As the summer season ends and the school year begins, everyone prepares for COZY MODE! There’s something about the cooling fall temperatures, the smell of apple cider, and of course, pumpkin spice lattes that make fall the coziest season of all. But sometimes, as the school year kicks off and the chill hits the air, the thought of autumn doesn’t feel quite as exciting as those hot summer days. This is why having a go-to list of all the best fall activities is an absolute must for your family! Don’t miss out on these 25 must-do fall bucket list ideas and activities to keep your kiddos and entire family excited, exploring, and busy this autumn season.
PRO TIP: Families should never feel pressured by a bucket list like it would make or break the fun of fall. Bucket lists are meant to be FUN and create INSPIRATION!
What is a bucket list?
A bucket list includes ideas you can reference anytime you seek inspiration. Bucket lists help to keep your kids busy, having fun, and getting excited about all the things they CAN do, rather than the things they can’t do (especially as the season changes from summer to fall).
Checking things off a bucket list can give your kids the feeling of productivity, accomplishment, and fulfillment. When kids feel proud of themselves, it helps build their confidence and ability.
RELATED: Spending time outdoors in nature as the seasons change is fantastic for kids! Check out these simple leaf activities for preschoolers as a way to explore the outdoors this fall.
Best ways to get into the fall season
There are so many ways to get into the fall spirit. If you’re looking for general ways to spend your days this fall season, you can never go wrong with any of these simple ideas:
- Bake together
- Cozy up inside
- Eat your favorite cozy foods
- Explore nature outdoors
- Try a fall-themed sensory play
- Make a leaf art project
- Visit local farms and orchards
RELATED: Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Don’t miss these 25 incredible Thanksgiving activities for kids.
Download the Fall Bucket List
Need a way to stay organized with all of our ideas and activities for your family this fall? Download and print my Fall Bucket List to hang up for your kids to visually see all of the fun ways you can enjoy the fall season as a family!
RELATED: Even with a chill in the air, those cool and gloomy fall days don’t have to be so boring. Check out our list of simple, fun, and creative rainy-day activities!
FREE Fall Bucket List
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- During fall days
- On the weekends
- When you see fit
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25 fall bucket list ideas
These 25 fall bucket list ideas and activities for your kids and family will keep everyone happy, busy, and feeling accomplished this autumn. Whether you try one idea or check them all off, this bucket list will help to inspire play, imagination, and independence. Your kids will love learning, exploring, and understanding the world around them, and everything unique the season offers!
1. Pick apples at an orchard
There’s almost nothing more classic in the fall than picking apples! Take your kids to a local orchard to experience this nostalgic fall activity. Last time we went, the apple bag went rolling down the hill. – a little frustrating and a simple memory I won’t forget. Pro tip: Remember to take pictures of what goes wrong as well.
2. Go on a hike
Pack your backpacks up for the day and go explore a local park or trail. Spending time with your kids outside and going on a sensory nature hunt is the BEST type of sensory lesson.
RELATED: Find my favorite outdoor gear and toys in this list here.
3. Take a road trip to find the most magical view of the leaves changing colors
Pile in the car and take a road trip to find the most epic color changes in the leaves. Watch your kid’s eyes widen and sparkle as they witness all the beautiful colors.
4. Build an outdoor fall fort
Collect fallen sticks and leaves to build an awesome outdoor fort to play in this fall! Learning how to design, build, and balance sticks to build a fort is a fantastic STEM activity for preschoolers and big kids!
5. Build a scarecrow
Work together as a family to build a friendly (or spooky) scarecrow this Halloween season! There’s no better way to decorate your front porch for trick-or-treating than with a one-of-a-kind scarecrow.
6. Make a craft to gift to a neighbor for Thanksgiving
The Thanksgiving season is all about giving. And what better way to teach your kids about creating and sharing than with a simple craft to gift to a neighbor?
7. Visit a maple syrup farm
If you’re lucky enough to live close to a maple syrup farm, you won’t want to miss this outing! Your kids will love learning how this fall favorite ingredient is made and where it comes from.
8. Make a leaf art project
Send your kids outside to collect beautiful colored leaves and then come inside to create art with their findings! Glue the fall leaves is one of the simplest art activities you can do with fall leaves.
9. Set up your Thanksgiving activity table
Our Thanksgiving activity table is a simple and interactive way to gather kids around one table to learn and play. Work together as a family to set up this activity table for your guests this Thanksgiving.
