The air is crisp, the leaves are changing color, and it’s time to find fall activities that the whole family can enjoy. Family time gets so much more special during the fall season, and rightly so. The weather gets cooler, and there is just so many events and activities to choose from now. It would be a bonus if they could be budget-friendly family activities, right? Well, here is a list of frugal family fun in fall that you can enjoy now and throughout the season.
While most think that state parks are best when you visit in the summer, they really come alive in the fall. The foliage is gorgeous, the animal life is amazing, and it’s just cool enough for long hikes to explore the atmosphere. Visiting your state parks can also be inexpensive. Create a fall eye-spy game with your kids, and have them find fall-themed plants and animals. You could also back a thermos of hot cider, soups, and sandwiches to make the visit a thrifty event. Be sure to visit the parks and recreation section of your state’s website to find out the charge for visiting the state parks in your area. If you’d like a good deal, purchase an annual fee. You can then visit a few times this fall, winter, next spring and summer.
Fairs and Festivals
If you ask me, the fairs and festivals in the fall beat any other time of the year. These events tend to be free or extremely budget-friendly for the community, which means you need to take advantage of them. Colleges have festivals in honor of homecoming, which could include free concerts, kids shows, arts and crafts, and local vendors offering affordable snacks. If you decide to visit a fair or festival in the fall, set a budget for the day. Eat before you go, but allow your family to support local businesses buy purchasing fall-themed treats. It’s a great way to get out of the house, enjoy the season, and support your neighborhood.
Fall-themed Dinner Party
There’s nothing better than fellowship, especially in the fall. This is when we spend time with friends and family that were too busy in the summer, and the weather just calls for us to entertain at home. The guest list can be small, like a few moms from your kiddos soccer team, or a few couples that you haven’t dined with in months. By having them in your home, you can control the budget for the soiree, and there’s no need to tip the waiter since you’ll be serving! Dinner parties can bust your budget, especially in the fall, but there are secrets to making it work while staying under budget. There are lots of tips in the Fall Entertaining on a Dime book, including why picking a certain color dinnerware for your party will save you tons of money. Be sure to check it out!
This is the time of pumpkins and apples, so a visit to your local farm is a must-do this fall. There is a danger of busting your budget while visiting a farm if they are offering hay rides, cider doughnuts, and the like. Here’s the secret: decide to experience only one activity at your local farm. If you plan to pick apples, then let that be the family activity for the weekend. While the cranberry wine they sell might be great, or the corn maze may be a fun activity as well, if it will bust your budget then you have to decline. Also remember, you can make your own easy apple pie at home. There’s no need to buy one at the farm.
Weekend Afternoon Drives
Have you ever just hopped into your car and driven around your neighborhood? No, I don’t mean driving TO a place within your neighborhood, but actually taken a drive to see the beauty where you live. Autumn is a great time to enjoy where you live, and how awesome your neighborhood looks at the change of the season. This is great way to past the time, and to bond with your family in fall. You’ll see houses of people you know, and neighbors you may not. This is also a great way to see what houses are already decorating for Halloween (and who may have the best candy come October 31st). Do you live in a neighborhood that isn’t visually appealing? Visit the affluent neighborhood near you, instead.