16 Fall Outdoor Entertaining Ideas

Invite friends and family to a tailgate, bonfire, holiday celebration and more with these fall outdoor entertaining ideas.

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Cook up a Pizza Party

As the weather cools off, evenings outdoors become more enjoyable. What better way to spend an evening with friends and family than with a pizza party? Model your outdoor area after this Tuscan-inspired space designed by Jamie Durie complete with custom wood-fired pizza oven and picnic bench-style marble table. 

Fire it up

A fire pit with a couple of surrounding chairs instantly creates a perfect gathering place for fall evenings. Roast marshmallows, enjoy a drink or just relax with friends around the fire right in your own backyard. Get inspired with these fire pit ideas or even consider making your own

Host a Pumpkin Carving Party

Carving pumpkins is something to look forward to every fall, so why not make an event out of it? Invite some friends over, ask them to bring a pumpkin and get your carving tools ready. Put newspapers down on a back porch or patio to make clean-up a breeze (wrap the pumpkin innards up and compost the whole package!). Roast some of the pumpkin seeds in the oven while you carve for a delicious snack later. Download some of our carving templates here.

Serve Fall Cocktails

Serve a fall-infused cocktail like Autumn's Up! at your next gathering. This adult drink contains bourbon, pecans, cinnamon and more. Learn how to make this beverage and more fall cocktails. 

Play Some Games

Get a little family competition going by playing some games outside. These all-weather bags have recycled plastic inside. You can throw down backyard-style with two water-resistant hardwood targets made in Maine for $149. You could also make your own corn hole set from upcycled wooden palettes. 

Create a Fall Harvest Centerpiece

Bring some fall flair to your outdoor tablescape with this easy centerpiece. Learn how to put it together here.

Pack a Picnic

Grab the wine and cheese! Whether your destination is a campsite in the mountains, a nearby city park or even your own backyard, plan to pack a picnic in a stylish and compact basket like this one. Picnics make for great fall date nights, too.

Dip Into a Pumpkin Bowl

Get creative and festive at your next outdoor fall gathering with a pumpkin serving bowl. Buy a large pumpkin, cut the top off, clean out the inside, carve a decorative trim and place a plastic bowl inside with your choice of dip. See more detailed instructions here.

Make a Drink Station

You can also use a pumpkin to serve drinks. Add leaves on the rim and throw some ice in it to chill drinks for your guests. 

Go Glamping

Glamping—or glamorous camping—is in. As the weather cools off, glamping is a great way to spend time outdoors and a great excuse to make a bonfire and roast marshmallows in style. You can take a glamping adventure to somewhere you've never been before or even try it out in your own backyard. Read about why we love glamping and check out how to throw your own luxury glamping party at home. 

Tailgate in the Trunk

Fall and football go hand in hand, so start making tailgating plans! You can recreate this lovely vignette with flowers, a simple banner, a chalkboard sign, small decorative pumpkins and all of your favorite food and drinks.

Heat Things Up

As the cooler fall weather sets in, you may want to add small heaters around seating areas to keep you and your guests warm. A halogen heater can be added underneath an umbrella for patio and pool areas. This unit by Well Traveled Living attaches to the center pole, heating up the space during the day or at night.

Craft a Rustic Utensil Holder

This rustic woodland-inspired utensil holder made from Mason jars and cut wood is perfect for all of your outdoor entertaining.

DIY a Rustic Serving Tray

Wooden textures give a rustic touch to any table or decorative space - perfect for fall entertaining. Learn how to make a wooden serving tray to use at all of your fall fêtes. 

Make Caramel Apples

A sticky, yummy treat that's always a hit at Halloween parties, caramel apples are easy to make and fun for the whole family. See more fall apple recipes here.

Create Fall Aromas

Some of the best things about fall are all of the many amazing aromas. One smell your guests are sure to love is the smell of coffee. You can easily create a fall centerpiece for your outdoor table with glass jars, coffee beans and tea lights. The burning candle will give off the soothing smell of coffee. Tip: Place a small cylinder-shaped object into the jar before filling it with coffee beans; you'll use fewer coffee beans and still get the same look.