Fall activities for kids are a fun way for the whole family to enjoy the cozy season. The trick to an exciting fall outing or family-friendly fall activity? Keep things simple, but get creative as often as possible.
From exploring nature and enjoying cooler weather to baking yummy delights (complete with in-season ingredients) and doing fall-themed crafts, here's how to give your kids their most awesome autumn yet.
Outdoor Fall Activities for Kids
Autumn is the perfect time to get outside and immerse your kids in nature. The air is crisp, the leaves are vibrantly bright, and there is no shortage of fun fall activities to enjoy with kids in the great outdoors. There are plenty of free and budget-friendly things to do this autumn, but you can also take the time for a fall family trip or special event if it works for your family.
Plant Bulbs for Spring
A bit of digging in the dirt come fall will leave the kids with spring flowers to pick! This is a fun fall activity your kids will love participating in and you'll love having the help with yard work. Get the kids a shovel and have them plant fall bulbs.
S'mores and Bonfire Night
Instead of telling the kids that it's time for bed, tell them it's time to head out to a backyard bonfire and have a treat! You'll be the coolest parent of the year when you let them stay up and snack on s'mores.
Build a Fort in the Woods
If your kids love outdoor adventures in the fall, building a forest fort is a fun way to keep them occupied all afternoon. Get them started with a little help, then see where their imagination takes them.
Have a Fall Picnic
A family picnic encourages quality time in the fresh air and the crisp fall weather is perfect for such an occasion. Don't forget your favorite picnic snacks!
You heard that right. After August is blackberry season! Switch up traditional apple picking with a bit of blackberry picking. After kids fall into bed, make some delicious blackberry drinks and relax for the evening.
Take a Walk in the Woods
Explore the sights and sounds of the woods in autumn. Check out the different colored leaves, the falling pine cones and scattered acorns, and bring some home for future projects and crafts.
Decorate Your Yard Together
Have the kids help pick out pretty pumpkins and gourds, haystacks, wild corn, and corn stalks to decorate your front porch for fall. Having the kids help out with the fall decor gives your home an extra special touch for the autumn season.
Fashion a Scarecrow
Looking for a fall tradition as a family? Make a scarecrow together! We've broken down an easy 4-step process for making a scarecrow your family will love.
Go Apple Picking
If the pumpkin patch isn't open yet, your local orchard probably is. Go pick apples as a family and start planning all the sweet apple treats you can make when you get home.
Get Kids Behind the Camera
A family photo shoot in the fall doesn't need to be stressful. Here's a way to get your kids excited about the process: give them a camera or a phone and let them take pictures that say "fall" to them. Once finished, print them out and add them to an album you can look back on each year. You can also snap pics of them in motion and add them to the album.
Make Nature Witches' Brew
Little kids can gather twigs, dirt, acorns, pine cones, flowers, and leaves and make a heaping pot of Witches' Brew in the backyard. Let them create their own "recipes" and serve it all up at the Witches' Brew Diner — aka, your backyard.
Take a Bike Ride in the Park
Bring your own or rent a few bikes at the park as a family. You can take in all the lovely fall views and get some healthy exercise too! While you're there, play a few outdoor fall games to complete your afternoon.
Fall Activities for Kids in the Kitchen
Baking cookies, simmering soups, and making your own bread just seem right in the fall. Get your kids in on the kitchen action and invite them into your fall baking and cooking adventures.
Create Pumpkin Spiced Everything
Pumpkin spiced drinks, cookies, muffins, pancakes, and trail mix. Anything can be turned into a pumpkin spice paradise with a bit of creativity.
Bake Pumpkin Seeds
There is only one time of year to do this, and it's now! Kids love the pumpkin seed baking process because it starts with getting hands messy and gooey as they retrieve seeds from the pumpkins.
Make Seasonal Pies
The best pies are made during autumn. Teach your kids the secret to a perfect pecan pie, a sweet pumpkin pie, or a classic apple pie.
