Fall Bucket List: Our Favorite Seasonal Ideas!

Bill Taylor
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Get Pumpkins

And Gourds at a Community Garden.

Get pumpkins and gourds at a community garden!

Community gardens are great places to take your family and get your hands dirty in the fall months. Unlike many larger gardening or farming operations, community gardens allow families to cultivate a garden space of their own and participate in the harvest in exchange for a yearly membership fee. Participation is most common among adults and full-time students, but families are welcome, too.

When you check out of community garden, they will give you some fresh pumpkins, squash, and gourds, which are perfect for decorating your home or taking to a fall festival!

Visit an Alpaca Farm

If you’ve ever owned alpacas, you’ll know it’s a hard relationship to walk away from. The alpacas roam freely and you can pet and feed them right from the front of the pen. Most farmers become so attached to each other, that they even name their animals.

A trip to the Alpaca farm can be a fun day trip for children 5 and under. Plan to spend at least an hour or two there.

We highly suggest that you bring a few zip lock bags to collect some alpaca fur for your kids to keep.

Carve a Pumpkin

Every fall we carve pumpkins and this is a fall bucket list must. Most years, we also buy a couple extra pumpkins, leave them on the stoop, and collect more than enough to carve up. They’re always a big hit with the family when we serve up pumpkin pie and sow our carved pumpkins are on the dinner table. This is a tradition that your family will love!.

Create a Colorful Display of Mums

And Pumpkins!

Many people put out displays of fall flowers in the spring. Studies have shown that putting out flowers in your yard has a positive effect on your mood and reduces depression. More of a reason to add some fall color to your living space by arranging a tasteful fall bouquet. We suggest using a wide variety of fall flowers in as many different colors as possible and putting them in a wide mouthed vase.

Adding in pumpkins and gourds is a good idea because it will create color contrast and make them easier to pick out the arrangement. You can also use them to break the monotony of all the flowers and experiment with interesting combinations.

Many people use hay bales and gourds to hold a number of mums and pumpkins for display at the front of their home and an arrangement like that can be very striking. If you want something a little more creative, use any combination of flowers and gourds and place them in tall, wide vases. This will create a very unique display that will do a great job at enlivening any fall wedding.

Go Leaf Peeping

Leaf peeping has become synonymous with fall in the United States, and for good reason, too! Pure vibrant reds, bright yellow and orange leaves smother most trees make for a beautiful sight.

Fall is the perfect season for a hike in the woods and you may even find a few fallen leaves that you can craft into beautiful fall-themed crafts. Tie the leaves into colorful bunches, wipe them clean and use them as centerpieces for home or classroom parties.

You can also use your little a’s natural sense of artistry and creativity to paint the leaves. Once they’re dry, store them in an envelope and use them as a source of inspiration for future sketching sessions.

During autumn and you will see plenty of gorgeous panoramic landscape photos that will have you wishing you were there … but you can still "visit" using the interactive panorama photo feature add-on to your browser or native smartphone app.

Go Birdwatching

Nothing says fall like the call of a loon in the quiet of a morning. This is the time to plan a birdwatching expedition for the parks that surround your town. Some parks even set up food stations where you can sit and watch birds that come to feast. Bring along some binoculars and a camera to make it even more fun.

Build a Bonfire in Your Backyard

Bonfires are a classic symbol of the fall season. Hanging out around the bonfire is an activity that has lasted for generations, it has an enduring appeal that crosses all age groups. Lighting a bonfire in your backyard is a fun way to spend a late night with your family or a great date night with your significant other.

The main ingredients for creating the perfect bonfire are wood and a fire pit. To build the fire, you won’t need much, just enough wood to get the bonfire started. Start by piling up all the wood in a flat heap. Add fuel to the top of the pile and light it with matches or a long-handled spark.

After the pile is burning well, add more logs to the fire slowly, to avoid a forest fire. You can also rake and arrange the logs to your liking. A metal rake is the ideal tool to use because it ensures you don’t burn yourself while still burning enough wood and getting the most out of your bonfire.

To cool off from the heat, you can use a garden hose. It’s best to set it on a gentle stream so you don’t lose your hair or catch on fire! Use a hoe to spread out your coals to a place where they will not burn holes in your lawn when they start to die down.

Tell Scary Stories

Gather your friends around the fire pit and tell scary stories, this is an awesome way to break the ice and make everyone feel welcome.

Go Picking

To do this you will need to enlist the help of a farmer and have a list of things that you would like to pick. Once you find a farmer that will let you pick the fruit, herbs, or vegetables you want, make it an adventure! Dress up, make it fun and make the best out of it. Don’t forget to take your phone and snap some funny pictures of your adventure!

