It’s the most wonderful time of the year! (Did you sing that, too?) I’m so excited to officially welcome you to my favorite season! As the weather cools down and the leaves put on a show, it’s the perfect time to get those kids outside. It may feel a bit harder to spend time outdoors with school, holidays, and fall busyness, but it’s more important than ever to make sure your child gets plenty of fresh air, exercise, sunshine, and Vitamin N (nature). To help out, we’ve put together this giant comprehensive list of 100+ fall outdoor activities for kids! The items, activities, acts of service, treats, experiments, and crafts on this list are guaranteed to get you outside and active, creating and exploring.

{Post contains affiliate links}The Ultimate List of 100+ Fall Outdoor Activities for Kids

Special thanks to our Instagram community

These fun activities are guaranteed to keep your kids (and you) entertained, learning, and active while outside this fall! These activities have been tried, tested, and kid-approved by our online Facebook community, followers, editors, writers, and contributors! Plus, all of the photos in the post of kids outside having fun are from our absolutely amazing Instagram community! A very special thanks to all the parents that let us feature their beautiful images.

Free printable checklist!

While this post will give you all the details and variations for all 100+ outdoor fall activities for kids, if you want a printable checklist version, CLICK HERE and get a free printable of the list!

Ultimate Fall Outdoor Activities Bucket List for Kids@kelly.crews

100+ fall outdoor activities for kids

As the weather cools off, the days are shorter and seem to be packed with school, sports, and after-school activities. However, getting outside with the kids should be a top priority. Our family always makes a bucket list for fall, which includes tons of fun ways to get outside and active together as a family. We put together this giant list of over 100 fun things to do outside with your kids this autumn! We’ve got all the traditional fall activities, and we’re throwing in dozens more than you may not expect! We hope this list will help you plan fun outdoor adventures for your family this fall. And if there’s anything we’ve forgotten, let us know in the comments below, and we’ll get it added!

outdoor activities for kids in the fall - play in the leaves@isabellaxiong0

1. Jump in a leaf pile – Quite possibly the most fun and quintessential fall outdoor activity there is, jumping in a leaf pile is pure joy for kids! If your kids are little, rake a pile of leaves into a safe location for them. Make sure the ground underneath is relatively soft (grass, not concrete) and remove any long/sharp twigs, sticks or branches. If your kids are older, hand them the rake and put them to work making their own piles. For extra fun, rake the piles into shapes (a number that represents their age that year) and take a photo of them next to the pile from above as a keepsake.

2. Watch a football game – Friday night lights at the football field are a big deal where I grew up. Spend an evening or afternoon outside cheering on your local high school (or junior high) football team. Or head to your alma mater (or any local college) and watch a Saturday afternoon football game in the stands. Between the actual game, the cheerleaders, dancers, mascots, and marching band, football games are fun for the whole family to watch.

3. Attend a festival – Attending a festival is a really fun outdoor activity for kids and families in the fall. There are usually no shortage of festivals happening every weekend in September and October. From fun music to fall-inspired foods, festivals are a great way to support local businesses and vendors. Check your community’s local website or paper for details and find a festival that looks fun and intriguing to you.

4. Fall color hike – Make the most out of the gorgeous fall colors by taking the kids on a fall color hike! Give them a printout of the colors of the rainbow (or use paint sample cards) and have them find leaves and other items that match each color. Red, orange, green, yellow, and brown will be easy. But can they find something purple? What about black and white? This is a great way to entertain and occupy kids while hiking through the woods or local park. Don’t have time for a long hike? This can be done nearly anywhere – even in your own backyard.

Best fall activities for kids - apple picking at a local

5. Apple picking – Picking apples at our local orchard is one of our family’s favorite fall activities for kids! My kids are huge apple fanatics and we end up eating almost as many apples as we pick! There are so many different varieties of apples to choose from, so plan your trip according to what’s ripe for your purposes. Our favorite thing to do with our apples is making homemade applesauce. It’s super easy to do and if canned, lasts us for months. We also like giving apples as gifts and sending loads of them to school with the kids for snacks. Check out this apple picking tips post for info on what to pack for a trip to the apple orchard, how to pick the best apples and so much more! 

6. Match the tree game – One of my favorite all outdoor educational activities for kids is this tree-leaf fun matching game. All you have to do is gather a variety of leaves from your local park or neighborhood. Challenge the kids to see how many different shapes and sizes of leaves they can find. Once you have a variety, it’s up to the kids to match the leaf with the type of tree it came from. Have the kids look at the leaves that are still on the trees and match the shapes. For extra credit, have them identify the tree species by using a local field guide or nature book.

7. Make fall-scented play dough – Playdough is such a fun sensory activity that can keep a little one busy for hours. Even older kids love to play with it, especially when it’s soft and scented! There are so many creative, non-toxic, safe play-doh recipes out there for any age or season. I love the variety of fall scents such as cinnamon, maple, pumpkin spice, caramel apple, hazelnut, clove and nutmeg. Playdough is also surprisingly easy to make and can store for quite a while in a plastic container with a lid.

fall outdoor activities for kids - go horseback riding@seven_wild_hearts

8. Go horseback riding – Horseback riding is a great way to explore outdoors and get your daily dose of nature. There’s also something pretty special about spending time with horses. They’re such beautiful and majestic creatures, bound to thrill any child. Check your local stables for opportunities to take your kids on a horseback ride. Some stables will have an age minimum to ride solo, but many will allow younger children to ride with an adult.

9. Bob for apples – Looking for something fun to do with all those apples you picked at the orchard? How about bobbing for apples? This outdoor party game is a fall party staple and one that every kid (and adult) should try at least once! All you need to do is fill a bowl or tub with water and add some apples. Apple bobbing involves dunking your head into a tub of water, biting into and holding the apple in one’s mouth without using your hands. The time limit is usually 2 minutes. Or you could just go based on how long it takes to catch an apple. The first person to get an apple (or the one who does it in the quickest time), wins the game!

10. Track the phases of the moon – While shorter days are not usually something I’m excited about, it does give you the opportunity to do some fun fall outdoor activities with kids in the darkness. One fun thing to do is track the phases of the moon. Kids are naturally curious about the night sky, especially the moon. My kids always wondering why there are nights we can’t see the moon at all, how it is we can sometimes see the moon during the day and why it’s always a different size (and in a different location). A great project to do in the fall is to track the moon’s progress using a simple moon journal. Merely have your kids observe the moon each night and keep track of the changes that occur as the days go by. It takes 29.5 days for the moon to go from a new moon back to a new moon, so track for one month and then discuss your findings together. The full moons in the fall are called the Harvest Moon (September), the Hunter’s Moon (October) and the Frost Moon (November).


11. Go for a bike ride – Now that the weather is cooling off, consider going on a long bike ride with the kids. Fall is the perfect time to explore a new bike trail or make a day-trip out of a favorite. Pack a picnic lunch or find a trail with a restaurant along the way. Riding a bike not only improves physical fitness, but it also benefits your child’s learning development and mental health. Plus, biking reduces carbon emissions and eases traffic congestion. If you’re just getting started, we’ve got a great post with lots of tips for biking with kids.

