12 Fun Fall Activities for College Students

12 Fun Fall Activities for College Students

September 29, 2021

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Depending on where you go to school, the first signs of fall may bring sweater weather, changing leaves, and the start of the holiday season. Many Americans rank fall as their favorite season for a variety of reasons, including cold-but-not-too-cold temperatures and pumpkin-spice everything. For college students, fall signals the beginning of a new semester, brimming with fun fall activities.

Autumn kicks off football season and Halloween traditions at many colleges. And many schools also boast nearby attractions like farmers markets, pumpkin patches, and hiking trails.

The following fall activities suit college students looking for big fun on a tight budget.

1. Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin patches often open toward the beginning of fall and stay in business until Halloween. A visit to a pumpkin patch offers wholesome fun for college students. Many of these patches offer various fall activities like arts and crafts, hay rides, and plenty of Instagram-worthy photo ops. Community centers, churches, and alumni associations may host pumpkin patches with free or low-cost admission.

2. Host a Costume Party

Many college students probably don't need another excuse to throw a party, but dressing up and gathering with friends around Halloween is a must (at least once) during the fall season. Hosting a college costume party means you can create a theme, plan games and trivia, and crown a costume-contest winner.

3. Have a Fall Picnic

Picnicking in the fall is one of the best ways to enjoy the cooler autumn weather. Pick a date, claim your spot, and invite your friends to join your fall soiree outside. Asking your friends to bring a snack or beverage to share can help keep costs affordable while making sure there are enough treats to go around.

4. Go Hiking

Hiking gives students the chance to enjoy the great outdoors and get some exercise — for free! The cooler temperatures may motivate many students to get outside and explore their surroundings before the onset of winter. If you go to school near a national park, forest, or nature preserve, you should have a variety of trails to choose from.

5. Decorate Your Dorm or Apartment

Many college students underestimate the positive impact of decorating their dorm for the fall. Seasonal decor can make your surroundings more festive, which can improve your mood, inspire creativity, and boost motivation. Students can find an array of fall decor through online and discount stores or raid the dollar store for Halloween decorations.

6. Go Apple Picking

Apple picking is an especially popular fall activity for college students in many areas of the U.S., where the leaves begin to change long before Halloween. While college students may need some practice to turn their freshly picked produce into dessert, the act itself can be a fun adventure — with edible souvenirs!

7. Get Lost in a Corn Maze

The opportunity to explore a corn maze may seem elusive to some college students, but there are actually hundreds of corn mazes across the U.S. Many fall festivals offer corn maze adventures along with other outdoor activities like apple picking and pumpkin patches.

8. Explore a Haunted House

This fall activity may need to be reserved for your bravest friends — many haunted houses are more shocking and scandalous than ever before. Haunted house franchises are common around Halloween, clustered around big cities and college towns. Visiting a haunted house is rarely free, but attractions may feature discounted tickets, special promotions, and BOGO options for large groups or students.

9. Tailgate With Friends

For many, nothing says fall like college football. Tailgating is a fun game-day activity but also makes for a great excuse to gather in a casual setting outdoors. Invite your friends to come enjoy games like cornholing and bring food for the grill.

10. Watch Scary Movies

If you're having trouble getting into the fall spirit or figuring out a Halloween costume, you can turn to movies for inspiration. Find out where to stream your favorites and invite some friends over for a scary movie marathon.

11. Visit Your Local Farmers Market

A visit to a nearby farmers market is a fun fall activity because it offers something for everyone. College students can shop local at the farmers market, with many vendors offering samples of fall treats like cider. Farmers markets may include a pumpkin patch or other outdoor activities, too!

12. Roast S'mores Over a Fire

As the sun starts to set earlier, it can be trickier to find outdoor activities to do in the evening. However, if you have access to a gathering spot where you're allowed to light a fire, you can engage in one of the coziest fall activities. Just find some friends looking to perfect their s'mores-roasting-and-eating skills and grab a few inexpensive ingredients.


Feature Image: Plume Creative / DigitalVision / Getty Images

We've got a fun lineup of college Halloween costume ideas — whether you're looking for something trendy for 2021 or need some last-minute inspo. Many students find making friends in college challenging. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can put yourself out there and meet new people. Don't let your summer pass you by. Instead of sitting at home, consider making a reading list, practicing a new skill, or even taking a class.