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Fall is my favorite season - the weather is delightfully crisp, the bugs and humidity of summer are long gone, and the harvest is in full swing.

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Features : Decorating : Autumn Decorating / Fall Entertaining

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Here are some of my favorite tips for family fall fun and entertaining.

Outdoor Decorations for Fall

Use traditional fall harvest items to decorate your outdoor living spaces: porches, decks, patios, entry steps, walkways and doorways.

Pile up pumpkins of different sizes in groups of 3 to 5 and add a few corn stalks and dried corn bundles along with mums, gourds and colorful autumn leaves in arrangements, bushel baskets or buckets and boxes around your garden.

If you only have a small space, make a front entry grouping from a single large pumpkin, a coloring mum plant and a few gourds with leaves or dried grasses tucked among them.

Potted mums, big pumpkins and bottle gourds and combined with colorful leaves add fall flavor indoors to floral centerpieces, wreaths, arranged in baskets or bowls, or lined up on windowsills, mantels, tabletops and shelves.

Printable Harvest Party Cards

Fall Party Themes

Apple Picking - A Trip to The Orchard

A trip to the apple orchard is a wonderful way to spend a fall day with the family. Children and adult alike enjoy apple picking in the fall. A visit to a pick your own orchard gets you outdoors to enjoy the fall weather.

Many orchards offering pick your own fruit trees provide wagon rides and other entertainment at the farm.

After a day of picking apples bring home your fruit and make a batch of apple sauce or apple cake.

Harvest Potluck Supper

Plan a simple potluck supper for indoors or outdoors with friends and family.

Ask guests to bring along a harvest-theme food for the meal.

Serve freshly baked bread and rolls plus an orchard dessert like apple crisp or apple cake with warm beverages: cider, hot chocolate and steaming coffee or tea.

zucchini harvest

Fall Party Beverages

Warm beverages are a perfect match for a fall party, indoors or outside.

  • Apple Cider
  • Hot Lemonade
  • Coffee, Tea, Cocoa
  • Spiced Wines
  • Warm Mulled Cider

Favorite Fall Foods

  • Chili, with or without meat
  • Baked Beans
  • Pumpkin or Squash Soup
  • Grilled / Roasted Vegetables
  • Sausages
  • Hot Dogs
  • Chicken Kabobs
  • Corn Bread
  • Zucchini Muffins
  • Apple Cake

Pumpkin Picking - Finding the Perfect Jack O Lantern

The only thing that might be more fun for the family than apple picking is to make a visit to the pumpkin fields. Kids will love searching for just the right Jack O Lantern gourd in a field filled with ready to harvest orange pumpkins still on the vine.

What a wonderful way to explore the farm and enjoy autumn weather. Select your favorite pumpkins for carving and fall decorating, then take them home to create your harvest displays and Halloween Jack O Lanterns.

Leaf Raking Party

Leaf raking parties can be lots of fun - especially if you make big piles of autumn leaves on a tarp and let the kids jump in before the final cleanup. You don't need to burn leaves to dispose of them.

If you have a large enough yard, you can put them into piles and run through them to grind them up with a lawnmower, then rake them into a smaller pile and leave them to turn to compost.

Or you can bag them in special heavy paper bags and pile them in the back of the garden for the winter. By spring time they will have turned to compost and you can use it in your garden. If you need a new garden, lay the bags in place and just put a bit of soil on top of the paper bags then plant flowers or veggies in this wonderful organic material.

autumn leaves

Harvest Camp Fire Party

If your community permits open fires, plan a family get harvest party that includes a camp fire in the back yard.

You don't need to make a huge bonfire - in fact, you can simply use a garden fireplace or one of the new fire pit appliances to enjoy the warmth of a fire safely in the crisp autumn air.

Use your camp fire to roast hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken or seafood, or just plan on desserts like toasted marshmallows and s'mores to enjoy around the campfire.


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