12. Bird watching – Bird watching is one of the best, easiest, and most educational fall outdoor activities for kids. Bird watching is not only awe-inspiring and educational, but it’s extremely accessible nearly anywhere. From watching birds in your own backyard to going for a walk in the morning, there are always a variety of species to spot and identify. Start by reminding kids that birds may be hard to spot, but they’re easy to hear. Have them close their eyes and listen. Can they point to where the sound/song is coming from? Use a local field guide to identify the birds in your area. If you want a variety, try bird watching in areas near water. You’re more likely to spy larger water birds like herons, egrets, ducks, geese, and swans, which are easier for kids to see. And if you’re striking out on finding live birds, look for other signs that they’re around. Point out nests, cracked seeds, whitewash (poop), or owl pellets.

13. Make a witch’s potion from nature – As a kid, I love creating concoctions and potions. My kids love it, too. Use the upcoming holiday (Halloween) to inspire your kids to make a witch’s potion from ingredients they find in nature. Give each kid a jar and let them collect their items. Fun things to include are grass, twigs, leaves, dirt, pebbles, shells, sand, and acorns. Once they have all their ingredients, add about a cup full of vinegar, a squirt of dish soap and a few drops of food coloring. Swirl everything around. Then top with a spoonful of baking soda to get the potion brewing and bubbling! Make sure to do all this outside, because it does get messy!

fall outdoor science & stem activities - dissect sunflowers@coleyraeh

14. Dissect a sunflower – Last year in preschool, my daughter’s class dissected a giant sunflower. She came home raving about how much fun it was to use tweezers to pluck the petals, pull apart the head with their fingers and examine all the sunflower seeds. She also came home with a small bag of seeds, which we planted this spring. Those sunflowers grew over 12 feet tall! So, of course, we had to continue the tradition and dissect them again. This is a great hands-on educational project to do outside (since it can get pretty messy), and dissection is a fun way to learn all about the parts of the plant. Let the kids pull off the leaves, pluck out the seeds with tweezers, cut open the thick stems and thoroughly destroy the whole thing…in the name of science, of course! Throw in some facts about pollinators and make a lesson of it!

15. Watch a parade – Watching a parade with kids is a fun, exciting and free outdoor activity for kids in the fall! The floats, the marching bands, the scouts, the horses and all the fancy cars! Plus, any activity that involves getting free candy is ok in my book! Find a local parade in your community and take your kids to watch. Many towns and schools have fall parades for festivals, homecoming, and other fall events. Set up your lawn chairs and sit back and enjoy!

16. Have a bonfire – Make the most out of early darkness and cool nights with a bonfire! Autumn bonfires are the absolute best place to curl up next to each other and enjoy being outside as a family. Take your bonfire to the next level by roasting s’mores with fancy ingredients, telling ghost stories around the fire and changing the color of the flames! Make sure to check out our post all about how to create a magical bonfire for your kids.

17. Preserve leaves with beeswax – Ever wanted to make your fall leaves last longer so you could use them in craft projects? Preserving leaves is a really cool fall craft project for kids. The secret to preserving beautiful fall colored leaves is using pure beeswax! Beeswax is readily available and inexpensive. Beeswax for crafts comes in blocks or pellets, yellow or white. We recommend using pellets (over block form), since they’re easier to measure and melt. Once you’ve collected your freshly fallen leaves, allow them to dry between sheets of newspaper for 1 day (any longer and they lose their color). Put books on top if you want them flat. Melt your beeswax in a double-broiler or crock pot (not boiling hot) and carefully dip your leaves into them to coat.  Gently raise the leaf and allow any excess wax to drip back into the bowl. Place each leaf on the wax paper while it dries (it doesn’t take long). When the leaves are cool, you can re-dip them if you want a thicker coating. Test one first though to make sure you like how it looks. Use your leaves to make a mobile or leaf suncatchers for your windows.

Fall Outdoor Activities for Kids - Go Camping@mamiyyo_

18. Go camping – While most people probably go camping in the summer, we’re firmly in the fall camping camp. We love outdoor camping in the fall and prefer it so much more than summer camping (which is also great, don’t get me wrong). In the fall, there are fewer mosquitos, fewer campers, and the nights are cool and crisp for campfires and sleeping. The stars just seem brighter in fall, and the smell of the campfire is so much better! Hot coffee tastes amazing on a cool fall morning, and sleeping bags are snugglier. If you’ve never tried it, we’ve got a great post on how to get started camping with kids and our ultimate camping packing list for families

19. Plant bulbs for spring – “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” This quote is never truer than when it comes to planting bulbs in the fall for the next year’s spring blooms. Fall is the perfect time to start planning your fall garden and planting bulbs for next spring and summer. Start by figuring out which bulbs work best in your zone by checking with your local nursery. Some classic bulbs are: daffodil, tulips, crocus, lillies, irises, hyacinth, and trillium. Planting bulbs is a great way to spend time outside and get your hands dirty. Plus, there’s nothing more exciting than forgetting about them until they rise up and let you know spring is coming!

20. Make nut brittle (or trail mix) – Another delicious fall recipe is brittle! My favorite autumn brittle recipe (although, not my kids’ favorite) involves almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, honey, and dried cranberries. Oh, it’s so good! However, my kids are more traditional, preferring a classic peanut brittle (preferably with chocolate chips or M&Ms). Other varieties: brown sugar cashew brittle, maple bacon brittle, pumpkin seed brittle, cinnamon pecan brittle, and butter cashew brittle. Not a brittle fan? How about a fun fall-inspired trail mix to spice things up. Here’s a great post on making trail mix for a hiking snack for kids.

fall outdoor activities for kids - go fishing@jessicaklinephotography

21. Go fishing – Fishing is the perfect fall outdoor activity to do with kids! The cooler weather means that the fish are more active, especially trout (our favorite to catch). It’s one of those activities that the whole family can enjoy and do nearly anywhere there’s water! If you’ve never fished before, do a little bit of research about what the fish in your area eat and when/where to go. Ask at a fishy friend or at a local bait shop. A lot of state parks will even provide fishing gear for the day for free! If you’re just getting started, here’s some great advice on how to make fishing fun for little kids.

22. Hayride – Going on a hayride is such a fun fall activity for the entire family and a wonderful way to treat kids to a rolling outdoor adventure in the crisp, autumn air and cooler temperatures. Hayrides usually consist of a group of people riding on a trailer filled with hay, pulled behind a tractor. My kids are huge fans of anything involving tractors, so hayrides are always a big hit. We particularly love the ones that happen in the evening, through a local park. We bring flashlights and spot deer, raccoons, and other wildlife. Follow your hayride up with a bonfire and smores, for an all-night adventure!

23. Make bird feeders – Feed the birds – tuppence a bag! There are so many fun and simple ways to make bird feeders with your kids, which is a really great nature craft for kids this fall. One of our favorite bird feeders is made by slathering a pinecone in peanut butter and rolling it in birdseed. Then simply place the pinecone in a bush or hang on a tree branch. Have an extra pumpkin or gourd? Chop off the top and fill the base with birdseed for an all-natural bird feeder. Here are three more simple bird feeders to make with kids.

outdoor fall activities for kids - go trick-or-treating@cayleyblackphotography

24. Go trick or treating – I’m such a huge fan of Halloween, it was impossible for me to leave this activity off the list. Trick-or-treating is one of my all-time favorite things to do with the kids. It only comes around once a year, so it’s special to all of us. We love dressing up as a family and visiting friends and neighbors in our costumes. In our community, each kid has to tell a joke to “earn” their candy and listening to the little ones mess up their jokes and still laugh is the most wonderful thing ever!