Planned Parenthood Haunted House

Over the years there are specific medical organizations that have been associated with abortion, this is not a surprise since there is so much controversy about it. Planned Parenthood has conducted services of this nature for a long time, but last year the organization put on a haunted house with actors. It was an immersive show that had a very strong anti-abortion spin to it, the only bad part was that it was pretty heavy-handed.

Patriots Parade

If you are passionate about football then you might be interested in the annual New England Patriots parade. Each year hundreds of thousands of people show up to celebrate the Patriots and to welcome them home. This is one of the top events in the city of Boston, if you want to get even more drunk than you already have been on football, head to this parade.

Other Outdoor Activities

The following activities are all separate kinds of fun, but they're all inspired by the experience of "falling". Some can be enjoyed outdoors while others might require a party to liven things up. It doesn't matter how old you get, it's always a good time for a fall party! If you live in an area with mild winters, you can enjoy some of these fun fall activities throughout the season, even as the leaves start to turn and fall.

Go Geocaching

@@What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game in which the players use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches,” anywhere in the world.

Go outdoors with your family and friends and see what treasure you can discover. If you’re new to the game, there are plenty of family-friendly caches to find. Find a park, grab your GPS and wait for the hunt to begin.

You can find caches of all difficulty levels. Just make sure to play it safe and follow the rules set by the person who placed the cache. This means no going off trail, a responsible adult with every child, and respecting all laws and land restrictions.

In short, have fun, be safe and be responsible.

Take Family Photos for Holiday Cards

The folks at Minted have an interesting piece on the top 10 reasons to order holiday cards this year versus last year. It's a great read! We hear from so many parents that it's hard to get pictures of all their family members together at once. This is where taking a quick, {unprofessional} family photo this fall can make your holiday cards look so much better than last year's.

Give everyone a few minutes to get dressed in their favorite holiday sweaters and get some shots that show off every family member {or at least the ones that are around for Thanksgiving dinner}. Even if your family is small, it's easy to add someone from another family photo from the year.

You'll make friends so happy to see you and you can always add Santa as an extra if it seems like you're missing a few family members, or that there are too many of you!

Go for an Autumn Hike or Bike Ride

Fall is a perfect time to take a ride to your local nature preserve or park and enjoy a long walk or hike. Not only will you get to see all the leaves changing colors, but you'll also feel the crispness of the air and get to enjoy the beautiful fall scents.

Head to an apple orchard and get some cider and a delicious cider donut while you're there! Or if you want to stay indoors, hop on Amazon and order your very own indoor apple cider press.

Gather your loved ones and get out into nature for some good old-fashioned autumn fun! 🙂

Go Walking in the Great Outdoors

Take a walk with the entire family and explore the great outdoors. It’s fun and great exercise for you and your children. If you live in a lush area with beautiful flowers and trees, take an hour or two to enjoy your surroundings. Go out for a stroll on the local hiking trail, as a family. Regardless of whether you live in the city or in the country, there is an endless variety of fascinating natural surroundings to explore and discover. Just take time to enjoy each season, and the outdoor life it brings with it.

Run a Road Race

Are you a runner looking for an excuse to get outdoors? Running coast to coast is a great way to keep your running skills and speed up to peak capacity. Some road running events are timed, which definitely gives them a sense of urgency, even if the race director doesn’t.

Some popular coast-to-coast road races that are a part of the Road Runners Club of America include: The Atlanta to Boston Women’s Run; the Palm Beaches Marathon; the San Francisco to Big Sur Marathon; the Health Fair Marathon; and the New York City Marathon.

Ultimate Apple Activities

Take advantage of local apple orchards in the fall by using our Ultimate Apple Activities Collection. They are perfect for the fall season and include fun to create with kids.

Go Apple-Picking

Many of our beloved fruits, like peaches, apricots, and cherries, are past their peak in August. There’s nothing like the sweet taste of a fresh apple for the fall! A trip to the local orchard will allow you to pick your favorite variety and bake some scrumptious apple pies. Some growers allow you to pick your own, while others may help you pick the perfect ones from their trees.

Visit a Historic Cider Mill

Attending a Cider Mill can be something that kicks off the Fall Season and is a great memory for years to come. These historic sites have that cozy, nostalgic feel that we just can’t resist. We get to view the apples as they get carried into the cider press and literally see the juice being squeezed out of the delicious fruit that will soon make our favorite Fall beverage.

Although they certainly have a different setup than when they were first settled, they still manage to maintain that authentic feel that brings us back to history. These family sites almost always have a great gift shop featuring apple-themed items that will match perfectly with any harvest decorations that you have in your own home, to make your Fall experience complete.