Craft Homemade Apple Cider
Drink it cold or enjoy it hot; autumn is the ideal time to sip on some apple cider! Once you've made the cider, you can start creating homemade apple cider mocktails for the whole family.
Make Homemade Applesauce
Applesauce is a favorite snack with the younger crowd, and it's pretty easy to make too. We have a yummy homemade applesauce recipe to guide you. Get kids involved with apple washing and pouring ingredients into the pot. If they are old enough and you are supervising, let them stir the mixture over the stove.
Create a Fall-Inspired Dinner Menu
Have the kids think up their favorite fall food items and ask them to create an entire autumn-inspired menu from start to finish. Work together to bring the menu to life in your kitchen.
Crafty Fall Creations to Make With Your Child
When the wind blows cold, and no one wants to head outdoors, try a few fun fall crafts with your kids. These autumn-inspired projects are easy, adorable, and will keep kids busy for hours of play.
Do Leaf Rubbings
Kids will love this easy fall activity — and you'll love that it makes a minimal mess. Leaf rubbing is simple and might keep your kids occupied for quite some time.
- Collection of fall leaves
- Parchment paper
- Assorted crayons
- Place the parchment paper over your leaves. You can secure with a pin or tape if you like, but this will likely destroy your leaf.
- Use a crayon to gently smudge across the surface, revealing a detailed picture of the leaf's qualities.
Create Salt Dough Leaves
Salt dough leaves help your kids get crafty and practice some fine motor skills. We love this salt dough leaf tutorial from The Imagination Tree.
Make a Handprint Fall Tree
Paint a trunk and branches of a tree on large white board paper. Have kids use red, brown, orange, and yellow paint and their handprints to make the autumn leaves on the tree.
Not feeling up to painting the entire tree? Just print an image of one and let kids get creative in decorating or coloring it.
Paint pumpkins and give them silly faces or colorful designs, whatever strikes your kids as fun and artistic. Add them to your outdoor fall decor and show off their pumpkin creations all season long.
Older kids can make 3Dpumpkinart with beads and pipe cleaners. Younger kids can give this a whirl too. It's excellent for fine motor skills, but they might need some help with the assembling component. Glue Sticks & Gumdrops has this easy-to-follow guide for a beaded pumpkin craft.
Do Apple Stamping
You don't need to paint with a paint brush! Cut an apple in half, dip the fleshy part of the apple into paint, and let kids stamp away.
No apples on hand? Try unripe pears or sweet potatoes for this easy craft.
Make Pumpkin Suncatchers
Pumpkin suncatchers are the perfect fall crafts to let those rays of light into your home. Follow along with Crafts on Sea to make this dreamy fall craft.
Create Cute Bats
Using little more than toilet paper rolls, paint, and construction paper, fashion some cute little bats to hang throughout the house.
- Toilet paper rolls
- Googly eyes
- Glue sticks
- Construction paper
- Paint and markers
- Cut bat wings from the construction paper and attach with glue.
- Glue on the googly eyes.
- Add a mouth, fun colors, or other details to personalize each bat.
Make Mosaic Pumpkins
Tear art is a perfect way for young children to learn to work those little fingers while being creative. These mosaic pumpkins are an ideal art project for preschool-aged children.
- A print out of a pumpkin shape
- Black, green, and orange construction paper
- Glue sticks
- Help children tear various sizes of construction paper.
- Use the pieces to start filling in the pumpkin shape, gluing them down as you go.
You don't have to stick to pumpkins here! Try bats, ghosts, apples, and turkeys for Thanksgiving.
Fall Family Activities Near You to Try With the Kids
The autumn season is full of adventure and discovery. Head out on exciting fall adventures to expand horizons and bond as a fall-loving family. The kids will definitely be putting these excursions in their memory bank.
Go Pumpkin Picking
Head to a local pumpkin patch and pick out the perfect carving pumpkin. Challenge your child to find the smallest, largest, or most unique pumpkin in the patch.