25. Have a flag football game – Spend a fall afternoon on the field with some friends playing a friendly game of flag football. You’ll not only get some great exercise, but bond with your teammates as you strategize how to win. If you have played football before, then learning how to play flag football will be easy! Divide up into teams of 4 – 9 players per side and attach different colored flags to each member of a team. The team going first will place the ball on the opponent’s 5-yard line. Each team will have 3 tries to get the ball to the midfield. If the team gets that right, they will have 3 more tries to score a touchdown. A touchdown is scored when the player places the ball in the other team’s end zone. If the team cannot cross to the midfield in 3 tries, the other team will have possession and try to do the same thing. Instead of tackling a player, you have pull the player’s flag. The receiver may not attempt to dodge a flag pull. Once the flag has been pulled, the play ends. Each touchdown counts as 6 points. Games last around 40 minutes. Have fun! 

26. Go on a bat hunt – Similar to bird watching, bat watching is a favorite thing to do in the late summer and early fall. Pick a dry evening and snuggle up in the garden at dusk with hot chocolate and just wait. It’s never long before the bats come out and start to circle the houses and swoop down into the gardens. Bats are not just cave dwellers or in the country; they live in cities and suburbs, too. Watch as they swoop, circle and dive. They’re great fun to watch. Bonus points for reading Stellaluna while you’re snuggled up waiting! Even better, build your own bat house

Night hiking with kids - fun fall outdoor activities@kristcx

27. Night hiking – As I mentioned earlier, there are a few advantages to shorter days and earlier nights. One of our favorite evening activities in the fall is going on a night hike. My big kids think this is a special treat, as we leave the baby at home and venture out after their usual bedtime. We always choose a trail that we know well and make sure to let someone else know where we’ll be. With little kids, choose a trail that’s relatively flat and paved (if possible) to keep them a bit safer. We equip ourselves with flashlights, headlamps, and glowsticks and take off!  With less to see, we notice so many wonderful sounds and smells as we hike that we may not have noticed during the day. We keep our hike short and make frequent stops along the way where we turn out our lights and hold hands and discuss what we can hear and see. It’s so much fun!

28. Enjoy hot spiced apple cider – Cozy up on a crisp fall day with a big mug of hot spiced apple cider. Homemade hot spiced apple cider is easy to make with few ingredients and is the most delicious warming autumn drink. All you need to do is add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (or pumpkin pie spice) to apple cider and warm it up on the stove or in the microwave. Even better, make a big steaming pot of it over a campfire for extra ambiance. Pop in a cinnamon stick for a stir, wrap yourself up in a blanket and enjoy! Here are a few other treats you can make with your orchard picks

fall outings with kids - pizza picnic in the park@maureyfletcher

29. Outdoor picnic – Try packing a picnic and eating a meal in a new location. Choose a spot on your favorite hike, a picnic table by a lake at the park or in the middle of a beautiful pasture. Spread out a blanket with favorite finger foods from home or (better yet), if you’re in town, have pizza delivered to you! Let the kids eat as they run around and play with no rushing or nagging at them to sit down and eat. The kids will graze during the time you’re there as they play and explore. And chances are, they’ll eat ALL the food in the car on the way home!

30. Weekend road trip – Sometimes, the smallest things (like a change of scenery) can make all the difference. Fall is a great time to pack up, load the kids in the car, and hit the road. Visit a neighboring town/city, head to a fall festival, check out a new (to you) state park, or rent a little cabin in the woods or on a lake somewhere. Weekend road trips are such great family bonding experiences, even if (particularly if) they go poorly! I’m a firm believer that you’ll never regret traveling with your kids and broadening their horizons. Hipcamp has some really great unique experiences, such as staying in a tiny home, treehouse, cabin, airstream, or a converted bus! (Use the code CAMPLIKEACHAMP10 to get $10 off your next stay.)

31. Visit a botanical garden – Botanical gardens are some of the most magical, relaxing places. Strolling through the gardens, lounging in the great lawn, overlooking the lake and smelling the roses might be the best way to decompress from the madness around you. Botanical gardens are also incredibly educational for children. There’s so much to learn about how plants thrive, why some plants change colors, what plants need, etc. Use an afternoon in the botanical garden to teach your kids about comparison (how plants are the same/different), observation (what does this plant look like) and appreciation (what can these plants do for us).

Fall nature crafts for kids - make a leaf crown@meghangarriott

32. Make a leaf crown – There are so many fun uses for all the colorful leaves falling from the sky. One of our favorite fall crafts is to use them is to make leaf crowns for kids. There are a million different variations on leaf crowns, from folding them, gluing them to sticks or stapling them together. There’s no wrong way to do it! Our favorite way requires nothing but leaves with stems attached and a little patience. Here’s some great info on how to make nature crowns with kids. 

33. Make a terrarium – If your kids are anything like mine, they love to get dirty. As the weather cools down, making a terrarium with kids is a great way for them to bring the outdoor inside and learn how to take care of plants through the winter season. To make a terrarium with kids, you’ll need a clean glass jar and then the following ingredients (in this order): small pebbles, some activated charcoal, potting soil and cuttings from succulent plants (or other plants of your choosing). Let the kids place the succulents inside the jar wherever they choose and add some fun colored-stones or mini figurines. Finally, spritz with water until moist.

getting outside with kids - fall activities and adventures for kids and families@wildandgrow

34. Decorate your front porch/door – I’m surprised how seriously people take their fall porch decor! While not something I grew up doing, decorating your front porch (or door) for fall is a way to add some fun to your home’s curb appeal. This is particularly important if you’re going to have trick-or-treaters stopping by! We like visiting our local farmer’s market and getting a variety of pumpkins, gords, mums and corn stalks to decorate our front step. Sometimes we’ll cut out paper bats and tape them to the storm door or add a string of orange twinkle lights. Get your kids involved in the decorating process by letting them add their own flair.

35. Do leaf rubbings – Leaf rubbings can be made any time of the year, but we always do them in the fall. Probably because the beautiful colors make us want to recreate that in an art project. To make you own leaf rubbing all you need is a few leaves, some white paper, crayons (with wrappers removed) and tape). Freshly picked leaves work best, so the ridges show up well. Go for a nature walk and gather your supplies. Then, tape the corners of your paper to an outdoor table, driveway or sidewalk. Lay the leaves you have collected under the paper. Using the length of your crayon as the coloring surface, rub the top of the paper to make the images appear. Use as many colors as you want!

fall outdoor activities & nature crafts for kids@jbaudryfrance

36. Make a pinecone wreath – Autumn is the best time of year to collect pine cones for crafts and projects. We like to make a challenge out of who can find the most and collect them in bags to take home. Making a pinecone wreath is a great way to preserve your pinecones and use them for natural decoration. You can buy pinecones from craft stores, but what fun is that? If you have pinecones you’ve collected from outside, I recommend baking your pinecones in a 250-degree oven for 30 minutes to get them to open and make sure you don’t have any hitchhikers coming home with you. You can then spray paint them any color of your choice or leave them au natural. Sort them by size and use a hot glue gun to adhere them to a wire or foam wreath form. Start with the inner circle and make your way out. Let the kids put their own spin on their wreath by adding twigs, branches, acorns, leaves, moss, bows, etc.

