Celebrate Fall 2011

The fall party season is full of reasons to celebrate.  Traditionally the fall season was full of parties and balls that attracted guests from far and wide. Halloween and Thanksgiving are still big party holidays in the fall.  There are so many great ways to celebrate fall. Fall is a great time for indoor parties, outdoor parties and all types of themes and occasions.

Reasons to Gather

Halloween- Invitations to creepy haunted houses and spirited costume parties start making the rounds as soon as summer is over.  Whether a simple get together with friends is planned or an all-out spook fest, Halloween is a great excuse for a party at any age and of nearly any theme.

Harvest- Thanksgiving is often reserved for family and the closest friends.  But a fall get together doesn’t need such an official occasion. Host an autumn harvest party for friends complete with a big meal or just a cook out and s’mores at a fire.

Back to school/end of summer- Labor Day weekend is considered the end of summer and lots of people have cookouts and parties. Back to school is also a great party to have to get the kids and their classmates excited about the new school year.  Consider school related favors like notebooks, folders, erasers and pencils in an autumn theme.                                                          

Memorable Invitations

Fun Autumn Leaves Invitations

Sophisticated Brittany Invitations

  • Add a leaf and acorn accents to any invitations for a fall touch
  • Print the party information on a fall colored piece of card stock and tie it to a pine cone

A Harvest Worthy Menu

 A good fall menu takes advantage of all the fall harvest has to offer.  Here are some starter ideas:

Finger foods and appetizers- Savory miniature vegetable and meat pies, pizza rolls, cheese bites, crab dip, any dips and spreads

Soups and salads- Add apples, pears, cranberries and walnuts to salads, potato soup, squash soup, chili, pumpkin-chestnut soup, green bean salad

Entrees- Roasts, turkey, stuffed meats (Squash and rich vegetable dishes can be used to create a vegetarian entree.)

Sides- Squash dishes, rice pilaf, home style mashed potatoes, spice mac and cheese, eggplant dishes

Desserts- Pumpkin ice cream, ginger spiced cakes and cookies, cinnamon rolls and cakes, sugared pears, baked apples, apple pie a la mode, pumpkin waffles, peach cobbler

Beverages- Cranberry cocktails, apple cider, appletinis, hot chocolate, coffee and espresso bars

Fall Gathering Decorations

Harvest produce and foliage- Use the produce in bowls or artfully arranged.  Scatter fall leaves or drape garlands. Use flowers that are in season mixed with flowers in traditional autumn colors.

Sun catchers- Sun catchers in fall colors will make any room seem to be more in the spirit of the season.

Candle light- Candle light is warming, just like the foods of fall. Use candles to add warmth to the chilled fall air.

Fall scents- Candles, heated oils and all sorts of scents are available in autumnal varieties.  Of course, nothing beats actually baking some fall pies like pumpkin pie and apple pie to fill the home with fall scents.

Wildlife- Miniature turkeys, deer and other animals will also contribute to a feeling of fall.

Fall tableware- Tableware in fall colors and in fall shapes is available readily in both disposable and reusable varieties. Party platters shaped like leaves and acorns can help add to the ambiance of a fall party.

Activities for Children with a Fall Theme

Stuffing projects- Scarecrows and colored lawn bags can be stuffed with straw or fall leaves for a fun fall activity that leaves something very festive to display.

Leaf rubbings- Place leaves on a piece of paper with a dot of glue or a small piece of tape to steady them.  Place another piece of paper on top and rub chalk, pencil or a crayon with the paper pulled off it lightly over the leaf.

Leaf collages, place mats and other leaf art- Glue a leaf to a piece of paper and draw around it using the leaf as part of the picture. For example it can be the body of an animal.  Or try a leaf collage made by gluing various leaves to a piece of paper arranged however each child would like. Leaf place mats can be created by arranging leaves on half a piece of contact paper leaving the borders clear, and then folding the contact paper neatly, careful to avoid air bubbles.  Leaf collages on construction paper can also be laminated with contact paper to create fun fall place mats that children can keep. Leaf rubbings can also make pretty place mats.

Acorn and pine cone ornaments- There are plenty of craft projects that involve pine cones and acorns that create pretty decorations and both items look fine as is.  Scatter them on tables or gather them in bowls as centerpieces.

Baking fall treats- Letting children design their own cupcakes or decorate their own cookies can be lots of fun. Letting children help roll the dough and stir the batter before the party can also be an adventure for them.

Pumpkin carving and painting- Older kids can carve pumpkins with adult supervision and younger children can paint scenes and faces on their pumpkins.

Miniature scarecrows- Letting each child make their own mini scarecrow with children’s clothing from thrift stores or out of storage gives them something to take home.

Make a kite- There are countless guides online and in libraries to building all sorts of kites and fall winds are perfect for flying them.  Some require nothing but straws, tissue paper and string.
A chill in the air shouldn’t prevent parties from continuing year round.  There is always a reason to celebrate.

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