Try a Corn Maze
See if your kids are smart enough to work together and navigate their way out of a corn maze. Stay close by though, those things get confusing quick!
Visit a Cider Mill
Check out a cider mill. Bring cider, donuts, and apples home for an afternoon snack after you explore the ins and outs of the mill.
Go on a Hay Ride
It's the classic fall activity at every autumn festival! Pile onto hay bales and let a tractor pull your kids through golden fields and colorful forests.
Cheer on Your Favorite Football Team
Take the kids to a college or professional football game and cheer on your family's favorite team. Give them the full experience with concessions, merchandise, and all the classic football chants.
Spend an Evening Boo-ing Friends
Make paper bags filled with fall treats and give them to your neighbors and friends. Sneak up to the porch of their home, place the bag on the stoop, ring the doorbell and run! What a fun way to spend an October night.
Check Out a Fall Festival
See if any local fall festivals are happening in your region and take the kids on an autumn outing for the day.
Take the Kids on a Color Drive
Check out the vibrant, beautiful leaves as you listen to music, roll the windows down and enjoy one another's company. Don't forget to work in a few road trip games during your drive. Some of the best places to see fall leaves might be in your area, or it could be worth venturing a little farther to see the autumn beauty.
Gather Fall Produce at a Farmer's Market
Take the kids to a fall farmer's market and explore the seasonal produce offered there. Help them identify the items and select a few for a homemade meal later in the day.
Head to the Farm
Fall is a great time to head to the farm and visit the animals. Book a tour and watch your kids fall in love with all the animals and the atmosphere of farm life.
Go to a Local Bakery
Bakeries are flowing with the yummiest treats this time of year. Hit up your local dessert spot and grab a few treats for the afternoon.
Check Out Activities at Your Library
Local libraries host all sorts of fun activities for kids and families in the fall. Check out the schedule and see what fits your crew's interests.
Things for Families to Do Indoors on Those Chilly Fall Days
While the autumn season certainly invites nature-loving kids to get outdoors and explore the world's beauty, it is also the perfect time to connect within your four walls. Kids won't be able to get enough of these fall activities specially designed for a chilly autumn day.
Play Pin the Nose on the Jack-O'-Lantern
This game is just like 'Pin the Tail on the Donkey,' except you are pinning the nose on the jack-o'-lantern! You could also pin the nose on the witch, pin the wings on the bat, or pin the worm on the apple.
Play Mummy Wrap
Have kids wrap each other up in toilet paper and race to the finish line without breaking the mummy wrapping. Such a giggle-worthy fall activity. Is it messy? Yes. Is it worth it to see your kids enjoy themselves? Absolutely!
Play Apple Toss
Grab a few pumpkin-shaped candy buckets from the dollar store and a few red and green plastic balls from an existing ball bin or another toy. Set the buckets up at various distances from the kids, and see if they can throw the apples into the buckets.
Keep your 2-liter pop bottles and store them away for a fun fall activity. Spray paint them orange and let them dry. Set them up in a hallway as you would bowling pins, and let kids take turns knocking them down using a soft ball.
Mystery Pumpkin Float
This is a take on the classic rubber duck game found at carnivals and fairs everywhere. All you need are ten plastic pumpkins that will float, and a bathtub of water to keep kids busy. Using a permanent marker, make a star on the bottom of one pumpkin. Kids then turn pumpkins over until they find the one with the star.
Make a Spider Web Maze
Use white masking tape and create a wild maze in the hallway. This is your spider web. Kids are the little spiders who then try and weave their bodies through the web, seeing if they can get to the end without breaking the tape.
If you're short on tape, try using yarn instead. This is also a great game for all ages because you can make the webs more complex for older kids.
Play Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe
Use real or fake small pumpkins and a cardboard Tic-Tac-Toe board. Paint an "x" on half the pumpkins and an "o" on the others. Play a few rounds of pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe.