37. Run a turkey trot (or Fun Run) – If you want to add some extra outdoor exercise to your fall activities, sign your family up for a turkey trot or fall fun run! There are usually a variety of fun races in the fall at various distances and with lots of fun themes for all ages. If you have little ones, let them try a 1-mile fun run. Sign the whole family up for a local 5K. Want a bigger challenge, what about a 10K or a half-marathon? With older kids, you could even do a relay. Most races usually have fun swag (t-shirts, etc.), prizes, and a really fun ambiance. Not runners, sign your family up to volunteer at a water station to hand out water to runners. Who knows, maybe you’ll get inspired to join them next year!

outdoor fall activities & ideas for kids - get lost in a corn maze@life_of_glow

38. Get lost in a corn maze – Corn mazes are all the rage in the fall. Our local orchard has a 16-acre corn maze in the shape of the Stanley Cup this year (guess my hometown)! Getting lost in a corn maze is a fun way to spend some time outside, surrounded (literally) by nature and to test your kids’ problem-solving skills. Use the maze as a way to challenge your kids. Have them come up with a game plan before going into the maze, task them with making game-time decisions on which way to go, allow them to make mistakes, double-back, and try again! There are so many great life skills to be learned from a simple corn maze.

39. Let your pumpkin rot – While everyone else is trying to preserve their pumpkins in pristine condition, I’m one of those people that enjoy watching them decompose! It’s fascinating! Turn your rotting pumpkin into a science experiment to do with your kids. Talk about what you all expect to happen and then use a nature journal to record the decomp process. Note what you see (and smell!). Are there are any bugs or mold. Have any squirrels or other wildlife taken a bite out of your pumpkin? What happens on the inside vs. what you see on the outside. This may sound gross, but trust me, kids will love this!

40. Make a scarecrow – Scarecrows are super handy to have in your garden or field – they help protect your crops and vegetables from being eaten by birds and various animals. And even if you’re not worried about scaring off crows, they also serve as festive fall or Halloween decor for your yard or front porch! Making a scarecrow is a bit of an undertaking – it takes creativity, ingenuity, craftiness, and skill – but it’s so much fun! Start by gathering some old clothes, a bunch of straw/hay and some wood for the frame. Stuff the clothes with the straw and good luck figuring out how to make it all stay together (twine, sewing, pantyhose, etc.). Use some burlap to make a head and draw on a face and add a hat! Voila! Guaranteed to scare all crows (and maybe some neighbors) away!

painting pumpkins - best fall outdoor activities for kids@nicholettat

41. Paint mini pumpkins – Is there anything cuter than tiny kids with tiny pumpkins? I just adore pumpkins in all colors, shapes, and sizes. I love the discolored warty ones as much as the perfectly plump white pumpkins. But mini pumpkins have a special place in my heart. Carving pumpkins on this list, but if you have small children that may not be able to handle a knife, painting pumpkins is the way to go! Grab a dozen and let the kids paint a few! Use them as colorful decorations around the house. Acrylic paints work great, or get super creative and help them (carefully) melt a crayon over the pumpkin and cover it in color wax!

42. Volunteer clean-up – Mother Nature is totally showing off in the fall, so help her out by picking up trash and litter. Schedule a playdate with friends to clean up along a favorite hike, local park, or route around your neighborhood. Teach kids how to care for our planet by example and show them what a difference they can make by cleaning up after others. They’ll not only be more likely to pick up trash in the future, but they’ll encourage others not to litter and help out as well.

43. Make caramel apples – There are so many delicious treats that pair perfectly with fall weather. One of our favorite treats is caramel apples! And this delectable indulgence can be spiced up a variety of ways. Cut whole apples into thick slices, cover with caramel and place them on a lollipop stick. This keeps hands clean and feels much more like a candy dessert. Have a number of people with lots of different tastes? Set up an entire caramel apple bar and let people choose their own toppings. Cut apples into wedges and let everyone dip their own and dress it themselves. Caramel apple toppings include chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, crushed pretzels, mini marshmallows, cinnamon chips, nuts, graham cracker bits, sprinkles, candy corn bits, toffee chips, fruity pebbles. Place toppings in a muffin tin for easy cleanup.

get outside in the fall with kids - outdoor reading@ourlittlelifestyleblog

44. Read fall books outside – Back to school in the fall means kids not only need time outside when they get home, but they need time to read (and be read to). Cozy up this fall in a hammock, under a tree on a blanket or in your favorite spot in the garden to read together with your children. Anything you read is beneficial. Whatever they’re into! If you want a few recommendations for a couple of great nature-inspired fall books, here are few we like: (1) Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak, (2) Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, (3) Look What I Did with a Leaf! by Morteza E. Sohi, (4) We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger, (5) Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert, (6) Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer, (7) Looking Closely through the Forest by Frank Serafini.

45. Visit a haunted house – While maybe not technically totally outside, paying a visit to a haunted house is a must-do for this time of year. While this may be (probably is) way too much for little kids, older kids will love the opportunity to be frightened by axe murderers, chain saw massacres, and headless horsemen. Let them dip their hand into a vat of slimy eyeballs (peeled grapes) and be chased by possessed red-eyed rats. If you have little kids, consider letting them create their own “haunted house” with things they think are scary. This is the time to break out those pull-apart spider webs, old sheets for ghosts, black light, and a playlist of spooky music!

46. Outdoor exercises – You’ve probably seen those trails around your local park that have stops every now and then for people to complete various exercises. My kids always love playing on these and trying to figure out what they’re for, so one day we did a loop and did all the exercises! Not only was it a great (and easy) way for us to get active together, but it was so much fun watching them try the exercises, put their creative twist on them and beam with pride when they completed a round. I highly encourage you to do this as a family – it’s a great way to get your workout in and laugh a ton! Here’s a great post on how to get your family involved in outdoor exercise.

outdoor fall bucket list for kids - visit a pumpkin patch@nursevictoria

47. Go to a pumpkin patch – Ok, this one maybe should be way up at the top of the list for all-time must-do fall activities. Visiting a pumpkin patch in October is a rite of passage for all parents. You just gotta do it! But don’t worry, it’s not that bad! Picking your own pumpkins is really fun (there’s usually a tractor ride involved)! Plus, lots of pumpkin patches these days have tons of things to do for kids and adults: corn maze, sunflower fields, haunted house, pig races, playground activities, crafts, pony rides, fall snacks, and a Biergarten.

48. Make a thankful tree – November is a great month for making a thankful tree with your kids. There are so many variations of how you could do this, but we like making a centerpiece for our table. We collect a bunch of beautiful leaves and then write down one thing we’re thankful for on each leaf with a sharpie. Place a bundle of sticks in a vase and then hang each leaf from a branch to create a beautiful bouquet of thankfulness.  Little kids may need help writing down what they’re thankful for and you might be surprised just how adorable their answers are!

