The kids are back to their school routine, football and basketball are back (for all you sport aficionados) and the air has become cool and crisp. Fall is the transition from Summer to Winter and there is much to do, as the weather still allows for a day (or night) out with the family. While it tends to get dark outside earlier, there are still plenty of hours to enjoy a variety of free and inexpensive family activities. Below are some inexpensive ways to have fun with the family this Fall:
Fruit Picking: A variety of healthy fruits and vegetables are harvested during the fall season.  Early fall is the perfect time to pick your own apples and pumpkins at local farms. Bring a group of friends and make a day of apple picking. However, you can make it an inexpensive family outing. Just be sure to visit one of the farms where you only have to pay for what you actually take home with you. (There are several farms that operate that way/without an entrance fee.) Figs, pears, sweet potatoes and winter squash are also in harvest this season.
Museums: Many local museums offer free or “pay what you wish” options for their visitors. As the weather grows cooler outside, it is a great opportunity for families to enjoy exploring various museum exhibits and participating in their interactive events.
Foliage: In the fall, nature vividly displays its many colors. In practically every area, there are plenty of places to witness a variety of beautiful foliage as the leaves start to turn colors and fall off the trees. Exploring the various shapes and colors of leaves is a great free activity that families can do together. The leaves are only different colors this time of year, so make sure to get out and show that kids! Plan hikes to get up-close and personal with the different colors of Fall.
Fairs and Festivals: Fall is a time of many harvest celebrations. There are a variety of annual fall harvest fairs and festivals held throughout the country. They draw many visitors with a variety of fun, free music, entertainment and activities. While the food and specialty activities often cost various amounts, they are still a great deal.
Bike Rides: Family bike rides are enjoyable throughout most of the year. However, the fall season lends a scenic backdrop to the trip. There are numerous family-friendly bike trails in most communities. While there is an initial investment for the bicycles, many local areas provides guides and maps to the best free bike paths and fun rest stops. (Some areas even provide free bike loans on certain days and times.) In any event, bike riding with your kids is one of the greatest low-cost activities that you can experience this fall.