Fall is here, and it’s time to celebrate and connect with family and friends. We’re sharing some of our favorite simple ways to infuse autumnal spirit into your next gathering, no matter the occasion. From decorating tips to fall-inspired recipes, we’re ready to help you become the host with the most.
Preparing the Space
Whether you’re hosting a birthday celebration, dinner party, or a just-because soiree, you’ll find plenty of ways to add seasonal flair to your event. Let’s start with the space itself …
For an Outdoor Gathering
Treat your guests to coziness with a roaring outdoor fire. The smell of a crackling bonfire is unmistakably autumnal and provides the perfect opportunity for roasting marshmallows or simply warming hands and feet.
To keep your guests feeling at home outdoors, make sure you have plenty of comfortable seating. Try a plush outdoor sectional or spacious chairs and benches adorned with outdoor pillows and throws.
If the weather permits, try taking your dinner party outside to enjoy a meal in the crisp fall air. Simple accessories such as wicker placemats, fall-hued linens, and flickering string lights or candles can add harvest-ready style to any outdoor dining space.
For an Indoor Event
Updating your home to reflect the season’s styles is easier than you may think – with just a handful of well-appointed accents, you can easily evoke the colors and textures of fall.
Host a fall-approved dinner party with harvest-themed dishes and napkins or create a stunning centerpiece with pumpkins and gourds. In fact, add decorative pumpkins and gourds wherever you’d like – they’re small, inexpensive, and hallmarks of the season. For extra decorative oomph, try spray-painting your pumpkins or gourds. Go all-white for an ultra-chic minimalist look or make a dramatic statement with shades of gold, black, or deep red.
Pillows and throws are another one of our favorite ways to update a space for the season. You can make an explicitly autumnal statement with harvest prints or patterns, or you can simply evoke the cozy textures of fall with velvet, faux fur, and chunky knits. Finish the look with fall-inspired wreaths, candles, or wall art.
We all know about jack-o-lantern carving and bobbing for apples, but there are plenty of other ways to get your guests in the fall spirit. While we always encourage those seasonal standbys, we’ve come up with a few other ways to help you celebrate the harvest …
Fall Food Potluck
Put a twist on the traditional dinner party by inviting your guests to share their favorite fall dishes. Inspire friendly competition with a chili cook-off or host a potluck that shines the spotlight on a single dish, such as soup, pie, or mac and cheese. Your guests will love trying each other’s signature recipes, and you’ll love the reprieve from cooking multiple courses.
A Twist on Autumn Classics
Opt for a no-mess version of a classic fall activity by removing slimy pumpkin guts from the jack-o-lantern equation. Provide guests with paint, markers, and craft supplies to create their own pumpkin masterpieces.
To keep your clean streak going, try stringing apples from the ceiling and having guests bob without water. Hang the apples so they’re 5-to-6 feet off the ground, and instruct players to keep their hands behind their backs as they chomp at the hanging fruit. The first to take a bite wins – and it’s harder than you’d think!
Candy Apple Bar
Let your guests indulge their sweet tooth with this signature fall treat. Provide a variety of apples and a spread of toppings, such as caramel, sugar syrup, nuts, and chocolate chips, and invite guests to make their own candy apples. This is a great activity for kids and adults alike, and will leave your guests with tasty treats to bring home.
Fall Food & Drinks
Treat your guests to the flavors of the season with these harvest-time recipes. We’re sharing some of our favorite recipes for soups, entrees, desserts, and drinks … Will any of these make it onto your table?
Photos and recipes courtesy of Half Baked Harvest.
Main Course Recipes
Fall Dessert Recipes
Autumn-Inspired Drink Recipes
Now that you’re armed with ideas and inspiration for décor, activities, and autumn-inspired dishes, you can get to work planning your fall-themed bash. Check out the blog to discover even more entertaining ideas, from recipes and party ideas to creative hosting tips.