49. Painted leaf tablecloth – If you’re hosting Thanksgiving (or a Friendsgiving) meal, let your kids make a tablecloth (at least for the kids’ table). Roll out a large sheet of paper and let them use leaves to paint. They can either paint the leaves and stamp on the paper or use the leaves as a relief and paint around the edges. Use fall-colored paint and let them get creative.

fall activities for kids - collecting conkers buckeyes@menyhart.ani

50. Collect conkers – Raise your hand if you’ve heard of conkers. For those who haven’t, what about horse chestnuts or buckeyes (for those of us in the midwest)? Fall is the time of year when children extract those shiny brown nuts from their prickly shells and have all kinds of questions about the treasure they just found. I remember collecting these as a kid and was so mesmerized by how slick and beautiful they were. My dad kept one in his pocket for years! There are all kinds of fun crafts you can make with conkers and games to play with them, but merely collecting them and playing with them was my favorite thing to do. 

51. Apple stamping – Apple stamping is a fun and creative way to get crafty with little kids. All you need to do is cut an apple in half and let your child dip it in paint and stamp it on paper. Stab a fork in the back for easy (less messy) gripping and dipping. Depending on the colors you choose, apple stamps can be used to make leaves, bushes, pumpkins, ladybugs, trees, and apples!

52. Make a dream catcher – Speaking of fun crafts and projects, making a nature-inspired dream catcher should definitely be on your fall bucket list. Historically, dream catchers were hung above the beds of sleeping children to protect them from bad dreams and evil spirits. Legends held that the spider web design of the dream catcher would allow good dreams to pass through and float down the hanging beads and feathers to sleeping children. Start by having the kids collect sticks and twigs to make the frame of your dream catcher. Use yarn or twine to create the spiderwebbing around the frame. Then let your kids add their own flair to the dream catcher. Some fun items to include are leaves, feathers, ribbons, yarn, twine, pom poms, beads, sticks, and pinecones. Anything goes!

stargazing with kids - fall outdoor activities@callred25

53. Go stargazing – Another fun nighttime activity to do with kids (taking advantage of shorter days) is to go stargazing. Pack up the kids, a bunch of blankets or sleeping bags, some snacks and get out of the city for a few hours to take in the wonders of the night sky. For beginners who want to know what’s going on up there, it can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not fully clued up on your astrology. It’ll make things a lot more fun and interesting if you know or have a rough idea of what you’re looking at, so print out a few constellations that are visible in the fall so you know what to show the kids to look for. It can take up to 40 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness, so give yourself some time (and don’t look at your phone!).

54. Hot chocolate/apple cider stand – While lemonade stands are all the rage in the summer, don’t let that entrepreneurial spirit lie dormant in the fall. Kids love the opportunity to make money. Break out the cups and mugs and set up a stand to sell hot chocolate, apple cider or even hot tea/coffee. Add some donut holes or homemade apple chips and you’ve got yourself a full-service station. We usually ask the kids to choose a charity to give half their profits to, which they get super excited about (and usually give all the profits away).  Plus, that’s an extra incentive for the grownup to buy that cup!

55. Go hunting – This activity might not be a good fit for everyone (depending on your location, beliefs, and age of children), but if you have hunters in your family, consider taking your child hunting. I grew up in a hunting family and we ate all the meat that was hunted. Teaching his kids where our food came from was important to my dad and is important to me. While he’s too young to shoot, my husband has taken our son on various hunting trips for ducks, deer, and turkey. For the kids, it’s more about feeling included and getting to spend quality time together than actually getting something. Of course, safety is always our top priority and it’s great for him to see the adults modeling proper firearm handling and being respectful of nature. Check out this post for more information on how to get started hunting with kids

ultimate list of things to do outside in the fall - roast marshmallows@ksenia_belanger

56. Roast marshmallows & hot dogs – Making a bonfire is already on our fall activity list, so it should come as no surprise that campfire food and treats should follow! Roasting marshmallows and hot dogs on a cool fall day (or night) is a fun outdoor activity (and a meal)! Kids are fascinated by fire, so stay close to them to supervise, but allow them some freedom to roast their own wieners and mallows. Even if they’re slightly charred, they’ll be so proud of themselves that they’ll eat it!

57. Pumpkin slime – Did you know you can make slime with real bits of pumpkin?! Oh yes, you can. If your kids are up for a messy outdoor activity, this is a good one. You’ll need: a small baking pumpkin, 1/4 cup liquid starch, 1/2 cup Elmer’s clear washable school glue, 1/2 cup water.  Cut the top off your pumpkin and loosen up the seeds and guts. Mis the water (room temp) with the glue in a separate bowl and stir. Pour the liquid starch directly into the pumpkin. Pour the glue and water mixture into the pumpkin and get your hands in there and mix it up! Knead well to improve consistency (rub a few drops of liquid starch on your hands to keep them from sticking). And now you have a pumpkin full of slime! Check out this post for more pumpkin science experiments with kids

58. Rake leaves for neighbors – I always like adding a few acts of service/kindness to any seasonal bucket list. A great way to pay-it-forward in the fall is to rake the leaves out of the yard of a friend of neighbor. If you have an elderly or disabled neighbor or just know someone that could use a few extra hands, send the kids over with the rakes and leaf blower to help out. Not only will they feel good about helping, but they can make piles of leaves and have fun in the process. Join forces with other neighborhood families and your good deed will go even faster! Here are 20+ outdoor acts of kindness you could do for your neighbors and nature. 

fun fall outdoor activities for kids@indiesemlicht_fotografie

59. Fall photo scavenger hunt – We love a good scavenger hunt! It’s one thing that we can do nearly anywhere and keeps the kids busy for a good long time. One of our favorite ways to get creative with this is to add a camera. I have an old point-and-shoot camera that I let the kids borrow and give them a list of things to find. You can choose to give them specific items (a flower, a pine cone, a fire hydrant) or be vague and let them get creative (something that smells, something prickly, something yellow). Instead of crossing the item off the list, they have to take a photo with/of it. They love being independent and responsible for the camera. I love seeing the funny photos and interesting items they choose to photograph. Here’s another fun fall scavenger hunt idea (including a free printable). 

60. Pumpkin carving – You didn’t think I was going to forget this activity, did you? Pumpkin carving is a fall must. It’s one thing my kids talk about all year long and can’t wait to do again. My son loves digging the guts out of the pumpkins and getting them all prepped and ready. My daughter loves coming up with funny faces and designs we can carve into the pumpkin. They’re not old enough to operate the knife yet, so mom and dad help out there. They’re always so proud of their pumpkins and love seeing them lit up on the front porch every night.

61. Go on a spider web hunt – Spiderwebs may sound spooky, but they’re actually super interesting and beautiful! Spiders may have a sinister reputation (particularly this time of year), but we can change that by teaching our kids just how amazing and beneficial these little helpers are. The next time you’re out and about, go on a hunt for a spiderweb. See if you can find one intact and study the intricacies. Ask your kids to take a guess as to how long it took the spider to make that web, why she chose that location and how much food she catches in it daily. Getting them thinking of these things will get them to see spiders in a new light with a new appreciation for how hard they work.


