fall bucket list

40 Awesome Ideas for your Fall Bucket List

A new season is upon us, which means it’s time to create my annual fall bucket list! I enjoy all the seasons for different reasons, but I love fall most of all. (Sorry… that popped into my head and I just couldn’t resist! Please forgive me 😂). But truly, Autumn is a magical time and I have so much fun coming up with our fall bucket list every year!

I’m a little bit overzealous and usually end up with a list that’s entirely too long and humanly impossible to accomplish within such a short window of time. (Because really, fall is pretty much just September and October. Then everyone jumps ship and goes straight into Christmas mentality 😜.)

Luckily, my offspring shares my zeal pertaining to all things Halloween and fall. After all, “it’s the best time of the year!” His words, not mine…although I agree. So here are 40 of our best ideas for an awesome fall bucket list!

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1. Go apple picking

What kind of fall bucket list would this be if it didn’t include apple picking? This is a great activity to kick off the fall season in September! Head out to a u-pick near you and gather up some of these delicious beauties! Then head home and bake all the apple pies, apple fritters, caramel apples, applesauce…you get the picture.

fall bucket list, small boy picking an apple off tree

2. Visit a sunflower field

This is another great early autumn activity for the fall bucket list, and one that continues to elude me to this day! Last year we went out to a farm with a sunflower field only to be informed that last week had been the end of their sunflower season.

So many shattered dreams of beautiful photos of us frolicking in the sunflower fields! But maybe you’ll have better luck than us…

3. Go on a hayride

This is another fall bucket list essential, especially when one has kids. Unfortunately, when one also has a husband whose nose turns into a waterfall for a week straight after coming within a mile of a singular piece of hay, this one becomes wishful thinking. But I want you to do it so I can live vicariously through you!

4. Have an autumn picnic

I firmly believe that picnics are great in every season, which is why this ends up on our fall bucket list every year. Try it in your backyard or at a nearby park! No need for anything fancy. (Unless you want to get fancy…then, by all means, go for it!)

Just grab a blanket or table cloth, some apple cider, and all your favorite fall treats!

fall bucket list, small boy sitting at picnic table in autumn eating apple

5. Forage for grapevine and make your own fall wreaths

If you’ve never kept an eye out for it, you might be amazed at how abundant grapevine actually is! Seriously, the stuff is everywhere! For your fall bucket list, why not get out in the fresh air and try foraging for some of your own while skipping the price tag at the craft stores?

Here’s an easy tutorial about how to make the wreaths!

6. Go on a fall scavenger hunt

Another fun thing to do in the fall is go outside and collect all the pretty nature things! Grab whatever catches your eye. This can include colorful leaves, flowers, chestnuts, acorns, berries, seed pods, etc.

fall bucket list, basket filled with colorful leaves and other autumn nature finds from scavenger hunt

7. Go canoeing

Canoeing is an activity worthy of a spot on your fall bucket list because it offers a whole new leaf viewing perspective! If you go on a really calm day, you’ll even get a double viewing with beautiful reflections of foliage on the water.

8. Go on a haunted tour of a historic old town/building

This one is probably better suited for kids who are a little older. But I’ve always thought this would be such a fun activity for our fall bucket list in the future! I love the combination of history and spooky, and fall would be the perfect time to do this activity!

9. Create an autumn nature collage

Remember that nature scavenger hunt you went on? Now take all those goodies and turn them into a work of art with a beautiful nature collage! Here’s one idea to try.

fall bucket list, boy's hand gluing fall leaves onto paper to make autumn nature collage

10. Make a scarecrow

I’ve always thought it would be so much fun to make our own scarecrow! We have yet to do this one yet, but my little dude is totally on board. Afterwards, pop it up in your yard or front porch!

11. Go on a trip to see the fall colors

The fall colors are good in our area, but we really love trying to get up north where it’s more forested for some optimal leaf viewing. Do you live near some beautiful areas for fall foliage? Add a weekend trip to your fall bucket list to really take in some of the colors of the season!

fall bucket list, small boy and his mom on bridge throwing colorful leaves in the air

12. Decorate your porch and yard

One fall bucket list item that I’m excited to experience for the first time is decorating my own porch and yard! With a baby due at the end of September, I’ve already been hitting the craft stores and gathering decorations so I can get everything up early.

