100 Activities That Will Get You in the Spirit of Fall
There is so much more to enjoy in the fall than eating apple pie and going on a hayride (though those are two of the most popular activities). Check out 98 more things you can do to get in the spirit of fall.
Gather Around a Fire
The crisp, cool air makes a bonfire fantastic in the fall. Don’t have a fire pit? Get an idea of what you want with these 37 sensational fire pits.
Horseshoes is a classic summer/fall fun game that’s perfect for entertaining guests at a party, or just passing the time with your family. Strike up some friendly competition by installing a court yourself. Here’s a great tutorial to check out that’s fun to look at, too!
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Spring cleaning is normally seen as a prime time for yard sales, but a post-summer garage sale can be the perfect way to clean out the summer toys and gear you no longer need while making room for holiday decorations—not to mention making a little extra cash, says Aaron LaPedis, author of The Garage Sale Millionaire. Plus, it is a great way to meet your neighbors and their kids before school starts to set up playdates and carpools, he adds. Follow these tips to rake in the big bucks.
DIY Bird Feeder
Suet, which can be purchased at most grocery stores, is the hard fat around the kidneys and loins of cows and sheep. Especially In the winter, suet is a source of heat and energy for insect-eating birds. You can make a simple suet bird feeder from a mesh bag that produce comes in. Just shape the suet into a ball, roll it in birdseed (although this isn’t necessary), put the suet in the mesh bag and hang it outside.
The fall is a good time to start canning since it’ll be harvest season, too. Learn how to can and what you’re able to can.
Go to a Farmer’s Market
Everyone loves the farmer’s market during watermelon and peach season but your local growers have plenty of great things to offer as the weather cools down too, says Kristamarie Collman, MD, a family medicine physician specializing in preventative health, nutrition, and weight management. “Take advantage of the seasonal foods such as butternut, pumpkin, and other root vegetables,” she says. “These eats are loaded with vitamins and immune boosting nutrients to help keep you healthy throughout the season.” Add these summer superfoods to your diet for a glowing complexion.
Thanks to cooler temps, fall camping can be the best camping, says Christian Shauf, CEO and founder of Uncharted Supply Co. The mild weather, changing foliage, and crackling fire will give you lasting memories, plus nothing will solve your sadness about summer ending better than crisp air and the beautiful colors of the leaves around you, he adds.
Plan an Adventure
Combat the dreaded end of summer by giving yourself something to look forward to. “Create a dream board filled with pictures of places you want to go or things you want to do to celebrate fall,” says Janine Knighton, creative director at PuttingAPinInIt.com. Apple picking, drives to see the changing leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, a cozy bed and breakfast, a sumptuous Thanksgiving family feast—whatever says “fall” to you. Then hang it somewhere you can see it every day, she adds. These 38 photos of fall across America will inspire you.
Button Up Your Cabin
Fall’s the time to winterize your cabin. Here’s a good place to start with what you’ll need to do.
Not everyone is giddy to go camping but they might be for glamping, the glamorous form of camping. You’ll want to add these 32 things for the glamping experience.
Photo: Via Etsy
What’s better than gathering around an intimate table after dinner and playing a game of Jenga? DIY jumbo Jenga in the backyard, of course! You may have noticed some restaurants and parks have added an interactive space to their patios and open areas with this game, among others. Now it’s your turn to build the game yourself. Here’s a great tutorial to try out for adding life-size Jenga to your backyard fun.
Ladder golf is the kind of game that’s fun for all ages. You’ll need a little hand-eye coordination, but pretty much anyone can play. Here’s how to make your own DIY ladder golf game.
Cornhole, or bean bag toss, is a fun game that’s great for buddying up with a friend and playing against another duo. And while you can find the game online or at many stores, it’s also really easy to make. In fact, you can likely make a much better one than you can purchase! Here’s how to build a set that will last you for many backyard games to come.
Fall’s a beautiful time to hike. With the cooler climes you won’t return home a sweaty pig. Who know, you might be able to find some cool twigs you can use to make this picture frame.
Go See the Leaves Change
Find out the trees that are the best for fall color before you go out.
