A Fall Bucket List Is the Perfect Way to Celebrate the Season


Fall bucket list

Our favorite way to celebrate the cozy fall season is to make a family bucket list. There are so many incredible autumn activities at our fingertips, but the whole season can feel blink-and-you’ll-miss-it short with the start of the new school year, soccer, baseball, hockey, dance… you get the idea. With a fall bucket list, we can brainstorm and organize our fall fun, and the kids feel like they’re in charge of our extra-curricular hours, which makes them happy, too.

Here are a few of our fall bucket list favorites:

  • Pick apples: Could there be a more perfect autumn activity? Apples! Cider! Apple cider donuts!
  • Visit a pumpkin patch: Just like above but also PUMPKINS and maybe a side of cute farm animals and a corn maze.
  • Participate inn Sally’s Baking Addiction’s monthly baking challenges: The house is full of apples and pumpkin anyway, so you might as well turn them into dessert masterpieces.
  • Go to a football game: College, pro, high school, flag—it doesn’t matter! Friday night lights and the first season’s first few chilly nights are a special kind of fall treat.
  • Do a family gratitude challenge: Since half of my kids have phones this year, we are going to make ours visual. We’ll all take or draw a picture of something we’re grateful for everyday and share them in the evening. My plan is to snap a photo of my little kids’ drawings, so I can make a family gratitude chatbook in December. That’s a fall bucket list 2-for!
  • Read new books: Tis the season for hunkering down with a good read. Grown-ups should check out this list and also this one. Kids should mine their Scholastic book club flyers. I always usher in the new school year by reading my kids some of my childhood favorites. Right now, my elementary schoolers and I are reading Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books, and we all love them.
  • Have a read in: PJ’s! Blankets! Tents! Flashlights! Snag a rainy Sunday afternoon and turn it into a book worm’s paradise. Fall bucket list bonus points for hot cider and popcorn to munch while you all turn pages.
  • Enjoy a scary movie night: Like family movie night but terrifying! My kids are fairly into scary movies, and we are showing the teen and tween The Blair Witch Project this year.  Our elementary schoolers are excited for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Giving the children nightmares is a fall bucket list tradition!
  • Have s’mores and cocoa by a backyard fire.
  • Bust out the sleeping bags for an outdoor movie night.
  • Do leaf art: Walk around the neighborhood and find the best leaves, show your kids how to press them, and use them for collages or napkin rings or fox faces—the possibilities are endless!
  • Host a round of sleepovers while it’s still warm enough for the kids to play outside.
  • Learn one new cookie recipe that you all can make together. Last year, we fell in love with frosted chai spiced snickerdoodles, and I can’t wait to discover and devour our fall bucket list baked good this year!
  • Make fall cut-out cookies. I recommend pumpkin spice frosting for them because I am a Wisconsin mom whom loves sweaters and boots and ranch dressing. OF COURSE I ALSO LOVE PUMPKIN SPICE everything. IT’S PART OF MY BRAND.
  • Host a harvest party in your kids’ elementary school classes.
  • Host a kiddie costume party at your house, a fall bucket list favorite of ours.
  • Make Thanksgiving turkey hats, even if you think your kids might be too old for them.  Especially if you think your kids might be too old for them.
  • Take holiday card photos of your family NOW to take advantage of October’s bright blue weather.
  • Have a ridiculous Thanksgiving leftover sandwich night. Last year, my then 10-year-old made stuffing waffles in the waffle iron in lieu of bread, and my oldest found that all leftovers are better with bacon. These are culinary life lessons.
  • Pose at least one Halloween night pic on your tricked-out front porch, and send printed copies to grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Bonus: You can display this picture next year as part of your seasonal décor. My kids love it when I swap out family photos for Halloween pics.
There you have it: easy family bucket list activities to help you enjoy this perfect season. What did I miss? Tell me your favorite fall adventures in the comments—I’d love to hear them!
Sarah Jedd
Sarah Jedd has a Ph.D. in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches and studies the rhetoric of Planned Parenthood. Sarah has 4 children nine years old and younger, three boys and an oh-look-you-finally-got-your girl (why does everyone say that?). In her spare time (ha! as if!) she is writing a memoir, and she blogs at harrytimes.blogspot.com. Sarah and her husband and their kids and world’s laziest dog live in Verona.


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