Fall is just around the corner, which makes this the perfect time to start planning a fall festival! With a little bit of effort, a great theme, fun party ideas and games, and amazing food, you can make this year’s event better than ever. Whether you’re planning a small harvest-themed gathering at home for just a few guests, or a giant neighborhood, church or school-wide bash, here’s how to get started!
Fall Festival Planning 101
Organizing a fall festival can be a huge undertaking, but if you take the time to plan, make a thoughtful checklist of everything to be done, and recruit some helpers, it’s a lot easier! Divide up tasks such as preparing food, handling decorations, managing games and activities, and solicit a team of volunteers to perform tasks. Doing so will ensure a smooth and well-managed festival. Below are 10 fun ways to help make your fall festival a success.
1. Decide on a Theme
A fun and creative theme will not only make a great backdrop for your fall festival photos, but it will also be fun and exciting for kids. Choosing the colors of fall leaves, such as yellow, orange, red, and brown, is always a classic way to go. Or, if you’d like to make your event more Halloween-themed, try orange, black, white, and charcoal. You can create a pumpkin patch theme where pumpkins abound, a spooky scene fit for your little monsters, or a country farm-life look with hay bales and a hayride. There are tons of fall festival themes to choose from — the sky’s the limit!
READ MORE: Fall Porch Decor & Indoor Home Goods To Cozy Up Your Space This Season
2. Hearty Main Course Ideas
Behind any good fall festival is some delicious food! The better the food, the happier the guests! Following are some options that adults and kids will love to help you plan a menu. For the grown-ups, you could try a Turkey Pumpkin Chili. This one is a perfect combination of flavors and spices. To start off fall in a warmer way, add curry! This Slow Cooker Chicken Pumpkin Curry will make bellies warm and happy. Maple Roasted Chicken & Acorn Squash is another perfect way to welcome fall this year.
When you’re meals for the kids, it may make sense to keep the flavors a little tamer. Kids will love this Harvest Chicken Casserole and Apple Cider Chicken With Caramelized Apples. Both are packed with all the flavors of fall. A classic handheld meal such as Beef Tacos, hot dogs, or pizza is always a welcome main course as well!
READ MORE: 25 Luscious Fall Foods You’re Sure To Adore
3. Snacks to Surprise The Kids
A little light snacking is always a good thing! Especially when there are festival activities and friends to enjoy that may keep your party going well into the evening. For the adults, how about some Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Pumpkin Hummus rich with pumpkin spices, light handheld Corn & Brocolli Calzones, or Spiced Pear Chips to provide a new twist to a typical fruit?
The kiddos will surely enjoy these Pretzel Pumpkins as they feel the familiar crunch of pretzels in the fall breeze. Don’t forget these super-cute Rice Krispies Treats Scarecrow Pops, either! They’re perfect while walking around and taking in the festivities.
READ MORE: 26 Easy Fall Snacks And Drinks For On-The-Go
4. Desserts Everyone Will Love
Now it is time for everyone’s favorite part — an amazing dessert spread! These are the perfect finishing touches to your amazing fall festival meal.
- Fall Pie Bar! Check out this stunning display of everyone’s favorite fall treat — pie! (Just gorgeous!)
- Candy Apple Cheesecake Cookie Bars taste super good and give off the perfect fall vibes.
- Zucchini chocolate chip muffins are surprisingly healthy yet tasty enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.
- Chewy pumpkin oatmeal cookies are loaded with pumpkin spices and smell incredible.
- Applesauce cake is perfect for cake lovers who prefer light, moist, and cinnamon-scented cake.
- Gluten-free Pumpkin Hand Pies is for ingredient-conscious festival-goers who don’t want to miss out on sweets, either!
5. Drink Ideas Fit for the Theme
Compliment your fall-themed meal with some fantastic beverage choices! Below are a few highly rated drink preferences for people of all ages. For the adults, this Harvest Apple Mule is a tasty combination of Moscow mule and apple cider. An Easy Fall Sangria is the perfect blend of white wine and traditional fall flavors, such as sweet apple, pear, orange, and cinnamon.
For the kiddos, you could make these Pomegranate Drink Spritzers so the kids can enjoy a light and refreshing fancy drink, too. Candy Corn Punch gives the perfect fall festival vibes for the little ones as well. When the weather is chilly, a heartier drink is in order. The Slow Cooker Apple Cider is aroma-rich and will keep those tiny tummies warm!
6. Entertain Guests With Games
Now, it’s time for some fantastic fall festival entertainment! Below are a few games that the kids and adults will love, and they are a perfect way to celebrate fall.
Pumpkin Bowling: This game works the same as bowling, except you’re knocking down ghoulish paper towel rolls with a pumpkin. Add candy prizes for an extra treat!
Candy Corn Relay Race: Mark start and finish lines. Fill a bowl with candy corn and place it on the starting line. Players need to scoop candy corns in large spoons, hold them in their mouths, run and put them in empty containers at the fishing line. The one who fills the most wins. However, if the candy corn falls, the player must put it back in the spoon and start from the starting line again.
Pumpkin Walk: Paste pumpkin stickers on the floor and number them. The number of people playing should equal the number of stickers you have pasted. Choose a winning number, start the music and play it for several seconds. The person left standing on the winning number when the music stops wins a prize!
7. Fun Party Activities
Fall festivals, parties, and get-togethers would be incomplete without some pre-planned party activities. While less competitive than the traditional games above, they are additional ways to pass the time. You can host a pie-eating contest for bragging rights (and make some hilarious memories in the process)! Design a fall photo booth, complete with backdrop and props to help capture and share your memorable event. Or, create this fun Poke-a-Pumpkin, which is a great way to pass out prizes and makes for lovely decor!
READ MORE: Fall Outfits For Women You’ll Want To Wear On Repeat
8. Movies To Enjoy
Watching movies is another great activity to plan for your fall festival, and taking that movie outdoors just adds to the fun! Here’s how to incorporate an Outdoor Movie Night into your event. Since you’ll need the perfect fall movie, here are a few suggestions.
9. Tunes for the Occasion
Music can help set the tone for fall festivities as well. Create your fall festival playlist here!
10. Cute Party Favors
Put together some party favors and end your fall festival with a treat! Here is a step-by-step guide to creating fall-themed party favors. Choose your favorite snack (make sure it’s fall-themed!). You can do apple and caramel fall treats or s’mores party favors to really put an exclamation point on the party! Then personalize the packaging. You can choose small orange-brown bags, or if you want a more creative idea, try these tissue paper pumpkins. Finally, add a creative message. You can use fall-themed printables or craft a cute message yourself.
Well, what are you waiting for? Nail your next fall festival with these fun ideas! Start your planning today and be sure to incorporate your favorite ideas from our amazing guide to make it a memorable harvest-themed event! If you’d like to experience the best fall festivals rather than create your own, check out these Fall Festivals to Visit at Least Once with Kids instead!
WANT TO READ MORE?
You’ll need a great breakfast before heading out to a fall festival. (Or planning one!) Try one of these 10 Delicious And Flavorful Pancake Recipes That Say “Happy Fall, Y’all!”
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Cover Photo Credit: Tiny Beans