62. Leaf threading – Leaf threading is a great way for kids to engage with Nature, get creative and develop their motor skills. Leaf threading is also a wonderful sensory experience for kids as they explore the sight, feel and smells of this activity. Get the kids involved from the beginning by letting them choose and collect sticks and leaves. Once you’ve got a nice selection of leaves of different sizes, shapes and colors and a few sticks, take them home and give them a quick rinse and dry. To start the threading make simple “needles” by tying a length of jute twine between two sticks. Having a stick on either end of the jute stops the leaves from falling off and allows two children to work together too, using one end each. Have the kids push their natural stick needles through the leaves and thread them onto the jute. Hand-eye coordination is strengthened and the fine motor muscles of the hands and arms are given a good workout. Full leaf threading tutorial.

63. Painting with mud – While painting with paint is fun, painting with mud is a blast for kids! Take advantage of a rainy fall day to create something new and exciting for your kids – mud paint! All you need to do to make mud paint is add a large scoop of mud to a couple of containers then sprinkle in some powdered tempera paint (or liquid watercolor, liquid tempera or even food coloring). Maybe 1-2 tablespoons of each color. Next, add a small amount of water and a squirt of Dawn dish soap. The Dawn helps the mud paint spread easier on paper and also helps keep clothing stain-free. And if you’re worried about stains, just leave the coloring out and give them mud! Stir everything up and pass it over to the kids with a few paintbrushes to go outside and paint their masterpieces! The paint is rather thick, so use a sturdy paper (cardstock, poster board or cardboard). Go here for even more mud activities for kids


64. Acorn hunt – It’s quite amazing to look up at a giant oak tree and know it started as a tiny little acorn. Kids are fascinated with acorns, and we love finding different varieties of them on our hikes and walks. There’s a tree in our neighborhood that produces some of the largest acorns I’ve ever seen, and my kids collect them by the pocketful. We usually have quite a collection in the clubhouse by wintertime (if the squirrels don’t get to them first). Get your kids interested in acorns by spending some time going on an acorn hunt. Try to find as many varieties, sizes, and colors as they can. See if they can identify which tree the acorn fell from.

65. Watch geese fly south for winter – Fall is a great time to study migratory birds and spend some time observing them flying south for the winter. Geese are particularly good to watch, as they’re large and loud, making them easy for kids to find and identify. Tie your geese-watching to learning about the reasons behind migration. Discuss what the birds eat and where they go. Watch how they fly and the formations they make. Set up an outdoor movie theatre in your backyard and watch Disney’s Fly Away Home. It’s a heartwarming favorite, sure to get your kids to love and appreciate these feathered friends.

66. Make a float – I’ve already mentioned watching floats in a parade, but this is an entirely different kind of float – the one you can eat! Ice cream floats are such fun treats and they’re messy, so they’re perfect for enjoying outdoors. Root beer floats are great, but feel free to get inspired by fall and change it up with an apple cider float, butterbeer float, cherry vanilla float, or chocolate cream soda float!  Let your kids choose their flavor of liquid and ice cream pairing for extra fun!

fun things to do outside in the fall with kids - build a fort or outdoor den@clark_family_travels

67. Build an outdoor denBuilding outdoor forts and dens is a really important activity for children and helps them with all kinds of problem-solving and STEM skills. If you have access to a spot in the woods, I highly recommend spending an afternoon building a den together with your kids from natural materials found in the area. Putting together a den branch by branch requires teamwork, forethought and planning, creativity, and imagination. Start by choosing a good flat location with a clearing so as not to damage any live trees or plants. Start by building the frame of your den with large branches/logs and add long fallen branches to prop up the sides of the spine. Finally, collect smaller sticks, twigs, twine, and moss-covered branches to fill in the sides. Pretty soon, you’ll have a grade-A fort to play in and around.

68. Roast pumpkin seeds – After carving your pumpkins, make sure to save the seeds! Roasted pumpkin seeds are a fall staple and can be made so many fun ways, both savory and sweet. Savory variations include salt and pepper, ranch, cajun, garlic parmesan, taco-lime, rosemary, curry, ginger-soy, buffalo, BBQ, and Tumeric. Sweet variations include cinnamon sugar, maple, pumpkin pie, salted caramel, and spiced honey. All you need to do is preheat your oven to 350-degrees, have the kids separate the pumpkin seeds from the pulp, rinse them and pat dry, toss with your favorite seasoning and bake on a cookie sheet for 25 minutes! Or turn this into a full-time outdoor activity by roasting the seeds over a campfire or on the BBQ grill in the backyard!

favorite things to do in the fall with kids - watch a sunset together@sara.hadenfeldt

69. Watch a sunset – Fall’s a wonderful time to curl up in a blanket and watch a sunset together. Since the days are shorter, sunset comes at a much more reasonable time for little ones to watch without staying up too late. Plus, the cool weather and the colorful leaves make it even more magical.

70. Plant cold-weather veggies – If your garden usually sits empty through fall and winter, this is the year to make those cold days count! You really can continue gardening into winter in many gardening zones. A wide variety of vegetables and herbs are easy to grow in cold conditions, given the right protection. Some will produce throughout the season, while others will come back to life in spring if properly covered. The two most popular methods of protection are the cover tunnel and cloches (from the French word for bell). Head to your local nursery with the kids and pick out some plant varieties they’d like to try. Some popular winter plants include radishes, spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, beets, broccoli, garlic, parsley, and carrots. We’ve got a great post filled with tips and advice for planting a fall/winter garden with kids

71. Make campfire apples – If you want to elevate your campfire dessert to a new level, try making baked campfire apples. All you need to do is hollow out the core of an apple and fill it with the ingredients of your choice. My favorites are granola, caramel squares, M&Ms, nuts, and dried fruits. Wrap them in foil and toss them onto the campfire to cook. You’ll know they’re done when you can squeeze them with tongs and they’re soft, but not mushy. Let them cool for a few minutes, unwrap and enjoy!  So easy and really delicious – like a personal apple pie!

fun things to do outside in the fall with kids - attend a soccer game@_sandyphoto_

72. Attend a soccer game – Soccer is a fun, exciting and fast-paced sport that’s easy for the whole family to watch and enjoy. The rules are relatively simple enough for even little kids to understand. Plus, it’s quick and requires a lot of skill, which keeps the adults entertained and on the edge of their seats. If you have access to a MLS team, the season winds up in the fall and Playoffs begin. It’s a really exciting time to cheer your home team on. If you’re not close to a pro team, find a local college or high school team to support. Or attend a weekend game for a friend or neighbor’s kid. No matter what the age, it’ll be a great way to spend some time outside supporting local athletics.

73. Smash pumpkins – Did you know that the Saturday after Halloween is known as National Pumpkin Destruction Day? How fun is that? If you’d like to join in on the celebration, gather your pumpkins and let your kids come up with some fun ways to smash your pumpkins. How will they do it?! Using a sledgehammer? What about blowing them up? Shoot them out of a cannon or a giant slingshot? Shot them with dart? Drop them off the roof? Or you could even run them over with your car!

