Caught between the joys of late summer and the frenzy of the holidays, fall is one of the loveliest times of the year. Trees blaze out in glory, our football teams are winning, and it’s just cool enough for some stylish layering. So why don’t we think outside the tailgate more, and throw together some fall fun? We’re loving this invitation for fall inspiration. What could be more fun than a fall feast? A time to gather with friends before the whirlwind of the holidays sets in. We have a few ideas for autumn entertaining; leave any more ideas you might have in the comments!

  • Take it outside. If the weather is holding to a pleasant chill (one of the best things about the South is our temperate climate), feast al fresco with friends. Provide lots of blankets and cozy places to sit, and we recommend having a warm cocktail option (rum-spiked cider, anyone?) on hand to keep things extra festive. Keep a big batch of cider warm in your slow cooker, and guests can add booze and cinnamon sticks to their liking. This way, little ones can enjoy the cider, too.
  • Get a fire pit. This is an extension of the “take it outside” idea, but a fire pit can bring fall gatherings to a new level. We love this customizable one. It can also keep the chill off when nights start to turn a little too cool. Bonus: marshmallow roasting! If you’ve got a fire pit, s’mores are suddenly on the menu.
  • Try a chili cook-off! Fall is perfect chili and stew weather, and what’s more fun (and easier to freeze for later meals) than a big pot of chili and a whole mess of toppings. Have guests bring their favorite recipe and garnishes, then set everything out and taste. You can give friendly awards, but mostly, the fun is just trying a bunch of different options–and going home with lots of them to get you through those busy fall nights.
  • Cocktail supper. We’re big fans of the cocktail supper here at Dogwood Hill. Plenty of simple cocktails, and rich, little bites that make for an elegant supper without the formality of a sit down dinner. A well-stocked bar cart is certainly helpful in this case, and a few of these pretty little appetizers can turn into a satisfying meal.
  • Theme dinner party. The fall is a fun time to experiment with a theme and we love the idea of a harvest-themed feast. Think about it: the farmer’s markets are flush with squash, cool weather greens, and all manner of yummy produce. Try a menu themed around, say, pumpkins! There are dozens of sweet and savory ways to use the season’s unofficial mascot. Head over to Pinterest for loads of fun fall ideas.

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