15 Fun Ideas to Enjoy the Fall Season with your Family

The Fall Season officially starts this week and I’m ready. I’m completely DONE with the draught and the hot weather this summer had to offer. I want to visit a pumpkin patch, put on a cute sweater, go for a fall foliage bike ride with the kids, and eat apple cider donuts. (Man, I love apple cider donuts!)

Needless to say it’s my family’s favorite time of year but it’s way too short. There’s really only a few weekends before Halloween and the Holiday Season take over. To make sure the family’s busy schedule doesn’t get away from us, we’re sitting down to make a master plan and get our fun activities onto the family calendar. I don’t know about you, but for me, if it’s not on the calendar it won’t happen. What works for our family is to sit down together and list out all of the fun things we want to do for the month or season. Then we grab a calendar and pick some dates. Once we all have it on the calendar, we can generate our list of any “to-dos” to finalize our plans – making reservations, buying tickets, or inviting other people to have fun with us. Now, we’re ready to have fun!

To inspire and help you get your Fall Family Fun list going, I wanted to share some of my family’s favorite activities for Fall. Most of these ideas are inexpensive and get you outside enjoying the crisp Autumn air. Definitely check your local park districts, libraries, YMCAs, and Children’s Museums for family specific fall events coming up in your area.


    1. Amass a Leaf Pile – Have the kids help you rake up some colorful leaves and then build some leaf forts and mazes together. Jump in the leaves, play with your dog in the leaves, and definitely take cute photos of the kids surrounded my fall color.

    2. Visit an Apple Orchard - I remember picking apples with my parents when I was a kid. While there doesn’t seem to be as many orchards anymore, it’s still a fun activity to take your kids and pick the apples right from the tree. Once you have a full bushel, you can then have fun as a family in the kitchen making Caramel Apples or this recipe I saw for baked apple cider donuts. (I mentioned that I love these, right?)

    3. Fall Foliage Drive - Here’s a list from USA Today with the Top 10 Fall Foliage Drives in the U.S. Since you are driving, this is a nice multi-generational thing to do. Call Grandma and Grandpa and see if they want to come along.

    Pumpkin Patch

    4. Visit a Pumpkin Patch – Take your camera and get some great photos of your toddlers in the pumpkin patch.

    5. Go to your Alma Mater and catch a football game. Why not plan a trip to see your old college team play football? If you can meet up with family and friends, all the better. We try to catch the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City or when they come to Chicago to play Northwestern or Northern Illinois. The kids LOVE the tailgating.

    6. Family Bike Ride in your local Forest Preserve

    7. Fall Nature Photo Scavenger Hunt – Grab some cameras and head out to your local forest preserve to capture some great photos of nature as it changes for cold weather. Here’s a great list of what to look for on your fall scavenger hunt from GoExploreNature.com.

    8. Creating & Decorating for Halloween – I’ve got so many cool decorating and craft ideas on my Halloween Board on Pinterest. Follow my board and plan a fun afternoon creating some silly spookiness.

    9. Throw a Family Friendly Halloween Party – fun for kids and/or adults

    10. Organize a Neighborhood Trick or Treat Procession – get a few families to trick or treat together for even more fun.

    11. Decorate pumpkins. This seems like an obvious thing to do but this year why not try to decorate or carve your pumpkins a little differently? Paint them. Put a mask on them. Stack them. Light them up with different colors. Make them gross instead of cute. Last year we made a pumpkin vomiting out his guts. It was the hit of the neighborhood. Here’s a great round-up post from the How About Orange Blog with a ton of pumpkin decorating ideas.

    12. Neighborhood Flag Football Party – play some flag or touch football outside then come inside for some great eats!

    13. Flashlight Corn Maze Adventures – Now that my kids are a little older (tweens!) we love corn mazes. Especially at night. With flashlights. It’s spooky!

    14. Give back as a family. Fall is a great time to think of others in need. As a family, volunteer at a local food pantry, run your own neighborhood food drive before Thanksgiving, start collecting and donating toys for kids in need, rake the leaves out of an elderly neighbor’s yard, or organize a Halloween costume parade at a local nursing home. They love to see the kids dressed up.

    Camping in the backyard

    15. Camp in the Backyard. Cool nights. No bugs. Campfires and s’mores. Sounds like fun, right? And, you can use your own bathroom.

What do you look forward to most in the Fall? What is your family’s favorite Fall activity?

For more fall family fun ideas, check out my Fall Family Fun Board on Pinterest.

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