Pumpkin picking is a staple of fall. Want to know how to speed up the pumpkin carving process?
A corn maze is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon in the fall, provided you remember it’s not a race.
Pick up some apples for pie, cider or an apple bobbing contest at an apple orchard. It might be a good oasis from a congested pumpkin patch or corn maze. Check out how to create an apple spear to pick up apples in your yard.
Jump in a Pile of Leaves
The only fun part of raking leaves is getting to jump in them afterward. Try one of these super useful tools for dealing with leaves when it’s time to clean up.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
If you ever wanted the best fall color experience, watching the leaves from a hot air balloon might be the most awesome way to do it.
Vicki L. Miller/Shutterstock
Create a connection with the harvest by going for a hayride. A bale of hay can be kind of comfy.
Airbnb For Fall Colors
The fall colors can be a good excuse to get away and you might be amazed what’s available on Airbnb. Get really adventurous and try renting one of these houseboats that feel like tiny home or immerse yourself in the canopy with a super cool treehouse.
Sit by the fire, sip on a pumpkin-spiced latte and get to work on a scarf for winter. Or try macramé, it’s all the rage.
Pick up Pine Cones
Pine cones can be a tripping hazard in the backyard, not to mention a hinderance to mowing your lawn, so gather them up and turn them into a creative wreath. Using a pooper scooper to pick up pine cones is one of our 45 hugely helpful home hints
As the leaves start to fall, spotting birds becomes easier. Birding is a good opportunity to get outside and explore. You’ll want to check out these backyard creations, including one that is perfect for birders.
Stay in and create your own pumpkin-spiced latte, everything always tastes better when it’s homemade. Coffee will taste great in this pour-over coffee maker.
Fly a Kite
Flying a kite is an activity that a child of any age can enjoy. Marvel at the scenery while flying a kite. An old kite spool can turn into an incredibly handy tool at home, see how.
Wouldn’t Thanksgiving be a lot more fun if you could have it with friends? Maybe, maybe not, but a harvest party can serve as a Thanksgiving with friends. Use the produce from the farmer’s market and brew up some pumpkin-spiced lattes.
Find a spot with a fall festival. It could be a great day trip to a charming small town.
Make a Scarecrow
A scarecrow can serve a purpose in the garden at home but it can be an incredibly fun activity for parents and children. Get creative with the design of your scarecrow after seeing some of these cute scarecrows.
A bike ride along a shady bike trail is a great way to spend a few hours on the weekend. It can be pretty relaxing to coast along the trail and hear the birds chirp. Accessorize your bike with these 10 awesome add-ons.
Friday Night Football
The passion and unbridled enthusiasm of high school football is a sight to behold. It’s also a great way to feel part of the community.
W. Scott McGill/Shutterstock
Arboretums can feel like a vacation without having to go far. The kaleidoscope colors of the flowers will leave you impressed and perhaps inspired to add color to your backyard.
Grab some paint, a roller, construction paper and some leaves to start making leaf prints. It’s a fun activity for parents and children. Hang them on the refrigerator to break up the usual drab decor.
Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock
Apple bobbing has been a staple of Halloween parties for decades and it’s a fun way to pass the time.
Bake some pumpkin bread to get into the fall spirit. It can be a little slice of heaven.
Watch Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Fall Movies
As Halloween approaches, fall is a good time to queue up some classic movies like Legend of Sleepy Hollow or Hocus Pocus. Here’s a home theater that will make you jealous.
Photo: Courtesy of Craftideas
Try something out of the ordinary and go ghost hunting. There are more and more ghost hunters out there and it’s a good opportunity to learn more about ghosts.
There’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book on a cool afternoon. Find a sunny spot at home to set up a reading nook.
Try Home Brewing
The home brewing craze may have subsided but fall might be the perfect time to give it a whirl. The cooler temperatures make it easier to work outside to brew.
Watch Football Games On TV Outside
The days of nice weather start to become fleeting in fall so take the opportunity to pull the TV outside to watch college and pro football. Or set up a TV in the garage if you don’t want to haul one in and out of the house. You could go big and set up an outdoor theater.