Call me crazy, but I’ve been excited for too long about decorating my porch to let birth get in the way…lolz 😂.

13. Go camping

If you really want to immerse yourself in the beauty of fall, why not try an autumn camping trip? Or, if you’re not feeling up to planning a whole camping excursion, try backyard camping for a night!

14. Play in the leaves

If you have trees in your yard, leaf raking is pretty much inevitable. Might as well make it a fun option for your fall bucket list! Here are some ways to make leaf raking a fun task rather than something to dread.

fall bucket list, small boy laying in pile of leaves and laughing

15. Go on a moonlit hike

I just looked up the full moon schedule for 2020, and there are TWO in October this year! One is on October 1st, and the other on October 31st!! How cool is that!?

With all that full moon action in one spectacularly spooky month, don’t miss the chance to go on a full moon night hike! It’s sure to be an experience that you and the kids always remember.

16. Have a campfire

Few things are better than a chill in the air, snuggling up in some blankets, a cozy fire, and hot cider or cocoa!

fall bucket list, small boy sitting in front of fire

17. Host a Halloween party in your backyard

There’s a lot of uncertainty about what Halloween activities will still be permissible this year. If you find that a lot of festivities in your area are being cancelled, why not add hosting your own Halloween backyard party to your fall bucket list?

Keep the number of invites low, encourage costumes with masks, whatever you have to do to make sure Halloween carries on!

18. Take a walk in an old cemetery

Maybe it’s just me, but I love a good walk through an old cemetery, especially in the fall! And yes, the old part is necessary!

Nothing quite gives off the same spooky vibes as neglected, crumbling gravestones scattered across a hillside under the shadow of towering, mature trees. We discovered to perfect graveyard in our city a few years ago, and this has been on my fall bucket list every year since!

fall bucket list, hilly old cemetery with tree foliage turning red

19. Hang up a bat house

Not only are bats awesome little animals that eat up tons of mosquitoes every night, they also became associated with Halloween, vampires, and all things spooky at some point or another. In my mind, this makes them the perfect focus of a fall bucket list activity!

Make or purchase your own bat house and hang it up in your yard. Once some bat friends have moved in, hang out at dusk and watch them swoop and dive across the sky!

20. Visit a farm

During harvest time, a trip to the farm is the perfect fall bucket list activity! See cute animals, purchase some produce, and (of course) sample the cider and doughnuts!

fall bucket list, small boy feeds goat some grass through a fence

21. Do a canopy walk

This is another cool way to view some fall foliage with a unique vantage point! If you’re not afraid of heights, check out your area to see what canopy tour options might be available.

22. Create magic nature wands

Grab some sticks and trim them until they’re the perfect wand size. (Twelve inch wooden dowels would also suffice.) Then head out with the kids to gather up some feathers, leaves, acorns, vines, etc. and let them get creative! Here’s one idea to get you started.

23. Visit a pumpkin patch

I love all types pumpkin patches and we usually end up visiting several over the course of the fall season. But my favorites are the wild, untidy u-pick patches. It’s so fun to wander around a large pumpkin-strewn field at our leisure until we find the perfect one!

fall bucket list, small boy sitting in wagon in the middle of pumpkin patch

24. Preserve colorful leaves in wax

This is another great way to preserve some autumn colors a little while longer. Afterwards, you and the kids will have plenty to use for fun nature crafts or for decorating the house! Here’s how.

fall bucket list, close up of hand holding red, orange, and yellow maple leaves

25. Make a leaf garland

On that same note, homemade leaf garlands make a great craft for a fall bucket list! Use real ones that you’ve preserved in wax or artificial ones like these.

26. Visit a cider mill

Another obvious choice for a fall bucket list! If you haven’t already found a favorite, check your area for cider mills! Look for some that offer the whole experience. Ya know, cider and donuts, playground, animals, pumpkins, hayrides, etc.

27. Go trick-or-treating 

This one has always gone without saying on our fall bucket list, but this year, I’m not quite sure what to expect. I already know that our favorite historic village won’t be offering their normal trick-or-treating event, which I’m super bummed about! That just means we’ll have to get a little creative this year. Here are some fun trick-or-treating alternatives to consider!

fall bucket list, small boy dressed as ghost holding mom's hand while trick-or-treating

28. Plant a fall garden

There are plenty of plants that thrive in cooler temps, so why not make your garden last a little bit longer? This year we decided to plant some kale, lettuce, carrots, and radishes so that we could continue to have a harvest into the fall!

