Fall is coming! #pumpkinallthethings
Fall is an amazing time to enjoy colorful leaves, cozy sweaters, and fun, free family activities and places to go! Read on for our favorite fall events that you and your family can attend for free!
1. Attend a fall festival.
Hanging out at a fall festival is like a one-stop-shop for all things autumn! These vary from town to town, but most are free to attend (though you will most likely have to pay for food and goodies). In addition to pumpkin patches and hay rides, there’s also bound to be a kids area with crafts and entertainment so there’s something for the whole family to do. Check your local news sites or township webpages for a calendar of events near you!
2. Register for Home Depot kids workshops.
Kids can get hands-on and tackle fun DIY projects for FREE at The Home Depot! Check their list of upcoming workshops to get your kiddo registered. One fun example is this class to build a FREE football field game! While you’re there, look for adult workshops as well — while they’re not free, they’re certainly worth checking out.
3. Visit a pumpkin patch.
Similar to fall festivals, most pumpkin patches are free to visit, though you’ll have to pay for the pumpkin if you find one you want to take home. That said, you can make a fun game out of your visit, like who can find the funniest shaped pumpkin, largest gourd, or any other contest you make up.
If you do bring a pumpkin home, check out our stencils for carving and this yummy recipe for roasting the seeds or making puree for pumpkin desserts!
If you live near a LEGO store, you can register your child to partake in monthly mini builds where kids will receive a FREE LEGO set and participate in a building demo! Registration for the classes starts on the 15th of each month and fill up fast (set a calendar reminder so you don’t miss out)!
Hip Tip: Check out the Lego store page for a peek at the monthly build project and to view their whole calendar of store events!
5. Pick your own fruit at an apple orchard or berry farm.
An easy way to be sure you get the freshest fruit for your fall baked goods is by picking them yourself! Head to a local farm where you can pick your own apples or berries. Yes, you’ll have to pay for the fruit but it’s often cheaper than buying the produce at the grocery store, and you’ll have a fun experience!
Once you’ve got a stockpile of fresh fruit, try your hand at these super easy apple or berry desserts! Or consider using the apples to cook up a stove-top scent.
6. Go hiking at a local nature preserve.
Get outside and take in the gorgeous colors of autumn! Hiking requirements are pretty minimal, with not much more than comfy clothes, sturdy shoes, and a backpack with drinks and snacks. Set off on your own adventure and stop for a mid-hike picnic. Collect the biggest and brightest leaves to assemble a wreath following the same steps from Lina’s Magnolia knock-off wreath!
7. Volunteer at a food bank.
While volunteering is a great activity for you and your family no matter what season it is, the need for helpers and donations grows as the colder months approach. Take a few hours of your week to volunteer at a local food bank, shelter, or any other local organization aiding the less fortunate. You can also collect non-perishable food items from your pantry (and ask your neighbors if they have any food they’d like to contribute) to donate to those services. Seriously, every little bit helps, and you’re teaching your kids positive life lessons!
8. Check out FREE crafts at Lakeshore Learning.
Saturday mornings are for crafting! Head to your local Lakeshore Learning where they offer fun and FREE crafts for kids ages three and up every Saturday from 11AM-3PM — no reservation required! Visit their site for store locations and for craft project details.
Hip Tip: Michael’s also has crafts for kids, though they do charge a small fee. Each week features a different project on Saturday mornings at 10am, ranging from $2-$5 — click here to sign up!
9. Visit haunted historic sites and museums.
Since the kiddos are back in school and in learning mode, keep the momentum rolling by visiting fun (and eerily educational) historic sites and museums! Think outside of your typical structures and see if your town hosts cemetery walks or haunted building tours (I’m lucky that my city does both). Check their websites to see if they offer any free or special pricing days, or check AAA if you’re a member for discounts on tons of attractions!
You can also take advantage of free admission to more than 150 museums in 31 states across the country if you’re a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch cardholder through Museums on Us! Note that this free admission day happens on the first Saturday and Sunday of every month. View this complete list of participating museums and more details.
If you’ve wondered how any of your favorite products are made, you should check out a manufacturing factory tour! Options will obviously vary based on where you live, but FactoryToursUSA.com will show what’s nearby. Many companies offer free tours of their facilities to give consumers an inside look at day-to-day operations. You never know what fun and unique factories could be around you!
This list is full of fun and frugal activities for you and the family to check off throughout the season!
What are your favorite frugal fall activities?
Written by Emily for Hip2Save. Emily lives in Buffalo, NY where she spends her time drinking lots of coffee, scouring the internet for deals, and tackling DIY projects. She’s a big believer in self-care and living the fullest life possible, all while saving money of course.