Autumn Holiday-Themed Activities
During fall, many families celebrate not one but TWO majorly fun holidays. These Thanksgiving and Halloween-inspired activities will make kids forget that Christmas is right around the corner.
Head to a Haunted House
Take the kids through a haunted house if they are up for fun and fright. Look for some in your area that are more of a "fun house" if you want to avoid nightmares later on.
Play Ghost in the Graveyard
Ghost in the Graveyard is a classic game to let the kids play on a fall evening. You'll want to head outside just as it's getting dark to really enjoy this game.
Have a Spooky Movie Marathon
Older kids can hunker down and work through their favorite spooky movies. Younger kids can watch family-friendly Halloween flicks that won't give them the willies at night.
Make a Thankful Jar
Have kids write all that they are thankful for on small slips of paper. Place the slips in a mason jar. On Thanksgiving, take each one out and read it.
Throw a Family Halloween Party
Give the kids a night to remember with a family Halloween party. Set out spooky snacks, play fun Halloween games, and wrap the night up with a family-friendly Halloween movie.
Do a Thanksgiving Day Scavenger Hunt
Create a Thanksgiving-inspired scavenger hunt on Turkey Day. Include items to find like:
- A football
- The word "Thankful"
- A turkey
- A horn of plenty
- A pilgrim's hat
- Some sort of pie
- A pumpkin
Devote a Day to Giving Back
November is all about gratefulness, so head out to a local soup kitchen, food pantry, or animal shelter and help kids understand what it means to give back.
Fall Kids' Activities That Lead to Learning
Anything that helps children learn and boosts brainpower is a winning activity in parents' books. These fall activities are educational and entertaining.
Play Words From Words: Thanksgiving Edition
Give kids the words: Thanksgiving Day. They then have to use only the letters in the words given to make as many words as possible. The child who comes up with the most words wins.
Fall Item Sorting
Gather plenty of pine cones, acorns, sticks, and leaves, and ask young children to sort objects into their respective piles. This is an engaging fall activity for toddlers, helping with fine mote skills and object recognition.
I Spy Fall Edition
Play I Spy with common autumn objects to help boost children's vocabulary. Take turns guessing the fall objects within five chances to score a point.
Make a Pumpkin Volcano
Science is so fun, and kids will love this take on the classic baking soda-vinegar volcano experiment with a fall twist. Little Bins for Little Hands has this easy tutorial for a pumpkin volcano.
Play With Halloween Slime
Read Autumn-Inspired Books
You will NEVER run out of fall reading material. Take your favorite fall books under a colorful tree and get reading.
Learn About Dia de los Muertos
This Mexican holiday occurs in the fall and it's one of a few celebrations within the Mexican culture during Halloween. Learn and celebrate this unique cultural holiday with your kids.
Create a Thanksgiving Cookbook
Brainstorm favorite Thanksgiving recipes with the kids. Teach them how to write a recipe down, including ingredients and steps to create a dish. Assemble the recipes into a family cookbook. Don't forget to include some of those family recipes you all love!
Cozy Fall Things to Do for a Relaxed Family Day
Outdoor adventures and crafts are great, but sometimes you need a fall activity as cozy as the season it's in. Try these relaxing fall activities with your whole family.
Have a Fall Movie Marathon
Show your kids the fall movies that you watched on repeat each year. Work your way through our official fall movie list on chilly evenings with your family.
Build a Cozy Fort
Hunker down in the living room with the kids all afternoon. Keep them entertained with a cozy blanket fort and a few flashlights.
Tell Scary Stories
While you're snuggling in the blanket fort, why not tell some classic scary stories just in time for spooky season? These scary stories are just silly enough to keep the nightmares away.
Make Fall the Best Season of All
Fall will become the season kids look forward to the most when you work in fun and exciting autumn activities. Whether children get outdoors in the crisp air, or spend time cooking and crafting, you won't hear your kids complain of boredom all season long.