School is in session, schedules are off and running out of control, holidays are barreling at us. How are you faring? I suggest you dive right in, head first! Get the kids to practice and lessons on time, prep your meals ahead whenever possible and don’t let the stress of any of it get to you. Time will fly whether you’re having fun or not, so you might at well try to enjoy the ride. Read about seven quintessential activities for families to enjoy in autumn that won’t break the bank.

Fall is on the doorstep, so put on your imagination cap and get your family active in the great outdoors before snow flies! Not every activity has to cost a lot of money. In fact, kids will appreciate the memories built more than the big bucks you might spend on some plastic souvenir that will be lost or broken by next weekend. Share old and new traditions with your family and friends by participating in one (or all) of these all-American autumn activities.

Football games – Whether it be your local recreation team, high school or even a college game, attend a football game. It’s great fun which may not cost much (unless you’re going to an NFL game – lucky you!). Tailgating is an experience that should go with every game. If you can’t go to a game, have a football party and watch it in the comfort of your living room.

Make a scarecrow – Yes, it is free (unless you go to the local dollar or craft store to accesorize)! Use some old clothes too bad to donate and tie elastic bands around the wrists and ankles. Use twine or string to sew or tie the top and bottom together. Let the kids create a whole family of them, or prop your scarecrow up against a tree. Plastic pumpkins used for trick-or-treating make great scarecrow heads, too.

Pumpkin-picking and carving – This time of year, kids love to carve their own pumpkin that they picked from the pumpkin patch. Many local farms have affordable pumpkins and you don’t need a special carving kit or knife to make an awesome jack-o-lantern. Just use your imagination!

Apple-picking and apple treats – Along with pumpkins come apples! Kids can help pick apples at your local orchard; try several different varieties. Don’t forget to pick up some fresh apple cider. When you get home, make delicious apple treats like candy apples or apple pie. If your apples get a little soft before you eat them, make applesauce! Adults can visit a local orchards or vineyards for wine or cider-tasting on date night.

Get lost (in a corn maze) – Very popular in the fall, many farms charge a small fee to let you get lost in their corn fields! Sounds crazy, right? It is great fun and some places even do haunted mazes as Halloween approaches.

Relax on a hayride – While you’re visiting your local farm, be sure to take a hayride. My favorite are horse-drawn, but lots of farmers use their tractor to pull a wagon. Some places even leave out the hay! I mean, hay is supposed to be picky, and if you’re allergic to hay, skip this one!

Attend a fall festival or fair – There are fall festivals going on across the nation, including agricultural fairs, music festivals, movie and film festivals, not to mention apple and wine festivals. See what’s going on near you and get festive!

There is nothing stopping you from making this list happen (except maybe leaves aren’t falling yet where you live). Ask the kids what they want to do. Just plan a family and friends cookout for the weekend and see where it takes you. Enjoy the cool, crisp air – maybe even light a bonfire and roast marshmallows one more time. We are topping off the season with a pig roast!

7 Things You Need to Put on Your Family's Fall Bucket List

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