Fall Party Ideas
Our fall party ideas are center around rusts, olives and dark reds, because the color palette is key when you're planning a seasonal birthday party.
So when you're getting your decorating ideas together take your inspiration from these and other autumn shades.
Ideas for Autumn Atmosphere
- Bring in those large terra cotta pots you had outside (terra cotta's in our fall color palette) and fill them with gold, rust, maroon and orange pots of chrysanthemums. You can plant them outside when the party's over so they'll do double duty.
Tie each pot with a big olive green cloth ribbon.
- Start a roaring fire in the fireplace (if you have one) and have logs ready next to it. That rustic stack of logs will fit right into your decorating scheme.
If you don't have a fireplace, consider setting up a fire pit or chimenea outside. This is a great thing to do even if you also have a fire going inside.
Arrange seating around it and have sticks, marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars at the ready for s'mores. Let your guests come and go from inside to outside.
- Make up a crock pot of hot apple cider several hours before your guests are due to arrive. You won't believe how amazing your house will smell.
Table Setting Suggestions for a
Remember the ribbons around your terra cotta planters? Pick up that olive green again with a table runner and add real fall leaves across it (yes, fake ones work too).
Fall Birthday Party
Place two 3" x 3" dark red, and two 3" x 6" rust colored tapers on either side of a large, shallow, terra cotta pot or ceramic bowl filled with red, yellow and/or green apples (either real or wooden will do) to complete the look.
Use cloth napkins in rust, coasters in the shape of leaves and maroon plates. Simple and elegant.
If you're looking for a casual yet impressive centerpiece, and a do-it-yourself fall party idea at that, find a medium to large, nicely shaped pumpkin and cover it with chrysanthemums (stay within the color palette...no purples or whites).
I know it seems a shame to cut the heads off these lovely flowers but...we do what we must. Just clip those heads right off and hot glue them all over the pumpkin until it's completely covered. Very impressive indeed!
Note: Because I really don't like to cut these lovely flowers to bits and because these fresh flowers will die rather quickly, I prefer to use artificial flowers from my local craft store and they look just as beautiful. Plus the centerpiece will last as long as your pumpkin does.
Fall Party Menu Suggestions
Yes, we have even more fall party ideas for you! Following the color palette into the drinks, consider serving any or all of these warm-you-up beverages:
- hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks
(spiked with rum, whiskey, or plain)
- mulled wine (this page also has recipes for glögg, glühwein and vin chaud)
- hot buttered rum
- pumpkin martinis
- hot chocolate with whipped cream
Continue your autumn colors into the food. Here are just a few of the dishes we've served at our autumn parties:
- creamy butternut squash (or pumpkin) soup
- spinach salad with dried cranberries, diced apples and walnuts
- penne pasta with pesto
- beef shortribs braised in apple cider
- roasted sweet potatoes
For dessert, pies are the order of the day; apple and pumpkin are trusty favorites. A cute option is to bake a few varieties as tartlets and surround your birthday cake with them.
And speaking of the birthday cake, here's our ultimate fall party idea and your ultimate fall party decoration —a big pumpkin-shaped cake!
Using bundt cake pans will give you the ridges of the pumpkin. You'll need two 6-cup, and one 12-cup bundt pans. You'll end up making 2 12-cup cakes and 4 6-cup cakes.
You could make an autumn-y spice cake, a carrot cake or a traditional vanilla or chocolate. Tint your favorite icing recipe orange (you can check out our best buttercream frosting recipe —it's fabulous) and frost the bottom of one large cake and place the other large cake on top of it. See the pumpkin taking shape?
Frost the entire pumpkin, and add a big brown stem to the middle and an oversized green leaf to the stem, both made out of marshmallow fondant or marzipan. Follow the same procedure with the smaller bundt pans, making two smaller pumpkins.
Voila! You have a gorgeous trio of pumpkins.
Autumn-Themed Birthday Party Favors
Our fall party ideas wouldn't be complete without mentioning favors. Our ideas were inspired by fall food flavors.
- a small bottle of wine from a local vineyard with your recipe for mulled wine attached
- a mini bottle of rum with your recipe for hot buttered rum attached (you could also place the bottle inside an artsy ceramic mug for a more extravagant favor)
- a small bottle of real maple syrup or flavored honey (lavender, mango, peach, raspberry and lemon are a some of the honey flavors we've seen)
- a candied or caramel apple wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon
- a pretty bag with a big homemade leaf cookie tucked inside (decorate it with the guest of honor's name and the date)
- an apple, pear or pumpkin candle
- a leaf or pumpkin shaped cookie cutter tied with a ribbon (write your favorite sugar cookie recipe on the gift tag you attach to the ribbon)
- a bar of pear, apple or pumpkin scented soap, placed inside a chiffon pouch and tied with a cloth ribbon