Fall is in the air and there are plenty of free things to do to enjoy the season. When I was a child, I loved trick-or-treating in my homemade ghost costume (really an old sheet with some holes cut out). As an adult, I love the pennant races and the World Series. Whatever you love to do, there are lots of ways to do fun things for less or for no money at all.
Enjoy the great outdoors
- Check out your local parks for some fresh air and fun. From floral and foliage displays to sports facilities to picnic areas to walking trails, they offer something for everyone.
- Don’t forget your furry friends! Dog parks offer both you and your pet a chance to get out and socialize.
- This is the perfect time of year to watch the birds migrate. Get out your field glasses and guide to observe the aviary wonders as many species flock towards their fall and winter homes.
- Birds aren’t the only ones out there. Find a local wildlife sanctuary or some nature trails and observe the native animals. Maybe even add a few pictures to your photography collection.
- Check out your local nature trails and plan a hike or a biking session.
- Whether nearby or a weekend getaway, you can enjoy one of mother nature’s brightest displays: the fall foliage turning colors. If you’re looking for some lesser-known spots to visit, check out Money’s Where to Leaf-Peep for Less This Fall. Or check out online foliage reports to find the peak of the season near you.
- Whether it’s fall apples or pumpkins, picking your own is a special activity, often accompanied by hay rides and corn stalk mazes. But the fun doesn’t end in the field. At home you can carve pumpkins and roast the seeds, make apple pie or caramel apples, and share the bounty with family and friends.
- Root for the home team at your local football games. Even if you don’t have children who play, it’s fun to get caught up in the team spirit.
- As the nights start to turn cooler, nothing warms you up like a bonfire or campfire. Attend an organized event, or if it’s safe and legal to do so, hold one on your property (check Building a Safe Bonfire for tips). Be sure to bring the hot dogs and s’mores.
Soak up some culture
- Visit a local museum, whether it’s fine art from the masters, historical artifacts, or children’s activities. Often they will have a certain day of the month (like the first Saturday) with free admission. Also check the benefits on your credit cards (if you use them) as they sometimes offer free admissions as well.
- Go back in time and check out historical sites. Like art museums, they often have free admission dates, and sometimes will hold special events, particularly around holidays.
- Free concerts are a staple of the summertime, but some continue into the fall. Check your local paper or websites to see what’s around.
- Harvest festivals are usually free to attend. Bring a picnic lunch to avoid the high cost of food, or go with a budget in mind.
- Get-togethers of car collectors and enthusiasts often result in a classic auto show. Check out the display of restored automobiles and get a good look at your mom and dad’s first car.
- Your local library is likely to have more than just books these days. Our township library offers printed books, audiobooks, eBooks (and eReaders), movie DVDs, concerts, movie showings, community events, classes and clubs. There’s always something fun to do there.
- Or stay at home and browse free eBooks from Amazon.com. You don’t even need an eReader, you can read them right in your web browser.
- Want to learn a new skill? Use your online resources to take a “free class” from the multitude of instructional pages and videos available to all. Check out cooking videos on YouTube or Google how to play chess or learn to wallpaper from WikiHow.
- Do something crafty. Supplies can often be found right at home, whether it’s creating a scarecrow for the front porch or ironing fall leaves between waxed paper. Homemade costumes for Halloween can be a lot of fun, too.
- Hold an old-fashioned game night of cards or board games with family and friends or neighbors.
- Invite your family and friends to a potluck dinner where everyone brings a dish to share.
- Volunteer in your community. Use VolunteerMatch to find local opportunities that you care about.
- Join the fun in costume at a Halloween parade. There are even parades for costumed pets!
- Find a club that shares your interests. Check out Meetup for local groups.
So what was your favorite fall activity when you were growing up? And what’s you favorite free thing to do now?