Fall Bucket List! 31 Autumnal Activities for Families

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While we’re lucky that the weather is pretty fantastic year-round, fall is truly spectacular around the Bay. With Karl the fog, wildfire smokes and stifling heat gone, there has never been a better time to take your family outside! Check out our ideas below and see how many you can tick off this autumn.


1. Nothing screams autumn more than a trip to a local u-pick apple farm. Many in our area are open for picking through mid-November. 

2. Enjoy the changing leaves and go biking on a kid-friendly bike path.

3. Take a road trip to see the leaves in all their colorful glory!

Kate Loweth

4. Get your tickets to ride the SkyStar Observation Wheel at Golden Gate Park. It has finally opened and is a fun way to view the city. 

5. Rent a paddle boat and check out the ducks and turtles at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park!

6. Indulge in some apple cider, the quintessential fall drink.

Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

7. Do you know the way to San Jose? Check out the South Bay’s discovery museum and their rad outdoor play area.

8. Plan a movie night and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

9. Or, head to one of outdoor movie nights that are still happening.


10. Take the little ones on a stroller hike.

11. On those sunny fall days, pack a picnic and enjoy a meal outdoors.

12. Get into the Halloween spirit and check out Alcatraz Island, the Bay’s spookiest spot! 

Bates Pumpkin Patch

13. Pick the perfect gourd at one of these local pumpkin patches.

14. Then snag one of these pumpkin carving templates and go to town!

15. Bake up some pumpkin treats to get your house smelling like fall.

Winchester Mystery House

13. Live it up and take the kids for a visit to our local haunted house, the Winchester Mystery House. 

14. Get lost in a corn maze.

15. Grab your rods and reels and spend the day fishing.

Kate Loweth

16. Get the kiddos out of the house and explore a legendary warship.

17. Spend the afternoon at the Japanese Tea Garden, the oldest public Japanese Garden in the United States.

18. Visit an independent bookshop and spend a few hours reading to your little ones.

Kate Loweth

19. Check out the Harvest Faire and Steam Festival in Roaring Camp at Felton. 

20. Are any creeks around you still running? Now is a fun time to take the kids splashing

21. Head to the zoo! The SF Zoo is hosting Sloth-o-ween this year and the Oakland Zoo has Boo at the Zoo


22. Hit the trails! Fall weather is the best time to take a fall hike.

23. Where to see fall colors at their best? Check out these spots!

24. There is no better season than fall to visit wine country, yes—kids in tow! 

Christine Lai

25. Play tourist and plan a San Francisco staycation!

26. F is for fall and festivals, find out where in our fall-tastic festival guide.

27. Visit the Bay’s newest indoor water park, Great Wolf Lodge

28. Take your squad mini-golfing!

29. The days are shorter which means more time to play after dark! Plan a family date night.

30. Check out the Bay’s al fresco dining options, complete with heat lamps.

31. Or, get your meals on wheels from a food truck.

—Christine Lai & Kate Loweth

Featured photo by iStock


Fall Road Trips from the Bay Area

The Best U-Pick Apple Orchards

The Great Pumpkin: The Bay Area’s Best Pumpkin Patches

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