Free Fun Activities for Fall In Upstate New York + Printable Fall Bucket List

Even though I’m not completely ready for cooler temperatures this year, the fall is a beautiful and exciting time of year in upstate New York.

Make sure to print out this Fall Bucket List:


Fall Bucket List

Here is a great list of free or super-cheap fun activities for fall.  Everything on this list is accurate now, but it never hurts to call your destination to make sure the activity is still on before you drag the kids into the car!

Update: When I was on Fox Rochester, I talked about even more Free Fall Fun ideas! Watch the clip here.


Ganondagon is a Seneca Indian site in Victor, New York.  Visitors can go anytime they are open for a tour of the authentic bark longhouse (but you should call first; when my son and I tried to go, no one was available to give the tour). There are also hiking trails that provide some gorgeous views.

Photo Credit: Chris Clemens

Photo Credit: Chris Clemens/ Exploring Upstate

Little Free Libraries

Rochester Subway  put together a fabulous list of Little Free Libraries in the Rochester area. Take kids on a scavenger hunt to find them all. Remember, take a book, leave a book!


Letterboxing is similar to geocaching, where you can go online to find clues to hidden boxes. From

Someone hides a waterproof box somewhere (in a beautiful, interesting, or remote location) containing at least a logbook and a carved rubber stamp, and perhaps other goodies. The hider then usually writes directions to the box (called “clues” or “the map”), which can be straightforward, cryptic, or any degree in between. Often the clues involve map coordinates or compass bearings from landmarks, but they don’t have to. Selecting a location and writing the clues is one aspect of the art.

Once the clues are written, hunters in possession of the clues attempt to find the box. In addition to the clue and any maps or tools needed to solve it, the hunter should carry at least a pencil, his personal rubber stamp, an inkpad, and his personal logbook. When the hunter successfully deciphers the clue and finds the box, he stamps the logbook in the box with his personal stamp, and stamps his personal logbook with the box’s stamp. The box’s logbook keeps a record of all its visitors, and the hunters keep a record of all the boxes they have found, in their personal logbooks.


Bristol Chair Lift Fall Sky Rides

NOT free, but this is too cool to leave out. On selected Fall weekends, the Bristol Mountain chair lift will take you on a 20 minute ride that offers spectacular autumn views of the valley below. Children’s tickets are $6 each.

Bass Pro Shops Fall Fishing Event

On Sep 27-28 from 12-4pm, Bass Pro Shops will be hosting a Fall Fishing event with free fishing workshops for kids and a build your own tackle box activity.

Home Depot Kids Workshops

Home Depot is offering a free kids’ workshop from 9-12 on Saturday October 4. Kids ages 5-12 will build their own EMS truck, keep it, and receive a workshop apron

Lowes Kids Build & Grow

On September 27 at 10 am  kids can build their own fire truck. You may need to preregister here.

Pottery Barn Kids

PBK hosts a Spook Your Style Halloween Carnival  on September 20 from 3-5 pm.  There will be Face Painting, Crafts, and Games.

Lego Store Eastview

Tuesday, October 7  at 5:00 pm  there will be a FREE Monster Building workshop. All materials will be provided, but children cannot take their monsters home.

Kids’ Races

Locally, YellowJacket Racing offers 1/4, 1/2, and 1 mile races for kids. The next race is Pumpkins in the Park on October 25. The 1/4 mile races are all free!

 Kids Bowl for Free

Select bowling centers participate, join their mailing list to get notified of the next Kids Bowl Free Day.

You may also enjoy these resources:

  • To find an orchard near you, try Pick Your Own . This friendly site is also a good source to find related fruit and vegetable festivals all across the country.


If you have older kids or are interested in local history, check out the new site Exploring Upstate for some fun and unique ideas!

 Kids are always hungry after these fun activities, so don’t forget to check out everywhere Kids Eat Free in Rochester!

I asked on my Mindfully Frugal Mom Facebook page for local readers’ recommendations of fun things to do in Rochester in the fall. Here are some of their suggestions:

  • Wayne County Apple Tour
  • High School Football Games
  • Powers or Stokoe Farm Market
  • Apple Picking

 What fun fall activities do you love that aren’t on this list? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Thanks! Just pinned this!