These Fun, Family-Oriented Fall Activities Will Keep Everyone Happy
It’s finally fall, the best and most fashionable season of the year, as trees change colors, the weather cools down, and Halloween approaches. To celebrate, here are the best activities to do in October with your loved ones, co-workers and even total strangers. And you don’t have to spend a ton to make these things happen.
Some features may change based on where you live or how your autumn plays out with weather, temperatures, and get-togethers, but if an activity just doesn’t quite work, try getting creative. No apple orchards near you for apple picking? Maybe try making your own cider from some store-bought apples instead.
Whether you’re on a budget or not, we know you’ll have fun doing these fall activities. So here’s to fall and making some great memories with the people you love!
If you live in an area that has apple orchards, most of them offer an option to come and pick your own apples and to choose from a variety of trees and kinds of apples. You can go apple-picking with your SO or even just a group of your closest friends.
And it’s even something you can get the kids into. Just be prepared to do a lot of lifting during this fun and delicious bonding experience.
Make Pies Together
Whether it’s the apples from your apple-picking date or fruit from the grocery store, apple pies are quintessential autumn desserts. If one of you is a whiz cook, you can teach your partner how to make a pie. And if neither of you has made a pie before, you can learn together!
Waiting for your pie to bake can also be the perfect time to throw on an October-themed TV show or movie. Charlie Brown is still a great classic!
Watch Something Spooky
Speaking of watching TV shows and movies, October means that spooky season has finally arrived. To get into the spirit of autumn—and to get ready for Halloween—watch a film like Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas or a TV show like The Addams Family. It’s also the perfect time to watch a horror flick, if you’re into that kind of thing.
There are also tons of streaming services that have curated Halloween favorites, so you don’t have to look too far or hard. So grab some popcorn and get ready to be scared in the best way.
Have a Harry Potter Marathon
If you’re feeling ambitious or have a lazy weekend, consider having a Harry Potter movie marathon and watch all eight films in a day for a magical throwback. You can chill in bed all day while you watch, or you could host a magical party with all your friendly neighborhood witches and wizards.
And this extends to the rest of the Wizarding World as well. We can’t leave Newt Scamander, his fantastic beasts, and the team out of it. Oh, and you can always reread the books if you have enough time.
Visit A Corn Maze
Maybe you grew up going to corn mazes in October and haven’t been in years, but who said adults can’t be kids too? Many farms have corn mazes that are open to the public during October for a small price. They can be a blast to go to with your significant other or a group of friends.
It can also be a great team-building exercise for your coworkers. Just don’t bring any kids along, since the likelihood of them getting lost is pretty high.
Go On A Hayride
Along with corn mazes, hayrides are another quintessential farm activity in the fall. In fact, many places that offer corn mazes will offer hayrides as well, so you can hit two birds with one stone. These rides have the potential to be really romantic too, especially if you love a rustic setting.
So, get cozy by wearing jeans and your favorite flannel and enjoy a classic autumn throwback. You can even ask the conductor to drive it yourself if he’ll allow it.
While you may not be able to be in Germany for this iconic beer festival, many places around the world host their own versions of Oktoberfest, especially cities that have a hopping beer scene. Oktoberfest celebrations typically feature good beer, good food (think pretzels and bratwursts), and live local music.
And you can get in on it too, even if you have to drive to a nearby city for the weekend. Even if the drinking isn’t for you, the atmosphere can be really fun.
Have A Fall-Themed Photoshoot
With the cooler weather and beautiful fall colors, October is the perfect excuse to dress up in your favorite fall outfit and take photos, either professionally or with your phone. You could do this just by yourself or invite others to tag along. Colors like red, brown, and saffron work really well during the fall.
And why stop with autumn? You can make this a tradition and something you do as every season approaches. You can get your family in on it or leave it as a solo activity too.
Go On A Coffee Shop Date
You can go on a coffee shop date any day of the year, but nothing beats the feeling of sitting in a cozy coffee shop, sipping a pumpkin-themed beverage, and eating a muffin when it’s colder out. Everything from the colors outside to the atmosphere inside will soothe your nerves, especially if this date is with someone you really like.
Starting in the fall, many places will roll out their seasonal specialties, and it’ll only get better as winter approaches. Who doesn’t love a pumpkin spice or peppermint latte?