29. Walk around the neighborhood to look at Halloween decorations

I can’t get enough of all the spooky decorations this time of year! So recently we actually made it an activity on our fall bucket list to walk around and look at all the decorated houses. You can even turn it into a scavenger hunt!

30. Carve pumpkins

Without a doubt, this is one of my personal favorites off our fall bucket list! And it’s so much fun for our little dude to finally be old enough to enjoy it as well! Of course, he still can’t really handle a knife. So if you need some unique, no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas, try these out!

full bucket list, small boy sitting on grass with carved pumpkins and bucket of pumpkin seeds

31. Go to a corn maze

Preferably at night, and definitely watch Children of the Corn before you go. Perhaps don’t include your actual children in that last bit though…

But for real, how fun are these? This is a fall bucket list activity that I’m super excited to share with my little guy! I used to go with a group every year when I was a little older.

It’s especially exhilarating in the dark of night with the stars shining above you, little clouds of breath in the crisp air every time you exhale, nothing but rows of tall corn all around, and the feeling of being utterly and completely lost in the middle of nowhere.

32. Go for a hike

Hiking is a great activity to do in every season because you’ll get a new experience each time! Fall is obviously great for hikes with the cooler temps, fewer bugs, and beautiful foliage displays. Check to see if your area has any hikes that are particularly good for leaf viewing!

33. Do an acorn craft

My little guy loves collecting acorns, even when we have no plan for them at all. But there are also tons of fun crafts and activities they can be used for as well! Here are a bunch of great acorn ideas!

fall bucket list, close-up of hands holding acorns

34. Make nature potions

One new thing I came up with for our fall bucket list this year is to make nature potions! Or witch’s brew, depending on what kind of spin you want to put on it. Collect some jars and containers, gather up some nature items, and start mixing!

Dressing up as little witches and wizards would also add greatly to the fun of this activity. If your kids are Harry Potter fans, mix up some ingredients or potions from the books! Here’s a list if you need a brush up.

35. Make autumn leaf crowns

Nature crowns are always fun, but autumn leaf crowns can result in some beautiful results! Head out with the kids and gather up some pretty leaves and any other foliage that captures your eye. Then try this tutorial, which is easy to follow along with the kids!

36. Thanksgiving bird feeding tree

Here’s a fall bucket list activity for those of us who actually acknowledge the existence of Thanksgiving 😜. Last year, we had fun decorating a tree with little bird feeder ornaments so that the birds could have a feast too! It looked super festive, and it’s fun to watch the birds from your window afterwards!

fall bucket list, small boy hanging bird feeder on tree branch

37. Play dress up

Since many Halloween events are being cancelled, get more use out of your costumes this year by playing dress up!

38. Visit the farmer’s market

Summer is great, but fall is a magical time to visit the farmer’s market! There’s just something about the bounty of the autumn harvest and the variety of colorful produce laid out to tempt you. If you want to avoid some crowds, try visiting a u-pick farm to obtain some of your fall food!

fall bucket list, crates at farmer's market in autumn filled with apples, peppers, and pumpkins

39. Go fishing

Fishing is a great nontraditional option for your fall bucket list! And if you happen to live somewhere where you can witness salmon running upstream, that’s a pretty cool thing to observe as well. Check out rivers in your area to see if there are any good viewing spots and head out with the kiddos!

40. Ride a chairlift

A lot of skiing resorts offer chairlift rides in the fall for the purpose of color viewing. This has been a really cool opportunity that we’ve been able to take advantage of a few times in northern Michigan.

The fall colors only last for a short time, so we try our best to view them as much as possible in as many ways as possible!

Feeling inspired to get out there and embrace fall? I hope this gave you some ideas to plug into your schedule!

Have fun creating your own fall bucket list with your family. Get everyone involved and make it a family activity to come up with a fun list of things that excites everyone! Consider even printing it out and keeping it on the fridge for easy access!

Now let’s get out there and make those memories 🙂

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