30+ Family-Friendly Fall Bucket List Ideas to Try

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Are you a big believer in living life to the fullest? If so, you might absolutely love bucket lists — a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” And you'll definitely love a fall-themed bucket list, too.

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This list is the opposite of morbid — it’s meant to be aspirational, fun, and help you live your very best life. From apple picking and hayrides to haunted houses and your favorite Thanksgiving side dish, the fall season is filled with family, fun, and adventure. We’ve compiled a list of must-do fall activities for families, adults, and couples. Comb through the list, mix and match ideas, take what inspires you, and leave out anything that’s not your jam.

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Fall Bucket List Ideas for Kids and Toddlers

Fall is such a fun time of year for families with kids — there is a lot you can do outside before everyone is cooped up for the winter. Here are our 10 favorite fall bucket list ideas for kids and toddlers.

1. Go apple picking

Apples are not only delicious, but apple picking is also fun for the whole family. Drive to a local farm and sip on hot apple cider, munch on an apple cider donut, and fill up a tote bag with crunchy apples.

Scratching your head, wondering what you’re going to do with all those apples? Think apple butter, apple pie, apple jam, and applesauce.

2. Visit a sunflower farm

Sunflower farms are truly breathtaking and make for great photo ops! 

3. Book a mini photography session

Many photographers offer inexpensive mini-sessions in the fall. Take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and get professional holiday cards. It can be fun to color coordinate with your kiddos — and fall colors look gorgeous in photographs.

Make sure to choose a photographer who has lots of experience with toddlers and kids. Laughter makes for the best memories and pictures!

4. Visit a pumpkin patch

Just like people, pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes. Go to a pumpkin patch and each family member can choose a pumpkin that fits his or her personality. If your plan is to make a jack-o’-lantern, choose a smooth pumpkin. 

5. Create gratitude-themed arts and crafts

Have the whole family work together on creating gratitude-themed arts and crafts. One idea we love is creating beautiful, hand-drawn cards. Have the kids write letters to family members detailing what they love and appreciate about them. Grandparents especially love receiving these over the holidays!

6. Visit a national park

Free National Park Day happens every fall, usually at the end of September. Plan a family getaway and enjoy glorious hiking and scenic views for free.

7. Trick-or-Treat in Handmade Costumes

Kids love showing off their Halloween costumes, and showing off a costume they made themselves — their pride is priceless! You can find lots of fun DIY Halloween costume ideas on Pinterest.

8. Play in a pile of leaves 

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most fun. The squealing laughter you’ll hear from little ones as they jump into a giant pile of freshly-raked leaves is unforgettable!

9. Make a jack-o’-lantern

Now that you’ve picked a perfect pumpkin straight from the patch, gather the kids and start carving. There are safe ways for kids to participate without using sharp tools.

If carving isn’t in your wheelhouse, you can always paint or put stickers on your pumpkins! This is a fun activity for everyone, and it’s a great way to create festive décor for your home. 

10. Enjoy a corn maze and hayride

There’s nothing that screams fall quite like navigating a corn maze and taking a hayride. After you make your way through the corn maze as a family, pile the kids onto the tractor and enjoy some peaceful adult time. 

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Fall Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Fall isn’t just a wonderful time for kids. There are so many festivals, county fairs, and other fall events and activities for adults to enjoy.

Do you love beer? Fall has the most seasonal flavor choices. Not a big fan of yeast-fermented malts? We’ve got you covered with some other festive ideas! Check out our 10 fall bucket list ideas for adults.

11. Go leaf-peeping

Every year, people travel far and wide to catch a glimpse of the beautiful reds, yellows, and oranges of fall foliage. The colors are particularly stunning in New England and the upper Midwest. You can take a solo drive or join a more formal fall foliage tour. This can also be a romantic first date.

12. Host an APC party (apple, pumpkin, and cinnamon!)

There’s no such thing as an official APC party yet, but we’re hoping to make it a thing. Host a potluck-style gathering, where everyone has to make something that incorporates at least one of these three fall flavors.

Bonus points for anyone who cooks a treat with all three!

13. Tailgate at a football game

If you are a football fan, everyone knows that you spend your Sundays glued to the TV with your favorite snacks. Before it gets too chilly, take it up a notch and go see your favorite team in person! Make it even more fun by bringing your friends, a grill, and your favorite brews. 

14. Host a Friendsgiving

Friendsgiving can be on Thanksgiving Day, but it doesn’t have to be. Any day in November works perfectly. Have everybody cook their favorite side dish or dessert, set a festive table, even spike some cider, and you’re ready to go.

