100 Fun Things to do Outside This Fall

This fall is a time where we’re all looking for ways to get outside of normal, or what’s become the new normal. We’ve created a list of 100 activities for kids that they can do outside. That’s right, fun things to do outside this fall. Turn off those screens, step away from the Zoom and enjoy your yard, play in your neighborhood and find fun at a park near you.

Things to do Outside at Home

  • Go Camping in Your Backyard: There’s nothing that says fall like camping in the crisp night air and snuggling around a bonfire. Take your tent to your backyard
  • Make Pine Cone Bird Feeders: Collect pinecones and smother them in peanut butter and then roll them in birdseed. Hang your feeder from a tree using string or a ribbon. Birds and other little creatures will reward your efforts by paying a visit. You can substitute cardboard toilet paper tubes for a pinecone.
  • Take an Outside Nap: Grab a sleeping bag and stretch out on your porch, on top of a picnic table or cocoon into a hammock.
  • Host a Backyard Outdoor Movie: Bring out the projector and play movies on the side of your house or the front of your garage. Or, go big and buy an inflatable movie screen. Play fun classics or spooky tales.
  • Identify Plants with the Seek App: The Seek App by iNaturalist is a free app that helps you identify plants, wildlife and fungi. In addition, there are identification challenges where you can earn badges for finding different items in nature.
  • Plant Spring Bulbs: The future is blooming when you take the time to bury a few spring bulbs in the fall. Grab some bulbs that do well in your area and get them in the ground.
  • Sip Apple Cider or Hot Cocoa on the Porch: It’s a fact that apple cider and hot cocoa taste better when sitting on the porch or enjoying your yard.
  • Go Bird Watching: Some birds really love fall weather and can be spotted. Search a local website to find out which birds you’re likely to see in the fall. In Indiana you’ll see lots of birds in the fall, including hawks, northern harriers and  bald eagles.
  • Jump in to a Leaf Pile: You’ll have to grab your rake and build up the largest leaf pile you can but then hop in and toss the leaves around! Afterwards, shove them all in to the pumpkin leaf bags for yard decor.
  • Decorate for Halloween: There’s no time like now to step up your Halloween decoration game. Add in spider webs, giant spiders, Halloween lights and homemade tombstones.
  • Explore a sensory table: Sensory bins can be made with all kinds of things. Create some fall sensory table or bin activities and move them outside. When it gets too cold to play with water, we convert our water table to a sensory table.
  • Make a Tree Teepee with Twigs and Branches: Using fallen branches and large twigs, create a lean-to or teepee. It’s the perfect hideout or outdoor reading nook.
  • Trace Someone’s Shadow and Watch it Move: Have your partner stand on an x marked on the driveway or sidewalk in the morning. Trace their shadow. Come check on it every hour by having them return to the x. Watch that shadow move throughout the day!
  • Have a Fancy Dinner Outside with Furniture and China: Set up a stunning tablescape in your yard. Don’t have a patio table? Bring that dining room or kitchen table outside and get fancy! Use your best china, your prettiest napkins and your frilliest tablecloth.
  • Make S’mores Around the Bonfire: The toasty smell of marshmallows and the smooth melty chocolate atop a graham cracker are a wonderful addition to any fall afternoon or evening. Mix it up and try chocolate coated cookies or peanut butter cups.
  • Play a Board Game: Bring what you love doing inside, outside! Your favorite board game can be played while you sit on the sidewalk or the porch or on a blanket in the grass.

