15 Fun & Free Things To Do This Fall

published Oct 2, 2022
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Breakfast With Books And Sweater On Window Sill At Home
Credit: Getty Images/ Maria Kovalevskaya / EyeEm

Fall weather means freedom from oppressive heat and the promise of cozy days cloistered from the cold. It’s the in-between season that compels you to get outside before harsher weather sets in. Fall means a warm-hued color palette, the addition of sweaters to your daily wardrobe, and the drink-which-shall-not-be-named that some people love and others love to hate. 

Whether fall makes you feel sad for the end of summer or happy to have relief from sweltering days, here are 15 fun activities autumn brings with it, many of them free. 

Credit: Shutterstock/Anthony Heflin

1. Take a fall walk. 

Cooler temps mean walks won’t be sweaty undertakings. Instead, you may even enjoy cool breezes that send leaves fluttering through the air. Taking regular walks in the fall means you can watch the subtle changes of the season. 

2. Make a leaf “rainbow.” 

While you’re on your walk, collect leaves in various hues. Then arrange them into a gradient on a neutral background and take a picture. 

3. Forage for free fall decor. 

Bring a bit of the outdoors in by collecting a few cuttings of fall foliage. Bring them inside and arrange them in a vase or jar. 

4. Go on a fall drive. 

Leaf peeping is always fun, and doing it in the car lets you see more than you would on foot. Use a fall foliage map to time your drive for peak season color. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

5. Bake an apple dessert. 

Enjoy the taste of fall by whipping up an apple treat like this super easy-to-make apple crumble.

6. Start a gratitude list. 

Embrace the spirit of the Thanksgiving season by starting a gratitude list. You could make it even more fun by designing a tree and adding paper leaves with things you’re grateful for written on them. Get the whole household to participate. 

7. Make a simmer pot. 

A simmer pot is simple to throw together and fills the whole house with cozy scents. Toss things like cinnamon sticks, cloves, apple slices, and orange peels in a pot of water to simmer and you’ll soon enjoy lovely, autumnal smells filling your home. 

8. Make orange pomanders. 

I bet you have a container of cloves sitting around in your pantry or spice rack. Grab an orange or clementine and make a few of these beautiful pomanders. They smell great, they’re fun and easy to make, and they may just last through the holidays.

9. Make a leaf pile — and jump in it, obviously! 

Is there a more iconic fall activity than raking together a leaf pile and then flying into it? It’s a classic for a reason. Turn yard work into memories by making a leaf pile of your own and having some fun with it. 

10. Roast pumpkin seeds. 

Roasted pumpkin seeds may just be the best part of having a pumpkin. Save your seeds when you carve your pumpkin and roast them for a fresh, seasonal treat, piping hot from the oven. 

11. Have a bonfire. 

Fall evenings have the perfect temperature for bonfires. Invite a few friends or neighbors over, get out your s’mores ingredients, and maybe even get that guitar out. There’s nothing quite like bonding over fire and singing. 

12. Drink your favorite beverage outside with blankets. 

Pick a chilly night and pour a glass of wine or a mug of tea. Head outside with a pile of blankets and enjoy the warmth within. Gaze up at the stars if the night is clear. 

Credit: Laura Rege
Carrot Ginger Soup

13. Make soup. 

Make a big pot of your favorite soup.’Tis the season. Freeze extra for quick dinners on busy weekday nights or lazy Sundays down the road. 

14. Schedule a reading afternoon. 

There isn’t anything much cozier than reading at home on a chilly fall day. Light a candle, grab a blanket, switch on a lamp, and get lost in a book.

15. Watch a fall movie.

For a more communal option than reading a book (or if you just want to veg), choose a fall movie to curl up to.