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The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, and the vibrant colors of
autumn are everywhere. It's the perfect time to celebrate the change of
season with fall decorations, festive activities, and fun with family
and friends. Here are some tips for hosting a Fall Harvest Party to kick
off the season.
Buy mini pumpkins and write "Join us for some fall fun!" on them with
a permanent black marker. Write the rest of your party details on
leaf-shaped cut-outs and tie them to the stems of the pumpkins. Hand
deliver the invitations or mail them in small boxes. Another creative
idea is to buy packages of pumpkin seeds, write the party details on the
package, and mail them to guests.
Create an autumn atmosphere with bright and brilliant fall colors.
Begin by inflating orange, yellow, red, and brown balloons with helium
using a Balloon Time Helium Balloon Kit. Tie them around the party room,
along the front walkway, and to trees in the backyard. Set out straw
bales flanked by corn stalks, all tied up with large orange and yellow
ribbons. Line baskets with colorful napkins and fill them with apples,
gourds, and small pumpkins, and arrange them around the party area.
Create a couple of comedic scarecrows and prop them up in the yard and
at the front door to welcome guests. Add atmospheric touches using
stuffed black crows, pine cones, and other fall-related items. Cover the
party table with a festive cloth and sprinkle on bright, fall leaves.
Make an inflated balloon bouquet in fall colors to use as a centerpiece,
with fall leaves tied to the strings.
Games and Activities
Prepare a few games and activities to keep the guests entertained. Here are some suggestions.
Paper mache pumpkins
Blow up orange balloons and tear strips of orange, red, and yellow
tissue paper. Provide small bowls of paper mache paste (or watered down
white glue), and have the kids wrap the balloons with the tissue paper
to create their own pumpkins. Once they're finished, allow the pumpkin
to dry, and then let the kids draw on funny faces with a permanent black
Corn husking contest
Have players race to husk half a dozen ears of corn-blind-folded.
Stuff a scarecrow
Set out two sets of old clothes and have teams race to build a scarecrow.
Buy or bake a bunch of mini pumpkin or apple pies, then have the
guests race to finish their individual pies-without using their hands.
Inflate orange balloons with helium and have the kids decorate them
with funny faces or fall phrases, such as "Happy Harvest" or "Save a
Scarecrow." Tie off the balloons with string, and then add three or four
strips of orange crepe paper streamers. Tie the balloons to the fence,
trees, mailbox and other front yard objects.
Pumpkin seed spitting contest
Clean out a few pumpkins, wash and dry the seeds, then see how far the guests can spit them!
Melt caramels, insert Popsicle sticks into apples, and let the guests make their own caramel apples.
Play some fall racing games, such as a wheelbarrow, three-legged, or potato sack race.
Ask the guests to bring a favorite potluck dish, along with recipes to share. Serve hearty soups on the side.
Provide bowls of popcorn or kettle corn, apple chips, candy corn, toasted pumpkin seeds, and mini cinnamon donuts.
Serve caramel apples or hollowed out apples filled with peanut
butter, raisins, and chopped nuts. Make a spice cake, frost it with a
brown-sugar icing, and top with leaf-shaped sprinkles.
Don't forget the hot cider!
Send the guests home with fall mementoes-mini-pumpkins,
pumpkin-scented candles, decorative gourds, pumpkin seed packets, bags
of candy corn, and caramel apples.
Penny Warner has more than 25 years of experience as an author
and party planner. She has published more than 50 books, including 16
specific to parties. Additionally, Warner writes a weekly newspaper
column on family life, penned a column for Sesame Street Parents
magazine and has appeared on several regional and national TV morning
programs. Her latest book, HOW TO HOST A KILLER PARTY, debuted in
February 2010 from NAL/Penguin.
Balloon Time is the leading brand of consumer helium balloon kits
in North America. Balloon Time kits feature a helium-filled tank, latex
or foil balloons and ribbon, and are available at national retail
chains, party goods and grocery stores nationwide.