Fall is fabulous and free is fantastic! Put them both together to create some incredible memories with the family! Let’s see if we can dig up 25 different things that will cost little or nothing to make this fall one to remember…even if it is 2020!
1. Have a Secret Pumpkin
Just like secret Santa, but instead of round and red, it’s round and orange! Hold off on gift buying…that season will be here soon enough. Instead, do something nice for your secret person. Leave them a note of encouragement, make their bed, plug in their favorite movie…anything you can think of that is free but will make their day brighter!
2. Watch Halloween Movies
There’s no need to shell out cash for this idea. Search your local channels, Netflix, or even your local library. Often library’s loan out DVD’s and may even include free tickets to places like the zoo! Any scary movie should do the trick!
3. Make Homemade Halloween Costumes
Get ready for trick-or-treating while avoiding the rush to buy costumes in stores. Search attic boxes, storage bins, and closets for unique finds to put together a free, one-of-a-kind costume! That’s way more fun than buying one!
4. Movie Night with a Spin
“Have a movie night” is often the answer to everything. Add a little mystery by putting your movie choices in a box, then take turns blindfolding and drawing a movie to make it a surprise.
Follow the same scavenger hunt rules, but do it indoors, at night, and with the lights off. You can use flashlights to search!
6. Non-Video Game Night
Dust off old board games and card games! Just be sure that all electronics know they are not invited! Feel the awesomeness of being 100% present in the moment.
7. Paint Rocks
Relieve stress and have fun painting rocks. Yes, you will have to buy the paint, but chances are you have some already on hand. Rock painting has become quite a thing during this isolation. Check out #LoveRocksOn for some inspiration.
8. Toast Your Pumpkin Seeds
When you carve pumpkins make sure to save the seeds! They make for a delicious movie snack or creepy “fingernails” for a Halloween dinner when toasted in the oven!
9. Do a Pumpkin Spice Taste Test
Pick up a bottle of natural pumpkin spice from Trader Joe’s for $1.99. Sprinkle it on coffee, hot chocolate, apple cider, cereal, cream cheese toast, and more! Then see where it can take your taste buds! And remember, there is no pumpkin in pumpkin spice! It’s simply cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg!
10. Put a Fall Puzzle Together in Front of the Fireplace
Even if you don’t have a puzzle in your home, they’re only a dollar at the Dollar Tree. You can’t find any entertainment more affordable than that!
11. Collect Natural Fall Decor
Some of the best-made memories for generations involve going outdoors to find what nature has to offer. Acorns and pinecones top the charts of authentic fall decorations!
12. Make a Pinecone Bouquet
You’ve done the hunt…now make something! Consider investing in a few dollar-priced cans of spray paint for added color. It’ll cost a little, but the results are enormous! See a photo here.
13. Build a Campfire
Summer campfires are great, but a bit too toasty! A fall fire is more enjoyable with the burst of a chill in the air. Gather some rocks to build a containment circle. Use sticks, bark, straw, etc. for the fire. Start with the twigs to get the fire rolling then add bigger chunks and logs to keep it going!
Toss a loose bale of hay in the back of a pick-up truck and find a dirt road. If you don’t have free hay, cuddle up with blankets. You’ll experience the same setting with less mess!
15. Go Critter Watching
Grab a pair of binoculars and a notepad. Head to the woods or simply down the street. Get a close-up view of nature’s critters as they prepare for winter. Record your findings for a fun, educational adventure. What are they doing? What are they eating? Where do they live? Bird watching is welcome too!
16. Roast Marshmallows
Remember that campfire you made? Make the most of it by picking up some long sticks for roasting a snack. You can get a bag of marshmallows for around a dollar too. And if you want a cheap dinner, add some hotdogs to the menu!
17. Tell Ghost Stories
Keep them tame, but make them creepy. Sit around that campfire or on your front porch. Pass around a flashlight to the storyteller for that special ghostly effect!
18. Feed the Birds
String some leftover popcorn from your movie nights and drape them on a tree outdoors. Leftover sandwich bread works great too!
19. Gather Free Pumpkins
Keep an eye out for churches, schools, and other places that have pumpkins for sale. In most cases, on the day after Halloween, they will give them away! Head out early before they’re all scooped up! Use them for Thanksgiving decor!
20. Decorate Your Porch
Again, head back to nature or go hunting in the attic. Anything orange, brown, yellow, red, green, or gold are great for making your home’s entrance fall ready!
No matter what you’re serving, it tastes better straight from the grill! Keep it casual and eat while you cook, while talking and celebrating this beautiful, cool season!
22. Make Mud Pies
As a child, we made much more than pies with mud. Dig deep to the hard ground. (It sticks together better than topsoil.) Mix with water to form a consistency that holds together. Make all kinds of cool things from cars to…well, mud pies! When they are totally dry you can even paint them!
When you do rock painting, make them cheerful or include a happy message. When you go out, leave them on places like a park bench, a restaurant window, by a bus stop…basically anywhere. The point is to leave something “out there” to make someone smile!
24. Have a Scarecrow Contest
Have each family member build their own scarecrow. The trick is that they have to build it from things already on hand or that nature provides. Pick up a strip of blue ribbon for a few cents to present to the winner…just like at the fair!
25. Replace Game Parts with Candy Corn and Pumpkins
Use a store-bought board game or make some simple bingo or tic-tac-toe boards on paper. Hit up your candy dishes for the game pieces to give a special fall flare.