Young, Dumb, Broke High School Kids: The Top Affordable Things To Do Over Fall Break With Friends


Haleigh Moller

Go to a pumpkin patch/carve pumpkins

As simplistic as it may seem, going to a pumpkin patch is an enjoyable activity to do with your friends over fall break. It’s affordable, and carving pumpkins with friends always makes for a great time. Also, the food at pumpkin patches is always 10/10.

If you don’t want to travel too far, I would highly recommend Flat Acres Farm in Parker. The staff there is very helpful in helping you pick an affordable pumpkin that you can transform into anything you want. The patch at Little Man Ice Cream in Denver is also enjoyable if you’re willing to make the drive down.

Go to the Stanley Hotel

If you go to the Stanley Hotel you are guaranteed to get scared, especially around Halloween time. The view out there makes the long drive completely worth it. The best part about this one is it’s completely free. You don’t have to be a guest in order to go into the hotel, and if you park in the back of the hotel you’re guaranteed to get in.

If you decide to take this The Shining inspired visit, I would recommend doing your own research and planning rather than pay the $28 for a guided tour. I’ve found when on the tours there’s a lot more restriction as far as where you can and can’t go in the hotel, so it’s best to just wander and interact with the spirits on your own.

When you’re there, make sure to visit rooms 217 and 401 because those are reportedly the most haunted in the hotel. If you want to visit with the spirits of children, make sure you sit in the benches in the hall on floor 4.

Watch Halloween shows/movies with your friends

There’s nothing I enjoy more than getting together with my friends and watching Halloween movies all night. There’s so many Halloween movies everyone needs to watch over fall break this year.

Coraline, Stranger Things, and American Horror Story are all the perfect Halloween movies/shows to watch, and the best part is they’re all on Netflix. Coraline is a must-see because it incorporates fantasy with creepy while still being entertaining to watch for any age. It’s perfect to watch if you’re someone who loves animated movies and doesn’t like to be too scared. Stranger Things is one of the best shows to binge-watch in a night with your friends. Combining the supernatural with the 1980s makes it tempting to watch an entire season in one night, which explains why it gets so much hype. Fall break is the perfect time to get caught up with the show as the second season is released on October 27. American Horror Story is another hands-down classic Halloween series, which makes sense, as FX has released new seasons in October of every year. While it can get pretty gory, if you’re willing to get past that part it also makes for the perfect show to binge-watch. The show just started airing its 7th season, but you don’t have to start watching it at the first season. Each season has a unique plot different than your everyday horror movie or show- the most current season especially. The title “American Horror Story: Cult” may seem superficial, but they actually related the entire season to the 2016 election, which I think is a cool twist.

Bake something pumpkin flavored

Whether you’re good at baking or not, making Halloween treats with friends always guarantees a good time. There’s so many recipes out there for all levels so it’s easy to find one that you like.

Websites like Pinterest and Food Network are some of the best places to look for Halloween-related recipes. But for those who get spooked by making things from scratch, a festive but easy alternative is a premade mix with minimal additions. Forget binging on Pumpkin Spice Lattes, you can make this at home for a fraction of the price.

“Rocky Mountain National Park is my favorite spot to go to with my friends in the fall,” Allen says, “Even if you don’t hike, it’s always fun just driving up to the top of the divide and making stops on the way.”

Go on a hike

Fall break is the best time of year to go hiking because the leaves changing makes for the perfect scenery that you can’t get any other time of the year.

“I love going hiking with my friends because it’s a good way to connect with your friends and nature while being disconnected from your phones. It’s especially fun in the fall because you get to see the leaves changing and it’s not super hot,” senior Devanae Allen said.

The weather over fall break is perfect for hiking, especially in Estes Park. Estes is ideal for hiking because it offers hikes for all levels and it’s never crowded during the week.   

I’d recommend driving to Rocky Mountain National Park (in Estes Park) and finding a trail that matches your rigor preference, or even just driving up and spending time in the area.

“Rocky Mountain National Park is my favorite spot to go to with my friends in the fall,” Allen says, “Even if you don’t hike, it’s always fun just driving up to the top of the divide and making stops on the way.”

For a one day pass it’s $20 per vehicle, so if you and your friends can fit into one car that would be the cheapest option. The trees changing colors also make for great Instagram pictures, if that’s something you care about. There’s not a better place or time to go do this than over fall break when the weather is nice and there’s plenty of time.

If you’re looking for activities to do with your friends over fall break this year, these are the best ones to do. Not only are they affordable, they’re all enjoyable to do with friends instead. When your teachers ask you what you did over break, instead of saying “sleep” or “nothing”,  take advantage of  the many affordable activities to do whether that’s going on a hike or watching an entire season of American Horror Story in a day, like I did.