14 Fun Fall Activities for Seniors Indoors and Out

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Fall is often the time of year where life slows down a bit. Here are 14 fall activities for seniors who are looking to keep busy or want to take a moment to enjoy life just a little.

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If you are a grandpa or grandma, you probably have a lot of time on your hands. After all, you have had a long career, raised a family, and retired gracefully. The seasons come and go, but fall is particularly special for you as a senior.

In fall, the weather cools down, Halloween starts approaching, and there’s a lot of pumpkin-flavored treats. If you are a grandpa, grandma or a caregiver for one, here are fun fall activities to help kill the time and spend time with loved ones this fall.

Indoor Fall Activities for Seniors

1. Plant an Indoor Herb Garden

It might be still too cold to be planting flowers in an outdoor garden, but you can definitely start growing your own indoor herb garden just in time for fall baking. You will have a fun time watching your tiny seedlings grow into strong and healthy plats. Once they are mature enough, you can start harvesting and using them in the meals you prepare.

Ideally, you should plant the herbs that you love the most such as mint chives, sage, parsley, or even oregano. Just identify an appropriate spot for growing the herbs where they are guaranteed to receive sunlight in plenty. However, you should not forget to water them every few days so that they may grow well.

senior woman planting an indoor herb garden
Activities like herb gardens that need just a bit of daily attentions are great activities to keep senior hands busy.

2. Bake Fall-Inspired Foods

Baking is perhaps one of the most fun fall activities you can try as a senior. Fall is the best time for breaking out some pie crusts, canned pumpkin, and cinnamon in plenty. However, you aren’t obligated to stick to the typical apple pie or pumpkin pie.

You can try making some fall-inspired breakfast options for a change, such as pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, and cinnamon rolls. Fall baking recipes are virtually endless thus allowing you to get a chance to get together with loved ones and celebrate the season with tasty treats.

3. Watch a Movie

Fall is the best time to start watching scary movies since Halloween is quickly approaching. If you are a caregiver who’s responsible for choosing movies to watch, try sticking to the classics that most seniors will have fond memories of watching in either high school or college.

You can never go wrong if you choose movies such as Dracula, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Creature from the Black Lagoon, or The Curse of Frankenstein.

After identifying a few good movies, gather some easy snacks that the senior will enjoy. Fall-themed food, such as anything that contains pumpkin or even Halloween candy would be perfect. Still, you shouldn’t forget to grab some popcorn and some drinks before you start watching the movie.

4. Make Fall-Inspired Crafts

A little creativity is needed for some fun fall activities for seniors, so if he/she is artistically inclined, plan a few fall crafts to do together. The autumn wreath is a popular craft for the fall since it features everything from tiny pumpkins and fall leaves to small ears of corn and pine cones.

Obviously, not everybody is artistically inclined or wants to be super creative. However, it is still possible to be artistic irrespective of your skill level. You can just print out coloring pages because adult coloring books are relaxing for all people no matter their age.

5. Hand Out Candy to Trick-or-Treaters

One of the best ways to get a grandpa or grandma to smile without the need for them to get out of the house is to have them hand out candy to excited trick-or-treaters. It is a fun way to get yourself involved in the neighborhood activities and it is a healthy exercise for improving your mood.

It can also be an excellent way to get your creative juices flowing, by decorating your front door or porch with Halloween-themed knickknacks. You can prepare for trick-or-treaters by creating goodie bags to give the children.

elderly woman painting a picture on an easel in her home.
Autumn is a great time to start a new indoor hobby like painting or photography.

6. Learn a New Hobby

Exposing the mind to new information is an excellent way for a grandpa or grandma to stay strong and healthy and picking up a new hobby in the fall is a great way to do exactly that. There are virtually limitless possibilities when it comes to the skills that can be acquired. Photography, writing, painting, baking, knitting, and playing an instrument are all excellent options.

RELATED: 24 Best Hobbies for Seniors

Whatever you find intriguing, the information needed to start learning the new hobby is available online. Acquiring new skills is not only a great mental exercise for you, but also provides something new to share with your loved ones.

