Hello and HAPPY FALL Adventurers! I can’t believe what a whirlwind that past week has been. We have walls up in our living room again (thanks to my boyfriend’s AMAZING father)! I became an Auntie last week (Eeeek!) and got to spend a few days introducing my nephew to the world outside the womb. I can’t wait until he is big enough for some of these fall activities! This week, we are clearing out my condo to make room for our future tenants. Yes, my friends, I am becoming a landlord (cue anxiety). That will certainly be an adventure. We meet our prospective tenants on Thursday while we are up there packing up, which is an exciting venture.
Anyways–On to the real reason we’re here.
You may have seen on social media how much I LOVE September, but it’s not just because it’s my birthday month. 😉 I love the fall season. It’s my favorite time of the year. There are such rich colors outside and I get to eat all of my FAVORITE foods. I’ll gladly pass on the Pumpkin Spice Latte for a pumpkin pie. Just saying.
I’ve compiled a list of fun, cheap and family friendly ideas for you to try out this fall, so I hope you enjoy! If you’ve got a favorite that didn’t make the list, make sure you add it in the comments below!
10 Fall Activities That Won’t Break The Bank
If you’re like me, and you HATE being cooped up in the house, then you’ll love all of these activities. Almost all of them take advantage of the beauty of the outdoors this fall season. Some of these activities are specific to my area of Maryland, but you can find similar things near you, too! I’m telling you, get out and go do some of these things this fall! You won’t regret it!
1. Fall Isn’t Fall Without Apple Fest!
So, you might be thinking, what’s Apple Fest? Well, unless you live in Harford County, MD (or in my case, right in Darlington), you might not be aware that such a thing exists. I know we aren’t the only place in the U.S. to have an Apple Fest, but it’s the one I know and love.
One day a year, Darlington transforms from a small, quiet town, into a bustling street fair. It’s a festival with vendor stands, street food, and fun activities for everyone who attends. It celebrates the amazing versatility of (you guessed it!) the apple! I love festivals like this. My hometown of Windsor, CT has a Shad Derby every year, so when I first attended Apple Fest, I couldn’t contain my excitement. There were stands to buy anything you could possibly think of –from furniture to pet toys, baked goods to street food. There really is something for everyone at these kinds of festivals. I know there are also plenty of these fairs in any area, so don’t fret. Our little festival is free to attend, though I believe there are parking costs. I can literally see it from my house, so we always just walk over.
This year, Darlington’s Apple Fest (which is conveniently a short walk down the street from us) is the first Saturday in October. If you live near Harford County, MD, you should definitely come out for it! 🙂
2. Head to an Orchard
This is another activity I simply LOVE. There is nothing better than going to an orchard where you can pick your own fruit. You get a beautiful walk and for a small fee you get fresh fruit to eat and bake pies with! Some places have restaurants or picnic tables so you can make it a whole day affair!
Anthony and I love packing picnics and eating outdoors. Last year, we went to Lyman Orchards up in CT and went through the corn maze while we were there. We had a blast with our friend Jeanie. I personally LOVE corn mazes. You can see me below after I completed the largest one in New England a few years back.
Moral of the story? Look for “Pick Your Own” places around you. You never know the treasures you’ll find!
3. Pumpkin Picking & Carving
I have a confession to make. I LOVE the ooey gooey, seedy mess of carving a pumpkin. There is no other experience like it. I love the hayrides we took as kids to pick our pumpkin at the local farm. Then, there are the nights we light up the jack-o-lanterns on the front porch and they have that eerie glow. I LOVE IT ALL! If you know me, you know I love everything about Halloween. Pumpkin carving is just one of the perks of the season. It’s one of the fall activities that has a bit of a deadline, too. I heard there was a shortage of pumpkins in some areas, too, so you better get your pumpkins while there are still some good ones left!
Please note–While I love the ooey-gooeyness of carving our pumpkins, I hate the mess it creates. I line the floor with trash bags and painter’s tape for easy clean-up. It’s also great for carving with kids, though we often just did that part outside when I was growing up. It was much easier to hose off our cement pad that way.
4. Picnics in the Park
We do this at least once a month during the fall season. There is a nice picnic area at one of the wineries near us that we personally love, but we also love going to parks and picnicking there. Again, if you’re in the Harford County area, Boordy has a GREAT picnic area on a little hill. They occasionally have live music and there are scheduled winery tours, too.
