Ah, October. Falling leaves. Crisp, cool temperatures. Pumpkin spice. Fresh apples.
By now, fall is in full swing and the first quarter of this semester is nearly over. Depending on where you go to college, it may be time to bring out your sweaters or a football jersey to support your university’s team. Plus, with the cooler temperatures and pending holiday festivities, you may be itching to switch up your weekend activities and participate in the spooky season.
No matter where you attend college, there are many fall activities for students that keep your student budget in mind.
12 Awesome Fall Activities for Students
1. Take a Trip
Many colleges offer their students a fall break that ranges from a three-day weekend to a week-long break. Students may go home to visit family, but there is another option: You could also go to a place you haven’t been before. This could look like exploring nearby towns or taking the long way to your parent’s house and stopping at interesting spots along the way.
Taking a trip doesn’t have to be expensive. There are budget-friendly options like camping or going to visit extended family. If you have the financial ability to splurge, you may be able to spend a few days in a brand-new place. Either way, this will give you time to rest and have a fresh perspective before you come back and finish the remainder of the semester.
2. Enjoy Parents’ Weekend
During parents’ weekend, you can make the most of your time together by showing your parents or guardians around your campus and giving them a glimpse of your daily college life. Show them your favorite spots and classrooms. Explore the college town, introducing them to local cafes, parks, and cultural attractions. This way, they can experience the environment you’re immersed in outside of classes.
Plus, parents often use this time to spoil their children. They might indulge you in a favorite restaurant, bring homemade treats, or surprise you with essential supplies or thoughtful gifts. These expressions of love and support can strengthen the bond between your family, creating lasting memories during your college journey.
3. Get Festive
If fall is your favorite season or you love spooky decorations, this is your time to shine! Fill your apartment or dorm room with all the gourds, ghosts, and bats your heart desires. Autumn and Halloween are the beginning of seasonal decorations, so have fun with them. You can even have friends over to hand-make decorations to have more connection and keep it budget-friendly.
Outside of decor, the town or city you’re in may have special events going on. Many cities have plays at the local theater, themed trivia, or open-mic nights. Check local events if you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend.
4. Celebrate Homecoming
Join the fun of homecoming season, usually celebrated in October at a majority of colleges. You can enjoy various activities like pep rallies, parades, and football games, all while creating lasting memories with your friends. Embrace the spirited atmosphere and take part in the events, making the most of this exciting time on campus.
5. You Pick: Pumpkins or Apples
Whether you want to add a jack-o-lantern to your fall decor or bake an apple pie, chances are you can find a pumpkin patch or go apple picking nearby. Fall is harvest season for apples and many squashes, including pumpkins. Local farms, churches, or community centers may host their own pumpkin patch at little to no cost. If you live in an area with apple orchards, they are often affordable and give you the chance to have fun while stocking up on a fall-favorite, locally-grown fruit.
6. Have a Halloween Movie Night
If you’re trying to keep your fall plans free-ninety-nine, then a Halloween movie night is for you! This is a great solo option or you can host a themed night with friends. Make a list of movies to watch, gather bowls of spooky snacks, and enjoy a relaxing evening on the couch. A Halloween movie night is the perfect Friday night after a long week of studying.
7. Go to a Haunted House
A brave venture through a haunted house is a less budget-friendly option, considering many of them have admission fees and lines at the door. Haunted Houses pop up around cities and college towns in October, so you can likely find one nearby. If you dare agree to be scared, grab friends you know will protect you from the killer clown and take a chance at a haunted house.
8. Have Fun at a Fall Festival
Most cities and college towns host fall festivals. Whether large or small, there may be many to attend. Many fall festivals offer hot apple cider, caramel apples, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, apple picking, or a variety of other games and fall activities. Some towns even have a fall fair that has small rides and games, as well as other fall activities for students!
9. Attend a Halloween Party
Despite what anyone says—you’re never too old to play dress-up. Halloween parties are the perfect excuse to find a costume you enjoy and have a (safe) Halloween party with friends. You can create themed costumes with your friend group, play games or trivia, or even have a costume contest. This is your justified time to dance to the Monster Mash, judgment-free.
10. Host a Bonfire
Hosting a bonfire may be tricky if you live on campus or in an apartment. On the chance that you live in a house or have another location where you can responsibly host a bonfire, it is a favorite fall activity. Gather some friends for a cozy night roasting s’mores around the fire.
11. Support Your Local Farmer’s Market
Farmer’s markets are guaranteed to have local, seasonal produce. In autumn, this likely means you live in an area that produces squash, apples, and other vegetables. You can get locally sourced food at an affordable price. Many vendors may also give out free samples or have fall festivities set up for market-goers to participate in for free.
12. Get Outside
Fall has much more to offer than Halloween movies and pumpkin spice lattes. The cooling temperatures may call you outside to enjoy the changing leaves. This is the perfect time of year to find a hiking spot nearby, have a picnic in your favorite park, or swing in your hammock while you study. Your body will thank you for allowing it to move and get more vitamin D before winter comes.
The truth is, there are countless fall activities for students, both free and paid. Most of the time, your college, friends, or town will be hosting these events, so look around and see what fall activities you’d like to be a part of.
If all this fall-talk makes you want to have plans that involve costumes and bonfires, browse colleges in a state that is known for its changing leaves and cool temperatures in autumn. You just might find the perfect place to give you the fall and college experience of your dreams!
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