Looking for activities that will make great memories for your family?

Fall is a GREAT time of year to find budget friendly activities to keep your family busy!

Here is a list of 10 ideas for frugal fall family fun………..

1) Get Festive

 Many towns or counties have fall festivals or craft fairs this time of year. The cost to attend these festivals can range anywhere from free to just a few dollars per person to get in (many times children 5 and under are free). My family and I just attended a local festival which cost our family (four of us went) $13 to get in. Vendors are usually set up and depending on what type of festival it is, it can be very educational. This particular festival took us back in time.





We also bought these delicious apples……


The kids loved the alpacas and feeding the goats……



AND, we enjoyed the old-time music……


We have attended this festival several times and every year we learn something new. Even though it did cost our family $13 to get in, we still felt that it was a budget friendly activity for our family. We stayed all day! A neighboring county to us will be holding a “Dairy Day” in which you learn mostly about farming animals, and this particular fest happens to be free admission! If you are looking for inexpensive activities, check your local/neighboring town(s) or counties and see what kind of festivities are going on! It’s a great way to make wonderful memories and learn a lot about the area in which you live.

2) Visit a State Park

We love going to state parks this time of year. The cool, crisp air, the rich, warm colors of the leaves – it’s just beautiful! (CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT OUR LATEST ADVENTURES AT REELFOOT LAKE STATE PARK)

Photo from local state park.
Photo from local state park.

One year our homeschool co-op group arranged a guided tour through our local state park. The park ranger guided us on a nature walk and told us so much about the area, the trees, etc. This was totally free! You don’t have to have a guided tour. Many parks have information available to visitors. Some of the best memories I have with my kids involve taking a spur of the moment field trip to our local state park (this is great any time of year but just so beautiful in the fall).

*We love camping and this is a great time of year to do that BUT some parks close their campgrounds Labor Day – Memorial Day so check with them before making plans to camp.*

You don’t have to go to a park to take a nature walk. Last week, my two youngest children and I took a walk around our house and gathered pinecones, different types of leaves and explored all the changes taking place as the seasons change.

Nature walk photo.
Nature walk photo.

3) Church Gatherings or Hayrides

Many churches have Fall Festivals. If the church you attend has a fall gathering, take the time to attend. The church we attend just had a fall fellowship evening in which we gathered at one of our church member’s home, around a huge pot of chili and a fire. The host also arranged a scavenger hunt for the kids and a hayride for everyone. And of course the evening would not have been complete without roasting marshmallows by the fire.

Photo from PhotoPin
Photo from PhotoPin
Photo from PhotoPin
Photo from PhotoPin

If you do not attend a church, check with your friends and neighbors to find out what churches in your area are offering events this fall. This is also a great place to meet new people and make new friends!

4) Crafts

 I like doing crafts as much as the next person but I don’t get into complicated crafts. Complicated can take the fun out of crafting with your kids, don’t you agree? Well….I didn’t stick to that mindset last week when I tried leaf pounding with my two youngest children (a two year old with a hammer….not a good idea!). We did this one year when we attend the festival I mentioned above and it turned out really great. That’s been a few years ago and a few memories ago…..I couldn’t remember exactly how to do it and instead of looking up directions before we tried it, I tried to wing it with my kids.  Needless to say, it didn’t go well and I do not have a finished product to show you.  If you are not familar with leaf pounding here’s how you do it.  This can certainly produce great looking art, just not for us at this time!

My 9 yr. old's leaf rubbing and my 2 yr. old's leaf rubbing as well.
My 9 yr. old’s leaf rubbing and my 2 yr. old’s leaf rubbing as well.

Since the leaf pounding didn’t go as planned, we stuck to leaf rubbing and just playing with the acorns, leaves and pinecones.

This is something I would like to try this fall, it doesn’t look too complicate and I think the kids would like the finished project…….

Click over to Where Imagination Grows for step by step directions….


5) Decorate for Fall

Many of you have probably done this already but if you haven’t, grab your kids and decorate for fall! Decorate with pinecones, crafts you made like the ones above, flowers and whatever else you have laying around the house. Don’t make things expensive, make it simple!


Hop over to Love My DIY Home where Val shows you what she did to get ready for fall! I love what she did with her porch. She has a lot of other DIY projects on her blog as well.

AND this is one of my favorite things to get out every fall. A good friend made this for me with the left over flowers I had from my November wedding 10 years ago….

