All seasons are a wonderful ode to the beauty that can be found all around us, but we may love fall most of all. A time when the weather is cooler, the treetops add a fiery glow to the ground below us, the crispy leaves crack under our footsteps, and we find ourselves cozying up with the ones we love just a little bit more.
Fall is a glorious time of year to enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities with kids of all ages. There is so much to be enjoyed this time of year, from fun outdoor family adventures that foster a love for all things nature to delicious indoor fall tastes and smells that excite the senses.
Whether your kid is a natural nature buff or you’re hoping to build a more eco-friendly lifestyle, there are so many fall activities that allow your family to be immersed in all the beauty that the world has to offer. At Product of the North, nothing excites us more than mixing fun memory-making activities with sustainability practices that take care of the planet we adore.
As parents ourselves, we understand that keeping the kids entertained can feel difficult sometimes, especially when you’re trying to keep them healthy and safe. Luckily, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy with your kids this season that will excite anyone from your toddler to your teenager.
Here are some of our favorite indoor and outdoor activities for fall.
Indoor Fall Kids Activities
The shorter days and cooling weather upon us means that kids will be spending more time indoors. Although it may feel like the easiest option after a long day, handing them their tablet or plopping them in front of the TV can be detrimental to their long-term development.
Luckily, there are various fun, engaging, and educational indoor fall kids activities that you can do with your kids to keep them growing and thriving this season. The list of indoor activities below will help keep them busy and out of trouble while also allowing you to spend quality time together any day of the week.
1. Make Caramel Apples
Nothing says ultimate fall treat quite like caramel apples. A flavor combination synonymous with the leaves changing in autumn, homemade caramel apples are a great treat to enjoy as a family.
From pristine apple selection to caramel sauce prep, kids of all ages can get involved in the delicious treat-making activity. Whether you opt for the classic caramel apple recipe or a DIY caramel apple bar with an add-your-own toppings option, there’s one thing for sure: this will be a sweet activity that your kids will be asking for a few more times this season.
2. Bob for Apples
A game often played at Halloween, bobbing for apples, is a fun way to get your kids involved in family game night. Apples are often looked at as the fruit of the fall season, so it’s no surprise that so many fall activities are centered around this juicy and healthy fruit.
Set up a large container with water and add a few apples. Each player will hold their hands behind their back and use only their mouths to try and grab an apple. The one who grabs the most apples in a minute wins. The safest way to play this game during the current season of the world is to set up individual containers that each person uses. Aside from the added safety benefit, this allows each person to bob for apples simultaneously.
3. Paint Pumpkins
Halloween may be behind us, but pumpkin-everything sure isn’t. Whether your little ones love all things arts and crafts or just want to stay busier throughout the day, painting pumpkins is an excellent way to let their creativity shine through. Plus- it’s a lot less messy than pumpkin carving, right?
Stock up on a variety of washable finger paints for little ones and let them paint to their heart’s content. A few more ways to make this activity more fun for older kids are to pick a family theme or have a painting contest.
4. Family Game Night
Nothing intensifies the fun quite like a little healthy competition. If you’re trying to fill a Friday night or a chilly weekend afternoon, consider opting for a family game night. Have each child pick their favorite game, or decide together on a few, and spend a few hours playing together. From Monopoly to charades, there are sure to be endless hours of fun and laughter.
5. Bake a Pie
We can smell it now. There may be nothing more satisfying than the aroma of freshly baked pie. Whether you love sweet options like apple or pecan or are more of a savory fan with options like pumpkin or sweet potato, fall is the perfect season to bake and enjoy the beautiful dessert of pie.
Make this a family activity by inviting your kids to join you in the kitchen. Based on their age, provide them with helpful steps that foster learning while keeping them safe in the kitchen. Then, enjoy the pies of your labor by indulging in dessert together… even before dinner.
6. Make Fall-Scented Play Dough
Some toys never go out of style. Play dough has been around for decades and is a tried and true option for kids to explore their creative side with. Why not add a fall twist to your at-home play dough options by adding in a bit of fall color or scent.
Making play dough at home is relatively easy and inexpensive, requiring basic pantry staples like flour, salt, and oil. Add in your favorite fall scents, such as cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or apple pie spice to give your play dough that extra fall feeling. You can also add orange, yellow, or brown food coloring to give it that fall hue.
7. Build a Terrarium
Kids love to create things that they can call their own. Terrariums are a great way to teach your children about different plants while allowing them to let their imagination and creativity flow.
A perfect teacher’s appreciation gift or holiday present, terrariums can be added to desks, tables, or countertops. They are easy to maintain and a fantastic way to bring a piece of the outdoors into your home. The best part? The process to build a terrarium is pretty simple. Enjoy this unique activity together this fall.
8. Enjoy an Indoor Picnic
Often thought of as a summer activity, picnics can be enjoyed year-round if you get creative. On a brisk day, take the picnic inside. Lay out a buffalo-plaid checkered blanket, grab your favorite picnic basket and move to the enclosed porch or family room to enjoy an indoor picnic together on the floor. Set the mood with indoor lanterns, fall-themed plates and cups, and autumn-focused food choices. Our favorites? Turkey wraps, chili, pumpkin soup, apple crisp, or a DIY charcuterie board.
9. Decorate for Thanksgiving
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, what better way to spend time with family than by decorating for the holiday? Whether you opt for DIY crafts to decorate your home or would prefer to go with the decorations you stowed in the attic last year, this is the perfect time to add a splash of autumn to your home together.
Kids love feeling as though they are a part of transformative things, home changes included. Invite them to make a special holiday-themed craft to hang up or add to your dining room centerpiece. Make this a yearly tradition to enjoy as they grow.
