As the days get shorter and the leaves on the trees begin to turn, the thought of sitting out late into the evening becomes less attractive. But just because the summer cookout is finished for another year doesn’t mean you can’t still host the perfect party. Blend outdoor freedom with indoor coziness and have your friends around for a night that embraces the best of the Fall season.
Autumn evenings are often clear, crisp, and worthy of enjoying as much as the long balmy nights of summer. Set up sitting spaces outside and inside so your guests can choose where they feel most comfortable. Have blankets and heating out for those who love the fresh air; a fire pit or chiminea is ideal for such gatherings. Encourage guests to keep their blankets as they come in and throw the patio doors open to maximize flow.
Good food is a must at any party, and a finger food buffet is a fantastic way to segue from the summer grill while it’s still too warm for a complete sit-down winter feast. Loading up the table with delicious dishes in bite-sized servings allows you to be as fancy or casual as the party theme dictates. Anything from crab cakes and blinis with smoked salmon to cocktails, sausages on sticks, and mini pizzas will be at home. Complement dishes with side dishes like couscous with seasonal roast vegetables and a homemade potsticker sauce recipe for your Chinese dumplings and egg rolls.
Have A Picnic
An ideal way to enjoy the warm crisp days and good company is to head to a park and host a picnic under the colorful trees. Pack the picnic basket full of dishes made from the late summer harvest glut, like apple and cinnamon apples, pumpkin pie, or a savory vegetable stuffed bread. Enjoy the last of the warm sun while children run and play and adults relax with a drink.
Embrace the season and keep decorations in the color palate of the natural world. The leaves turning from green to bright, earthy colors on the trees also look lovely inside. Hang garlands of leaves and flowers to accent any room, while ripe fruit looks (and smells) great in bowls on tables and sideboards. Of course, Halloween is also in Fall, so spooky decorations and pumpkins never look out of place at this time of year.
Look to Fall celebrations in other countries for inspiration for your festivities. September and October in Germany are Oktober Fest times, celebrating good beer, food, and music. Hold your own mini-Oktoberfest with German beer, bratwurst, and pretzels – polka music optional! Or, if space allows, host a bonfire in the tradition of Guy Fawkes nights, the perfect opportunity for making s’mores.
Don’t be sad that the long summer nights have passed; instead, share the joy the fall season brings with friends and family. Make the most of the good weather while it lasts, while eating the flavors of the harvest and appreciating the natural world.