The leaves are turning colors, the geese are flying south, and there is a briskness in the air that can only mean fall has arrived. There are lots of things to do during the fall, but, if you are like millions of other Americans, your wallet is empty or close to it. The “back to school” season is always a costly one, and if you’re self-employed, you just paid your quarterly estimated taxes. Here is a short list of some fun things to do that should barely dent your paycheck.
Fall Family Fun That Won’t Break The Bank
- Visit an apple orchard or pumpkin farm where you can pick your own produce. Many of these attractions only charge a fee for the produce, but offer hayrides and other family fare. Then comes the fun of getting your jack-o-lantern ready!
- Corn mazes are always fun, but they get really interesting around Halloween. Look for haunted mazes or houses for you and you older children. These may run you $10 or so per person, but watching your children scream is pretty fun stuff. It is even more fun for them if you let a scream slip from time to time.
- If you have younger children, making a fall craft can fill an entire day when planned carefully. There are lots of ideas around, but try starting at All Kids Network for some really cool projects.
- Why not break out the camping gear. Camping in your backyard can be a lot of fun, kids can cook their own hotdogs and make smores. Then, if you get too cold, you can just get into your own bed. An old charcoal grill will work if you do not have a fire pit.
- Let the kids help you make a fall meal. I have been known to make beef stew in a pumpkin or try making a mummy hot dog (recipe here).
- Have a movie marathon. Pick two or three movies that all of your children enjoy and watch them back to back. Be sure to make snacks together before the movies begin.
The theme here is spending time with your children. The activity becomes less and less important when you spend time together. If you are in the same room enjoying an activity, you will find that your children will often speak to you about issues at unexpected times. Your biggest contribution is just being available.
T. Brown is a personal finance blogger and family man who works for Car Loans of Ohio. Their advanced placement engine matches credit applicants with car lenders willing to approve them for financing.