Creative Child

20 Pandemic-Safe Fall Activities for Kids

by Rebecca Eanes

Summer is ending, and it’s taking with it the hope that the coronavirus pandemic is coming to an end. When caseloads plunged over the summer, Americans thought we may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My own hope was present in my articles about A Closer to Normal Summer and Four Ways to Support Kids Post Pandemic, but my hopes, along with the hopes of millions of families, have been dashed. With more than 160,000 new cases daily and more than 100,000 COVID patients hospitalized, it’s clear that we will be dealing with this virus for the foreseeable future.


While this pandemic certainly changes our traditions and routines, there are still plenty of ways to have fun with our kids this fall.

Outdoor Activities:

According to the CDC, masks are not required for outdoor activities unless you’ll be in a large crowd. This means all of the fun fall outdoor activities are still on the table!

  1. Pumpkin Power! Head out to your favorite pumpkin patch, buy a caramel apple, and gather up those gourds! A day spent at the patch is a fall must-do, so head on out and choose a wonderfully carvable pumpkin.
  2. Galavant through a corn maze this season. Always a fall favorite with the kiddos, visiting the corn maze is a seasonal tradition you don’t have to ditch this year. 
  3. What kid doesn’t love a hay ride? You may need to mask up for this one, particularly if it’s a crowded ride, but being that you’re still outdoors, it’s relatively low risk and oh-so fun!
  4. Host a candy scavenger hunt for your children and their little goblin friends. This is a super fun park or backyard activity. Hide some candy and give the little ones clues on where to find it!
  5. Take a fall foliage hike and admire the gorgeous changing leaves. Give your child a printout of colors to look for to keep them busy on the trail. Sure, it’s simple to find something brown, but can you spot something purple?
  6. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention apple picking even though this is an activity I’ve never done myself. I may add this to my fall bucket list! And all those apples you pick will come into play later when we discuss indoor fall activities!
  7. Go horseback riding. Check your local stable and see what they offer! I know a place that offers trail rides through fall foliage, so if you can find an option like that one, how much fun would that be? But even if you just ride around the ring, it’s worth getting around these beautiful creatures and enjoying a crisp fall day.
  8. Are you a camping family? Fall is a great time to go camping, but if the idea of sleeping in a tent doesn’t thrill you, how about building a little bonfire in the backyard? In either case, it isn’t fall without S’mores!
  9. Ghost-hunting in the yard is a great little Halloween activity your kids will love! Blow up several white balloons and draw ghost faces on them. You can even place glow sticks inside! Place them around your yard, hanging them from tree branches and porch rails. Have a few peeking around the corners or under bushes. Once it gets dark, grab your Nerf weapons and go on a ghost hunt!
  10. Paint mini pumpkins in your backyard with the kids! Sure, carving pumpkins as a family is a classic, but painting mini pumpkins with acrylic paint is a blast, and they make adorable decorations when they’re finished!


Indoor Activities:

  1. Make a haunted cookie house! Look for the kit in your grocery store. Can’t find one? A good alternative is baking and decorating Halloween cookies!
  2. Snuggle in for a movie marathon complete with popcorn, blankets, and a little (or a lot) of jumpscares!
  3. Not sure what to do with the pumpkin guts? Make pumpkin slime! Your kids will love it, and it’s a great sensory activity. Recipe and instructions can be found at
  4. Make a DIY costume at home together. Forget generic store-bought costumes. Bring in a little creativity and togetherness by designing and making your own!
  5. Create a fall leaf crown. The simplest crown for all ages is to cut a band of construction paper the size of your child’s head and simply glue leaves to it. However, if you have an older child or are particularly into crafting, you can find instructions for beautiful hand-sewn crowns online.
  6. Pick out some fantastic new fall-themed books to add to your reading rotation. Try There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro, Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell, and We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger.
  7. Try pumpkin bowling! Grab 10 rolls of toilet paper and draw ghost faces on them. Stack them 4 on the bottom, 3 on top, then 2, then 1. Use a mini pumpkin as your bowling ball.
  8. Make apple-scented playdough! I found an amazing 2-ingredient recipe from All you need is one cup of all purpose flour and ½ cup of apple-scented shampoo or dish soap. Add in red or green food coloring as well, if desired. It smells fantastic and won’t dry out quickly like most playdough.
  9. Make a fall tree thumbprint craft. Draw or use construction paper to create the trunk of the tree. Then have your child dip their thumbs in different colors and press onto the branches to create colorful leaves!
  10. Create a unique fall face mask by buying a plain white cloth facemask and decorating with permanent markers.
Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


You might also like.

Want more? Follow us.

Join our newsletter and get the latest updates!
Hit "Like" to see Creative Child on Facebook