10. Rake leaves and then jump in them
Bundle up and head out for some good old fall clean up. Your kids will love raking while strengthening their gross motor and coordination skills, jumping, and playing in their giant leaf piles. (Word of caution: watch out for snakes as you rake. We live where they occasionally get raked with the leaves.)
15. Attend a fall festival
Check out a local fall family fair! So many great fall-themed festivals include apple picking, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes.
12. Bake an apple crisp
Baking with kids may sound stressful, but it can be one of the most rewarding and simple at home activities with kids! A major plus is smelling up your home with the most delicious fall smells right from your oven.
13. Decorate for Halloween
September? You have my official go-ahead to decorate. There’s no better time to get into the spooky Halloween spirit than at the start of fall. Spend time together as a family decorating your home for this fun and spooky season.
RELATED: Home in October? You can never go wrong with any of these 5 at-home Halloween activities!
14. Roast marshmallows on a cool day around a campfire
Cozy up by the fire on a cool afternoon or evening. Even if your kids are chilly, they will love this activity if roasted marshmallows are involved!
15. Fall-themed sensory play
17. Make a pumpkin craft
Even though kids are too young to enjoy PSL’s, they can still get into the pumpkin spirit. Creating pumpkin crafts can be so fun – this tissue paper pumpkin art activity is simple to do and makes for a cute fall decoration to display in your home!
16. Drink apple cider and eat fresh cider donuts
Sip on apple cider and eat fresh, warm cinnamon sugar cider donuts with your kids this fall! Many cider mills often have small petting zoos, which is super cute and fun for young kids.
18. Go on a hayride
If you have a transportation-loving kid, this one is for them (and you)! Take a hayride through an orchard or fair and explore the tractor outside.
19. Go to a football game
Get tickets to a football game, whether its the local high school on a Friday night, college game, or even a big-time game! You kids will love taking in all the sights and sounds.
20. Do a fall-themed puzzle
Spend time as a family doing a fall-themed puzzle on a cool and cozy evening. Whether you do a puzzle together as a family or encourage your child to do one during quiet time, puzzles can help to build their confidence and independence.
21. Visit a Sunflower Farm
This sunflower left an everlasting impression on our family! We went in 2020 and as I write this list of ideas, I am adding it to my calendar of things to do in September. Do a quick Google search to see if you have one near you, too!
22. Visit your local farmers market
Don’t miss out on all the fun and festive seasonal produce and vendors at your local farmers market. Seeing and tasting new and different flavors and crafts is a fun way to learn about the fall season.
23. Carve a pumpkin
You can’t possibly get through the fall season without carving a pumpkin to prep for Halloween. Carving a pumpkin is one of the ultimate sensory exploration activities for kids!
24. Roast pumpkin seeds
After carving your pumpkin, teach your kids all about the seeds! Work together to clean, season, and roast those yummy pumpkin seeds.
25. Make homemade applesauce
Making homemade applesauce is one of the simplest ways to enjoy your apples this fall season. Your kids will love peeling, mixing, smelling, and tasting fresh and warm applesauce.
Fall bucket lists make life so much more exciting.
A fall bucket list is a great way to keep your kids and family busy doing fun and seasonal activities. Kids will feel excited to know all of the cool seasonal ideas and activities they can look forward to when they can visually see a bucket list.
Fall bucket lists can help to make fall more fun! As the fall season sets in, so do the cooler and wetter days, which can sometimes bring on boredom. Spike your family’s interest in the changing seasons with a fun fall-themed bucket list of ideas and activities.
Let your fall bucket list guide the season.
Whether your kids are already dragging their feet from the start of school or missing those hot summer days, this fall bucket list will keep them excited about the fall season! Download and save this fall bucket list to hang on your refrigerator this autumn to help fill your weekends and inspire lots of play!
Empower your child with skills to thrive.
24 low-prep activities and relatable conversation starters that equip kids for life.
- Order the easy-to-follow activity cards.
- Build the foundation for social-emotional learning.
- Notice a shift in self-confidence and self-regulation as you and your child implement what you practice.
A bucket list is simply a checklist of activities, ideas, and experiences you aim to accomplish. Bucket lists can help to inspire fun ways to fill your days, weekends, and rainy days. This summer bucket list for families has many easy and fun ideas.
A fall bucket list is a great way to keep your kids and family busy doing fun and seasonal activities. As the weather cools down, it’s important to keep everyone motivated and excited by the new season.
The best kinds of activities to do in the fall include leaf collecting, apple picking, and trips to local orchards, farms, and cider mills.