Early fall rings in some of the best weather in Colorado: ideal temperatures in the 70s and 80s are great for daytime or early evening parties. While there are no real holidays to celebrate until Halloween, we love the idea of celebrating the season with a harvest party!
One of our favorite parts about parties in the fall season is that there are so many easy ways to decorate using easily available fall produce, and nature inspired items. Keep with fall colors: reds, oranges, yellows and browns. Cover tables in a natural burlap. Use apples, gourds, winter squashes and different sizes of pumpkins either as natural centerpieces, or place them throughout your yard on top of haystacks, or on any vintage yard chairs or tables before you put them away for winter! You can also fill large vases with mini pumpkins, apples, and leafs for tables. If there are kids attending, have them create a scarecrow using old clothes and stuffing with newspaper or hay. Display him proudly when they are done. If you have a fire pit, use it for roasting marshmallows and to keep an early fall chill away.
Fall is when many of our classic favorite foods return after the warm weather. Serve an easy pumpkin soup (use the pumpkin as the tureen!) and have mini grilled cheeses on side. Use other fall produce in different ways, like a roasted apple and Brie bruschetta, or a sweet potato salsa. For a main course, serve something to keep chilly hands warm, like smokin’ chipolte pork stew, or for a sit-down dinner, try a fall inspired cassoulet. Desserts can be homemade toffee, or apple dumplings—save the pumpkin pies for November.
There is no other drink that says fall like apple cider. Serve hot apple cider right out of the Crock Pot, spiked, or not. Luckily, for beer coinsurers there are also many breweries that make special beers for the fall season–Hibernation Ale from Great Divide is an award-wining favorite. For a pumpkin beer, we like Rumpkin from Avery Brewery, or Wynkoop’s Drunken Pumpkin Ale. Serve individual beers casually in large galvanized buckets. If beer or cider is not your crowd’s thing, try this cinnamon and apple spiked manzarita, or rich caramel appletinis (these could double as an adult dessert too!) For cocktail purists, whiskey gingers are an easy, instant fall classic.