Fall forward:

Top 10 fall activities to do on a budget

Kaylee Robbins, Deputy Editor in Chief

As fall begins, so does the mood it sets. Images of pumpkins, falling leaves and cozy movies fill people’s minds. It isn’t uncommon to see students creating bucket lists and Pinterest boards full of fall activities that often don’t get done, either because of a lack of time or budget. If one of these people is you, here are 10 easy and cheap ideas to spice up your fall days.

  • Fall baking- Go to your local Kroger and pick up a few ingredients to bake sweet treats. Whether it’s pumpkin-spiced cookies, pies or Halloween-themed brownies, there are so many different recipes to create for under $20. Found in the baking aisle, many box mixes are available for under $5 that only call for eggs, water and oil, which are often pantry staples. Grab a friend, sibling or loved one and see what you can create.
  • Pumpkin patch- Dozens of pumpkin patches are available throughout the Cincinnati area. Wandering around them with friends is completely free, and they are a great place to take Instagram-worthy photos. If pumpkins are not your thing, many patches are home to corn mazes, farm animals and cheap treats that can occupy you for hours for just a couple of dollars. 
  • Movie night- Fall isn’t fall without mentioning the dozens of Halloween movies that come out each year. While a visit to the theater can cost upwards of $20, staying home and having a movie marathon with friends is a cheap and cozy way to spend a fall night. Services such as Netflix, Hulu and Disney+ have endless amounts of movies at your disposal, free of ads. Add in a cozy candle, fall blanket and sweet treats and you are set to have a spooktacular evening.
  • Carving pumpkins- The average pumpkin is between $5-10. After picking out your gourd, all you need is a knife to spend hours creating your very own, all-natural masterpiece. If you’re looking to spend a little extra time on your pumpkin, grocery and convenience stores are stocked with pumpkin carving kits and tool DIY books that can help give design inspiration or spice up your knifework. After carving, the seeds can be seasoned and baked to make homemade pumpkin seeds. 
  • Bonfire/grill out- It may be getting colder, but a warm fire with friends is the perfect way to heat up your fall days. Before the snow comes in, grab some hot dogs, marshmallows and anything grill-worthy to heat up the night. Pairing a bonfire with scary stories, games or a delicious dinner is the perfect way to leave summer with the leaves. All that is required is wood and whatever treats you decide to purchase from the store. 
  • Go on a hike- As the leaves change color and fall, and while the weather is still warm, Cincinnati is filled with a variety of hiking trails that are free to explore and are within close walking distance of your house. Hiking is a great form of exercise that takes minimal effort. Grabbing a couple friends, or going by yourself, and hitting up the trails is an easy, and free, way to spend a weekend. 
  • Go to an apple orchard- There are many apple orchards within an hour’s drive of Cincinnati that are beautiful and cheap to visit. By visiting these orchards, apple lovers are able to pick pounds of fruit for low prices.  
  • Go to a coffee shop- Many students struggle with balancing school and their social life. Inviting a couple of friends to a study session is a great way to work around this. Especially with the fall season, everyone should indulge in the pumpkin spice craze. Whether you love it or hate it, pumpkin spice is an indoctrination into the fall season.
  • Go to a haunted house- As the spooky season kicks into gear, grab your friends and hit up a haunted house. Haunted houses can cost $20 or more and may be the most expensive of these options, but for any adrenaline junky, this is the move.
  • Go to the markets- Flea markets are amazing ways to experience the community around you. Market season is coming to an end as the weather gets colder, but there is still time. There are a variety of outdoor markets that sell food, clothes, antiques and so much more. Markets are a fun way to experience fall while also supporting local businesses.