Try Out Seasonal Goodies
As mentioned before, many restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, and stores have seasonal items for the fall. You can try out a Halloween-themed donut from Krispy Kreme or pick up some pumpkin-flavored cereal from Trader Joe’s. The offerings really are endless, and your stomach will thank you for all the delicacies.
But if you love to cook and bake, try making some fall-themed items at home (you can find ideas and recipes on websites like Pinterest or watch the Food Network and YouTube for a live demonstration).
Go to A Football Game
Football season is finally upon us! October is the perfect time to go to a football game and have a tailgate party with friends. Or, if you don’t live near a football team/stadium, have a viewing party at home and cheer for your favorites while you snack on pigs-in-a-blanket and jalapeno poppers!
There’s really no amount of cold that can kill a great football spirit. So, break out your team’s jersey and hit the party hard!
With cooler nights come clearer skies (usually). Stargazing is a great, free way to spend some romantic time with someone while taking in all of nature’s beauty. If you’re not in love but love science, it’s also a fun time to learn some new things and take in the stars and all their glory yourself.
So grab your partner or friend or head out solo if you’d like. Just be sure that the area you’re going to is very safe; it could be your backyard for all we know.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Visit a pumpkin patch in October to find the perfect pumpkins for carving! You might even be able to roll this into the same trip as going to a corn maze and taking a hayride. Like picking out a Christmas tree, finding the right pumpkin can be a fun and involved activity.
You can compare shapes, sizes, and even colors and decide on how you’re going to carve them up while you’re there! Many pumpkin patch sales benefit local charities, too, so you’re hitting two birds with one stone.
Carve And/Or Paint Pumpkins
Whether or not you celebrate Halloween or the fall harvest, carving and/or painting pumpkins is a fun October tradition. Once you’ve picked up a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch or the grocery store, have a party while you carve and/or paint your pumpkin. And it doesn’t have to be scary-themed either.
Spice things up by having a pumpkin-carving competition to see who gets the title of being the pumpkin king/queen. You and your friends can even decide on a prize if you’re very competitive.
Roast Pumpkin Seeds
After you’ve carved and/or painted your pumpkins, don’t forget to save the seeds so that you can make roasted pumpkin seeds. Roasted pumpkin seeds make for a perfect fall snack. You can season your pumpkin seeds with cinnamon, brown sugar, parmesan cheese, or whatever else your heart desires; the possibilities are endless.
But there’s even more that you can do with your discarded seeds, and they don’t all include cooking them. Just look online for ideas; you can get super creative with it.
Have A Bonfire Night
Fall is the best time to have bonfires. It’s a time when everyone can sit around and enjoy some moments together before the weather gets too cold. Grab your favorite sweaters and blankets, some chairs, and indulge in a few fun games like Truth or Dare, 20 Questions and Chinese Whispers.
Depending on who’s invited, you can tell some naughty jokes or some really scary stories. For food, you can use the flames of the bonfire to make your meals.
Who has a bonfire without having s’mores? Practice the art of marshmallow roasting with your friends and kids while you enjoy a beautiful fall night together. You can make traditional s’ mores with graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows, or you can get funky and have different kinds of chocolate, cookies instead of crackers, fruit… the world is your oyster.
All we know is that this will be as fun as it is delicious, so be prepared with all the ingredients. And make sure your marshmallows are just the right amount of gooey.
Visit A Haunted House
While some haunted houses are gimmicky and cheesy and other ones are realistically frightening, they all make for a great activity during the month of October as Halloween approaches, and even a little bit after. If you’re brave, you can go solo, but we suggest going in a group: the more the merrier.
You can dare your friends to visit a haunted house with you and then see how brave you really are. It’s always a great idea to watch a really scary movie before or after going…just to keep the scare alive.
Go On A Ghost Tour
If you’re lucky and have survived the haunted house, then you’re more than ready for an authentic ghost tour. And there should be one somewhere near you. These are usually spooky and fun history-filled tours led by a guide who will spin you tales as you’re shown a variety of haunted places in hopes of seeing a ghost.
Some of these ghost tours even venture into cemeteries, just so you get the real experience. Ghosts have even been said to make appearances on these tours as well.
