Trees in the fall and a red truck in Chicago

41 Free and Thrifty Must-Try Activities to Add to Your Fall Bucket List

Some experts believe that fall will arrive earlier than usual this year, but for those who love this Autumn season, this adjustment shouldn’t be too much to handle.

Fall is an excellent time to check off a few things to do from your bucket list. These activities are thrifty, fun, and so much better to enjoy when the weather is cooler. Whether you are exploring solo or with a group, these 41 Free and Thrifty Must Try Actives are perfect for you.

Note: While we encourage you to enjoy one or all of these activities, we recommend keeping yourself and others safe by practicing safe social distancing rules and regulations.


Fall Activities

1. Make your way through a complex corn maze.

2. Bake an apple pie from scratch—or any other fall fruit.

3. Pick apples at a local orchard.

4. Select the best pumpkins at a pumpkin patch.

5. Host a bonfire—don’t forget the smores!

6. Cook a stew, chili, or soup from scratch.

7. Find a quiet place and make a grateful list.

Arizona Sunset | Video by Taylor Justin

8. Pass the time with a scenic drive through byways or backroads.

9. Catch a classic film at an outdoor theater.

10. Grab a few friends and lounge in a cozy cabin.

11. Pick-up dinner from the fanciest restaurant in town,

12. Throw a harvest party—potluck style.

13. Volunteer for a grassroots organization.

14. Visit a local coffee shop and sample the fall-inspired beverage menu.

15. Rent a boat and get out on the water.

Randolph Street Market Chicago Fall activities by The Haute Seeker
Indoor at Randolph Street Market | Image by Taylor Justin

16. Find chic vintage pieces in a swanky neighborhood.

17. Hit the hiking trails for a family outing.

18. Get romantic on your next date and go stargazing.

19. Make it a frightful night and visit a haunted house.

20. Go horseback riding through the countryside.

21. Plan a scavenger hunt with your closest friends.

22. Explore wetlands by fishing, canoeing, or kayaking.

23. Host a costume party.

24. Take a weekend trip to a small town or cool city near you.

Beer flight from Jolly Pumpkin | Photo by Taylor Justin

25. Quench your thirst with beer from a local brewery.

26. Sample handcrafted wine from a regional winery.

27. Discover something new on a long bike ride through your city.

28. Get spooky on a ghost tour.

29. Become one with nature by camping or “glamping” in the great outdoors.

30. Redecorate your home for the fall season with Autumn inspired decor.

31. Gather with friends before the big game and tailgate.

32. Find fresh produce at a local farmers market.

33. Attend a seasonal festival or county fair.

34. Make a fort and watch scary movies at home.

35. Take a train ride to a neighboring town.

36. Get crafty and find a do-it-yourself project.

37. Spruce up your home and plant fall flowers.

Chicago Football Classic | Image by Taylor Justin

38. Embrace fandom and attend a football game.

39. Dress up your pet—just because it’s cute.

40. Observe the fall foliage at a forest preserve.

41. Plan an informal Friendsgiving.


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12 Comments

  1. Emily

    This article has got me looking forward to the fall and all the fun things to do. I love the idea of a potluck style harvest party!

  2. Eric Gamble

    If my wife sees this list of activities for your Fall Bucket List, I am doomed cause she LOVES the Fall, while I am team SUMMER all the way! Though, I do love how simple and easy many of these items on your list are to do and most dont cost a lot of money either! I do agree that beer tasting or wine tasting at local venues is a pretty cool activity to do in the fall too. (See what I did there, Cool Activity…Fall, haha, I crack myself up!)

  3. knycx

    While it is still hot in September, fall is around the corner and thanks for preparing us for the season. I can’t wait to make a hot soup and dress up my pet as well!

  4. Livi Bee

    Fall is my favorite season and I can’t wait until it arrives. I am especially looking forward to numbers 5, 8, 10, 18, and 19. I was just speaking with my aunt about a cabin trip earlier today!! I’ve never been to a pumpkin patch but I think I’m gonna find one to visit this year!!

  5. Anne

    Wow love this list! I wanna try to host a bonfire, rent a boat and glamping… a lot actually … thanks for sharing this great list, this is my checklist now of what I can do on fall , ahaha.

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