Fall is a great time to host a party. There are all kinds of ways to incorporate the color and fun of the season into the festivities, celebrating Halloween and all things autumn. I’ve broken down some ideas based on the age groups of those attending.
If you’ve got kids coming to your party, you’ll need to find activities to keep them busy. Sure everyone loves bouncy houses and that kind of thing but you can do that any time of year. Fall gives you all kinds of ways to have fun with the little ones. You can go big and have a Pumpkin Roll race, PumpkinFest-style. You can go simple and get pumpkins (or even those little pumpkin-shaped gourds) and have a decoration station with stickers and paints so the kids can make themselves a party favor. If you have space, a hay bale maze can be a lot of fun. If you don’t have hay, you can decorate cardboard boxes of different sizes to look like hay and use them instead. Another cool thing you can do is create a corn pit. It’s kind of like a sandbox, but with dried corn. It sounds weird but kids really like it. You can also take them on a leaf hunt where they gather fallen leaves and then make a craft out of them after. Give a kid some construction paper, glue, and some glitter, and they’ll make you something they’re awfully proud of!
If your crowd skews a little older, they are going to want to be a little scared. You can go playful instead of terrifying and do those “what am I touching?” games with hardboiled egg eyeballs and spaghetti brains. Even just hosting a scary movie night with different flavored popcorn and maybe a sleepover could be a big hit. You can also go a little—or a lot—scarier by transforming the party location into a haunted house. You can use props, sound effects, and even live actors to make it even more spooky. Teenagers still like to dress up sometimes, so a costume party wouldn’t be out of line. You can assign a theme or have a free-for-all, it just depends on what you think your guests will enjoy. Pumpkin carving contests and pumpkin rolls are still a big hit, although I have noticed that some teenage boys are more interested in smashing pumpkins than they are at actually rolling them, so bear that in mind.
For a party with mostly grownups, I like to focus more on the food. I’ll make a batch of my famous apple cider or create a nice fall-themed menu. You can also host a fall themed potluck, but post a signup sheet online for all your guests. This way, you aren’t stuck with 15 pumpkin pies. Adults also enjoy a good costume party but you can make it optional or declare it must be handmade if you think it might cause issues. Adults also like a good Pumpkin Roll. Have a prize and do it early in the evening if drinking is going to be involved; it will be less competitive and messy.
If you try any of these ideas, let me know how it went! I’d love to hear from you.