64 things to do in autumn – For little or no money

November 2, 2015

I recently posted a guide to half term events and activities in and around Peterborough. That post seemed to attract a lot of readers so I thought about other things we can do this autumn, wherever we are in the country and that don’t necessarily cost anything.

Many of the following things can be done in the comfort of your own home and with things you may already have in your cupboards. So heres my list of 101 things to do this autumn…101 Things to do in autumn 6

  1. Make conker streamers. They fly well and look cool. All you need is conkers, something to make a hole (scissors maybe) and some autumn coloured tissue or crepe paper.
  2. Make a pinecone bird feeder. Smear pine cone in peanut butter, roll in bird seed and hang in the garden.
  3. Get your wellies on and go splashing in puddles.
  4. Bake autumn flavoured cookies using flavours such as cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin.
  5. Go to a farmers market and buy some fresh meat and veg to make an autumn stew.
  6. Go to a corn maze.
  7. Bob for apples. Get in one of your 7 a day.
  8. Pick your own pumpkin from a fruit farm rather than a supermarket.
  9. Go outside and kick about in the leaves.101 Things to do in autumn 2
  10. Build a scarecrow and get some use out of an old outfit.
  11. Go ice skating
  12. Plant bulbs ready for spring.
  13. Build a fort inside using chairs, clothes airers, cushions and blankets.
  14. Make a home made soup.
  15. Bake your own pumpkin bread.
  16. Go on a spooky ghost walk.
  17. Have a bonfire – check for hedgehogs first.
  18. Toast marshmallows.
  19. Collect leaves of different shapes and sizes and do a leaf rubbing.
  20. Collect some autumn nature pieces such as fir cones, leaves and conkers and do a still life painting in water colours.

  21. Carve pumpkins. Get an elderly neighbour to judge. They might like being thought of and included.
  22. Try finger knitting.
  23. Build a hedgehog house.
  24. Make salt dough ornaments. Just mix 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour and slowly mix in up to half a cup of water until you get the right consistency. Bake ornaments on a low heat with a wooden spoon propping the oven door open to let moisture escape. Maybe add spices to give it a nice scent.
  25. Throw Sycamore seeds in the air. They look like little helicopters as they fall down.
  26. Make an autumn crown.101 Things to do in autumn 7
  27. Make Christingles using oranges, cloves and ribbons. Hang them to make your house smell nice.
  28. Cut up some old magazines and use coloured pages/pieces to make an autumn mosaic picture
  29. Paint an autumn tree using cotton buds to ‘dot’ the leaves.
  30. Make milk bottle spooky night lights. Draw a spooky face on the flattest side of a milk bottle (the 4 pnt bottles work best). Cut a hole in the back so you can add a battery operated ‘candle’ Turn off the lights and watch it glow.
  31. Bake some apple crisps. Thinly slice apples, dust with sugar and cinnamon to taste, bake in oven until crispy.
  32. Make autumn play dough. Use autumn colours and scent with spices. Use cinnamon sticks, pumpkin seeds and cloves in your modelling.
  33. Make a firework picture on black paper by dipping a bristly washing up brush into brightly coloured paint and bashing it on the paper.
  34. Decoupage a glass jar with autumn coloured tissue paper and use it as a tea light holder.101 Things to do in autumn 1
  35. Make a leaf hedgehog. Draw a hedgehog shape and cut out of card. Stick leaves on to give him his spikes.
  36. Make autumn leaf animal pictures buy arranging leaves into animal shapes, adding goggly eyes and drawing on smiles.
  37. Bake an apple pie.
  38. Try and catch falling leaves. Make a game to see who can catch the most.
  39. Do some jigsaws. Maybe even make your own.
  40. Make scented salt dough leaves. Paint them autumn colours and find a branch to hang them on.