  • Plant Mums: There’s no time like the present to get some mums in to the ground or in a pretty flower pot. If you put them in the ground, there’s a big chance they’ll come back next year too!
  • Cook Dinner on a Bonfire (Foil Packets or Dutch Oven): Light that bonfire and move dinner outside. Foil dinners and the dutch oven are the fall equivalent of grilling out.
  • Watch the Stars and Identify Them Using an App: Stretch out under the stars and identify the constellations and planets. Try using an app like Sky Map.
  • Read a Book: The fresh autumn air is the perfect environment to curl up with your favorite book on a chair or on the grass.
  • Make Nature Candles: We like to repurpose all of our candles that just have a little wax remaining by melting them down in a crockpot with a liner. Then using glue, we stick pressed leaves and other natural items to the inside of a glass candle jar. Then, using a laddel, we pour the hot wax into the jar. Place a wick in the hot wax and allow them to cool. Trim the wick. burn your beautiful homemade candles! You can also experiement with layering.
  • Make a Leaf Garland: Collect all of those beautiful fall leaves of many colors and string them together for a beautiful garland that can be hung inside or out.
  • Read Ghost Stories: Grab your favorite collection of spooky stories, or find a few on the internet and share them on the steps or in the yard. You’ll know what kinds of stories are best for your kiddo. We usually find mysterious stories instead of creepy ones.
  • Watch the Birds Migrate: Lay out on a blanket and watch the birds above head south for the winter.
  • Chat with Squirrels: Squirrels and chipmunks are everywhere, storing up food for the winter. Chase them around and see where they go. Leave out some food for them. Squirrels love nuts, fruits, veggies, and seeds. You can even put a Squirrel Snack Block in your yard. Our family loves watching them dine at the Squirrel Feeder Picnic Table.
  • Make a Fall Flick or a Fun Tik Tok: All you need is a plot and the setting is outside. Create a short script or improv and then get it all on camera.
  • Capture Interesting Insects: What types of insects are in your yard during the fall? Are they different from the ones you see in the summer? Capture them for observation and identification and then release them to their homes.
  • Create a Field Journal: Put together a journal to collect your nature observations, drawings and rubbings.
  • Make Music: There are so many things outside that can be turned in to musical instruments. Piece together your band and make a recording.
  • Have a Yard Sale: It’s a great time to clean out the garage and set some curb alerts on neighborhood pages or porch pickups on marketplace pages.
  • Bury a Time Capsule: 2020 has been a notable year and many families have been creating time capsules of their experience. Dig a hole and bury that capsule.

Games to Play Outside at Home

  • Fly Paper Airplanes: Let the breeze take your plane farther or spin it off course. Engineer a new type of paper airplane and see if your plane can fly the highest.
  • Build a Fort with Lawn Furniture: Who says that blanket forts can only be built inside? Use lawn furniture and outdoor toys to create your own blanket fort.
  • Build a treehouse or tree platform: If you don’t already have a tree house, build one. It can be as simple as putting a few boards safely across some branches in your favorite tree.
  • Blow Bubbles: Bubbles are a great year round boredom buster. See how big you can make your bubble, chase it as it floats across the yard or pop as many as you can.
  • Play Fun Childhood Games: Red Rover, Simon Says, Red Light Green Light and Steal the Bacon are a few favorite games that your whole family might know how to play and can play together.
  • Create a Hop Scotch Game Area: Sidewalk chalk makes for a great way to create your perfect hop scotch play area. You can also use large paver squares and paint them with designs or colors and numbers for a more permanent addition to your garden.
  • Create a Mini Golf Course in Your Yard: Grab some Solo cups and turn them on their side and putt a ball through your course. Set up obstacles and traps for even more of a challenge. You can also find some Putt Putt kits online.
  • Play Giant and Not So Giant Lawn Games: Yardzee, Lawn Darts, Giant Jenga, Ladder Ball and Washers are all a few of the fun lawn games you can play. Also, it would be fun to create a giant version of your favorite game in your yard — Candy Land anyone?
  • Have a Black Light Dance Night: When the sun goes down, turn on some music and dance in the glow of a black light. Snap some glow sticks, wear your loudest neon colors and enjoy!
  • Learn to Roller Skate: Just because you’re not making loops at the skating rink doesn’t mean you can’t lace up a pair of skates and make a trip around the block. Pick up a second hand pair of roller skates or Rollerblades at Play it Again Sports or Once Upon a Child, or start off with an inexpensive pair from the store. There are usually some listed in Facebook Marketplace Swap Groups as well.

  • Outdoor Yoga: Check out an outdoor yoga class like Goat Yoga or try your own yoga routine in your yard. Lay out your yoga mat and pull up a free lesson on Youtube or just freestyle.
  • Try a New Backyard Feature: If you have two trees, master a Slackline or a Zipline if you dare. You’ll be scooting between the trees in no time, without touching the ground.
  • Play Flashlight Hide and Seek: The “It” person is given a flashlight and then the other person or other people run to hide while “it” covers their eyes and counts to the agreed upon number. Then, “It” begins looking for everyone by shining the flashlight on the hiders. Once “it” locates a hider, they call out their name while shining the light on them. The hider must go wait at the counting spot while “it” continues to search for all of the hiders.
  • Have a Glow in the Dark Hunt: Easter made glow in the dark egg hunts super popular. Break out the plastic Easter eggs and hide them outside for a socially distant Halloween egg hunt. There are eggs with built in mini glow sticks but you can use regular eggs and add little battery operated tealights for best results or the light up jelly rings.
  • Make a Tic Tac Toe: Use sidewalk chalk to create a tic-tac-toe board and then play a game using stones with “x” or “o” chalked on them.
  • Climb a Tree: Find a safe tree and learn to climb it. We’ve been climbing trees wherever we can find them. Just remember not to go any higher than you can climb down!
  • DIY an Outdoor Fall Festival: If all of your favorite fall festivals have been canceled, do it yourself! Create fall festival fun for your family: sack race, wheel barrow run, ring toss, apple bobbing and other favorites aren’t too hard to replicate.
  • Play Frisbee: Toss a frisbee back and forth or make an at home disc golf course. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just improvise to rules to use what you have.

