Fall Fun for the Budget-Conscious Family

4 Minute Read

What activities did you enjoy doing as a kid when the air started turning cooler and the leaves started turning colors?

Maybe it was jumping in a pile of leaves, roasting marshmallows over a fire, or playing a pick-up game of football. These are all nice fall activities. But do you notice a common thread here? They cost little to no money! Still they’re entertaining and create wonderful memories for your family. Since Dave’s Facebook fans always have great ideas to share, we asked them how they enjoy fall activities without spending a fortune.

The Great Outdoors

Fall is the perfect time for outdoor adventures. The weather is no longer brutally hot, and you have a beautiful backdrop of color in the trees. Paul K., father of a 2-year-old girl, talked about how he planned a treasure hunt for his daughter. “One week, I took a map from our park, printed it on ivory paper so it looked old, and put a treasure map on it.” When Paul and his daughter arrived at the X, they found the planted treasure—“Some stickers and a small toy. It was a great time, and it cost about $4.”


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For Dustin P. and his children, it may not mean digging for buried treasure, but the hunt is still on. “My kids love exploring the local creeks. We find frogs, turtles, crawdaddies and tadpoles. Free and good, clean (sometimes muddy) fun!”

As long as you are outside, you might consider heading to a corn maze or an orchard if one is nearby. Brenda F.’s family loves “hayrides, pumpkin carving/painting and homemade treats.”

And if hayrides aren’t your thing, Sarah K. may have the most unique idea for creating memories—it involves the hiking trail. “We go hiking, collect rocks, and bring them home to paint. Then we put the rocks in the garden to remind us of the fun we had.”

And fall just isn’t fall without roasting marshmallows, cooking hot dogs, and telling scary stories. These are some of Cate L.’s favorite frugal pastimes. “My grandkids love it,” she said.

Garden Fresh

If you’ve ever grown a garden, you know that it’s hard work. But that effort is worth it at harvest time. Rich G. and his family bring their fruits and veggies indoors this time of year and have a special kind of party: “We like to pick our garden veggies and have a canning party. We can salsa, applesauce and pickling peppers. It’s all family weekend fun, not to mention the awesome family dinner consisting of fresh fruits and veggies that night.”

Related: Save Time and Money By Growing These 6 Fruits and Veggies

Happy Campers

Camping is one of those timeless activities that just about any family can enjoy for almost no cost. Steph M. is certainly a fan of it. “Fall camping with crisp air is the best, and there is nothing better than getting in touch with nature. I love cooking on the open fire and spending quality time together,” she says.

Other suggestions included scouting your local newspaper to find out about free fall activities, having picnics in the park, and attending local fall festivals.

Seasonal activities like these are a fantastic way for families to spend a lot time together without spending a lot of money. Think of ways to be creative with your entertainment this fall. Who knows? You may just start a new family tradition!

No matter how your family enjoys the fall season, make sure that you are budgeting for it! If you need an easy way to budget, check out our free budget tool EveryDollar.

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