They also typically have apple cider donuts and other yummy fall treats. Oh yeah, and the whole family gets to go home with apples that have been freshly picked from the local orchard as a bonus to make the trip worth while.

Make Homemade Mulled Cider

Mulled cider is delicious and fairly easy to make. Just add the following ingredients to a large pot:

  • 2 bottles of mulling spice (look for the mix of cloves, cinnamon, and allspice)
  • 4 chopped apples
  • 12 quartered oranges and lemons
  • 1 bottle of dry red wine
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 2 cups brown sugar

All of these are wonderful when combined to create mulled cider (or mulled wine).

Heat for at least 1 hour. You can also serve the contents of the pot in hot mugs, garnished with cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Halloween Fun

Spook out your guests or trick-or-treater during the Halloween season with sneaky, spidery, or spell-binding features.

It is fun for everyone to dress in costumes, but for the kids it is a day of pictorials, candy, and playing dress-up. Also, it is a great time for the kids to get creative and to socialize. I try to make a point to go out at midnight for a tad scary run. It is rare and fun for your kids during that age!

Look at some fun crafts for kids on Pinterest to help with your Halloween decorating. Also, take a peek at your local craft stores for Halloween decorations that are unique.

Decorate for All Hollows’ Eve

The drawing of fresh vegetables from your garden or local farmers market was a big part of fall for me as a child. Even though we lived in a small city, we had a large backyard and my mom grew ten or more different plants in their backyard garden. That was how she brought out the little artist in me!

When the leaves began to turn, we would get a few trusted kitchen knives to slice into the juicy vegetables with, and we would take the etching juice baths in the kitchen! We would share our artwork with the family, adding to our scrapbook album and enjoying each other’s company.

Do the Monster Mash

Just because it is getting cooler outside, doesn't mean you have to abandon Halloween. A classic Halloween activity is carving pumpkins, and you will find more ways to celebrate this holiday beyond trick or treating and visiting haunted houses too.

If you love the spooky atmosphere of this holiday, carve and display a pumpkin in your home as a decoration. Then, start the tradition of hosting an annual Halloween party or costume party.

No trick or treating? Try a pumpkin carving contest! Keep track of the kids' scores based on their creativity, skill, and accuracy. The winner is the one with the most creativity.

Watch a Fun Spooky Movie

There is nothing quite like curling up with your family to watch a spooky movie, complete with popcorn. It does not have to be Halloween to enjoy a good scary movie, first of all. And second of all, why would you wait for Halloween to watch a spooky movie? After all, the scent of fall is more than enough to make us want to get all cozy.

The homey feeling of a warm blanket, a loving family, and a spooky movie is even too inviting for kids, who thrive on familiarity more than anything. The rising tension and excitement is exactly the feeling to embrace to have a good old time with your loved ones.

Host a “Who Dunnit” Mystery Dinner Party

Wine and whiskey glasses lay on a cloth table covering a victorian inspired dining set that features a ornate leather seat and footstool. Beside the table, Ophelia, Sleeping Beauty, Little Princess, and Mad Hatter miniature figurines stand on top of a black victorian end table. A Victorian styled oversized mirror hangs above an antique style wardrobe. A set of glass cabinet doors, covered in endless designs, lies beside a huge bay window draped in upscale tan curtains.

Whether your home screams “country” or “city” doesn’t matter when you host a “Who Dunnit” mystery dinner party. This favorite entertaining theme has been a hit at parties everywhere. From cozy country to posh city, any homeowner could throw a successful “Who Dunnit” dinner party.

Choose a murder mystery dinner party, interactive, table-hopping fun, with a script.

Organize a Scarecrow Contest

Whether you live in the country or have a small garden, you'll find making scarecrows to be a fun and wholesome activity this fall. Put together a "Homegrown Halloween" decorating contest with neighbors to create the scariest (or cutest) vegetable representation. This is also a great chance to cut up any old clothing and make a new scarecrow outfit from items destined for the trash. In addition to pride and joy, winners can be awarded with anything from a certificate to a few dollars to be used around town.

Fall Crafts and Indoor Activities

We love this time of year! It is short and we really enjoy the crisp weather and the beautiful colors that come with it. It really is the perfect time of year for a fall bucket list! Here are some of our favorite ideas to get your started.

Make Pumpkin or Apple Butter

Fall is a beautiful time when the harvest comes in and vacation begins. Many families visit local pick-your-own farms with berries, fruit and other goodies to bring home. Pumpkin and apple butter are two wonderful treats to make so you can enjoy the season more. A little history about each:

Pumpkin: It has been said that the native people in North America made a pumpkin pie over 4500 years ago; in fact, pumpkins are the oldest domesticated fruit in the world! Ground pumpkin meat was used as far back as 600 B.C. to ease indigestion and aid in digestion. Pumpkin, a vegetable that ranks high in vitamins A & C and fiber, is a wonderful source of nutrients that your body needs.