Arts & Crafts to do Outside at Home

  • Create Leaf Rubbings: Collect beautiful fall leaves of all shapes and sizes. Place it under a sheet of paper with the bottom side of the leaf facing up. Rub a crayon over the paper and admire your beautiful leaf rubbings.
  • Make Leaf Stamps: Paint the underside of your favorite fall leaves and stamp them on paper or scraps of fabric.
  • Create Rock Word Poetry: Collect some stones and write words on them. Use the stones to create poetry. Rearrange them for another poem.
  • Make a Picture Collage Natural Materials: Using leaves and petals and other natural items, create a picture. Glue it to paper or assemble it on the ground and snap a photo.
  • Plein Air aka, Paint Outside: Take our easel outside and sketch or paint. This style of painting was made popular with the impressionists and it’s yours to try! You really only need your art supplies but we love this travel easel box and it’s only $25!
  • Press Flowers or Leaves: Place flowers or leaves between the pages of a book lined with parchment paper. Weight the book down for 1-2 weeks. Open the book and you have pressed flowers! Decorate cards or other projects with your pressed flowers or leaves.
  • Make a Fairy Garden: Fairy gardens are popular in yards throughout the world and are very common. You can use miniature items and store bought pieces to create a fairy garden, but the best fairy gardens are created using natural items. Build houses and lean-tos with bark and twigs, furniture with rocks and pods…use your imagination.
  • Create Shadow Drawings: Using small toys or items from nature, trace the outline of the shadow of the toys.
  • Make a Fall Wreath: Using twigs and leaves and other fall items, create a homemade wreath on your front door.
  • Decorate Rocks: The popularity has not come to an end for “kindness rocks” with friendly sayings or pretty little paintings. Whip up a few craftily painted stones and leave them to be found.
  • Carve or Paint a Pumpkin: There’s no time like the present to get those pumpkins ready for Halloween. If you’re a week or less away from the big day, carve that guy outdoors. If there’s a good stretch between now and then, get your pumpkin all dressed up with some paint.

Things to do Outside

  • Go On a Hayride: A farm or park system near year may be hosting a hayride. For a few dollars, you’ll board the hayride and take a spin atop piles of straw. Some are spooky and some are just for sightseeing.
  • Camp Out at a Campground: There’s camping at State Parks and camping at private campgrounds. No matter where you drop your tent, camping is the perfect outdoor activity.
  • Go Tailgating: You don’t even need a football game to tailgate. Grab your chairs and some snacks and set up in a parking lot (only where permitted.)
  • Snooze in a hammock garden: Many parks have a place to set up a hammock and in some areas, you can even rent a hammock.
  • Go On a Bike Ride: There are trails for bikes, bike lanes or even just your neighborhood. Don’t forget your helmet!
  • Drive to See the Changing Leaves: Fall foliage is a popular sight to see. Don’t be afraid to stop at that lookout and spend some time taking it all in.
  • Set Up the Perfect Picnic: Pack up your favorite snacks and bring along a blanket. Keep it simple and bring along your favorite charcuterie items.
  • Visit a Story Walk: One of the newest additions to local parks that we’ve seen popping up is a StoryWalk. Large replicas of book pages are placed along a path so that visitors can read a book as they explore a trail. No story walk near you? Make your own StoryWalk in your yard. Invite neighbors to stop by on their walk.
  • Take a Hike: Find a path or trail near you at your local City Park or State Park. Some paths even have stroller friendly hikes or are wheelchair friendly.
  • Feed the Ducks: Before the birds all head south for the winter, send them on their way with a snack. Instead of bread, bring along frozen or canned corn, lettuce, cut grapes or birdseed.
  • Get Lost in a Corn Maze: There are corn mazes everywhere and keeping your distance from other people can send you on quite the adventure. Find clues, solve puzzles, learn trivia and make your way to the end.
  • Go Geocaching: Download a geocaching app and head out on a modern day treasure hunt. You’ll search for hidden caches.
  • Hide a Geocache: Instead of being the seeker, hide a geocache and add it to the worldwide treasure hunt. Return regularly and check the log book to see how many people have found your cache.
  • Horseback Riding: This traditional fall activity is perfect for many ages. Sometimes the horses are led around an arena and other times you’ll take to the trails. Giddy-up.
  • Get Nocturnal on a Night Hike: Some parks programs lead organized night hikes but you can also go out on your own. Be sure to check with your local parks and trail authorities to be sure properties are open after dark. Don’t forget your flashlights.
  • Wear Your Boots In the Creek: Creek stomping is a huge summertime hit, but in the fall, the creek continues to evolve and be interesting. Cover those feet up with rain boots and check out the creek creatures in the fall.
  • Stroll Through an Art Park: Sculpture Parks and areas with lots of murals are a great place to visit and see interpretations of life. Enhance your visit with any online guides or audio tours that might be available.
  • Create a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt: many general scavenger hunt sheets are available for use so you can play an I Spy type of game, but now is a great time to make your own and make it specific to your neighborhood. Add in special stops like a Little Free Library near you or a neighbor with a spectacular garden.
  • Boo Your Neighbors: There’s a neighborhood tradition where kind neighbors drop of treats to their other neighbors around Halloween with instructions to pass on the kindness and do the same thing. What a great time to start up that tradition near your home.
  • Fly a Kite: Grab a kite and head out to an open field or a park and let that baby fly. Wind or breeze conditions need to be about 4-10 miles per hour to fly a kite.

