How to Enjoy Fun Fall Activities for Less


There are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself this autumn season without cracking open the piggy bank.

The leaves are changing color and there’s a slight chill in the air. Yes, folks, fall is here once again. Fall is filled with fun activities and many of them can be done on the cheap!

The Classics

First, let’s get some of the most obvious options out of the way. These are the timeless fall traditions. We’re pretty sure it’s illegal to not do at least three of these before the season is over.

Here’s a nearly comprehensive list that Lisa Richmond of Making Life Richer (@makingliferich) shared with us:

  • “Visit a pumpkin patch – There are many free pumpkin patches that allow families to partake in fall fun.”
  • “Decorate your house together – Pull out fall decorations and decorate the house together.  The kids love to take part in making the house festive.”
  • “Jump in a pile of leaves – All you need is a rake or a walk along a tree lined street!”
  • “Go to a chili cook-off – These generally have an entrance fee or tasting fee.”
  • “Visit a local farm for apple picking – Fruit you pick tends to be less expensive than fruit in the grocery store and you get lots of memories from the outing.”
  • “Have spiced apple cider – Buy different brands of spiced apple cider and do a taste test.  You can always add in pumpkin flavored goodies to the taste test and make an event of it.”
  • “Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – Pop some popcorn and make a family movie night of it!”
  • “Have a pumpkin decorating contest (you can just draw or use real pumpkins).”
  • “Bake monster shaped cookies – Cost would depend on what ingredients you have on hand and how fancy you make the cookies.”
  • “Write notes for family and friends of why you are thankful for them.”
  • “Make Thanksgiving crafts to pass out at a nursing home.”
  • “Watch your local high school football game together.”

But in addition to the classics, additional fall activities have arisen over the years.

The fall future is now

We are living in times our ancestors could have only dreamed of. We may not have jetpacks or flying cars or transporter machines, but we have coffee makers that need firmware updates, and well, that’s something!

That also means there are more fall activity options than ever before. Michael Banks founder of (@FortunateInvest), offered a possibility the pilgrims could have only dreamed of:

“Another fall activity for non-families is Fantasy Football. It’s typically free, and a great way to get more out of football Sundays. You can meet up to discuss results or watch the games, and it’s a great reason to have a party!”

But even if Banks is living in the future, he’s also a fan of the classics: “Fall staple, pumpkin patches are a great, cheap way to have a classic fall day. Especially popular with families, you can spend time picking out pumpkins, and later (safely) carving them up at home!”

If you’re a photography fan, fall is a great season to add to your Instagram account. Take a walk through a nearby forest and check out all the pretty leaf colors. Visit a farmers market and take pictures of your haul as well as whatever you make with it. Got a dog? The entire internet would surely love to watch them frolic through the fallen leaves. Get enough followers and likes, and maybe you can even get an apple pie company to send you some free samples.

You could also have friends come over for a scary movie festival. As long as someone has access to a Netflix password, there will be a lot of options to choose from. You may not be able to plan out specific movies without purchasing them, but Netflix has a big range of weird and esoteric horror movies. Half the fun is putting on something you’ve never heard of and seeing what happens. (Sadly, for finance nerds like us, there isn’t a movie about the dangers of predatory payday loans and title loans … yet.) There are also a lot of anthologies, or movies made up of multiple smaller films, which can be a great choice. That way you aren’t watching any one thing for too long. Be sure to have some spooky snacks like… scary popcorn!

And the most important free activity

We touched on this above a bit, but spending time with friends and family is one of the most important things you can do. And they won’t even charge you for it! There’s a reason there are so many holidays around this time of year. Humans have always tried to keep together when the weather gets colder and the sky gets darker earlier. And the activities we didn’t say you should do with family and friends? Well, you can still do those with friends and family anyway!

Have yourself a wonderful harvest season without messing up your bank account!

What are some cheap fall activities that you enjoy? Let us know! You can email us or you can shoot us a message on Facebook and Twitter.

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Michael Banks is a seasoned finance professional and founder of (@FortunateInvest). With 20 years of professional experience in the financial services industry, he uses his expertise to turn simple lessons on money into lifelong habits that form the basis for a successful financial future.
L_RichmondLisa Richmond is the blogger/writer at Making Life Richer (@makingliferich) since May 2017. She is a busy wife and mother of 3 children. Originally from Southern California, Lisa now makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lisa worked in marketing as a Digital Marketing Program Manager for over 9 years prior to staying home to care for her family.

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