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5 fun fall activities to do on a college budget

Fall comes with many fun activities that many love to participate in, like going to pumpkin patches, apple picking, or even driving through the Starbucks drive-thru to get their taste of the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. But the saying “broke college students” is, unfortunately, painfully true. 

Well, you’re in luck! Continue reading for 5 fall activities that are college budget friendly.

Pumpkin Patch


When thinking of fall, people will think of cold weather or leaves, but most importantly, pumpkins. In the Quad Cities, there are 4 major pumpkin patches in the area that have a variety of fun and timeless activities that everyone enjoys.

“I like pumpkin patches because they often come with fall foods like caramel apples and apple cider donuts,” SAU sophomore Will Haugen said. “They really get you into the fall spirit and are a fun thing to do with friends as a distraction from homework.”

These places alone are the key to a complete and satisfactory fall experience. They are also very affordable, and extremely college budget friendly. The prices typically range from $0-$15, which is a bargain for all of the pumpkin and apple picking, corn mazes, and hayrides you’ll be doing.

Pumpkin Carving


If you decided to grab some friends and find the perfect pumpkin at a local pumpkin patch, you might as well have some fun and carve it. The tools are very minimal, all you’ll need is a pumpkin and carving utensils, that’s it! You can buy a utensil kit from your local Target or Walmart for about $5, which is the perfect college budget activity.  

Not a fan of messes? That’s alright, you can still participate in this activity as well. When you go to your local Target to get your carving kit, you can also get a faux carvable pumpkin. You get to participate in this timeless activity, but without the mess. These pumpkins typically cost about $10-$15, which is a little more expensive but still affordable. 

Friends Potluck 


Getting some friends together with your favorite fall food and treats can be a great way to celebrate this time of year. This can be a night full of shared stories, making memories, and tasty foods. This activity is based on celebrating with friends who each bring a fall or Halloween-themed dish of his or her choice. The options are endless, ranging from savory entrees to sweet desserts. 

Since you control what you bring, you can be as cheap or as expensive as you please. So go get that pumpkin pie. 

Fall Movie Night


Who doesn’t love a night in? Turning on your favorite Halloween movie, with a cozy blanket can give you that perfect night. Use this time to unwind for the day, spend time with your friends, or just have some “me-time” after a long week. Your options are endless, you can find almost any movie on Netflix, Hulu, HBOmax, and many more, so you are pretty much set for this activity. So grab some popcorn and watch Hocus Pocus on Disney+.

“My favorite fall movie is Halloweentown,” SAU senior Lauren Koutouzis said. “It’s fun to have movie nights with my roommates in the living room and watch our favorite movies together.”

Fall Drinks 


Fall-themed beverages are a staple for this time of the year, whether you’re going to Starbucks and getting a pumpkin chai latte or making a pumpkin spice latte using your Keurig K-cups in your dorm. You can get these amazing seasonal drinks at any local coffee shop, or if you live on campus here at SAU, you can get some of these tasty drinks in the Beanhive with your meal plan buzz bucks. 

“My favorite fall drink is a pumpkin chai,” SAU senior Robin Leibold said. “They get you in the fall mood even on an ordinary day.”