Throw a Fall Harvest Party
A pile of pumpkins in a rainbow of fall hues is a sweetly seasonal way to greet guests. Pick the shapeliest pumpkin to be the center of attention (we recommend choosing a lighter-color pumpkin) and use a paint pen to add a greeting to the fall pumpkin. Use our free download to get a template of the word "gather."
Light up the party with a gorgeous fall display that's practical, too. Simple lanterns are a stylish way to light a walkway or place them around each party station. Keep an extra stash of candles on hand to ensure they stay bright well into the night, or invest in battery-operated candles—we won't tell!
Crack open a cold one—fireside! An assortment of seasonal brews nestled on ice lets guests pick and choose which to sip, including hoppy lagers and hard ciders. Check out the local selection next time you hit the store for new fall flavors.
Decorate with Fall Flowers
Whether they're single stems or showcased as a bouquet, fresh-cut flowers make any party prettier. We're obsessed with how fun this pumpkin place setting is—and it's so easy to make! Grab a collection of mini pumpkins (tall, round pumpkins work better than flatter ones) and cut the tops off the way you would to carve a jack-o'-lantern. Use a melon baller to scoop out the insides, then fill with water and flowers.
Homey Hay Bales
Add hay bales as the base for an easy fall pumpkin display, or scatter hay bales just off the patio to provide extra seats and tables. If you do the latter, make sure to throw a blanket on them for guests to use.
Add a Toasty Fire
Bring in a portable fire pit to set the stage for a magical and warm nighttime gathering. For a classic sweet treat, toast marshmallows after dinner. Keep blankets on hands to keep your guests warm during your fireside cocktail party.
There's one thing every fall party needs: apple cider. Spice up your go-to recipe or serve hot cider in an unconventional way—like in these cute apple cups. To make them, cut the tops off 8 very large apples (about 3-1/2 to 4 inches in diameter). Scoop out the center using a melon baller, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick "cup." If you're making them ahead of time, brush the insides with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add cider and top with a few garnishes for the perfect warm party drink.
Themed Cutout Cookies
Skip store-bought—festive cutout cookies are best when made from scratch. (Plus, half the fun is in the decorating!) Pipe on frosting in autumn hues using pastry bags with small tips. Look for cookie cutters in leafy, apple, and pumpkin shapes, then use a toothpick to create their intricate designs.
Caramel Apple Party Favor
Plain caramel apples are great, but nothing beats a totally decked-out dessert. Dunk your fresh-picked apples in layers of white, dark, and milk chocolate. A final dip in festive sprinkles or chopped nuts complete the sweet homemade treats.
Organize a Pumpkin Hunt
Time to put adorable mini pumpkins (painted, if desired) to use—in a pumpkin hunt, of course! The easy-to-assemble outdoor game is a perfect way to keep the kiddos entertained. Tuck the minis away in trees, under tables, and all throughout your party site.
Bucket of Pumpkins
No need to break the bank on fall party decor. An assortment of mini pumpkins is festive, inexpensive, and the perfect excuse to spend a fun day at the patch! Add a modern spin to the arrangement by spraying a few with metallic gold paint.
Serve Cheddar-Beer Soup
Hollowed-out loaves of bread not only make soup-er tasty bowls—they make dish duty easier, too! Keep a pot of cheddar-beer soup bubbling by warming it over the grill or in an insulated slow cooker.
Pumpkin Serving Bowl
Turn a pumpkin into a festive bowl perfect for chips. Use half of a large hollowed-out pumpkin, lined with a kitchen towel or napkin, set on top of a bed of twigs and fall berries to make the perfect serving bowl for your fall party.
Party Food: Smoky Cheese Balls
Shh! Sometimes it's OK to play with your food. These adorable apple-shape cheese balls one-up any other cheese tray and are so simple to make. Just roll your choice of soft cheese into a ball—the lumpier the better. After coating the cheese in smoky paprika, press your thumb into the top to create a spot for the stem.
Provide Warm Blankets
Throw blankets made from simple cuts of fleece from a fabric store to keep guests toasty when they're not settled by the fire. Use blankets you already have, or take the opportunity to show off your DIY skills. Purchase a few yards of fleece and cut fringe around the edges—or go all-out with an arm-knitted blanket. The DIY element is totally worth it for the cozy fall vibes.
Other Pumpkin Decorations
You can always give a plant stand an autumn-theme by turning it into a pedestal for mini pumpkins, or make the mini pumpkins the decor themselves! We're a fan of these mini pumpkin votives and using full-size pumpkins as planters.
Get guests fired up for your party with matchbook-inspired invitations. Two folds and a staple bring the invite holders together in a flash. Don't forget to send each off with a metallic fire-shape stamp, available at your local crafts store.
Play Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe
Paper and pens? We've got a better idea! Rope and pumpkins bring an entirely different dimension to tic-tac-toe. Just be sure to pick up pumpkins in both orange and white to separate teams.
Leaf Table Lanterns
Make a Harvest Table
We're so impressed with this horse trough-turned-table. The trough, topped with an old door, stands in as a buffet table. Or, add some harvest flair to the table you have with easy DIY fall outdoor decorations like table runners, vases, and wreaths.
DIY Caramel Apple Bar
Let your guests satisfy their sweet tooth with a DIY Caramel Apple Bar. We recommend adding chocolate, white chocolate, and butterscotch as variations to the traditional caramel. From there, the flavor combinations (and toppings!) are limitless!