As much as we all love summer (we'll miss you, grilling parties!), it's safe to assume you’ve also been counting down the weeks, days, and hours until the first day of fall. Before long, you know you'll be Googling "fall activities near me" and looking for the best things to do in the fall! Well, look no further—we've done the hard work for you!
Here, we've rounded up the absolute best seasonal to-dos that you'll want to prioritize this autumn. Between hayrides, pumpkin picking, and corn mazes, you and your family have plenty of ways to stay busy in the weeks ahead. Make the most of autumn and enjoy all that comes with it—the crisp air, cozy atmosphere, and apple cider doughnuts—thanks to these fall bucket list ideas for all ages. Outdoorsy folks will want to consider a hike, camping trip, scavenger hunt, or peaceful morning walk, while those who prefer to take the less strenuous route will enjoy a foliage train ride or scenic drive down an open country road.
Let’s not forget about all the glorious fall food either! As soon as September starts, it's time to fire up the oven and make way for the best seasonal creations, from pumpkin pie to pumpkin bread. No matter how many outings, crafts, or recipes you manage to get through, prepare to have an absolute ball this fall.
In the spirit of Halloween, take turns reading kid-friendly short stories outside by the fire or under the covers with a flashlight. Spark creativity by encouraging family members to make up their own.
SHOP GHOST STORIES
Love apple pie, but looking for something a little more outside-the-box to wow your crowd with this year? These pie-spiced apple fritters pack the same (albeit even sweeter) flavor and only take 30 minutes to make. Read: Apple pie has officially met its dessert match.
SHOP DUTCH OVENS
Escape the grid and soak up the crisp, fall air from a nearby campsite. Bonus: You'll have a primo view of the gorgeous changing leaves.
SHOP CAMPING TENTS
Enjoy one last outdoor hoorah before temps start to drop past the point of no return and dine al fresco with your family. Cover each chair with a plaid blanket to keep cool, then set the mood with cozy candles and a hearty feast.
SHOP OUTDOOR BLANKETS
Pack a few bags, bundle up, and make a day trip to a local forest this fall. Little ones will have a blast exploring new territory, especially if there's a spectacular aerial view waiting for them at the end.
SHOP HIKING BOOTS
Can't make it to a fall fair? Set up your own at home for a fun-filled weekend afternoon, complete with a gourd ring toss, pumpkin knock-down game, and fun prizes for all.
SHOP MINI PUMPKINS
The best way to make raking leaves less of a chore? Promise your kids a chance to dive right into the biggest pile in the yard—after which you'll need all hands on deck to pack them up into trash bags.
Invite all your guys and ghouls over this October 31 for a spook-tacular Halloween celebration. Keep things far from kitschy with a DIY broom chandelier, which you can hang Mason jar candles from using black twine. Shred a black linen tablecloth for extra eerie flair, then add black furniture, candlesticks, and votives.
SHOP BLACK TABLECLOTHS
Ready, set...scour! Find a printable scavenger hunt online, then set out on a nature walk and see how quickly you can cross everything off the list. For bigger groups, you can even break into teams and add some friendly competition.
While you prep dinner, let your kids have fun with leftover corn. Once you've removed the husk, they can paint the ears different colors and roll them over paper for some refrigerator-worthy fall artwork.
Get the tutorial at Natural Beach Living.
SHOP FOAM PAINT BRUSHES
All of the best pumpkin farms and patches offer so much more than fresh picks these days. With hay rides, corn mazes, food markets, and more, they're a one-stop shop for autumnal activities.
SHOP CARVING KITS
Pick up a dozen at your local farmer's market or find them at a nearby apple orchard. You can also put your baking skills to the test and make 'em right at home.
SHOP DONUT PANS
Light up your porch or walkway with this jack-o'-lantern, or get creative and dream up your own design.
SHOP CARVING KITS
Forage your backyard, pantry, or craft closet for supplies and use whatever you find to create one of these cute crafts.
SHOP WREATH FORMS
Give your garden an autumn makeover by filling planters and flower beds with fall favorites. You simply can’t go wrong with mums!
Cider, caramel, cinnamon, apple, and more! These tasty sangria recipes feature all the best fall flavors and make the perfect cocktail for fall parties.
Enjoy the last few nice nights before winter arrives with a backyard bonfire. Just think of it as another excuse to snack on some s'mores!
Take in the changing leaves and crisp fall air on a relaxing fall foliage train trip. There are several across the country that are perfect for fun day trips and family excursions.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
Make game day a real party with yummy eats and snacks.
SHOP DRINK DISPENSERS
Sharing is caring! Whip up a big batch soup recipe to serve to extended family, friends, and neighbors.
SHOP SOUP POTS
Whether you have time to decorate every room in your home, or simply want to add a small festive touch to your dining room table, there are plenty of autumnal decorating ideas you can squeeze in this season.
SHOP WOOD SLICES
Get in the spirit of the season by watching a quintessential fall movie. For date night, stream flicks like When Harry Met Sally and for family affairs, watch The Blind Side or one of the many Harry Potter movies.
Take a cue from this rural Colorado farmhouse filled with fall decorating ideas and let your neighbors know how excited you are for the season with a porch covered in festive fall decor.
Put fall leaves to use as a crafting material for fun seasonal DIYs, like these foliage-covered pumpkins.
Autumn is a breath of fresh air—literally.
As trees come alive with fall colors, take a drive down an open country road just to enjoy the beautiful scenery.