Fall is officially upon us! I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love fall. With the start of any new season, I feel like it breathes life into me all over again. But fall is different. This dreamy season takes it to a whole new level. Fall is notorious for its beautiful, changing leaves, crisp breeze, trips to pumpkin patches and apple orchards, cozy blankets, nights by the fire, high school, college, and professional football games, and spending quality time with family.

Fall is also the perfect time to enjoy fun activities that the whole family can enjoy without breaking the bank. Make this fall the best one yet by creating your very own 2021 fall bucket list! Check off the items as you go, and if you’ve still got more time in the season when you reach the end of your list, continue adding more to keep you and the family busy all fall long.

Fall Family Activities

Here are some of my favorite inexpensive fall activities that you can kick off your bucket list with:

  1. Pick Pumpkins at a Local Pumpkin Patch: There are many pumpkin patches throughout the Lehigh Valley that you and your family are bound to enjoy. You’ll find that there’s more to most pumpkin patches than just bright orange pumpkins. Most pumpkin patches in our area have corn mazes, hayrides, barnyard animals, and snack stands that will help make it a day well spent. Need pumpkin patch suggestions? Check out this awesome local guide, and feel free to pick up as many pumpkins and gourds as you’d like while enjoying the scenery and a nice cup of hot cocoa or apple cider.

  2. Carve or Paint Pumpkins: Now that you’ve got your pumpkins, why not get a little crafty with them! Whether you’re into carving jack-o'-lanterns or painting your pumpkins to perfection, the whole family will be in for a treat as you sit around the table creating your masterpieces.

  3. Visit an Apple Orchard: There’s nothing that screams fall more than picking apples at the apple orchard. It’s a classic fall family activity (and a great one at that!) You can venture into the orchard to choose a variety of your own delicious apples or pick up a pre-packaged bag that’s ready to go. Choose from Gala, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Macintosh, and so many more! Plus, be sure to try out some fresh apple cider or apple cinnamon donuts while walking the orchard or before heading home.

  4. Have a Bake-a-thon: You’ve already picked your perfect apples at the orchard, so now, it’s time to bake, bake, bake! The apple desserts you can make are endless. Try a delicious homemade apple pie, apple crisp, apple peanut butter cookies, caramel apple bars, apple cobbler, apple strudel, apple cake, apple cider donuts, and the list goes on. Plus, these will make for some really sweet moments and time spent with your kiddos and getting to teach them how to bake. And, of course, enjoying all your delicious creations afterward!

  5. Have a Picnic: Fall is the perfect time for a family picnic; it’s not too hot and not too cold. Head to your favorite local park, bring along a comfy blanket to relax on, and remember to pack tasty snacks and lunches for everyone to munch on. If you’re really feeling in the fall spirit, you can spice up your snacks and lunch with yummy fall-themed goodies.

  6. Go for a Nature Hike: There are tons of trails and nature hikes that you can take in the Lehigh Valley. Enjoy the sights at Bushkill Falls, Hawk Mountain, Jacobsburg Park, Bake Oven Knob, and more. Let your kids lead the way and see what they discover! You can make up games along the way and search for colorful leaves, acorns, pinecones, wildlife, and plant life. Be sure to dress comfortably, pack plenty of water to stay hydrated, and bring granola bars or trail mix when you need a quick snack.  

  7. Take a Relaxing Drive: Who doesn’t love a nice, long, leisurely drive taking in the beauty of the fall foliage? Let the winding roads take you on a scenic drive, and just take in the panoramic views of the trees with gorgeous pops of orange, yellow, red, and purple leaves.

  8. Camp Outside in Your Backyard: Camping trips are fun, but they can be overwhelming and tend to get pretty expensive. There’s no need to travel far distances to enjoy camping. A fun and free alternative is camping right outside in your own backyard! Your whole family will love it. An added bonus to this alternative is you still have access to anything you need right inside—like a fully stocked fridge and bathroom. Pitch a tent, grab some blankets and sleeping bags, and flashlights, and enjoy a night of storytelling and stargazing.

  9. Enjoy a Fire and Roast Marshmallows: Fall is perfect fire weather. Put your fire pit to good use this season and roast marshmallows ‘til you reach that ooey, gooey goodness. Want to take it to the next level? Grab some chocolate and graham crackers and make some s’mores for all to enjoy.

  10. Do a Family Photo Shoot: Family photo shoots are a must, and fall is guaranteed to provide you with an amazing, natural backdrop. The combination of cooler temperatures, warm, fall colors, and your family by your side will make for some seriously breathtaking photos. Photo shoots are a nice excuse to get yourself and your family all dressed up for the occasion. But even better than that, you’ll have priceless photos and memories that’ll last a lifetime. Whether you’d like to opt for a professional photographer or have a friend or family member (or even your phone’s self-timer) take your photos, the choice is yours. I will say, though, if you are leaning toward a pro, there are tons of talented photographers throughout the Lehigh Valley, and most offer mini sessions for a really great price (Many I’ve found are in the $125-$200 range). Do a quick online search to find your perfect photographer, make sure you like their work (and their prices), and get on their schedules!

  11. Get Spooky: I’ve got one last bonus activity for lovers of all things spooky. If you and your family are feeling brave and like scary things, fall is the time for scary movies and haunted adventures. If you’re hanging at home, have a scary movie marathon. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, go out for a haunted hayride, visit a haunted house, or check out Dorney Park’s Halloween Haunt.

So, what do you think? Are you ready for some budget-friendly fall family fun? These are just 11 of my personal favorite fall family activities that are either free or fairly inexpensive, so you won’t find yourself busting your budget. I hope this list has given you some inspiration for activities that you and your family can try out this fall!

Above all, remember to have some fun with it! This is precious time spent with your kids, and that’s what’s most important. Keep your fall bucket list going, get your kids involved to see what ideas they may have, and see what else you come up with that can be added to the list!  

And don’t forget to keep your GOLD Debit and Credit Card handy if you do find that you need to spend some money on any of these activities! If you still need a debit or credit card, give us a call so we can help: 484-223-4200.


Chelsea Welk

Chelsea Welk

Chelsea is the Communications Manager at GOLD. She provides Members and future Members with detailed financial information that's aimed to better serve their personal financial goals. Chelsea enjoys working to fulfill GOLD's mission and vision to help make a positive difference in our Members' everyday lives.

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