Take some time and hop on a horse for a scenic trip. There’s something peaceful about plodding along a trail, time seems to slow down a little.
Build a Treehouse
If you’re ambitious, a treehouse can be a pretty cool project. It’s a little escape for kids to get out of the house and feel like they’ve got a space of their own. Be sure to check out these mouth-dropping treehouses to get some ideas.
Take the time to learn more about nature by getting to know different animal tracks. It’ll make those hikes like a little investigation and a bit more engrossing. Just make sure you don’t see any mice tracks heading into your house, you can prevent that with these tips.
Go to a Nature Center
If you’re not savvy on nature, a nature center is a great outlet to gain some knowledge. Many have interpretive stations that will answer some of the questions you have.
Drag in some leaves to create a gorgeous decor item for your home. Garland is fairly simple and pretty easy to store when winter hits. Try these fun fall outdoor containers, too.
Get Started on Halloween Costumes
A lot of the fun in Halloween is the picking of a costume. Get a head start and start planning when fall arrives. That way you’ll have time to create your costume. A roll of duct tape can be quite the tool for costumes, see some of the craziest here.
Start Building Halloween Yard Decorations
If the weather starts to take a turn, stay inside for a day to start creating Halloween decorations for inside or for the yard. You’ll love these monstrously creative Halloween creations.
Identify different leaves around the yard or at a park with a leaf hunt for kids. Have them place leaves into bags that have a matching picture. It’s fun learning experience for kids. If you need a refresher, here’s a good guide on identifying tree species.
If you’ve got a tree dropping acorns, keep a few on hand to create some acorn decor. It’s a little DIY project that won’t cost you anything besides time. Try these 11 incredibly simple DIY decor ideas.
Creepy Cottage Pumpkin
DIY a miniature Halloween scene inside of a foam pumpkin to use year after year for fun decoration. Check out how to get it done.
If you’ve never done this before, we recommend getting some experience at an indoor rock climbing facility. Then if you get the hang of it, rock climbing outdoors is an amazing experience to enjoy in the fall.
You can stargaze while camping, or you can drive a ways outside of the city and recline on the hood of your vehicle to take in the night sky. Better yet, check out some of the world’s best stargazing destinations.
In addition to pumpkins, sunflowers are a quintessential fall plant, and visiting a sunflower farm makes for a fabulous fall experience. And it’s great for taking photos!
Spread Mulch to Protect Perennials
Prepare Your Fireplace
Clean Up Your Lawnmower and Other Yard Tools
Plus: Tune Up a Lawn Mower
Trim Problem Bushes and Trees
Plus: Tree Pruning Techniques
Rake Those Leaves!
Aerate the Lawn
For more, check out our fall lawn care guide.
Photo: Aigars Reinholds/Shutterstock
Prep Your Garden
After that’s done, check out these 10 easy to build planters and start planning your spring building projects!
Inspect Your Fence
For the skinny on how to take care of any fence maintenance and make it fall ready, you may need to do, check out our guide here.
Clean and Fill Bird Feeders
Photo: Paul Reeves Photography/Shutterstock
Photo: Jurga Jot/Shutterstock
Store Outdoor Furniture
Photo: Irina Mos/Shutterstock
Practice Pest Control
Check out our fall ready pest-prevention guide for all the details.
Get Your Gutters Ready
Check Exterior Caulking and Weatherstripping
Fall is the perfect time to make sure your house is properly caulked and your weatherstripping is in good shape. Inspect around windows, doors and anywhere else two materials meet to make sure the caulk is in good shape. Check weatherstripping around doors and replace if it’s broken or missing – it’s super easy to do.
Give Your Roof a Once-Over
No one wants to be fixing a roof in the dead of winter. Give it a once-over to make sure there aren’t any signs of trouble. Pay attention to broken or missing shingles, missing flashing and any discoloration.
Install Frost-Proof Outdoor Faucets
New outdoor faucets are frost-proof and also prevent unsanitary water from contaminating your water system. Installing a new outdoor faucet takes just a few hours and will give you peace of mind all winter long.
