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Fall Harvest Party to Celebrate Autumn

Category:  Fall

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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.

Invitations

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.

Decorations

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 marker.

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.

Pie-eating contest

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.

Pumpkin greeters

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!

Caramel apples

Melt caramels, insert Popsicle sticks into apples, and let the guests make their own caramel apples.

Harvest races

Play some fall racing games, such as a wheelbarrow, three-legged, or potato sack race.

Refreshments

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!

Favors

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.

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