74. Make firestarters – Get ready for fall and winter fires by working with the kids to make these super easy and all-natural firestarters. All you need is a paper egg carton, 12 mid-sized pinecones and some wax (you can buy wax chips or melt a cheap candle). Start by giving your kids the egg carton (top cut off) and letting them find the largest pinecones they can that will fit into the egg slots comfortably. This takes some exploring and problem-solving skills. Melt the wax in the container of your choice and pour it over the pinecones in the egg carton. (This is a step for the adults.) Don’t go more than halfway up the pinecone and make sure it’s covered completely. Cut out the 12 pinecones and you’re ready to make 12 fires! These also make great gifts!


75. Make a nature portrait – Using nature to make art is such a great way for kids to have hands-on experiences with just how beautiful, delicate, hearty and varied nature can be. Have your child come up with a scene or item that they’d like to create. Next, send them on a hunt for various natural items to use to create their masterpiece. Good items to collect might be pinecones, leaves, sticks, branches, flowers, nuts, etc. Using only natural materials they’ve found, have them arrange their finds to create art. It can be anything from writing their name to making a self-portrait. They’ll have to be extra creative and clever to find just the right pieces and lay them out in just the right spot.

76. Donut on a string game – If you enjoy bobbing for apples but are interested in giving it a more exciting spin, then “Bobbing for Donuts” is your game! I didn’t know this was a thing, but now it’s something I can’t wait to try with my kids. While apples do provide a more nutritious alternative to sugary treats, you can easily transform these confectionary delights into a wonderfully fulfilling outdoor party game that’s fun for kids and adults. All you need to do is use kitchen twine to hang as many donuts as you want from a tree and then have the participants use only their mouth (hands behind your back) to eat them from the air! This DIY activity is a great way for kids to get outdoors and play, while simultaneously getting the chance to indulge in their favorite treats.


77. Campfire cookout – There are so many great foods and meals you can easily make over a campfire. And did you know that food tastes 800% better when eaten outside? (I made that up, but I believe it!) There’s something super special about making food outside, so plan a night to cook dinner over a fire! If you don’t have a place to make a fire in your backyard, check with your local parks and campsites to see if you could use a firepit there. Work with the kids to make a meal plan, shop for ingredients together and cook something wonderful! Here are a few of our team’s favorite recipes to make with their kids. 

78. Find wild persimmon – If you’ve never tried a persimmon, you’re missing out! Persimmon fruit matures late in the fall and is a sweet treat that can be found across the US, Europe and Asia. When persimmons ripen, they range in color from glossy light yellow-orange to dark red-orange depending on the species and variety. Similar to an apricot, they can be eaten raw and are great on salads (with some prosciutto and goat cheese…mmm). They can also be baked into breads, muffins and puddings. Spend some time in your local woods with the kids looking for persimmon trees. Bark forms in thick square blocks that resemble alligator skin.

79. Make popcorn on the cob – Have you eaten popcorn straight off the corncob? Add this to your fall bucket list! Head to your local farmers market with the kids and pick out some popcorn on the cob (it’s a specific variety, different from sweet corn). If it’s not already dried, you can oven dry the whole cobs. If stored properly, your cobs should be good for 12 to 30 months! Rub, drizzle, or spray some melted butter onto the popcorn cob and place it in a paper lunch sack. Fold top of sack closed several times and place closed bag in the microwave. Cook on high for around 2.5 minutes (about the same time your microwave cooks a bag of popcorn). The corn will pop off the cob, leaving you an empty cob and a bagful of amazing popcorn! Carefully remove the cob from the bag and drizzle in remaining butter and a sprinkle of salt. Close top, shake, distribute and enjoy!

must-do fall activities - take family photos@martinahempelphotography

80. Fall family photos – Fall is the perfect time to schedule this year’s family photos. Not only is it beautiful outside, but they’ll be ready just in time for holiday cards. While family photos can be stressful (picking out outfits, scheduling around activities and naps), it’s always worth it, in the end, to have beautiful photos of your family together. Many photographers have styling services or outfit guides to help in that department. If you’re not into traditional posed photos, lots of photographers would be happy to tag along on a family hike or on a trip to the zoo. Pick something that represents what’s meaningful to your family and makes everyone comfortable. Here are some great outdoor family photo shoot ideas and tips for nailing your family pictures. 

81. Friendsgiving – While Thanksgiving meals are usually reserved for family, Friendsgiving is for friends! Help your kids throw a Friendsgiving party for their friends. They can make/send out invites, plan outdoor activities for the group, come up with a meal plan, help clean and prep for the party and entertain their guests. It’s a really fun way for kids to show appreciation and love for their friends and make them feel special.

82. Train ride – What is it about kids and trains? Right? Fall is a great time to go for a train ride with your kids. The view out of the windows is lovely and there are so many fun places to go! If you have access to an Amtrak train or other passenger train, pick a destination where you can spend a few hours and take the train! Your kids will love the excitement of getting their ticket punched, going through tunnels and spending a few hours in a new place. Plus, you often get to see places and amazing views from a train that you can’t see from the road.


83. Outdoor family game night – Enjoy the cooler weather and create a family tradition of playing games outdoors in the fall! Whether it’s a traditional board game (like Monopoly or Life), a fun family card game (like Uno or Go Fish) or something a bit more interactive (charades or Pictionary), games are great outdoor activities. This is my personal favorite family game (and this i-spy game is my kids’ favorite).

84. Donate to a food bank/pantry – Food banks and food pantries often get used most in the fall and winter months, so help them stock up early by donating. Have your kids help with a pantry clean out, collect cans and foods from neighbors or use part of their allowance/savings to purchase needed items to donate. Take the kids with you when you donate the food and get them involved from beginning to end. The feeling of giving and the pride of doing hard work is always worth it and will hopefully inspire your children to want to do/give even more.

85. Clean out garden & flowerbeds – With the end of summer comes the end of a lot of plants in your garden. While some will keep growing into and through the winter months, now is a great time to get outside and clean up your garden. Have the kids help pull out all the dead plants, leaves, and weeds. It may sound counter-intuitive, but you do not want your garden to sit bare/exposed all winter. Erosion from rain and from the freezing and thawing cycle will strip the nutrients out of the topsoil in your garden. Cover your topsoil in compost, mulch, or plant cover crops.

get outside with kids this fall with this 100+ outdoor fall activities list@brandimarkham

86. Build a compost bin – Speaking of compost, if you don’t have a compost pile or bin, now’s the perfect time to start one! Composting may sound intimidating, but it’s actually pretty easy to get started! Composting helps reduce the amount of waste your family is putting into a landfill while giving your garden a healthy boost! If you have a patch of land, you can start a layer compost pile. If not (or if you live in the city/suburbs), you can use an enclosed tumbler to keep animals out. Teach your kids what food scraps can be composted and let them help with the entire process. It’s fascinating and great for the environment.

87. Chop firewood – Definitely a job for older kids, but if you’ve got wood to chop (literally), get your kids involved in the process! Teaching your kids about chopping firewood is a great way to get them to appreciate hard work, learn to respect tools and develop strength and skills. Here’s a really great post all about the reasons and benefits of teaching kids to chop firewood, as well as how and when to get them started.

