It’s officially Fall so that means all things pumpkin are hitting the shelves at the grocery stores and popping up around every corner. From lattes to bread to displays of pumpkins spilling out onto sidewalks, the season mascot is here to stay for awhile. But pumpkin doesn’t have to be just about eating baked goods and drinking more lattes than you can stand – it’s a great base for Fall family activities to get you all spending more time together.

Perhaps one of the reasons people so enjoy pumpkin everything is because it means the holiday season is just around the corner. Families getting together around a big table, lots of fun activities, and cozy fires are great ways to bond as a family and create quality memories. So we have gathered some easy and low-cost ways you can get that holiday family bonding going during pumpkin madness season.

Start with a Classic

Plan a pumpkin carving night, but to make it more of a family event add a special dinner, too. Making an easy and warming soup, with some bread and salad, then top it off with a delicious pumpkin bread when everyone begins carving! Transform your dining table or outdoor space with newspaper and grab carving knives, stencils, markers, and lots of bags for the excess seeds inside.

If your family has children of all ages, be sure to grab some smaller pumpkins for the younger children and offer paints for those who can’t safely handle a carving tool. They can create wonderful jack-o-lanters with paint while the older kids carve. If you’re carving inside, consider putting on a fun family movie, too, to make the night even more special.

Plan a Baking Day

Your kids don’t have to be older to help in the kitchen. Consider planning a baking day and getting everyone involved! Gather some straight-forward recipes (avoiding complicated frostings and fillings will help keep this a low-cost event) and go for lots of pumpkin: breads, muffins, cookies (could be pumpkin shaped!), or even something savory like soup and curry. You might be surprised how much your children enjoy helping out in the kitchen. And if they are especially young, they can sort beans, peel, or put sprinkles on cookies.

If your kids are a little bit older, then have them make their own pumpkin spice latte! No fancy coffee machine necessary, either, Simply create a blend with pumpkin spice mix and sugar in a pot and reduce. Then add to your favorite warmed milk (with or without coffee).

Get Decorative

One of the best things about Fall is that nature provides its own beautiful decorations. To keep things inexpensive, hit the neighborhood or nearby parks and start gathering pine cones, colorful leaves, or even squash from your garden. Working with these natural items, have your family get together to make some classic paper decorations, too. Your kids can cut out leaves, pumpkins and more and put it all together for a new table centerpiece.

They can also string jack-o-lanterns they cut out from paper across a door frame, or hang paper leaves from the ceiling. The possibilities are endless and your home will feel completely ready for fall.