5 Budget-Friendly Fall Family Outings
By Sarah Kaufman, Manilla.com
Finding activities the entire family will enjoy is no easy feat: A 4-year-old will have about as much fun on a zip line as a 15-year-old will have in the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese’s. And in an effort to keep everyone pleased, most people end up over-spending on family activities, which only results in more stress.
But, with the arrival of fall comes a variety of fun, inexpensive activities the entire family will like and that will keep the paying parents happy, too.
1. Visit an orchard. October is the perfect time of year to go apple picking, and with a little research, you should be able to find an orchard in your town, or a town nearby, without hassle. Plus, the great thing about apple picking is that the fun doesn’t stop once the outing is over; you can teach your kids how to bake an apple pie, bake apple muffins or brew apple cider.
2. Go pumpkin shopping. The best part of this activity is that kids of all ages, and even adults, love picking out their pumpkins for Halloween. Try to find a pumpkin patch that offers hayrides, which adds to the fun of the season. Like with apple picking, purchasing pumpkins for Halloween creates even more activities once you get home, like pumpkin carving and decorating, roasting pumpkin seeds, and baking delicious fall treats, like pumpkin bread or pie.
3. Try geocoaching. The latest outdoor craze, geocoaching is a unique type of scavenger hunt that uses Global Positioning System (GPS) locators. It’s free, outdoors, and fun for adults and older kids. Even if you’ve never heard of it, chances are your community has a group of geocoaching fanatics who will help you get started. The way it works is that other geocachers will hide “caches,” which are unique items or “treasure.” Other participants must use their GPSs to hunt down the caches, which can be hidden anywhere: urban areas, rural areas, in the woods or inside buildings. This is a great activity to meet new families and friends, explore your community, and see different parts of your neighborhood you didn’t know existed.
4. Take a hike (but do it close by). Depending on how old your kids are, going on a hike can be tricky. But the best way to do it so that everyone has fun is to stay on a trail nearby that’s relatively flat so that it’s not too much of a challenge, and you can head home as soon as it’s necessary. Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep the little ones happy, and even bring a few games in case they need to stay preoccupied.
5. Volunteer. Volunteering at a local homeless shelter, soup kitchen or nursing home is not only perfect for kids of all ages, but it’s a valuable learning experience that teaches the importance of contributing to your community. Do research online to check local volunteer opportunities.
The best part about taking advantage of all of the free fall activities in any local community is creating traditions that the whole family can look forward to all year-round. What’s your favorite fall family tradition? Let us know in the comments below.
Sarah Kaufman is the marketing manager for Manilla.com, a free, secure and award-winning service that lets you manage all of your bills and other personal accounts in one place — all from Manilla.com or the 4+ star user-rated Manilla mobile apps. For more tips on money, organization, productivity and living a budget-friendly lifestyle, visit the Manilla Blog.
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