7. Read a Book

Reading is a fun and quiet activity that’s best enjoyed with a cup of tea no matter your age. In fall, the weather is ideal for this kind of setup, which is why you should consider spending your fall afternoons with a book in hand.

Whether you are into inspirational, non-fiction, or fiction books, reading is a hobby that can greatly enhance your sleep and help improve their brain’s decision-making skills. If you have grandkids that are also into reading, it can be an excellent way to bond with them.

Outdoor Fall Activities for Seniors

1. Enjoy Fresh Air Outdoors

Fall is the ideal time of the year for anyone, irrespective of their age, to enjoy the great outdoors. The weather is cool and crisp during this season and the fall colors provide a beautiful change in scenery. Going for walks is also great for health. Taking a walk every day can help improve your cardiovascular fitness, reduce pain, lower your blood sugar levels, and lift your mood.

If going for long walks is not an option, you can always take several laps around the block or relax in the backyard or on the porch. Opening the window, even just a bit to take in the crisp air can be an excellent way to improve your mood.

senior couple walking arm in arm in the autumn in a park
The fall is a great time to get outdoors for a walk because temperatures are mild and the scenery is nice.

2. Visit a Local Pumpkin Patch

Visiting a local pumpkin patch is the perfect day trip for seniors.. If you have grandkids, it can be a great activity since they can tag along. Fortunately, many cities have a few pumpkin patches to choose from and there are also activities such as pumpkin decorating stations, corn mazes, hayrides, and petting zoos for kids to enjoy.

3. Go Apple Picking

Apple picking is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors, exercise, and find something to eat, all at the same time. If you find apple picking too strenuous, you can always bring a grandchild, child, or friend with you.

However, you shouldn’t forget to call ahead to find out if the apple orchard isn’t fully booked since many take reservations to limit the number of people at the farm. If you are physically challenged, call ahead to find out whether the orchard is handicap accessible.

4. Visit a Local Farmer’s Market

At your local farmer’s market, you can discover all sorts of fresh, flavorful finds. Check out what the fall harvest has in store, from fresh squash and pumpkins to cider and apples. Smoked meats, cheeses, and baked goods are usually available as well as non-edibles such as flowers, artwork, and soap. Even if you don’t end up making any purchases, the amazing sights and sounds are guaranteed to make it a special day.

senior woman selecting vegetables at the farmers market with her husband

5. Plant Perennials

Fall is perhaps one of the best times of the year to plant your perennial flower bulbs. Ensure that you are wearing a jacket if it is chilly and look forward to enjoying the outdoors. Prepare a fall gardening plan assisted by your caregiver and once spring rolls around, you can sit back and enjoy your blooming plants.

RELATED: Best Garden Stools for Seniors

If any tools or chemicals are to be used for this, ensure that you are familiar with the directions provided to ensure that you stay safe while having fun. If you have any problem with this, you can always have your child grandchild, or caregiver help you out.

6. Go Camping

If you are a grandma or grandpa that loves the great outdoors, camping can be an excellent way to spend your fall weekends, especially with the grandkids. Fall is ideal for camping since the weather is not as hot as summer or as cold as winter.

The crisp fall nights are ideal for campfires and snores. Just ensure that you observe proper fire-safety to keep the forest, wildlife, or your home safe. You can spend your days fishing, hiking, or even bird-watching. All these are activities that pair perfectly with camping.

7. Attend a Fall Festival

Many neighborhoods and communities throughout the United States have local fall festivals where attendees get to enjoy baked goods, apple cider, handmade crafts, live entertainment, corn mazes, and much more. Check out the local event listings to find one close to you. If you want to make it more fun, you can ask your grandkids to tag along.

senior woman smiling with pumpkins at a fall festival.
Attending a fall festival is a great way to enjoy great food, buy some local crafts, and get outside in some fresh air.

Final Thoughts

Fall is perhaps the most fun time of the year where the weather is simply perfect. Fortunately for you as a grandpa or grandma, it provides numerous opportunities for getting out and enjoying the many activities that present themselves.

The 14 examples provided here are by no means exhaustive, but are definitely a great place to start. Whatever you choose to do, have a safe and fun fall season.

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