Tips for Hosting a Fall Party

With the fall weather comes perfect timing to host a fall party, complete with bonfire, hayride and hot apple cider. Gathering friends and family to celebrate fall and enjoy some fun, social time is a perfect activity for a chilly autumn evening. Check out these tips for planning and hosting a fall party of your own.

Ages

First, decide what age group your fall party will be aimed at. Will this be an adults only party? A party geared toward kids or a family part for all ages? This decision will set the tone for everything else you plan.

Activities

If you have the space (and the zoning allowances) in your yard, a bonfire is a must for a fall party. Everyone loves sitting around a crackling wood fire on a chilly evening.

If there are kids at your party, a hayride is a great activity to include. If you don’t have the equipment or space for a large hayride, compromise and do what you can to make it fun. A garden wagon or small utility trailer filled with straw can be pulled around the yard by an ATV or other motorized vehicle. A pickup truck with a bed filled with straw can make a slow drive around the neighborhood for a fun hayride. Depending upon the ages of those involved, turn any hayride into a spooky outing by decorating the route with creepy decorations and having an adult share scary stories during the ride.

If you can’t have a hayride, then plan storytelling around the bonfire. Ask everyone to tell their favorite tale. If nothing else, simply sitting around the fire to socialize and visit makes for a great evening.

Another activity that is fun for the kids would be pumpkin carving or decorating contests. Provide small pumpkins or ask each family to bring their own then designate a time for the kids to decorate (with adult supervision and assistance). If you don’t want to deal with pumpkin carving messes, provide paints and brushes for the kids to paint their pumpkins. Be sure to provide plenty of old newspapers for easier decorating cleanup.

Food

Roasted hot dogs are perfect choices for fall parties. You can choose to ask guests to help out by bringing specific dishes (baked beans or chili anyone?) or requesting some guests to bring packages of hot dogs while others bring packages of buns. Don’t forget the fixings for roasted marshmallows and s’mores.

For drinks, a cooler full of ice with cans of soda is easy enough. Be sure to include non-soda alternatives such as tea and ice water. For the chilly night, how about making up some hot chocolate and some hot apple cider to keep guests warm?

To make spiced apple cider, warm a gallon of apple cider in a pot on the stove. Dissolve a package of hot cinnamon candies in the cider, stirring until the candies are totally dissolved. I like to pour this drink into an insulated drink dispenser and place foam cups next to it so guests can help themselves and warm up in the chilly night air..

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