Fun and Affordable Fall Activities for Families

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Fall is a wonderful time of year. The weather cools down, nature undergoes a magnificent transformation, and the changing of the leaves paints the landscapes with vibrant red, orange, and yellow hues. It’s the perfect season for family outings and creating lasting memories, as there are tons of free or low-cost activities to enjoy, from decorating Halloween pumpkins to affordable apple picking. We are excited to share some of these fun activities with you in this article.

Next, we will answer the following questions:

  1. When is the fall season in the United States?
  2. Where can I find affordable Halloween pumpkins?
  3. What are some free or budget-friendly outdoor fall activities?
  4. What free or inexpensive indoor activities are there for the fall?
  5. Where can I find free fall festivals and family events?
  6. How can families celebrate Halloween on a budget?

When is the fall season in the United States?

The fall season typically spans from September 22nd to December 21st in the United States. It’s a great time for outdoor and family activities as the weather cools and the landscape turns colorful with falling leaves.

What are some free or budget-friendly outdoor fall activities?

  • Family picnic: Pack your favorite food and a couple of cozy blankets and head to a nearby park for a fall picnic. It’s a simple yet enjoyable way to soak in the season.
  • Visit farmers’ markets: Experience fall flavors by heading to your local farmers’ market, where you can find crisp apples, fresh pumpkins, and apple cider. To find markets near you, use the USDA’s convenient local food directory, which allows you to search by entering your zip code. Ssome farmers’ markets also accept SNAP/EBT (food stamps), making fresh, local produce accessible to more families.
  • Pick pumpkins: If you want to experience the joy of picking Halloween pumpkins, click HERE to access a list of some of the best deals at farms in every state, helping you plan an affordable and memorable family trip to a pumpkin patch.
  • Apple picking: Head to to locate a nearby farm and grab a bushel of fresh, affordable apples that are perfectly ripe for the picking. The website also lists available crops per state and general pricing information. So, whether you’re after figs, crabapples, pears, or other seasonal delights, you can easily find an orchard in your area.
  • Have a bonfire: Gather your loved ones for a cozy bonfire. You can roast marshmallows over the open flames and assemble them between graham crackers and chocolate to create delicious s’mores. Share stories and laughter, and enjoy the comforting warmth of the fire. 
  • National and state parks: Many national and state parks offer free admission and breathtaking views of fall’s vibrant colors. Explore hiking trails, rolling hills, charming bridges, and serene waterfalls. Some parks even provide free guided tours, maps, and resources to enhance your visit. If you encounter a park with an entrance fee, check for information on free entry days at specific state parks.

What free or inexpensive indoor activities are there for the fall?

  • Carve or decorate Halloween pumpkins: Visit this website for 25 easy and budget-friendly pumpkin decorating ideas, starting at under $1. You only need a few tools for carving Halloween pumpkins: a kitchen knife for carving, a spoon for removing seeds and guts, and a bowl to collect the seeds. 
  • Roast pumpkin seeds: Once you’ve picked your pumpkins and carved them, don’t forget to put those seeds to good use by roasting them. Roasted pumpkin seeds make for an ideal and delicious autumn snack. Click HERE for an easy recipe. 
  • Workshops for kids: Home improvement stores frequently host engaging and free workshops for children throughout the year, each with unique monthly themes. For example, The Home Depot offers free workshops on the first Saturday of each month, running from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meanwhile, Lowe’s hosts free workshops on alternating Saturday mornings.
  • Local library events: Visit your local library’s website or drop by in person to explore free autumn-themed activities, including kids’ crafts, seasonal storytimes, and workshops. The library offers something for all age groups, from teen movie afternoons to pumpkin painting for young kids. Click HERE to find your local library.
  • Affordable puzzles: Puzzles are a great way to relax, focus, and bond with your family.  You can find affordable puzzles at Dollar Tree for just $1.25.

Where can I find free fall festivals and family events?

  • Check your town or city’s official website for a calendar of free or affordable events, including festivals, pumpkin patches, and kid activities.
  • Contact your local community center directly for information on upcoming events. 
  • Enter your city or town name in the Facebook search bar to find pages and groups that share local event updates and details.
  • To find specific events, you can perform a Google search by typing in keywords like “fall festivals in [Your Location]” or “family events near me.”

How can families celebrate Halloween on a budget?

You can celebrate Halloween with your family without straining your budget with these cost-effective ideas for the holiday, which falls annually on October 31st:

  • Check out this article if you’re looking for free or low-cost Halloween costumes.  Alternatively, get creative by crafting your costumes using items you have at home.
  • Trick-or-treating is a Halloween tradition where kids in costumes go to houses, say “Trick or treat,” and receive candy or treats. It’s a fun way to see creative costumes and carved or decorated Halloween pumpkins and get free goodies.
  • Look out for free trunk-or-treat events in your community. Many churches and organizations organize these events in parking lots, where participants decorate their car trunks and offer candy, fun activities, or games. It’s a safe and cost-free way to celebrate.
  • Host a Halloween movie night at home featuring your favorite spooky films, complete with popcorn and treats. It’s a cozy and low-cost way to enjoy the holiday.

Mitzi Colin Lopez is a Digital Ads Content Creator and Experimenter at Noticias Para Inmigrantes. Her origin as a Mexican immigrant characterizes and drives her to empower the Latinx, Hispanic and immigrant communities. She is a recent graduate of West Chester University, where she obtained her bachelor’s in Political Science and Spanish. Her passions include social justice, advocacy, hiking, traveling, and weightlifting.