There’s more to fall than crisp air and colorful leaves. With the changing of the seasons comes new opportunities to celebrate, along with a whole host of fall outdoor activities to keep kids and kids-at-heart entertained.

While there’s plenty to love about corn mazes and apple orchards, many of the best autumn pursuits can be enjoyed from the comfort of your backyard. Here are some new ideas for fun outdoor fall activities to try!

Fall outdoor games for adults can include activities like haystack bowling, cornhole, and scavenger hunts, providing entertainment and a chance to enjoy the seasonal ambiance. Outdoor games offer a fun way to enjoy the crisp autumn weather while engaging in physical and social activities.

Pumpkin Carving & Painting

A quintessential fall activity, pumpkin carving allows you to show off your creativity while wielding a knife. What could be better? This activity is well-suited to your yard, where you don’t need to worry about pumpkin seeds and guts making a mess. Once you’re finished, you can display your handiwork on your front porch or show off the final product on social media.

Worried about keeping your kids safe? Not a problem: several kid-friendly options are available. Many families rely on carving kits with specially designed blades. No matter how you choose to carve, you’ll enjoy this satisfyingly messy activity.

Pumpkin carving is a fun halloween activity.

“Jack” by Jason OX4 is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0.

If you’re not feeling up to carving, you can find plenty of other ways to make pumpkins look magnificent. Paint is often an easier and safer approach, especially if kids under the age of 10 are involved. Large pumpkins can be painted, but smaller, unique pumpkins tend to look the best when decorated in this manner. Washable paints are ideal for small children. These will adhere better if blended with school glue.

If you prefer something a bit less messy, allow your kids to add stickers to their favorite pumpkins. This will keep them entertained without getting paint all over. Likewise, this is a great decorating option for adults who lack patience for painting. For a bolder or more sophisticated look, try using washi tape.

Backyard Scavenger Hunt

Your backyard may be chock full of hidden treasures — you just need to be patient enough to find them. You’ll be surprised by all that you discover while preparing a scavenger hunt in this surprisingly fascinating location. This is one of the most fun things to do outside in the fall, and yet, it’s often relegated to the summer months. Not anymore! Once you’ve staged one backyard scavenger hunt, you’ll be eager for more.

Autumn scavenger hunts can take many forms. If you prefer a collection-oriented activity, participants can search for acorns, pinecones, colorful leaves, or other natural mementos. These can then be used to create fall crafts. Otherwise, feel free to hide various household objects or decorations in the backyard and see how many are discovered.

For an adult gathering, use themed items such as college pennants to represent your favorite football team. Participants can also be asked to retrieve cans of hard cider strategically placed throughout your yard.

Leaf Art Projects

The leaves gathered during your backyard scavenger hunt need not go to waste. These can form the basis of a gorgeous work of art. Leaf projects can take many forms, including:

  • Drawing on leaves with metallic markers to add a little glitz.
  • Allow little kids to add googly eye stickers to large leaves to create a silly face. Take this to the next level by gluing differently shaped leaves together to create a leaf person.
  • Drying leaves and gluing them together to make a colorful and festive wreath to hang on your door.
  • Applying leaves to white cardstock or cardboard cutouts to create seasonal art.
  • Incorporate leaves in a colorful collage.
  • Punch holes in leaves and thread them with string to create decor or an autumn-themed necklace.
    Maple leaves are great for making leaf art.

    “Maple Leaf” by lokidude99 is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Birdseed Cookies and Birdhouses

From caramel apples to roasted corn, people enjoy all kinds of treats during the fall season. Why not give the birds in your backyard the same opportunity?

Birdseed cookies are just as fun to make as human desserts, but it’s even more enjoyable to hang them and see the birds flock for these treats. To begin, mix birdseed with melted coconut oil. Pour the mixture into your favorite cookie cutter molds and chill. Once hardened, you’ll have an assortment of cookies that will make your house the favorite hangout spot for feathered friends this fall.

Birds don’t just need sustenance — they require shelter, which you can provide. While many people construct birdhouses in the spring, these can be added to your backyard any time throughout the year. Thankfully, birds aren’t picky. They won’t demand elaborate houses that require significant time or a shed full of tools to create. Anything with walls, a roof, a hole for the birds to enter will do. Feel free to add a touch of personalization with a fresh coat of paint. Your neighborhood birds will thank you for giving them a new place to congregate.

Haystack Bowling

There’s no need to visit a bowling alley when you can impress with strikes and spares. With the right approach, you can show off your skills while enjoying the great outdoors. It’s all possible with haystack bowling, which brings a rustic, outdoorsy feel to a beloved recreational activity.

Haystack bowling requires more equipment and setup than many of the pursuits on this list, but the reward is well worth the effort. Invest in bowling pins and a bowling ball. You can also use a pumpkin, so long as it rolls. For the alley, you’ll need two parallel rows of hay bales, as well as an additional hay bale to form the end of the lane.

If you really want to up the ante, use additional hay bales to create seating. This provides a charming waiting area in which team members can hang out as they get ready to show off their skills.

Potato Sack Race

Sometimes, the best outside fall activities are also the easiest to prepare. Hence, the enduring popularity of the potato sack race.

Involving a whole lot of hopping, this race is possible with a variety of alternatives. For example, a timed leaf race will allow hoppers to make their way to a giant pile of leaves. The goal? Fill up a sack with as many leaves as possible and bring it back to the finish line before the allotted time expires. Whoever has the most leaves in their potato sack wins.

Another option: a potato sack obstacle course, complete with hay bales, leaf piles, pumpkins, and other roadblocks that racers must elude while making their way to the finish line.

Three children potato sack race.

“Potato sack race at a picnic” by Hamilton Conservation Authority is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Beanbag Toss

Another simple, yet enjoyable backyard activity, the classic beanbag toss can easily be adapted to reflect the spirit of the harvest season. Older kids enjoy cornhole, but it’s also one of the best fall outdoor activities for adults. Enjoy before gathering to watch football on TV — or as an active pursuit before you relax by a bonfire.

Label different beanbags with words such as “hat”, “scarf” and “overalls” and try to land these bags onto cardboard cutouts of you and your friends to create a would-be scarecrow. You can also feed your cardboard cutout likeness with harvest-themed treats such as pumpkin pie and apple cider. The winner will be the player who lands the most goodies through the cutout hole.

Celebrate Autumn with Cardboard Cutouts

Are you ready to amp up your fall outdoor games and other festivities? Cardboard cutouts can make an ordinary backyard gathering feel special. At Cardboard Cutout Standees, we’re happy to help by providing access to customizable, high-quality cutouts — and creative ideas for making the most of these accessories.

Contact us today to get started with creating and ordering BigHead or life-sized cutouts for your favorite backyard activities.


  • Jason Frank

    Jason Frank is the Co-Founder and Vice President at Cardboard Cutout Standees. After 25 years of selling factory automation he started the company with one of his college roommates. The company has grown to one of the largest providers of large format custom printed products in the United States. Along with the namesake cardboard cutout standees, they also provide BigHeads, Point of Purchase Displays, Wall Murals, and Wall Decals to a diverse client base across the US and Canada. When not focused on the business, you usually find Jason either on the road biking or our in the woods and fields of western Wisconsin.

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