5 Tips to enjoy the season outdoor
There’s no time like autumn to move the party outside. Crisp, cool air and fall colors are the perfect accompaniment to gatherings of all sizes and types. Whether you’re looking to make an investment or be creative on a dime, here are a few ways to make the most of your outdoor entertaining:
Light Up the Night
Extend any outdoor gathering from day to night by providing adequate lighting from multiple sources. Don’t rely on one overhead light as that light can feel harsh and blind visitors to the view of the yard beyond the patio or porch. Instead, hang a number of string lights that extend from one point on the house to several trees or posts in the yard.
Think about lighting in levels. Once you have the high lighting (string lights overhead), add low lighting with votives on tables. Candles set the right mood for any outdoor gathering.
Give your lighting a seasonal touch by cutting out notches in apples, small gourds, and pumpkins and resting a votive candle inside each.
Provide Entertainment for All Ages
One of the best things about fall – football! – can also be the thing that prompts guests to send their regrets to autumn parties. No one wants to miss the big game. Invest in a projector and screen, and you can make the days’ football schedule part of your outdoor entertainment. Inflatable outdoor movie screens come in a range of prices. Many projectors work with multiple sources such as DVD and Blu-ray players, iPads and iPhones, PlayStation 3 and more. You can have family movie nights in the yard throughout the year.
For budget-friendly entertainment, set up games that guests of all ages can enjoy such as corn hole, badminton, and croquet. Have a football and Frisbee on hand.
Make Everyone Comfortable
Prepare for a dip in temperature as the party goes on. Place a stack of lightweight throws or cozy quilts nearby so guests can easily grab one if needed. If you don’t have an outdoor fireplace, consider setting up a small heater in your outdoor space or invest in a fire bowl. Fire bowls come in a range of prices and sizes, and they offer a stylish campfire-feel to any outdoor space. These portable pots can feature an open flame or be covered with mesh for added safety.
Whip Up a Seasonal Beverage
A signature cocktail is an easy idea for any gathering. If temperatures are chilly, plan to serve a warm drink, such as cocoa for kids and a hot toddy for adults. Another seasonal favorite is hot apple cider, which you can easily prep in ten minutes and then set to brew in a slow cooker for several hours while you take care of other party details.
Let Nature Be Your Theme
Fall is the easiest season to decorate, since your backyard is full of free items to create a stylish look. Gather pine cones and display them in a basket. Tie twigs together with twine and pop them into a large vase. Use simple tools to turn cut wood into a multi-level display for hors d’oeuvres and desserts. We recently held a fall-themed gathering at which we displayed woodland creature-themed cake pops on a homemade tree trunk stand. It was the hit of the party and cost nothing but a little time and skill with a drill.