  41. Make some leaf print art. Collect leaves from a walk, lay them down on paper, paint over them going over the edge and leave the impression of the leaf behind. Alternatively, paint the veiny side of the leaf and then pat the painted side down on the paper to give the leaf pattern.
  42. Cut lots of slits half way up the length of a toilet roll tube. Bend all of the ‘legs’ outwards. Dip them in bright paint mixed with glue and glitter and print on black paper or card to make firework pictures.
  43. Make a spider web by punching holes around the edge of a paper plates and weaving wool in and out of the holes in different directions.
  44. Firework blow painting. Drip paint blobs on to paper and then blow them with a straw to make firework patterns.

  45. Make Salt dough candle holders for Diwali. Roll salt dough into a ball and flatten slightly. Push a tea light candle into the dough to leave the right size hole for it to sit in. Cook on a low heat with the oven door slightly open to allow moisture to escape. Once dry, paint in bright colours and glue on glitter, sequins and beads. Add a tea light.
  46. Firework spin art. Cut out circles of paper and place in a salad spinner. Add a few blobs of paint in different colours. Maybe add glitter too. Close the lid and spin.
  47. Do a rain dance.
  48. Climb trees.101 Things to do in autumn 5
  49. Make hedgehogs out of conker shells and clay.
  50. Make conker people by drawing different faces on the lighter part.
  51. Play conkers.
  52. Have a leaf race. Pick a leaf each and lay it at one end of the table. Blow your leaf with a straw, first to reach the other end wins.
  53. Halloween messy play. Cook and die some spaghetti in greens and purple shades. These could be your Zombie guts. Place in a tray and hide things like toy spiders, toy eyeballs, plastic rats for your little ones to discover. You could even hide sweets in there (in wrappers) as a surprise for your trick or treaters on halloween.
  54. Make traditional rangoli patterns using different coloured lentils, rices and other dried ingredients.
  55. Pumpkin Oobleck. Blend up the guts of your pumpkin (minus seeds) and mix with a bit of water. Use this mix and add to the same quantity of cornflour until you get the required consistency. Young ones love the feel of oobleck and will play for a while.
  56. Make autumn hide and seek sensory bottles. Hide small items like acorns, small toy spiders, sticks, leaves, small pine cones etc in a wide enough necked bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with dried rice to ‘hide’ the items. Ask the children to shake and mix up the bottle and write down what they find.
  57. Autumn sensory tub. Fill a tuff spot or a small tray with various autumn colours and textures i.e lentils, un-popped corn, rice, fir cones, corn flakes. These are great for lots of different development and senses exploring. Lots of pouring and spilling opportunities. Add in cars or little people to make a small world to play with.
  58. Apple print pumpkin. The same as potato printing but apples are a great shape for pumpkins when cut in half. Once dry, draw on different face with a marker. You could even cut them out to make a bunting.

  59. Conker Paint rolling. Place paper in a tray, add a few blobs of paints and roll conkers around making patterns.
  60. Make autumn sensory bottles. Use conkers, twigs, different coloured leaves, acorns, water, un-popped popcorn kernals, and either rice for dry ones or coloured water for wet ones with food colouring in autumnal colours.
  61. Take a trip to the library for some autumn themed books i.e The scarecrow that couldn’t scare,  The Percy and the park keeper books, The very hungry caterpillar etc.
  62. Sensory bags. Put wet look gel or shaving foam in to a zip lock food bag, add things like googley eyes, plastic spiders, maybe some small toads or eyeballs for a halloween themed bags. Use acorns, conkers and similar items in the shaving foam ones for an autumn ‘search’ bag. Make sure they are sealed, perhaps using tape a the top.
  63. Pumpkin sensory bag. As above but use the innards of the pumpkin when you carve one so using all the mushy stuff, the stringy bits and seeds.
  64. Make an ‘I’m bored’ jar. Print off these suggestions or write your own, Cut them out and place in  jar. Any time your child complains they are bored, get them to pick out an activity.Here comes the sun


Looking for some cheap but fun activities to do this autumn? MessyBlog has got you covered with over 50 things to do that are either free or super cheap! Pin now and come back later!