  • Rent a Canoe or Kayak: Bundle up and stop by your closest outfitter to rent a kayak or canoe.
  • Play in a Tree House: As treehouses have climbed in popularity, many parks, attractions, gardens and overnight destinations have added them to their properties.
  • Visit a Farm: Fall is a one of the peak times to visit a farm because so many of them open their gates for fall festivals, pumpkin patches and other festivities. Go pick your pumpkin or find another working farm that allows visitors to peek at their operations. Some areas are very big on agritourism and have created agricultural parks for people to visit.
  • Hit a Bullseye in Archery: Before axe throwing became all the rage, everyone was enjoying archery. With most ranges being outside, it’s a beautiful time tie play an archery game. You can even check out the newest craze, Archery Tag!
  • Go Apple Picking: From August through most of October, apple picking at a u-pick farm is a great activity. In addition to fresh, crisp apples, there are other delicious treats. Some favorites are apple slushies, apple cider and candy apples.
  • Go on a History Tour at a Cemetery: In most major cities you can find a spooky ghost tour or haunted walk, many cemeteries will offer guides tours with stories about their residents. You may be surprised to learn about the scandals and stars from your hometown.
  • Visit a Farmers’ Market: Fall Farmers’ Markets are full of fresh produce, beautiful flowers, preserves, local meat and other items.
  • Participate in a Family Fun Run: Many of the regularly scheduled 5K’s and fun runs have moved to a virtual platform which just means you run where you are! Get the whole family involved.
  • Pose for Your Holiday Card Photo: With the gorgeous settings and natural backgrounds abounding, it’s a great time to get a head start on your holiday cards by posing for your family photo.
  • Explore Covered Bridges: These historical structures are interesting and beautiful. Set out on an adventure and find all of the covered bridges near you. Don’t forget to stop and walk across them when you are able.
  • Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride: There are tethered hot air balloon rides and more traditional hot air balloon rides where you actually float through the sky. Another alternative if you aren’t so thrilled about leaving the ground (raises hand), there are hot air balloon festivals and balloon glows that are open to the public.

  • Go Fishing: Generally, children under the age of 18 don’t need a fishing license and fishing gear isn’t that expensive. Find a spot to go fishing near you.
  • Explore a Nature Park: Tall grasses, native plants, mature trees and wildlife are all things you might see at a nature park. Many nature parks have trails and programs and other opportunities to learn.
  • Check out Waterfalls Near You: No matter where you live, there are probably waterfalls somewhere within an hour or two or less. We love visiting them in the summer and swimming when it’s allowed but during the fall and winter, they’re just breathtaking.
  • Visit the Zoo: The outdoor areas at a zoo are a great place to visit in the fall. You’ll see animals that prefer cooler temperatures and have a great time learning about them.
  • Tour Neighborhood Halloween Decorations: We’ve heard that people might be putting more effort in to their fall decor and Halloween decorations. Take a little walk or bike ride and look at all fo the fun things to see.
  • Visit a Winery: At most wineries, there are so many outdoor spaces to sit, see and sip. The vineyards are beautiful and the gardens are usually spectacular.
  • Go Big or Gnome Home: During the school year, many kids read the story of Flat Stanley and send him on far away adventures. Grab a garden gnome or favorite doll or stuffed animal and snap photos of your special friend on outdoor adventures.

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