Our friend and Modern Manners Etiquette Expert Diane Gottsman gives us her top fall-inspired tips. From visiting an apple orchard to a camping trip to baking up some sweet treats, she has you covered on being a gracious host.
Take inventory of your favorite sweaters and fall clothes. Pull out your warm weather boots, beautiful scarves, and comfy sweaters. Take a close look to determine if they need repair, and have them ready for a warm and wonderful season ahead.
Host a cider party. Ask your friends over for an afternoon of fun, conversation, and warm apple cider. Make your own cider, or buy it in bottles at the store. The presentation with fall mugs, warm blankets for sitting outside and relishing the crisp air for an afternoon will make a wonderful fall memory. Use these adorable tags for your party.
Pull out your seasonal decorations. Make putting out fall ornaments a family affair. Even though my children have shared that they are “too old” to appreciate the pumpkins, leaves, and other items I use to decorate around my home, I continue to put them out. Now that one is married, another off to college, and one a sophomore in high school, they find comfort when they walk in the door and recognize familiar signs of the season. When I don’t put them out soon enough, they all notice! There is nothing more special than building memories.
Visit a pumpkin patch. Find a church or an organization that sponsors a pumpkin patch, or choose a pick-your-own patch, and go for it. Big, small, different colors and shapes awake the inner child. Don’t forget to take pictures of the fun.
Volunteer to help at a local nonprofit, or visit a facility for the aging where residents may not have family to spend time with. Whether it’s hosting a Halloween party for children or singing and playing board games with the elderly, do something for someone else. It will make them—and you—feel better.
Take a camping trip with your mate. Even if it’s in your own backyard, spending designated time together doing things you once enjoyed (visiting a bed-and-breakfast, taking a hike, and the like) will bring you closer together and energize your relationship.
Enjoy the majestic colors of fall. Grab a blanket, fill a thermos with hazelnut coffee or spiced cider, pack a picnic basket, and take a drive. Soak in the beautiful gold, red, and orange leaves and other foliage before the temperatures drop. Then choose a place along the way where you have never stopped before, and enjoy your picnic lunch.
Spice up the season. Nothing is more comforting than walking through the back door and smelling a pumpkin pie baking in the oven. Don’t forget pumpkin soup, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins—the list is endless. Make a point of baking your family’s favorites.
Visit a fall festival. Find a celebration in your own area or in a neighboring town, and invite your family or friends to come along for a day of fun. Several fall fests take place throughout the month, so don’t hesitate to choose a different one every weekend. Pick up handmade crafts, fresh herbs, and home-baked bread, and enjoy the many other food booths. You will meet new people and locate some resources you will find helpful throughout the year.
Have an ale-tasting get-together. Fall hails all sorts of seasonal beer and ale. Invite your friends over for a potluck and ale-tasting party. Nothing fancy—just simple food and good company. Have each friend or couple bring a different seasonal beer/ale to share.
Find an orchard, and pick some apples. Take the scenic route, and stop for lunch along the way. Discuss ways you will use the apples you pick, then ask for volunteers to make their favorite apple recipe. Share the rewards with neighbors and friends.