In Connecticut, I loved going to Northwest Park in Windsor, CT. When I was in school we’d complain about going there all the time, but it’s a quaint little place with lots of trails to hike. It’s a hidden gem I didn’t appreciate until I moved away.
5. Hiking Beneath the Fall Trees
Speaking of trails to hike, that’s another thing we love doing. We try to plan our hikes around some good geocaching spots. We LOVE geocaching, which is really no surprise. It’s a treasure hunt while hiking. How can you not like something like that? We have found some pretty cool things during our geocaches. Once we found army men, buttons, and all kinds of treasures in a military-grade ammo box in the middle of the woods. That was pretty neat.
You always find something interesting when you’re Geo-caching and fall is a FANTASTIC time to go. Not only are the colors on the trees absolutely GORGEOUS, but it’s the perfect hiking temperature. Not too hot, not too cold. (Gosh, I felt a little like Goldilocks just then!) It’s just right. As fall activities go, this is a great one to get your family doing something active, and you’re always rewarded with what you find.
6. Haunted Hayrides
It’s almost October, which means TONS of Halloween Activities. One of my personal favorites is the Haunted Hayride. Some people prefer Fright Fest at Six Flags, but not me. First of all, Six Flags is so packed during October that I tend to avoid it. It just doesn’t fit my idea of fun. Now, Haunted Hayrides on the other hand–LOVE them. Sometimes there is a bit of a wait in line to get onto one, but if you bring a good coat and good company, it’s totally worth it in the end. I once went to one that had about 10 stops in different parts of the farm’s fields. At each stop, there was a different Michael Jackson-themed horror segment. It was a lot of fun!
I love going with people who are really jumpy, too. Mostly because I’m not very skittish at all. I’m usually the jerk laughing while everyone else screams. I’m the person the actors either try really hard to crack or avoid because they think I’m crazy. Makes it more fun for me. 🙂
7. Build Leaf Forts!
Okay–If you have kids and end up having to rake twice because of this, it is totally worth it! As an adult, I still love every minute of playing in the leaves. This was actually my favorite seasonal chore because it meant fort-building afterwards. My sister and I would spend HOURS creating stories, giving each other fort tours, and playing with our dog, Max. This is seriously one of the best fall activities out there. Leaves are free fun for kids and adults alike! Get raking! Or, you could just make your kids do it like my folks did. 🙂
8. Hot Apple Cider
Okay, okay. So it’s not an activity per se, but I couldn’t help it! Hot apple cider is one of my favorite things about autumn. We used to get it after pumpkin picking and it’s the perfect cup to warm you up after being out on a cool, fall day. You curl the cup between your fingertips and scrunch your scarf closer. You feel the warmth of the cider trickle down your throat and warm you from the inside while your scarf warms you from the outside. Ah, there is nothing better (except maybe hot cocoa in the winter).
9. Bake Fall-Inspired Desserts!
Okay—So I’m a pie person. Apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, strawberry-rhubarb pie, hand pies, chicken pot pie (seriously, I could go on). I mean, really there is no pie I don’t like (yet!). My favorites are usually all present at Thanksgiving Dinner. Either way, baking is a much more consistent activity in my house from October through the New Year.
Pinterest is full of recipes to try. It may be hard to contain myself. I’m thinking a lot of bread and pie recipes are in my future. I can’t wait to try this Cinnamon Applesauce bread with my homemade applesauce! We make our applesauce in the crockpot and wouldn’t dream of going back to the pre-packaged stuff. Some things are just better home made. 🙂
10. Campfire (and S’mores of course!)
You may be thinking, Megan—where have you been? Campfires are a SUMMER activity. Well, I know that. I worked at summer camp for 6 years. However, I actually prefer those backyard bonfires and campfires during the fall. For one thing, I always feel like I’m overheating at a summer campfire. During the fall, you can snuggle up with some blankets, a few friends, and maybe even a guitar. We love telling stories and watching the embers dance. We also tend to build bigger (but safe!) fires during the fall because we actually need the warmth on those cool nights. I can’t wait until the bigger projects in our house are done so we can turn our attention to the backyard where we want to build a stone fire pit. One day, we’ll be living the dream!
Go Experience Fall Adventurers!
No matter what fall activities you prefer, just get out there and experience the world! The world is too beautiful a place to get stuck inside. Plus, there are so many things you can do for very little cost! See what’s in your community! There’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy. Take a risk and try something new!
If you don’t see your favorite listed, PLEASE comment below! I’d love to try some new fall things so give me some suggestions!
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