Fall is a beautiful season. Almost everyone loves summer and tries to hit every item on their summer bucket list, but even the most die-hard summer-love r is ready for cool nights and brisk mornings by the end of summer (all of those hot days take their toll!). So as the kids head back to school and the adults head into their post-summer schedules, take some time to plan out some must-do fall activities for your family or your friend squad. You’ll be able to fill up your Instagram with pictures that will make the most jaded influencers swoon. Worried that these fall activities will be budget-busters? No fear! There are plenty of great fall activities with a minimal cost.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Looking for the perfect backdrop for some family photographs or a great place to snap a new profile pic for social media? Look no further than your local pumpkin patch! And the fun doesn’t stop with picture-taking: Have a contest with your friends or family to see who can find the smallest pumpkin, the largest pumpkin, the pumpkin with the oddest shape, and so on. When you’re done, if you have a few bucks to spare, take a few pumpkins home with you: Pumpkin patches are often great sources of inexpensive pumpkins! They make great fall decorations for your porch, whether you paint them with pretty patterns or leave them plain.
Carve a Pumpkin
The pumpkins you gathered at the pumpkin patch and left on the porch can also make great jack-o’-lanterns once Halloween draws near! Small children will enjoy decorating pumpkins by drawing on them with markers or gluing art supplies onto them (use excess supplies already on hand to keep down the cost). Older children and adults will probably prefer carving pumpkins: You can make your own design, or you can print out templates found online to follow. Either way, start by drawing your design on the pumpkin before you pick up a knife. And when you’re all done, dig through the pumpkin pulp, pull out the seeds, and roast them for a tasty snack.
Enjoy the Leaves
The prettiest sight of the season for much of the country is the leaves changing from summer green to fall’s flaming bright colors. A cheap fall weekend afternoon activity is to drive around and enjoy looking at the leaves as they change color. If you have mountains nearby, head for them for a particularly beautiful view. These (temporarily) vibrant tree displays also make great photo ops, one of many autumn provides! Families with children can also enjoy collecting and categorizing leaves. You can try making leaf crafts, too. Leaves can also turn routine chores into cherished memories: When raking your yard, make a big leaf pile and then jump in! It’s a classic fall activity for a reason.
Go On a Hay Ride
Nothing says “rustic fall fun” quite like climbing into a wagon filled with hay that’s pulled by horses, a tractor, or a truck. It’s a classic fall activity! It sounds expensive, but with a little digging, you should be able to find an affordable hayride. Many state parks offer hayrides in the fall. Also, check out local farms (you might very well find a pumpkin patch that also offers hayrides!) or even churches, which sometimes offer them as part of a fall festival. Older children and adults might enjoy nighttime hayrides, which often incorporate ghost stories or other scary elements.
Build a Bonfire
Once the weather cools and the nights turn chilly, a bonfire can offer both outdoor warmth and fun. Check your local ordinances to see if you can have a bonfire on your property. If you can, build yourself a safe bonfire. And of course, what’s a bonfire without s’mores? Gather marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers to concoct the campfire classic. Hesitant to build your own bonfire? Local beaches or parks sometimes host fall bonfires that are open to the public.
People often think of camping as a summer activity, but in many parts of the country, camping is far more pleasant in the fall. The lower temperatures and less intense bug population make camping and hiking more enjoyable, and campgrounds will probably be less crowded and sometimes much cheaper in the fall versus the height of summer. When looking for inexpensive camping locations, remember to check out parks and government-owned land.
Cooler temperatures mean just one thing for a lot of people: Football season! Granted, going to a pro football game can be very expensive, but watching pro football on TV at home with homemade snacks is very cheap. Even people who don’t enjoy football usually enjoy the snacks! But if you’d rather go to a live game instead, you might be able to catch one at your local high school or college. These games are often quite inexpensive and offer great football close to home.
Many people avoid turning on their oven during the summer. Ovens tend to heat up the entire house, after all, which is hardly desirable during hot days. So by the time fall rolls around, with its plethora of pumpkins, apples, and other produce perfect for pie-making, people are ready to bake! Carve out the time for a serious baking day and take advantage of the flavors of fall. Along with the classics, you might also give something different a try, like a chocolate pie with cornbread crumble.
Design Your Own Ghost Tour
Ghost tours are a great way to explore a city or town, learn some history (after all, what are ghost stories but a scary take on actual history?), and experience scary thrills in a safe group. But sometimes, the scariest part of a ghost tour is the price tag. You don’t have to let that scare you away, though; you can still enjoy all of the best parts of a ghost tour by designing your own. Hit up the library or local used bookstores to find books about local ghost stories and legends. Local history books can also offer ideas for scary tales.
Host a Movie Marathon
Horror movies or movies based around Halloween abound. Families with young children could focus on silly, family-friendly Halloween movies like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or Ghostbusters. Groups of adults and families with older children might enjoy scarier fare, and there’s plenty of that, too, including lots of scary movies available to stream. If you don’t have the time or the attention span for movies, host a marathon of classic Halloween-themed television episodes instead. Pick your poison (so to speak), organize the snacks, and enjoy a fun, festive evening around the TV!
Discover a Fall Festival or Fair
The cool weather is perfect for being outside, which is why community organizers host fairs and festivals during this season. Almost every state has a state fair, and quite a few of them are in the fall. Fairs offer carnival rides, sideshow attractions, and classic fair food. Some offer livestock exhibits and concerts, too. Fall festivals are usually local affairs hosted by schools, churches, or community centers. Fall festivals are more low-key and less expensive than fairs. Both offer classic fun and the chance to enjoy other fall activities, like hayrides, and they usually don’t cost much money.
Organize a Soup Swap
Soup might be the quintessential fall food. Most people have favorite soups, and most cooks have favorite soup recipes. A soup swap lets everyone involved share their favorite soups and try new ones. A few weeks before the swap, invite your attendees and tell them to bring refrigerated or frozen soup in containers they won’t need back. They should be labeled, and it’s best if the recipe is included on the label. On the day of the swap, all of the soup is put out, and people should leave with the same amount of soup they came with (so if they came with five containers, they should leave with five containers).
There are so many fun and creative ways to save money this fall, but for financial emergencies that come at a time when what’s in the bank simply won’t solve the problem or when you may not be approved for a traditional bank loan, it is important to remember that you have someone in your corner to help. TitleMax offers alternative lending solutions that may be a good alternative when needing to make ends meet quickly.