Looking for some fun fall activities for kids (beyond apple picking and visiting the pumpkin patch)? We’ve rounded up our favorite ideas for all ages, plus some fall activities the whole family can enjoy together.
Best Fall Activities for Toddlers
1. Check Out a Kid-Friendly Halloween Event
Halloween doesn’t have to be all guts and gore; plenty of attractions offer “lights on” experiences that allow toddlers and young kids to experience the haunts without the horrors. These are our favorite kid-friendly Halloween events for 2019.
2. Go to a Winery
Yes, wineries! Fall is wine harvest season, and many wineries offer special events with food, live music, and more during this time. The events are almost always family-friendly, with many of them offering special activities for kids; think grape juice tastings and crafts. The same goes for breweries; many of them offer their own take on Oktoberfest and other fall-themed events.
3. Paint Pumpkins
Let your little ones design their own pumpkins with paint, glitter and stickers, or try a pumpkin decorating kit. But first, everyone has to get their hands gooey—empty out all the pumpkin seeds to bake while you decorate!
4. Bake Some Fall Desserts
Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin roll. Homemade apple sauce. Homemade apple pie (a la mode, of course). Smells and tastes like fall! Let your little ones help (or pretend to help) whip up some tasty treats.
Best Fall Activities for Preschoolers and Elementary-Age Kids
5. Build a Scarecrow
Build a scarecrow with hay and/or old newspaper for the stuffing, and for the outfit, dig up some old clothes and accessories laying around your house. You can also visit a local thrift store to dress your scarecrow.
6. Make a Giant Leaf Pile
Grab your rakes and get to it! Is there anything more fun than jumping into a freshly swept pile of fall leaves?!
7. Bob for Apples
After your trip to the apple farm, come home and bob for apples! All you need is a large tub, water, and apples. The kids will get a good laugh out of this classic game.
8. Go to a Parade
Grab your lawn chairs and blankets and head to your local high school’s homecoming parade or a Halloween parade. Better yet, enter to participate in a parade with a group, such as your scout troop.
Best Fall Activities for Tweens and Teens
9. Get Lost in a Corn Maze
Many farms across the U.S. offer unique corn mazes for various “skill” levels, many of them changing their themes each year. These are some of our favorite corn mazes for 2019.
10. Creep Through a Haunted House
Have kids who love a good fright? Visit one of the 13 Best Haunted Houses and Attractions in the U.S.
11. Tour a Truly Haunted Hotel
… or tour (or spend the night at) one of these haunted hotels across the U.S.
13. Make Your Own Pumpkin Spiced Lattes
We can’t promise it’ll be better than Starbucks—but it’ll certainly be more fun! Find a pumpkin spiced latte recipe you like and give it a try.
Fall Activities for Families
14. Head to a Fall Festival
No matter where you live, you’ll likely be able to find a harvest festival with food, arts and crafts vendors, music, kids’ activities and more. Or you can plan a trip to visit a festival! These are some of our favorite fall family festivals for 2019.
15. Go Leaf Peeping by Train
Plan a train trip so that no one has to worry about driving and everyone can enjoy the fall foliage! There are plenty of tours that offer half- or full-day train trips for fall leaf peeping.
16. Take a Haunted History Tour
History tours can be fun for kids; they can also be boring. Take your kids on a haunted history tour led by guides in period dress for an immersive experience. Some of our favorite tours include Gettysburg Ghost Tours in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a notoriously haunted Civil War town.
17. Take a Cheap Fall Vacation
Many vacation destinations are more affordable in the fall—and they’re also less crowded! Not sure where to go? Check out these ridiculously affordable fall vacations for 2019.
18. Go to the Beach
Yes, the beach! In fact, some beaches are even better in the fall! While you may or may not be able to put on your swimsuits and go in the water (depending on weather), you’ll definitely be able to enjoy local festivals and popular summer attractions, which often stay open through October. Bonus: Accommodations are typically cheaper in beach destinations this time of year.
19. Go to an Indoor Water Park
When it gets too cold outside—or you just need a change of pace—head to an indoor water park! Great Wolf Lodge has 18 (soon to be 20) locations, meaning many of them are easily accessible by car. Great Wolf Lodge also offers fall events for “Howl-O-Ween.” Want to try a different indoor water park? Check in to one of the 10 Best Indoor Water Parks Resorts in the U.S.
20. Go for a Hike
Head to a local state park or preserve for a hike or just an easy stroll. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch!
21. Go for a Bike Ride
Don’t want to hike? Bring your bikes and go for a ride amongst the red, orange and yellow leaves.
22. Camp in Your Backyard
Sure, you can go to an actual campsite… but something about camping or even “glamping” in your own backyard is just more fun! Check out these fun and unusual tactics for turning your backyard into a campsite.
24. Watch a Halloween Movie
Watch a Halloween movie from the comfort of your newly built fort (or the sofa). Family favorites include It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Casper, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice, The Addams Family, and of course, Hocus Pocus.
26. Tour a Football Stadium
Have kids who love football? Let them get a behind-the-scenes look at their team’s home stadium! Many U.S. football stadiums offer tours.
27. Go to an Amusement Park
Many amusement parks offer Halloween-themed events—and many of the rides remain open, too! We especially love The Great Pumpkin Fest, hosted at amusement parks such as Carowinds (Charlotte, North Carolina), Dorney Park (Allentown, Pennsylvania), and Worlds of Fun (Kansas City, Missouri). These are some of our other favorite amusement parks to visit for Halloween (and Christmas).
28. Walk or Run in a Race
This is a fun way to support a good cause and get some exercise. Sign up for a local fun run or walk with an organization that’ll donate the proceeds to a local charity; then enjoy a crisp, fall morning outside with the kids.
29. Adopt a Family
There’s nothing more rewarding than giving to those in need. Search for local opportunities to “adopt a family” for Thanksgiving and provide them with everything they need to make a memorable meal. This is also a great idea at Christmastime—get your extended family to pitch in, too.
30. Plan Your Next Summer Vacation
It’s never too early to start thinking about your next summer vacation! Start your research now and involve the kids in the planning process.