Just because the holiday season is almost upon us does not mean that we have to spend a fortune. Here are some great family friendly activities that you can don’t need a lot of money for. Pick a few to enjoy and create some memories.
- Go pick a pumpkin.
This time of year, pumpkin patches are springing up everywhere. Going to buy a pumpkin might not seem like an activity, but it is if you go to a pumpkin patch instead of the grocery store.
Pumpkin patches will have hundreds of pumpkins on display as well as many fall decorations. They are a great place to hang out for a bit and take some memorable pictures. If you have young children, you will find it especially enjoyable but even a young or young at heart couple could have fun snapping pics.
- Carve a pumpkin.
Now that you have those pumpkins, what else are you going to do with them. Cut a top, clean out the inside and then draw a funny or scary face. Then cut it up and add a light and you are all set.
For safety sake, use an inexpensive battery powered tealight instead of a candle. Also, keep the carving to the adults and big kids. Young kids can still draw their faces and they are sure to have a blast doing so. Now, you have gotten a second free activity out of one cheap one. What could be better?
- Roast pumpkin seeds.
How about a third free activity from that cheap one. Roasting pumpkin seeds is easy and fun. All that you have to do is wash up those seeds and then combine them with a bit of butter, about a teaspoon for every cup of seeds. Then spread them on a baking sheet and cook at exactly 300 degrees for about 45 minutes or until browned. Stir them from time to time so they roast evenly. Season with salt if desired. A super easy activity that gets the most out of a single purchase, can’t beat that.
- Go to the park.
For a lot of the country, the fall is the only really enjoyable time to go outside. The rest of the year is far too hot. If that is the case in your city, take advantage of the fall weather and take the kids or your significant other to the park.
If you live in a climate that is enjoyable year round, the fall is still a special time. With the emerging fall colors, you get quite a show. Take advantage of it for free while it lasts.
While at the park, enjoy a simple walk, a picnic or if you have little ones, a fall leaf scavenger hunt can be fun.
- Tell Scary Stories
With Halloween just around the corner, why not try to scare each other a bit, it is all in good fun. Get a bowl of popcorn, or the pumpkin seeds that you made a few steps ago, and sit around the fireplace swapping tales. Even better, if you have an outdoor firepit, light it up and take your seats. Don’t have a fireplace or firepit, no problem, a few candles in a dim room will set the mood.
- Check For Local City Events
This time a year, many cities will hold events that are free to attend. Fall festivals, local business “trick or treating” and eventually Christmas tree lightings. Cities will post their events on their websites so check them out and write them on your calendar. Be sure to check all the cities within a few miles of yours for additional offerings.
- Want Smore
Smores are a fantastic treat to make that become much much better when the winter turns cold. The best way to make them is over a roaring campfire but in a pinch, a fireplace, gas burner or even a hot plate will do. Microwaves can be used but it is really easy to overdo the heat with them, so be careful.
Tip: Generics are a great way to save money but not now. Go name brand on good graham crackers, good marshmallows and, of course, Hershey’s chocolate. For under 10 bucks, you can make all the smores that you and your family can handle.
- Do Some Crafts
Sometimes, it is fun to just flex your creativity. Gather a bunch of odds and ends from around the house and get started. You can get a lot of cheap fall craft ideas on the internet. Common things like Popsicle sticks, old yarn and even dryer vents can be turned into incredible works of arts.
- Chase Butterflies
If you live in the south, the Fall is a wonderful time to take in some butterflies, particularly the Monarch Butterfly. The Monarch can not survive the cold weather up north and will begin its migration south in October. Take the kids out to a park and look for them. Give chase if you like but be careful if you catch one not to harm the delicate and beautiful creatures.
- Jump In A Leaf Pile
Raking those leaves up is a big chore this time of year. Before you bag them up, put aside the lawn equipment and let the kids have some fun. Kids love jumping into stuff. Leaf piles are a whole lot cleaner than mud piles and you can snap some great pictures.
- Pull The Tree Out Early
Who says that the Christmas tree needs to stay in the attic until December. Why not pull it out early and make it a Halloween tree or an Autumn tree. Take the opportunity to make and adorn it with home made decorations that you can spend a fun night making.
- Have Some Cocoa
Sometimes it is just the simple things that are the most fun. Make some hot cocoa and gather around the television and watch some cartoon classics like “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” or “The Wizard of OZ”. You have seen them dozens of times but they always get you in the spirit of the season. Make sure not to forget the marshmallows for that cocoa. Big ones or small, you decide.
The holidays can be a very expensive time of year with Thanksgiving and all of the gift giving to come. That does not mean that you need have to spend all of the cash from your payday to have fun. Take advantage of all the free and nearly free activities and escape the holiday season in better financial shape.