88. Salt dough leaf impressions – Put those fall leaves to good use by making leaf impressions in salt dough or clay. Simply mix up a quick batch of salt dough (1 cup salt, 2 cups of flour, ¾ cup of water), then press in some leaves of different shapes and varieties into the dough to make impressions. Dry in the oven for a few hours on super low temp and then use pencils, paints, markers, or oil pastels to color them in once cooled.

fall family activities & outdoor adventures - go canoeing or

89. Go canoeing/kayaking – While water activities may sound more like they should be on our summer list (they are), kayaking and/or canoeing are both wonderful ways to get outside and stay active in the fall. Rivers and streams are extra gorgeous this time of year, with fall colors reflecting off the water. And the fishing is usually great in the autumn. You may not spend as much time physically in the water during the fall (wetsuit, anyone?), but that shouldn’t stop you from getting out and exploring. If you’re just getting started, here’s a great post filled with beginner tips for canoeing with kids.

90. Random acts of kindness – Work with your kids to come up with a list of ways they can pay-it-forward this fall. Spend some time outside walking an elderly neighbor’s dog, picking up litter at local cemetery/park, mowing a neighbor’s lawn, putting pumpkins or mums on friend’s porches, or adding quarters to parking meters. There are so many great ways to be kind to others and make someone’s day. Here are 20+ outdoor acts of kindness for kids. 

91. Plant apple seeds – Speaking of seeds, another really fun (and educational) project is to plant your apple seeds. After apple picking with the kids, you’ve probably got lots of seeds to spare. Planting an apple from seed (and ending up with a tree) is like winning the lottery! However, since you’re likely going to compost that apple core anyway, you’ve got nothing to lose. Apple seeds need cold stratification first, so keep them in a moist paper towel in a baggie in the back of the fridge for about 6 weeks. Plant about a dozen seeds in a gallon pot and see what happens!


92. Walk in the fog – There truly is something magical about fog. If you have the chance, I highly recommend taking a morning walk/hike in the fog with your kids. It may be a bit hard to predict when the conditions will be right, but if you see it, take advantage! Talk to your kids about what fog is and why it’s there. Show them it’s not scary or spooky, but a super cool natural phenomenon.

93. Go on a bear hunt – One of our family’s favorite books is Going on a Bear Hunt. When we’re out hiking, we love to sing along to the song (did you know there was a song?), mimic the actions and sounds. Encourage your kids to go on a bear hunt hike and look for things like long wavy grass, a deep cold river and thick oozy mud. Let someone pretend to be the bear and chase everyone home!

94. Visit an amusement park – Beat the heat and the crowd by visiting local amusement parks in the fall (instead of the summer). Lots of parks stay open with extended hours through fall months (or even year-round). Some even have special haunted decoration and rides around Halloween. You can often get reduced-price tickets as well, making it much more affordable to do as a family.


95. Learn how to pitch a tent – Setting up a tent is a great skill for kids to learn. Not only will it teach them about teamwork and cooperation, but following directions and doing things in the right order. Pull out your tent and let the kids set it up in the backyard. If they’re old enough to read, let them work together to figure it out (without your help). Pitch in (see what I did there?) when you need to, but they’ll be so proud of themselves when they get it up. Bonus points if you let them spend the night in the tent!

96. Visit a local farmer’s market – Farmer’s markets in the fall are jam-packed full of extra special goodies you can’t find any other time of year. Honey crisp apples, pumpkins, pomegranates, pears, squash, sweet potatoes, turnips, gords, cranberries, persimmons, beets, and more. And I haven’t even mentioned all the baked goods! Even if your kids are picky eaters, they’ll be much more likely to try new foods if they have a say in helping pick them out. Take your kids to a farmer’s market and let them see the fruits and vegetables available. Let them ask questions to the vendors about how and where they were grown and how to eat them. Get them involved in the cooking process, as well. Kids love to help, so let them! Check out this post for all kinds of amazing things to do with kids at farmers’ markets

97. Swim in a corn pit – Playing in a corn pit is such a fun full-body sensory experience for kids. I remember the first time my son played in the corn pit at our local farmer’s market and the excitement and wonder on his face as he rolled around and scooped up the corn. Find a place your kids can have this fun experience and let them get all kinds of corny! You may be finding corn kernels in pockets and other places for months, but it’ll be worth it!

fall outdoor activities for kids - go climb a tree@3.little.trees

98. Climb a tree – If you ask me, I think children belong in trees! There are so many amazing benefits to climbing a tree, such as developing physical strength, boosting self-confidence and self-esteem, encouraging problem-solving skills, developing a resilient “I can do it” attitude, and helping kids connect with nature. And climbing trees in the fall gives an added bonus of seeing all the beautiful colors up close and personal!

99. Paint rocks – Painting rocks is always a fun activity for kids. Whether they’re making kindness rocks (with kind/encouraging sayings) or thankful rocks (with words or pictures of things they’re thankful for), painting rocks is a great way to spend some time outdoors, getting creative. Start by having the kids find and collect all their rocks. You can even let them give the rocks a bath outside with the hose to get them clean and prepped. Provide the paints and brushes and let their creativity come to life! Check out this post for tips and ideas for rock painting (and how to use them as motivation on hikes)

100. Go geocaching – Geocaching is one of our family’s favorite things to do when out hiking or exploring. You’ll be amazed at just how many geocaches there are out there, hiding in all your favorite places! It’s a blast for kids and totally free! Check out our beginner’s guide to geocaching with kids for everything you need to know to get started!

giant list of fall outdoor activities to do with kids@christineekeroth

101. Make a pumpkin volcano – Once you’ve carved and enjoyed your pumpkin for a while, why not turn it into a science experiment? All you need is to put a few drops of food coloring into a pumpkin with a small amount of dish soap. Next, pour in some vinegar from the tops and watch it erupt! Have your kids guess which holes the bubbles will come out. Maybe leave one pumpkin uncarved, so it erupts out the top! Or try a few of these other pumpkin science experiments for kids

102. Paint with acorns – Painting with acorns is a fun activity for little kids. Spend some time outside with your kids collecting acorns of various shapes and sizes. Lay a large sheet of paper on an old cookie sheet with a couple of small puddles of paint. Add the acorns and let your child shake the sheet to move the acorns around. The acorns end up covered in paint, and as they roll around, they create a beautiful masterpiece. You could also create little acorn figures and read this great acorn book. 


103. Leaf nature masks – Turn those leaves into fun animal masks for your kids. Start by getting outside and going on a leaf hunt and finding big colorful leaves (preferably ones with stems attached)! Next, press the leaves between the pages of a big heavy book. Once dry and flat, cut out some different shaped eye-holes and draw on some features, such as whiskers, ears, and noses. Felt-tip pens, sharpies and paint pens work great. You can make all kinds of cute faces and woodland creature masks, such as foxes, owls and rabbits.

104. Look for frost flowers – Despite the name, frost flowers aren’t actual flowers at all! These delicate creations are actually composed of thin ribbons of ice that curl into intricate petal shapes. Frost flowers are rare and fleeting but quite the experience to discover on a cold fall day while out hiking with kids. Not only does searching for frost flowers provide a fun way to explore nature, but it also is an opportunity for a science lesson to learn about how they form. Check out this post for all the info you need to know on how (and where ) to find frost flowers with kids


And there you have it!
100+ fall outdoor activities for kids & families.
Don’t forget to get the free printable checklist. 

What’s your favorite fall activity?