Create a fall bucket list

by Brittany Gilbert

Fall has quickly become the most wonderful time of the year for a lot of people. Summer vacations are over, school has started back and schedules have gotten busier, but there’s just something about this season that we all love. The weather is changing, boots and sweaters come out of storage, football starts back and pumpkin spice is everywhere. 

With fall comes new routines and trying to get back in the rhythm of waking kids up for school and meeting all of the deadlines and commitments. It’s easy to get so busy with life that you miss the opportunities that the season brings. 


As soon as summer is ending, I start building my fall bucket list. Last year, we had just had our baby in September, and my husband had eight weeks of paternity leave (amazing, right?), so we hit up every fall festival in the area. It was so much fun, and we created lots of memories with our kids. As soon as the season was over, we were ready for a break, but also excited to do it all again this year. 
Here are some ideas to add to your fall season bucket list.

Fall festivals

Churches all around the 501 will host amazing fall festivals. Most are around Halloween and offer a fun, family atmosphere. You don’t have to be a member of the church to attend. They are reaching out to the community and loving on families. You might find bounce houses, food trucks, games and lots of candy. Costumes are usually encouraged, and the festivals are free to attend. 

Pumpkin patch

We have a few options in the 501. These businesses have been stepping up their game as well. Schaefer’s and Collin’s pumpkin patch near Mayflower usually add features to their place every year.

There are small fees involved, but only if you go on rides, go through the pumpkin patch or pick pumpkins or flowers. There are food trucks, playground equipment and a great atmosphere. 

Decorate the house

Depending on the age of your kids, you can get them involved a little or a lot. I like to create an overall fall look for my house by bringing in the warm colors in blankets and pillows, and then put personal touches from the kids in different rooms. It’s not like Christmas decorating, where you usually do it all at once. Decorating for fall can happen throughout the season and with the different holidays that are represented. 

Fall and holiday crafting

If you get on Pinterest, you will find that there are craft ideas galore. There are food crafts, kid crafts, crafts for home décor, DIY tricks, and the list goes on. I like to keep a few ideas handy and whenever we have a few hours one night or weekend, we can pull out one craft and work on it. These make great decorations or gifts to send to family members. 

Special events

Football games, school plays, hayrides, cookie decorating classes — the list goes on with opportunities around the 501 to make memories with your kids and family. The University of Central Arkansas released its fall schedule of cooking and cake and cookie decorating classes, and they look like so much fun! 

Don’t let your budget limit you. Tons of these ideas are free or cheap. More ideas could include raking leaves and jumping in the pile, building a campfire and inviting friends for s’mores and having a movie night with hot chocolate or apple cider. You can also bake pies, pick apples or go for walks in the cool air. 

The idea behind a fall bucket list is being intentional with your kids and family. Don’t let your schedule get so full and so busy that you don’t connect with each other. We’re heading into a season that is focused on thankfulness and giving, and it’s always a good idea to start inward. Put your family in your schedule. Plan to connect and grow the relationships within your family. 


Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have two sons and a daughter and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at [email protected].