10. Make a Wreath
Wreaths are staple decor items for all seasons, especially during the fall and winter months. A great at-home activity for older children is to express themselves through art. What better way than a family arts and crafts activity making a seasonal wreath? Stop by your local craft store and pick up all necessary supplies, including faux flowers, greenery, and a hot glue gun. Need ideas? Try one of these fun fall wreath options.
Outdoor Fall Kids Activities
As the temperature drops and the darkness creeps in more quickly these days, many families find themselves nestling up indoors with little thought of enjoying all available to them outside. Yet, autumn is the perfect transition season to enjoy all the beauty of the nature around us.
From colorful hikes and adventures in the park to family-focused outings and festivals, fall activities can add so much to this new season of your life. So the next time you find yourself, or your child, struggling with cabin fever vibes, remember that there is a lot of fun to be had outdoors.
Here is a list of some of our favorite outdoor activities that we hope you can enjoy this season.
11. Go Apple Picking
Apples are in season, and what better way to enjoy them than by picking them yourself? A staple fall activity, apple picking is fun for everyone in your family. Pick a weekend day to explore a local orchard and fill a bag or two with your favorite apple variety. Use those apples for baking a pie, apple crisp, or enjoy them fresh from the tree.
12. Attend a Fall Festival
From spooky characters and haunted houses to corn mazes and arts and crafts, fall festivals are a wonderful way to enjoy all that encompasses the fall season. Scattered throughout the country, fall festivals make up many autumn-focused events in cities big and small.
Check for local festivals in your area and plan out a day to take the kids along with you to explore the local booths, fall-time treats, and small business vendors that know just how to spread autumn cheer in your neighborhood. Pack your essentials for the baby to enjoy a full festival day with your family.
13. Go on a HayRide
Kids love hayrides. Whether through a local farm field or at a fall festival, hayrides are another autumn staple that should be added to your must-do list for fall activities. For older kids, some farms offer haunted varieties in the fall to fit into the Halloween theme. Either way, we encourage you to pack up your essentials and spend a day at a local farm and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of an authentic hayride.
14. Make Bird Feeders and Enjoy Bird Watching
Not all birds fly south for the winter. Fall is an ideal time to enjoy the outdoors with your family and explore all that nature offers. Whether you decide to camp out in your backyard or hit the trails, bird watching is a great way to better understand the birds in your region. Take along your binoculars, notebook, and bird watching guide and make a list with your kids notating exactly what birds you saw on your adventures.
If you decide to bird-watch from your backyard, consider having your kids make their own bird feeders. They’ll love to see the fruits of their labor come to life when birds start actively eating and drinking from the feeder and water bowls. Encourage your kids to watch for birds from the windows or porch and take photos to memorialize the moment. Birds are fascinating creatures; this is a great learning opportunity for all.
15. Rake Leaves & Jump in the Piles
There may be nothing more satisfying than jumping into a big pile of leaves after a day of raking… no matter your age. Put a twist on this fall chore by getting your kids involved in it with you. Purchase a few kid-sized rakes and have them be responsible for their own section of the yard. Once all leaves are raked into a big pile, jump in together.
16. Weekend Road Trip
With adventure all around us, a great outdoor activity for families is to take part in a weekend road trip. No matter where you’re located, there is sure to be something new to explore within driving distance. Do some background research and plan out your trip with must-stop sites and attractions along the way. Don’t forget to pack your bags with all the road trip essentials. From diapers and bottles to snacks and car games, bring everything that makes the trip easier and more enjoyable for you and your kids.
17. Build a Bonfire & Make S’Mores
Ooey, gooey marshmallows, and melted chocolate between warmed graham crackers is the ultimate weekend treat. Build a bonfire or gather by the fire pit to enjoy the warmth of the flames (safely!) with a sweet treat as a bonus. Spend time eating, talking, and enjoying quality time together right in your backyard.
18. Go on a Fall Color Hike
With the season’s colors fully surrounding us, it is the perfect time to enjoy a fall color hike. Find a trail in your local area and plan to hike it based on the skill level of you and your family. From novice hikes around a local park to more advanced and adventurous mountainous options, there are sure to be choices and trails for all.
Don’t forget to pack your camera to capture the beauty of the season from above. Other must-have hiking items include nutrient-rich snacks, plenty of water, and any specific needs for your children. While we may be a tad biased, our Elkin backpack diaper bag is a modern, stylish and functional backpack that's perfect for fall hikes with little ones in tow. Sizable enough to fit all you need for all the adventures that await on the trail ahead.
19. Go To A Corn Maze
One way to challenge yourself and your children is to navigate your way through a corn maze. Options for all ages and skill levels, corn mazes are equal parts fun and challenging. Dress warm and wear comfortable shoes to make your way through the maze with ease.
Stick together as a group, pack a flashlight if you plan to go in the evening, and have a big celebration dance once you make it out of the maze. If you plan to go with older children, consider breaking up into two groups, with at least one adult per group, and challenge each other to see who can make it out first.
20. Have a Fall Family Photoshoot
Seasonal photoshoots are always a memorable experience and a great way to celebrate a new season. Head to an outdoor spot you love, hire a photographer you trust, and snap fun and carefree photos that you can hang in your home and adore for years to come. Consider wearing neutral hues to contrast beautifully with the fiery fall backdrop. Use your images on a family Christmas card or, simply, post them on social media for family and friends to enjoy, too.
Wrapping up our List of 20 Fall Kids Activities
As we find ourselves in an alluring new season, there are so many ways we can enjoy these moments in time with our kids. One goal continually holds true: from creative indoor activities to thrilling outdoor adventures, we all want to make memories and share happiness with the people we love. We encourage you to use this list as a way to connect with your kids this fall and make memories that are sure to last a lifetime. Happy Autumn!