Pick Out Halloween Costumes
One of the most fun things as a kid during October was coming up with a Halloween costume. And it’s still one of the most fun things to do in October, even as an adult! There are tons of creative and funky costume ideas out there. Coming up with a couple or group-themed costume is also a blast!
And there’s no real expiry date on this activity, since you can always choose costumes for next year. Planning never hurt anyone!
Get $4 Chipotle
This is a very important PSA: Chipotle gives out $4 meals on October 31st, if you come dressed up in that snazzy costume you just put together! While Chipotle won’t release details until the date gets closer, the ‘Boo-rito’ deal has been several years running, typically from the afternoon into the evening.
So if you know you’re a big fan of this food chain and would love to get a cheap dish from them, especially on Halloween, head to your nearest Chipotle.
Go To A Halloween Party
Once you’ve eaten your $4 Chipotle dinner, it’ll be time to head to a Halloween party or host one yourself. Besides getting dressed up and hanging out with friends, making food for a Halloween party is fun in its own right—you could make an eyeball punch, graveyard brownies, or even mummy wrapped hotdogs.
But if you’re not willing to shell out cash just for one night, and that doesn’t even include your costume, grab a few friends and hit up one of the best parties in your city.
Hand Out Candy To The Neighborhood Kids
Warning: candy is not healthy. Another warning: being the one family in the neighborhood who lectures everyone on health will probably lead to worse outcomes than doling out candy on Halloween.
If you live in a neighborhood or in an apartment complex with a lot of kids and families, handing out candy to trick-or-treaters can be a great way to get to know some of them, and get involved with your local community. Otherwise, many local charities will have some kind of Halloween-themed event where you can donate candy and/or your time.
And if you’re really worried about giving out too many unhealthy snacks to kids, as there are many tasty but healthy alternatives available. Do a little digging online, and be the ‘cool’ family who hands out some unique, alternative treats.
…Or Turn the Lights Off and Have A Night In
If you don’t feel like making all of the effort to go to or put together a Halloween party or don’t want to deal with handing candy out to kids, there are still options out there for you. And one of them is something you can do from your couch or your bed….
And it’s to cuddle up and watch some TV. Grab your favorite snack and blanket and put on the show of your choice! Time to binge.
Make Caramel Apples
If you still have apples left over from apple-picking (or even if you don’t), caramel apples are an easy treat to make. Heat up some caramel (you can make it yourself or buy some from your local grocery store) and stab popsicle sticks or skewers into your apples. Hold them by the stick and dip your apples in the still-hot caramel.
Lay them down on some wax paper and add your toppings. They can be anything from fruits to candy and sprinkles or marshmallows.
Go On A Hike
If you love the outdoors, October is a fantastic time to go hiking and immerse yourself in nature, especially when it’s not too cold. It’s such a sight to see the trees transition from summer to fall and then fall to winter. It’s an even better idea to take your dog (or borrow a friend’s) out with you and collect leaves while you’re there.
Enjoy the crisp autumn air and the golden sunshine before winter sets in. And if you have an eye for photography, there’s no better time to snap some shots to add to your portfolio.
Go On A Picnic
Pack a picnic before you go hiking to enjoy a meal while you’re immersed in nature. And if hiking isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy a picnic while at a park or even in your own back yard. Picnics can be as simple or as elaborate as you make them….
So feel free to do something as simple as cheese, crackers, and fruit or to do something more involved like sandwiches and desserts. Basically whatever floats your boat.
If neither a hike nor a picnic alone will satisfy your love for the outdoors, why not go all-in and go camping? Yes, camping in the fall! So, gather your camping gear, pick a good spot (depending on where you go, you may need to reserve a campground ahead of time), and go for it!
Camping can make for a great, inexpensive weekend getaway of hiking, picnicking, and relaxing. And you’ll be able to unwind in the process.
Play In The Leaves
As the leaves turn and begin to fall, there’s always the temptation to make a big pile of leaves and jump in… And you should totally do it! October is the perfect excuse to frolic around in the leaves like you did when you were a little kid. It also makes raking leaves a more fun and rewarding chore.
You can also get some help with this task; it’s definitely more fun and goes by quicker if you have a partner.
Gingersnaps are delicious, spiced cookies that typically have ginger, brown sugar, and molasses (among other things) in them. Some recipes call for fresh shredded ginger, others candied ginger, and others only need the powdered alternative; it all depends on what kind of ginger you like and how strong you like it.