Roast Pumpkin Seeds

If you carve a pumpkin, be sure to save some of the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are actually a snack food that can be roasted. Roasted, they are crunchy, salty and full of good, healthy fats. To roast seeds, dry them completely and then coat in a vegetable oil mixture with flavors like onion and pepper.

No salt is necessary, because the pumpkin seeds have natural moisture. Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat. After about 1-2 minutes, add pumpkin seeds to the hot oil. Don't crowd- too many in the pan will cause the seeds to steam and become soggy.

Make sure the pan doesn't get too hot. Stay close, and stir from time to time. When the seeds are a nice brown color, add seasonings and toss to coat the seeds. This should only take 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and use forks to separate any seeds that are stuck together.

Pumpkin seeds are really easy to make and they are full of healthy fats. They are filling and make a great snack.

Do a Jigsaw Puzzle

Puzzle like crazy during the fall and winter. Find the ones with scenes of leaves or pumpkins and you'll be set for the season. You'll find some really nice themed ones and you'll have a blast putting them together.

Get creative and create your own. Cut out pictures from magazines and steam them onto cardboard boxes or create a scene on white paper big enough to fit on a wall.

Bake a Loaf of Pumpkin Bread

Knit or Crochet a Blanket

There are no limits to the amount of blankets you can turn out as the long nights start to draw in and it becomes oh-so-instantaneously chilly!

Being equipped with a warm bedtime companion will help your child to sleep better during the colder months too.

Most tutorials available online will include instructions on how to crochet or knit your very own cozy fall blanket. The biggest thing to remember during this project is to keep clearly defined measurements so you know straight away if it's going to fit the bed/crib/travel cot it's supposed to. Or… if it needs to be for bigger bed, ensure a good fit for it.

As there will always be a certain amount of trial and error with this project, try to utilize any yarn/fabric that is going to be wasted to speed up the testing and check for errors.

Make Holiday Trinkets

It couldn’t be more simple: fill a bucket or cardboard box with crafts materials like pipe cleaners, holiday ribbons, buttons, and googly eyes!

Next, fold a few craft sheets in half for each child.

Then, pack up a few favorites: books, pencils and blank or holiday-related coloring pages.

You can even include an old tablet (if you have one collecting dust), an iPad, or even a desktop computer to keep the little ones entertained while waiting for or on long lines!

Press Leaves to Create Art

As fall wears on, the trees start to change colors, and you start hearing the classic sound of the falling leaves. It’s not a great idea to rake your leaves, as they are great for your lawn, and it’s much better to leave them alone.

What you can do is get out and enjoy the colorful leaves on your hike and collect them for painting. Gather many leaves in all different colors and shapes, and when you are done, you will have a wonderful fall art masterpiece. Rich colors and the natural shape of the leaves make it a wonderful project for all ages.

Start this arts and craft project by laying each leaf face down. Next, ink the back of the leaf by dipping it in a small bowl of water and then applying a touch of paint. Leave the leaf to dry for a few minutes. Remove the leaf carefully and press it against another leaf or into the canvas. This will help to give a uniform distribution to each leaf.

Create a Cornucopia Display

Fall brings with it many new opportunities for creativity, especially when it comes to bountiful harvest. Take advantage of the breathtaking fall colors to make a simple cornucopia display. Gather a few pumpkins, gourds, and fresh fall produce such red apples and pears. Add in a few autumn colored mums and those stunning autum leaves just for fun. Position everything in a way that you get a beautiful looking display of fall fruit and produce.

With the pretty fall colors, your display should be a thing of beauty. Use twine or strong ribbon to tie a few stems together and make a seasonal arrangement with your harvest. The cornucopia display will make a stunning centerpiece that you can enjoy for many days. It will also give you a great opportunity to showcase some of the fruits of your harvest all while promoting a local fall farmer market or other local businesses.

Make Autumn Potpourri Sachets

There are few things more satisfying, when the weather turns warmer in the spring and summer, than smelling the warmer scents you had collected. The memory of it makes you smile and all the more ready to enjoy the warmer months.

So why wait 'til spring to start?

Collect autumn leaves as soon as possible. Pick up both light and dark in different colors. Strip the leaves off the stem, and add leaves you have from cedar, rosemary, and eucalyptus.

You might also consider adding pine cones, acorns, cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla beans, nutmeg, and ginger.

