Fall family activities that fit in any budget

Smiling black girl with apple basket

The article below is up to date based on the latest tax laws. It is accurate for your 2019 taxes (filed in 2020) and 2018 taxes, which should be filed by the April 15th, 2019 (or October 2019 with filed extension) deadline.

While I remember plenty of crisp (and let's be honest, cold) October days in upstate New York, here in North Carolina, it's much more mild. Still, the signs of Fall are all around us beginning in October and I think half of our yard will be covered in multi-color leaves.

With our little girl on her break, we've been looking for activities to keep her busy while still sticking to our budget. The great news is that there are plenty of things to try out and do as a family. Here are a few of my favorites:

Create Leaf Art

It's been a while since I did it in school, but it's still fun and a nice way to spend time together. Our little ones love art projects and this is a simple, colorful, and a not so messy craft that anyone can do. Grab some beautiful leaves around your yard, find crayons around the house and make a leaf rubbing. You can also trace the outline and color it in any way you want. For those with older ones, you can also preserve the leaves and hang them up as art.

Visiting a Farm

As the warm weather winds down, now is a wonderful time to visit a local farm or orchard. You and the kids can take a tour and pick apples together. While you're there, you can also talk with the farmers to help your kids make the connection between what is grown on the farm and what they eat at the table. For some picky eaters, it's enough to get them to explore different dishes.

Escape to the Mountains

The leaves changing makes me think of heading out west to go hiking and snap some pictures in the mountains. Of course, you don't have to go out of town to enjoy nature! Making a day trip to the local park can be a relaxing way to unwind. Bring your camera (or smartphone) with you and see how many unique and fun pictures you can take.

Local Volunteer Opportunities

The cooler temperatures bring out the need for more resources and volunteers. Set time for the whole family to gather items that each person is no longer using (toys, clothes, tools, etc.) and donate to a local shelter. Maybe even hold a neighborhood coat drive and give to a nearby organization in need. If you itemize your deductions, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for your charitable contributions if you donate to a recognized 501(C)(3) not for profit organization. Just remember to ask for a donation slip to have at tax time. TurboTax ItsDeductible can help you accurately value and track your charitable donations year-round and then transfer your donations to your TurboTax tax return at tax time.

Thoughts on Family and Fall Activities

As you can see, you can have memorable traditions and adventures as a family without breaking the bank. It just takes some creativity and a willingness to explore the great outdoors. I'd love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite fall activities? What did you do growing up? What traditions are you passing down or new ones you're introducing?

Don’t worry about knowing the tax rules mentioned. TurboTax asks you simple questions about you and gives you the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on your answers. If you have questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered. TurboTax Live CPAs and Enrolled Agents are available in English and Spanish and can also review, sign, and file your tax return.

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