Gingersnaps are the perfect cookie for fall and are always a hit at parties and family gatherings (if you choose to share). Plus they taste great with just about everything.
Make Spiced Rum
If you drink and you love yourself some spices, making spiced rum is a delicious and relatively easy activity. You’ll want a dark rum and an assortment of spices for this concoction. These spices usually include allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and whatever else you want to be infused in the mixture.
You can also add extra flavor by putting in some orange peels, cranberries, or vanilla beans to the mix. Let it sit for a few days, the longer the better, then drink away.
Make Mulled Wine
Similar to spiced rum, but also entirely different, mulled wine is another great October beverage. Mulled wine makes for a great nightcap and is also fairly easy to make yourself. You’ll need a red wine of your choice and the same spices that you would use for rum, plus some honey.
And if you’re a huge Harry Poter fan, there’s a mead variant that you can do by following a simple recipe. Put one of the movies on again and you’re all set.
Visit A Farmer’s Market
October (and the fall season in general) is a time when harvests are in full swing. Stop by your local farmer’s market to pick up fresh fall produce like squash and help support your local farmers! It’s a great time to stock up on pumpkins for Halloween, potatoes for Thanksgiving and seeds for your favorite winter plants.
Many farmer’s markets also offer handmade fall decorations (like harvest wreaths) and other household goods like soap and baked goods.
Fall is the perfect time to get crafty. Many craft stores, like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, will have tons of fall craft supplies that you can take advantage of (Michael’s, in particular, tends to always have sales and discounts). And if you’re not a huge fan of spending much money to make your craft dreams come true, make a scrapbook.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to being creative. Decorate the house, make Halloween decorations… you name it!
You might want to avoid eating donuts year-round, but October is the time when places will offer seasonal flavors like cider donuts and pumpkin donuts. And we’re not even going to get started on the Halloween-themed ones that everyone from the big chains to the corner shops have.
So while you need to be aware that these won’t help your health a ton, it’s still fun to enjoy a seasonal treat once a year. You can bring a box home to share, bring someone out on a donut-tasting date, or have a delicious one all by yourself with a glass of cider.
Build A Blanket Fort
If it’s cold and/or raining outside, this is the perfect excuse to relive your childhood and build a cozy blanket fort. The structure itself doesn’t need much to stay up, and you can even use the posts on your bed, depending on the kind you’ve got. Once you’ve built your fort, snuggle with some pillows and blankets while you read your favorite book or watch some Netflix.
You can even inject some romance into it by adding some fairy lights. Call your partner over and get into some of the best cuddles you’ll ever receive.
In addition to apple pies and hot drinks, chili is a great meal on cool October nights. In fact, chili is a great meal to cook on any night, during any season…but especially if you’d like a hot kick when the weather is getting cold. If you aren’t feeling the red chili vibes or don’t like beans, you can also make a white chili.
People have all kinds of funky chili recipes—including white chili with chocolate added in, so you can even try a fall-themed one if you’re feeling adventurous.
Make Candy Corn Popcorn
If you’re obsessed with candy corn (and we know some of you are), take it to the next level and try making candy corn popcorn! Some recipes call for melting the candy corn while others just incorporate it into a chow-like mixture. It’s really up to you and how creative you’d like to get with it.
You’ll need plain, unflavored popcorn, some sort of binding agent, and whatever other mix-ins you want. Make sure to tell us how it turns out.
…Or, Make Butterfingers from Candy Corn
Did you know you can make your own butterfingers from candy corn? Yes, you read that right: a mix (or the love child) of two popular candies that many people wouldn’t dare think of. You can melt down the candy corn, mix in some peanut butter, and create your own tasty filling.
Form the pieces on waxed paper and then dip them in chocolate. These homemade candies even have a similar texture to everyone’s favorite candy bar!
Explore a Graveyard At Night
Last but not least, if you’re feeling EXTRA brave and spooky, consider going on a midnight ramble in a graveyard. You could tell ghost stories or have a graveyard scavenger hunt (like finding a certain year on a headstone or a certain number of angels/skulls/etc.).
You can do a guided tour or go solo if that’s what you want. Just remember to be respectful of the gravesites and try not to get chills!