Four years ago, I wrote a post called, “50 Things to Do (Other Than Movies)“. And I guess I’m not the only person who can be at a loss for fun activities to do with friends and family. Because people still love that post. In fact, most people who visit the blog come to check out that list. There are more ideas I’ve added since then.
But I haven’t yet put one together for fall. It’s hard, because most of my best-laid plans for fall typically stop at a pumpkin spice latte, a few decorations, and maybe carving a pumpkin. We always dress up for Halloween, and we always watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But most of my creative plans for fall get lost in the shuffle of everything going on this season. (Although to be fair, two out of the past three years have included pregnancy and newborns. But still.)
This year, I have lots of hopes for apple picking, bonfires, and more fun. If you’re fresh out of plans for date nights, family time, or bonding opportunities with roommates or friends, here are some ideas:
1. Attend a fall festival. There are a lot – ones at churches, local orchards and farms, downtown. Check out a community calendar for ones nearby.
2. Have a photo shoot in a pumpkin patch or sunflower field. Make it serious for frame-able photos, or spoof some sentimental shoots for funny memories.
3. Pull together old clothes or grab a few at Goodwill and stuff your own scarecrow for decoration. (Or practical use?)
4. Host a seasonal cooking competition. See which of your friends can bake the best pie, brew the best cider, or whip up the best chili.
5. Have a Farmer’s Market Dash. Set a budget, and go out and purchase random items from a Farmer’s Market, without telling the other/s what you’re getting. Then pool your ingredients and come up with dinner or a dessert.
6. Rake and play in the leaves like kids (or with your kids). This was one of my fondest memories last year – simple, but special.
7. (For the adults.) Attend an Oktoberfest and try some new brews. Or have friends over and each bring a different one to try.
8. Raid the dollar store for fall or Halloween decor, and prank a neighbor or friend by decorating their front porch.
9. Attend a college football game, and tailgate ahead of time.
10. Go to Goodwill, set a budget and a time limit, and put together the absolute best costume you can. Furthermore, get other customers to vote on which costume is the best.
11. Tell spooky stories around a bonfire.
12. Make your own doughnuts. (Pinterest has so many recipes.)
13. Have a corn hole competition.
14. Finally learn the Thriller dance. Or try some square dancing out for size.
15. Have a dinner with friends where everyone makes a different part of the meal. Each meal must contain one specific seasonal ingredient. Make it the same for every part of the meal, or offer an unexpected different one for each, for an extra challenge.
16. Hold a classic scary movie night. (Okay, okay, this one’s a movie idea, but classic scary movies are the best!)
17. Host an Ugly Flannel Fall Party, or an Ugly Halloween Shirt Party. (In the style of the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.)
18. Celebrate the Chinese Mid-Autumn or Moon Festival by making mooncakes. (Find a recipe for traditional or a different flavors online.)
19. Go to an amusement park that celebrates fall and/or Halloween.
20. Put together a playlist of songs that remind you of fall, and use it as background music for any of the other activities.
21. Play on a school playground (when school is out of session, of course).
22. Make a candy apple buffet, with caramel and fudge fondue, and all of your favorite toppings.
23. Grab some inexpensive face paint and try your hand at some funny, artistic, or creepy makeup. (Again, Pinterest has some ideas.)
24. Make your own tied or trimmed fleece blankets.
25. Take a ghost tour in or near your town. Or go through a haunted house, if you prefer.
26. Create a delicious fall-themed Chex Mix / Puppy Chow. (What do you call it?) Or Trail Mix, if you’re less into sweets.
27. Find ways to decorate pumpkins that do not involve carving or painting. Get creative!
28. Browse small bookshops and relax at local coffee shops for a few hours or the whole day.
29. Take a road trip to another town or city, and see how they’re celebrating fall.
30. Decorate a mug or a planter with a sugar skull pattern, leaf pattern, or another seasonal item.
31. Make it your mission to find the best view in town – which can come by either driving or hiking. Or look up the best spots for fall foliage viewing nearby.
32. Play glow-in-the-dark outdoor games.
33. Do a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood or town for the best fall decor, pumpkins, leaves, pumpkin spice latte, and whatever you can come up with.
34. Catch a seasonal or creepy play or musical.
35. Take an art class at your local arts and crafts store, which are usually inexpensive and seasonal.
36. Enjoy an outdoor concert, and bring a picnic.
37. Make fall wreaths or garlands for decoration.
38. Build a pumpkin launcher and try it out!
39. Go to a candy store, and pick out a variety of candies. Then go home and swap them with friends. (We used to do that during Halloween – anyone else?)
40. Serve in a food kitchen, make Thanksgiving baskets, or do a food drive, as a way of helping others during this harvest time of year.
41. Check out the nearest hot air balloon festival, which is popular this time of year.
42. In honor of school starting, learn something new together. Or learn something new individually, and come together to show off your new skills.
43. Visit a farm, and do all the farm things. Milk a cow, pick apples, pet the animals, you name it.
44. Go through clothes from the summer, and put them away. Sell or donate the unused, or figure out how you can wear them in fall.
45. (For adults.) Go on a winery tour, take a trip and hit up a few vineyards, or invite friends over to sample some at home.
46. Do an art project using fallen leaves. Decorate a jar, put them on a canvas, frame them, make them into a garland, or come up with another idea.
47. Do a run, relay, or other fundraiser. There are probably many in your area come fall!
48. Get a case of 12 mason jars, and fill them with something seasonal and homemade (maybe cider, hot chocolate, cookie mix, a candle, applesauce, etc). And then distribute to friends!
49. Same idea as above, except decorate them instead.
50. Make cinnamon apple chips or roasted pumpkin seeds.
What fall activities do you love? Leave some in the comments below!
Also, check out my Autumn board on Pinterest for more ideas and inspiration.