DSC_0414 DSC_0406

6) Do Some Baking

Who doesn’t like the smell of apples and cinnamon in the fall air? This activity will get your mouth watering and create great memories for your family. Even if your entire family doesn’t get involved in the baking, the smell itself will provide a nice, warm feeling and memories for years to come. Fill your house with the sweet, savory smells of fall. How many times have you had sweet memories come to your mind just by smelling something familiar? Provide these memories for your family this fall.

YUM…this looks so good.

Danita at O Taste and See Blog shares this great recipe for a caramel apple bundt cake that will smell your house up with great memories.

7) Fall Photography

 This one I LOVE. The warm colors of the leaves make a beautiful background for pictures. Rather it be family pictures or just random pictures of your kids and the beautiful scenery, it’s a great time of year to practice your photography skills. Give your child the cameral and let them take pictures. They can then create graphics or other projects with the pictures they took. These photos can also make great Christmas gifts!

My daughter took this picture at a local park and used it to make this graphic.

OK, so the following three ideas may not be exactly categorized as FUN, but they do have all the ingredients to make fun memories depending on how you go about it, AND these are activities that have to be done anyway so why not have fun as a family?

8) Prepare for Winter

 Our family has been working on this all through out the summer and into the fall. Some of the best memories I have as a child is going out with my mom and dad to gather fire wood. There’s just something about the cool crisp air, long sleeve flannel shirts and the feel of the wood (except for the splinters) that makes great memories. My husband installed a wood stove in our home about 4 years ago so, now, we get to make these memories. A few weeks ago we worked on getting our supply of wood ready.



Even if you do not burn wood during the winter, I’m sure there are other things that have to be done to winterize your home. Get the kids involved and make it fun!

9) Winterize Your Wardrobe

 Every season change, we go through all of our clothes. The kids actually like doing this. They are usually the ones begging me to get the clothes out of the attic so they can go through them. We also usually have several bags of clothes to donate or pass on to someone else and that always makes us feel good.

Last year, I ran across Project 333. Have you heard of it? The idea is to minimize your wardrobe to 33 items for 3 months (33 items for each season, keeping the current season out and storing the rest). I decided to apply that principle to my wardrobe and while I didn’t count the items I kept out, and I kept out enough clothes for 6 months instead of 3 months, I still applied the concept to my wardrobe and downsized a great deal.   What a feeling of FREEDOM!  Read more about Project 333 here.

10) Fall Cleaning (instead of spring cleaning)

 For some reason, I have always gravitated toward fall cleaning instead of spring cleaning. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I have horrible seasonal allergies that affect me in the spring more so than in the fall. Fall is a great time to clean out attics, garages, sheds and closets. This can be a dreadful thing but as with anything else, it is what you make of it. Instead of dreading it, plan something fun to do after the work is done and don’t forget to make the cleaning itself fun with the kids!

There you have it, my top 10 Frugal Fall Family Fun Ideas. For more frugal ideas for family fun, check out this list of ideas as well.

Don’t ruin your fall by trying to do too many things. Pick a few ideas and try to get some of them done. The point is to have fun with your family, spend quality time together and make great memories.

What do you and your family do to make great memories this time of year? 

Photo Credit for hay wagon and roasting marshmallows go to:

photo credit: <a href=”″>Tractor and hay wagon</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

photo credit: <a href=”″>Marshmallows in the flames</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>



You'll catch Amanda at writing about her
family's journey of being mended and blended together by the thread of the Word of God. They are a homeschooling family on this journey with 4 children talking about real life andseeking to encourage others.
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18 thoughts on “FRUGAL FALL FAMILY FUN

  1. You are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful, rich area! What a fun festival with so much to do and see. Love the potted marigolds. I just picked up a basket of mums but I think I’ll just plant my own marigolds next season and display those. #sundayvictories

  2. We are just starting to see the temps come down into the 60’s this week here in IL. We have been hiking, visiting parks and have already baked our first batch of Halloween cookies! Doing some fun crafts as well! Love this time of year because I finally get to pull out my hoodies as well!

  3. What great ideas! Love the fall luminaries. Fall cleaning is beginning next week here. I have a huge writing deadline this Friday and then it begins. I love going to festivals when the air is crisp — fall is my favorite season.

    1. It’s my favorite too! We have started fall cleaning but will take a break next week for a much anticipated vacation, then we will get back to it when we return. Thanks for reading!

  4. Oh, you’ve just reminded me of all the things I love about fall. I started yesterday buying flowers and pumpkins to decorate with and we are going apple and pumpkin picking this weekend. Great time to get ready for the long cold days. I love fall!

    1. Kristi, Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I know these activities are super simple and can be fun. I think the kids like leaf rubbing as much as they like anything else.

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