15. Hike in the woods

Fall is such a wonderful time to hike. It’s not too hot, the scenery is straight out of a painting, and there’s nothing like hearing leaves crunching under your boots.

Find a trail that is the right difficulty for you on AllTrails or a similar service. 

16. Volunteer

The holidays can be a particularly tough time for people in need. There are lots of great ways to get involved. If food is your thing, you can deliver meals or serve dinner at a local soup kitchen or shelter. You could also create care packages for troops or bring flowers and cheer to your local nursing home. 

17. Eat s’mores around a bonfire

Arguably one of the very best smells in the world is a bonfire. Pair that with the crisp fall air, the warmth of a fire, and some good conversation with your favorite people.

You’re in for a memorable night. Start the bonfire just as the sun sets to watch sparks vanish into the colorful night sky. Tip for elevating your s’mores: use a Reese’s cup in place of a Hershey’s bar.

18. Make homemade soup

Eating a warm, hearty soup you made yourself is magical. Plus, if you make a big batch, you can store some in the freezer and enjoy your creation all winter. 

19. Start an indoor workout routine

Before you begin hibernating and carb-loading for the winter, start an indoor workout routine. Whether you enjoy high-intensity interval training, yoga, or some other type of exercise, there are lots of great apps and YouTube videos to get you started. Meditating is also a healthy fall-into-winter bucket list idea. 

20. Go to a festival or county fair

Sample some homemade pies and jams, nosh on a giant turkey leg, and play some games for prizes at your local fair. You can also find any specialty festival you can think of — from the Nantucket Cranberry Festival to the Floresville Peanut Festival, there’s something out there for everyone. 

Fall Bucket List Ideas for Couples

Fall is one of the most romantic times of the year. The scenery is beautiful, the food is delicious, and the weather is perfect for cuddling. Our 10 fall bucket list ideas for couples capitalizes on this season of love.

21. Rent a cabin in the woods

Leave your electronics at home (they won’t work anyway) and spend a weekend in a cabin in the woods or on a mountain. Snuggle up with your partner and enjoy the picturesque scenery and intimate, uninterrupted conversation.

22. Soak in a hot tub at night

There’s nothing more romantic than dipping into a hot tub on a cool fall night with the person you love. Make this one a twofer and find a cabin in the woods that has its very own hot tub!

23. Enjoy a Halloween movie marathon

We’re talking Netflix and Chill fall style. Choose three movies you both love (or compromise), heat up some popcorn, and let the epic snuggle session commence. 

24. Stargaze 

Take a look at the lunar calendar and find out when the next full moon is. Take a moon walk — in other words, lay on a blanket with some wine and take in the beauty of our solar system.

There’s nothing like a kiss under the stars to make your heart skip a beat. Maybe you’ll even catch a shooting star. 

25. Host a chili cook-off

Chili is the perfect fall food — it’s warm, has a kick, and everyone thinks their chili is the best. When it comes to chili, the competition is fierce! Compete against your partner or host a battle of the chilis with other couples. The winner gets a trophy, bragging rights, and to host the following year.

26. Travel to a different country

Traveling to another country should be on every bucket list, and fall is the perfect time to travel as a couple. It’s not as busy as any other time of year because the school year just started. Plus, have we mentioned the gorgeous fall weather? Well, it’s perfect pretty much everywhere.

27. Go camping

Hike, kayak, and enjoy the foliage during the day, then cuddle up by the campfire at night.

28. Hold onto each other for dear life at a haunted house

Take a trip to Salem, Massachusetts for an authentic Halloween experience or find a haunted house close to home. The romantic perk of being scared to death is that you’ll wind up in your significant other’s tight embrace!

29. Go to an Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest in Germany is the world’s largest beer festival. It was originally a celebration of the country’s royal family and is now a celebration of all the delicious flavors of fall.

Oktoberfest isn’t just in Germany. You can find them all over the U.S. Enjoy some bratwurst, a giant pretzel, and pumpkin beer at your local Oktoberfest.

30. Have a picnic on the beach

Bundle up, snuggle up, and enjoy your favorite fall treats. You may even have the beach all to yourself — how romantic!

Bonus Bucket List Idea

Hopefully, you have many more wonderful, healthy years ahead of you to cross everything off your bucket list — but it’s never too early to begin end-of-life planning. 

Here’s a helpful checklist to get you started. Add this checklist to your bucket list! While you’re at it, we’ve put together this state-by-state directory of forms should your family or caretakers ever need to make medical decisions. This way, they’ll know your wishes and won’t be left agonizing over any difficult decisions. Taking the best possible care of the people you love is our favorite bucket list idea.

If you're looking for more on bucket lists, read our guides on food bucket lists and travel bucket lists.

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