits you got for the school year, or those old costumes from previous Halloweens. Even your furry family members might enjoy the attention!
  40. Play Charades - If your family is anything like mine, you'll be laughing hysterically by the time the game is over. 
  41. Play Pictionary - Similar to charades, Pictionary is a great choice for families with kids young and old. Use age-appropriate topics and have a great time learning more about one another's drawing abilities.
  42. Turn your bathroom into a spa - Nail polish, facial cream, and some scented bath salts can turn any bathroom into a spa. Add some soothing music and take turns painting each other's nails and talking about the things that matter most to you.
  43. Make a family tree with old photos - Have a large wall in your home that could use some decor? Just want to show the kids what their family history looks like? Dig through your old photos and have some fun reliving memories as you put together your family tree. 
  44. Create an obstacle course for family members to compete - While your inclination might be to do this one outside, if you have a rec room or a large basement, this can be a fun activity for rainy days as well.
  45. Play a new card game - Perform an online search for the rules to a card game you've never played before. The whole family will start on equal footing, and you'll have a new recommendation for the next game night with friends.
  46. Make a scarecrow - Use items you have around your home and yard to make a scarecrow. It'll double as a fun activity and a fall decoration!
  47. Go bird watching - Grab any bird identification books you have around your home and a notebook and head out into your backyard or to a local park to scout birds. You may want to write down any that you find especially interesting!
  48. Experiment with new hairdos - yours and theirs. You might even consider a new haircut if you haven't had one in a while. 
  49. Go fishing - Pull on those waders, dig out the fishing pole, and head down to the lake or river for a fun and quiet day catching some fish. Who knows, you might even catch some dinner!
  50. Go geocaching - If you enjoy treasure hunting, why not spend some time geocaching as a family.


Of course, if that's not enough, you may want to consider planning ahead for Christmas gifts. Sure, they might not come free, but when you take the time to plan ahead, you'll be much more likely to stick with your budget when the time comes! Grab my FREE worksheet here.

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