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5 Last-Minute Fall Festival Ideas to Make Your Event a Hit!

5 Last-Minute Fall Festival Ideas to Make Your Event a Hit!

Posted by Cathy Knight on Oct 18, 2023

Check Out These Last-Minute Fall Festival Ideas Sure Please a Crowd!

October 18, 2023

Fall is a favorite season for many filled with vibrant foliage, cool breezes, and the perfect weather for outdoor gatherings. If you've found yourself planning a fall festival at the last minute, don't fret! With a little creativity and some quick planning, you can put together a memorable event that celebrates the beauty of autumn. 

In this blog post, we'll share some fantastic last-minute fall festival game ideas and activities that are quick and easy and will help ensure your event is a resounding success! 

And, if you want to see all of our Fall Festival Ideas - great for churches, schools, community events and more click the link to get started!

  • nb-one.jpg Fishing for Apples


If you have been reading our blog - you know we do NOT recommend Bobbing for Apples and here's why...

The traditional Bobbing for Apples Game is quite messy to say the least. Imagine trying to bite into an apple that is floating in water and spinning around as you are trying to bite into it without using your hands. To be quite honest is not the most sanitary game in town! There are better ways to have fun activities with apples without trying to catch them by dipping your face in a bucket of floating apples - for example see how to set up this game below!



Supplies Needed for the Apple Fishing Game:
Small, fresh apples
Short Sticks with attached String for fishing
Plastic Funnels that have a hole for hangin on the side
Buckets or Barrels for Fishing
A washing station - fresh water to rinse off apples before eating

Fishing for apples is an easy game for you to set up and quite a challenge for the kids. You just need a barrel or large bucket, sticks with string and a funnel attached to the string and fresh apples. Players simply dip the funnel into the barrel and try to catch one in the funnel and lift it out! Our biggest tip for this game is to choose small apples to make it a little easier for the kids - otherwise it can be quite frustrating for young children.

Once a child gets an apple in the funnel, they can keep the apple as a snack. NOTE: You may wish to have a simple washing area to give the apple a final rinse before eating.


Also, If you choose, you can up the game and have an additional table to turn the "won apple" into a dessert! Simply add a few apple slicers, (to easily cut the apple into small pieces) some small paper dessert plates and yummy toppings (see suggestions below) Then folks can choose their toppings that they can drizzle on their apples slices for a delectable treat! Note: organizing the toppings in a muffin tin as shown above is a great idea!

Topping Suggestions for Apple Slices:

  • Melted Caramel
  • Melted Chocolate
  • Sprinkles
  • Chopped Nuts
  • Marshmallows
  • nb-two.jpg Pumpkins in a Row


This game is as simple to set up as it looks.

Supplies Needed for Pumpkins in a Row:
5 Pumpkins
5 or more Large Hoops or Rings for Tossing
A Bale of Hay and Decorations as shown above (optional)
5 Different types of Fall Festival Prizes - starting from inexpensive to top prizes

Festival players are given 5 small hula hoops to try the ring as many pumpkins as possible. You can pass out prizes based how many pumpkins your harvest festival players ring.

Each pumpkin corresponds to a different prize. We recommend having 2 "consolation" type prizes that correspond to pumpkins 1 and 2 as both of those are easy to ring.

The way prizes are passed out at this game is unique. You want to choose 5 different prizes for this game including consolation prizes that are under 10 cents each up to a top prize for the pumpkin that is on the hay bale.

Quick Tip: See our ideas on how to get free pumpkins on our fall game idea page for this game!


Festival players are given 5 hoops - one for each pumpkin to try their hand at winning this game! Players win prizes based on what pumpkin is hooped.

For example, if a child hoops the pumpkin that is the closest and the pumpkin that is on the bale of hay - they receive 2 prizes - the one for pumpkin #1 (the closest) and the one for pumpkin #5 (the farthest). We all all the directions for the  Pumpkins in a Row game on our website along with prize suggestions  - just click the link and check it out!

  • nb-three.jpg Pumpkin Pop Ring Toss


This game is another fast set-up game and fun for all ages. You will need orange sodas, some simple decorations.

Supplies Needed for the Pumpkin Pop Ring Toss:
24 or More Single Serving Orange Soda Bottles
Cane Rack Rings or Water Bracelets for tossing
A Table with decorations (optional) for the game

Festival players are given five rings to try their hand "ringing" one of the individual pumpkins. If they ring a orange soda bottle, they are awarded a Top Prize!
If players do not "ring" a pumpkin bottle, they receive a consolation prize.For most games, players are given 3 tries - but we found with this game, even if you stand close, it is difficult to "ring" a orange soda bottle.With this setup, generally we see 1 in about 12 wins at this game so when choosing your top prizes, keep the odds of winning in mind.

For all the details of this fun Fall Festival Game - click here

Note: As an alternative to glass soda bottles, you or you can choose plastic water bottles with the labels removed and filled with orange colored water. Just make sure the water bottles you choose are slightly thicker plastic so they don't have a tendency to lean over and tip! 

  •  Fall-Themed Lollipop Pull


This game is fast and easy to set up and as a great bonus - you have complete control over how many top prizes are given out! 

Supplies needed for the Fall Themed Lollipop Pull Game:
Lollipops - one for each player
Top Prizes
Bale of Hay - can be small as shown above or much larger for a big event
Permanent Marker to mark the end of some of the lollipops
Additional decorations - optional

Before your event - count the number of top prizes you have and mark the very end of lollipop stickers to correspond with the number of top prizes using a permanent marker. 

Next, choose a bale of hay, and poke lollipops into the haystack. You can add additional decorations as shown above - the scarecrow lollipop covers to make the game have even more autumn flair.

How to Play:
Each player chooses a 1 lollipop from the haystack. Every player is allowed to keep the lollipop they picked. But, if the lollipop has a colored mark on the end of the stick, then the player gets to keep the lollipop they picked AND a top prize!

*Top festival prize winners should be about 10% - 20% of all players if this game is set up for a fundraising event or simply to keep costs down.

  •   Fall-Themed Photo Booth


Supplies Needed for the Fall-Themed Photo Booth Activity:
Fall Themed Decor -pumpkins, fall leaves, signs, scarecrows and more!
Bench - optional but a great addition if possible
Shade - a good idea if your in the south - under a tree is a good choice

This additional activity booth can literally be set up by asking folks on your team or even your neighbors if you can borrow some of their fall decorations for an afternoon. The image above shows many props for a photo booth including a bench under the shade of some trees with loads of fall themed decorations such as fall themed signs, a scarecrow, pumpkins, fall leaves, silk mums in autumn colors and more. The perfect place to take photos of the family for lasting memories! If this is placed in a high traffic area of your event, families will be sure to take part in this booth. As a bonus, it is nice to have a volunteer to help take family photos so everyone is in the shot! 


Last-minute fall festivals can be just as enjoyable and memorable as those planned months in advance by choosing some of our favorite simple ideas we shared above. With a little creativity and these ideas, you can create a festive atmosphere that celebrates the the autumn season. So, don't stress about the timing—embrace the spontaneity and enjoy the opportunity to bring your community together for a fantastic fall festival!