fire pit

Gather around the fire pit with a blanket and glass of wine ATTRIBUTION: ACM Design Architects (Flickr)

Outdoor entertaining isn’t limited to the summer months: Autumn is a wonderful time to celebrate with friends and family while enjoying the cooler weather. To make your fall get-togethers a success, draw inspiration from these creative ideas for outdoor entertaining.

Ideas for Entertaining in the Fall

  • Gather around the fire pit. Sitting by the fire is an activity our family enjoys when the weather gets cool. If you don’t yet have a fire pit, build your own with a DIY kit or ring of stones.
  • Invest in a patio heater. Don’t let the cold weather affect your party. Take the chill off your guests by investing in a patio heater.
  • Serve warm beverages in a slow cooker. Warm beverages are a must for fall gatherings. Keep drinks like apple cider or mulled wine warm throughout the evening in a slow cooker.
  • Provide blankets and cozy textiles. Dress up your outdoor furniture with blankets, pillows, and other cozy accessories.
  • String up creative lighting. Create the perfect ambiance with creative outdoor lighting. String lights across the porch or patio or throughout branches, or light up your outdoor space with candles or illuminated jack-o’-lanterns.
  • Display seasonal décor. Set the stage for your fall get-together by displaying seasonal décor. Create a harvest vibe with a dried corn wreath, leaf garland, and lots of pumpkins.
  • Offer materials for autumn crafts. Children of all ages will enjoy making seasonal crafts. In addition to carving pumpkins, children can create wreaths with paper plates and leaves or scarecrows from straw, rope, and old clothes.
  • Whip up tasty fall recipes. Start your guests off with appetizers like shrimp puffs, squash soup, cranberry salsa, or stuffed mushrooms. For dessert, serve a pumpkin roll, apple dumplings, or gingersnaps.

Other Outdoor Entertaining Tips

Our family continues to host parties long after summer is over. We don’t need anything elaborate, just a cozy atmosphere, yummy food, and good company. When setting up for your get-together, set up tables in separate areas of your backyard to encourage guests to spread out. Have one table for food and another for beverages. Provide young children with their own table where they can play and do crafts. To make cleanup a breeze at the end of the party, use brown craft paper as a table cover.

Don’t have enough seats for all of your guests? Use tree stumps as makeshift seating. Tree stumps are durable and will effortlessly fit your fall theme. If you have the room on your property, you may want to take your party efforts one step further by creating a haunted trail, on-site trick-or-treating, or a pumpkin patch that guests can enjoy.

Really wow your guests by setting up an outdoor movie experience. Smart TV laser-projectors work well to provide moviegoers with rich color and sharp contrast. Most of these televisions can also stream your favorite services, such as Netflix or Hulu, allowing you to watch spooky fall films outdoors.