You can store your autumn leaves in a muslin bag, in an airtight container. When you're ready to use your potpourri, just place the sachet in a bowl with water in it and let it steep.

You can use the same leaves year after year, so it will be fun to try and see how your blend evolves!

If you want to munch on something as you think about the season, that should be easy! One of the pumpkin season's biggest stars is the pumpkin itself.

Bake a Cobbler or Pie for Someone

Find a recipe to make a cobbler or a pie with a friend or family. Spend the weekend making it together with your kids. This is a great activity because everyone will experience the sense of accomplishment that comes from making a dessert. It'll also provide your children with a chance to socialize with the other people. They'll also observe the love that goes into making dessert for others. It's a great lesson to learn.

More Outdoor Activities

If your kids are anything like my husband and I were when we were kids, they enjoy the outside; whether it is playing in the yard, splashing in the pool, or riding their bikes. As parents, we sometimes get too busy for the outside. Try to schedule fun activities and take a bit of time out to enjoy the crisp air and beautiful colors of the trees this fall. Even a trip to the local farmer’s market can be fun and educational. I am sure everyone on your list will find an activity that they will enjoy.

Attend an Autumn Harvest Fair

Vibrant colors paint the landscape during autumn, and there's something special about this time of year. Find an autumn harvest festival or fair and take your family to enjoy the local produce, the entertainers, and the fun. You'll also learn a thing or two at these events.

Visiting the fair can help you tap into nature and focus on real food. Many produce items change with the season, so you might find vegetables you've never tasted before.

Going to an autumn fair is a fun outing for the whole family. It's a great way for kids to help people appreciate the harvest and to learn about where food comes from. It's entertainment for the whole family, and you'll make memories that will last.

Navigate a Corn Maze

Corn mazes have everything! They’re a walking challenge, a brain teaser, a memory scavenger hunt, a path of surprises and a self-competition. And even if you’re not into horticulture or growing corn, a corn maze still offers a fabulous fall adventure and one of the best fall activities many families can participate in together. Local farms throughout the country offer corn mazes, so head to one nearest you, if you can,in the fall season.

Paddle in a Canoe or Kayak

Canoes and kayaks, steadily gaining in popularity over the past century, have been a major part in the history of mankind.

The art of taking a boat to sea has been practiced since ancient times. The earliest example of a boat is the canoe. Aboriginal Australians used the canoe as early as 10,000 BC, as proved by cave art. Egyptian and Chinese history also mention early types of canoes being used for hunting and fishing.

Today, canoes are still being used for everyday activities such as fishing and water commuting. However, they are also highly competitive and used in a wide variety of sporting and leisure activities at local or international levels.

The word kayak originates from the Inuktitut language, which is an Inuit word describing any type of watercraft or vessel that is made and used by them.

The first actual kayaks date back to the 1700s when Russian sailors navigated the icy northern seas.

Today kayaking is practiced in many regions of the world with the equipment reflecting the specific needs of each area.

Tailgate or Picnic Outside

This is a fun experience, get everyone to the local football or baseball game! A clear, sunny day is perfect for relaxing outside with a plate full of yummy munchies. This is a fun experience, get everyone to the local football or baseball game! A clear, sunny day is perfect for relaxing outside with a plate full of yummy munchies.

As the game winds down, gather your group and head to the parking lot for the tailgate party! Bring all the fixings for the most delicious tailgate food and snacks you can imagine. Chicken wings, potato salad, fruit, veggies, dips, chips and dip, and whatever else your family loves. Get ready for a fun time with everyone you know, both old and new.

Now that the sun has gone down a bit, decide which firework display to go to. You can pack the crowd into your car and go to the local display, or get a group together and head to a field or park for a personal fireworks show of your own. Be sure to get permission for any property you might be using.

After enjoying the highlight of the year, time to bring your family and friends back home. Head back to the home turf of your home where you can rest up for the next days to come!

Wrap Up

September is the month of transition. It’s the last month of summer and the first month of fall. Whether you think of fall as being your favorite season or not, it’s the time of year when you get to bring out your scarves and boots, turn your air conditioning off, and begin putting away your sundresses and sandals.

Fall is also the time of year when most people make their New Year’s resolutions. Many of these resolutions are goals for the year ahead. The first week of September is a good time to review your summer goals and to decide how you’d like to carry them into the fall. More than likely, you’ll find that many of your summer goals are still in your plans for the next few months. That’s because fall is a perfect time to squeeze in lots of great activities and rewarding experiences.

In fact, there are a variety of fall bucket list ideas that you’re sure to love. So this September, add all kinds of new goals, activities, and experiences to your fall bucket list.