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  • Reply Lianne November 2, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Wow, lots of activities to try!! We’ve been making autumn play dough this week too! 🙂 #anythinggoes

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 2, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      We love play dough! Can’t go wrong there 🙂

  • Reply Hannah Budding Smiles November 2, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Great ideas! Have shared on a couple of client pages Love the new layout, well done lovely!xx

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 2, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks very much! Still needs a little bit of work but I’m happy

  • Reply Lee November 2, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Leslie, there’s some great thing to do in your list. I might have to take ty out and do some soon.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 2, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      Awesome, glad you like it 🙂 make sure you put piccies on facebook so I can see 🙂 Love to all xxxxx

  • Reply Unhinged Mummy (aka Janine Woods) November 4, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Wow! Tons of great ideas there. I’m always struggling with what to do with the kids that doesn’t cost the earth so this is fantastic. Thanks for sharing your great ideas 🙂

    Visiting from bestandworst

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 4, 2015 at 10:44 am

      No worries, glad you’ve found it useful, hope you enjoy your activities

  • Reply Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) November 4, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    This is fabulous! I always need ideas. I definitely think I will do some more with leaves – maybe make a hedgehog. Brilliant and thanks for linking with #bestandworst and see you soon x

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

      Good thing about leaves is they’re everywhere this time of year… Even on the downward slopes of underpasses when its wet and slippery! Pesky things!

  • Reply Blogging Mummy November 7, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Lots of fab ideas here. As a kid i loved picking conkers. I remember filling a carrier bag and did nothing with them just loved collecting them. x Thanks for linking up with Blogging Mummy #anythinggoes linky

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 7, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Haha I actually have a bag of them here in my living room… Can’t decide what to do with them

  • Reply Ellie @ Hand Me Down Baby November 11, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Wow! What a lot of things to try. I like the I’m bored jar at the end, that’s a great suggestion for older kids.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 11, 2015 at 8:38 am

      We used it last year in the summer holidays, the kids just wanted to pick a thing out of the jar all the time wether they were bored or not so at least it kept them entertained

  • Reply Gemma @ Confessions of a Nagging Mother November 11, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Awww lots of fab ideas, I love nothing more than an autumn walk! 🙂


    Gemma xx

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 11, 2015 at 9:42 am

      I agree, something about that crisp fresh air and crunchy leaves 🙂

  • Reply Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) November 11, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Ah this post was great – thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xxx

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 11, 2015 at 10:24 pm


  • Reply Kelly November 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Okay, so I am totally bookmarking this post for future reference! Amazing ideas! Kicking the leaves seems to be this year’s favourite thing for us to do 🙂 xxx

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 20, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      Haha Brilliant! Thanks very much, feel free to share it too 😉 Kicking in leaves is always fun!

  • Reply Annie B January 10, 2016 at 10:35 am

    This list is amazing! There’s something on here for everyone. I really want to build a hedgehog house! There is a lack of wildlife on our estate at the mo 🙁 #MakingHome

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby January 10, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks, We haven’t built a hedge hog house but we have done a bug hotel. it was great fun. Thanks for reading

  • Reply Becca | Pears and Chocolate Sauce October 23, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    So many lovely ideas here. Love the cotton bud tree! We’ll definitely be giving that a go. #mbfsl

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby October 24, 2016 at 9:14 am

      Thank you, yeah the cotton bud tree is a favourite, we’ve done it a few times and it works for other seasons too 🙂
      Thanks for joining in with the first #MBFSL

  • Reply jeremy@thirstydaddy October 24, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    thats an impressive list. Corn maze is something that we’ve been meaning to do for a few years now #MBFSL

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby October 25, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Oh I’ve alwways wanted to do a corn maze! They look great fun!

  • Reply chocolateandwineandillbefine October 24, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    What an amazing list! Happy to say we have done a large number of these! We did conker rolling today, it was so much fun. I love the idea of conker streamers – must try that next 🙂 #MBFSL

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby October 25, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Ohh yeah, try them! they fly surprisingly well!

  • Reply Jess November 13, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Aw what lovely ideas! I love kicking crunchy leaves about and the apple printing for pumpkins is a stroke of genius 🙂

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 13, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      Oh yeah, that works really well.

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