Winterize Your Sprinkler System
If you like number crunching and you have the original irrigation layout showing the gallons per minute (gpm) of each sprinkler head, divide the gpm of each zone by 7.5. That’ll give you the cubic feet per minute (cfm) you need to blow it out. Otherwise, rent a 10-cfm compressor and hose from a tool rental center.
Set the compressor air pressure regulator to a maximum of 80 psi for rigid PVC pipe systems, or 50 psi for flexible black polyethylene pipe. Then turn off the water supply and set the system timer to open just one zone. Next, open the manual drain valve at the end of that zone (if equipped). Then, connect the air line to the blow-out port, as shown. Close off both valves on the backflow preventer. Then remove the plug on the blow-out port and screw in a quick-connect hose adapter. Snap on the air hose and connect the other end to the compressor. Now blow out the line. The heads should pop up and spit out water. Disconnect the hose as soon as they run dry. Don’t overdo the blow-out—without water cooling the plastic gears, they can melt in less than a minute. Move on to the next zone and allow the heads to cool. Then go back and blow out each zone a second time.
Drain Garden Hoses or Waste Money on Replacements
Gary Wentz, Editor-in-Chief
Drain Mechanical Sprinklers or Buy a New One in the Spring
Change Your Furnace Filter
Changing your furnace filter is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your furnace in good shape. If you haven’t changed it in a while, make sure you have a fresh one before your turn your furnace on for the first time.
Check Your Chimney or Risk a Fire
Creosote buildup causes chimney fires. You should have your chimney professionally inspected or cleaned after every 70 fires. If you burn wet wood (which you shouldn’t), have it inspected or cleaned every 50 fires.
Don’t remember the last time you had it cleaned by a pro? A quick way to tell if your chimney needs cleaning is to run the point of your fireplace poker along the inside of your chimney liner. If you find a 1/8-in. layer (or more) of buildup, call a chimney sweep.For additional expert chimney maintenance advice, check out what two certified professional chimney sweeps have to say.
Stop Airflow Up the Chimney
Fireplace chimneys can be very inefficient, letting your warm inside air disappear like smoke up a chimney. If you have airtight glass doors that seal the opening, you’re in good shape. (The doors are available at fireplace retailers and home centers.) If not, a special balloon or chimney-top damper will get the job done.
For fireplace chimneys that are seldom or never used, inflate a Chimney Balloon inside the chimney to stop the air leaks. Buy it directly from the company . Partially inflate the balloon by mouth or with a pump, then stick it into the chimney and blow it up the rest of the way.
Putting in and taking out the reusable balloon can be messy (here’s when to clean a chimney flue), so you don’t want to hassle with chimney balloons if you regularly use your fireplace. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for energy loss. Instead, you can install a chimney-top damper system, like the Chim-a-lator, which seals the top of the flue when the chimney’s not in use. A lever in the fireplace controls the damper via a long cable.
Installation involves attaching the damper and screened-in cap to the chimney top, then mounting the lever in the fireplace. If you don’t feel comfortable working on the roof, hire a chimney sweep or mason, who can install the system for you.
Deep Clean Rugs and Carpeting
Take advantage of one of those beautiful fall afternoons to give your rugs a deep clean. Take area rugs outside and give them a good shake (or a good whack), then give them a thorough vacuum with your shop vac. Don’t forget our interior carpets – you can rent a carpet cleaner and give your carpet a deep clean before you start hosting holiday gatherings.
Get Your Snowblower Ready for Service
You’ll want to be sure your snowblower starts before the first big snowfall. Take some time to get your snowblower running and in good order so it’ll be spitting snow as soon as it hits the ground.
Whether you have a source of wood on your property or need to purchase a cord or two, fall is a great time to spend cutting and chopping wood to burn in your fireplace all winter long. And if you’re using a chain saw, make sure to brush up on your safety knowledge before you hit the forest.
Store Summer Toys
Garage Door Maintenance
Install Weather Stripping
Preserve Lawn Supplies
Switch to Warmer Bedding and Clothes
Insulate Pipes to get Your Home Ready for the Cold
Inspect Your Screens and Windows
Photo: Alex Ander/Shutterstock
Prepare Your Entryway for Muddy Feet