Outdoor Party Ideas for Fall

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Looking for a way to take advantage of beautiful, sunny fall days for a birthday or celebration? Just because the current pandemic has changed the way we gather doesn’t mean we can’t observe special occasions! 

There are lots of fun activities that you can do — either at home or out and about — to commemorate milestones and make memories with your family. Here are a few outdoor party ideas, so you can celebrate safely this fall. 

Cabana Rentals at Barton Hill Farms

The Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch at our Bastrop farm runs from October 3rd through November 15th. With games and activities, tasty food and drink, a 3-acre corn maze, and a scenic pumpkin patch right on the Colorado River, it’s a beautiful and fun place to gather with the family and have fun. 

New this year are our semi-private cabana rentals. Cabanas provide a “home base” where your family can gather throughout their day on the farm. Each includes a 12’ x 14’ covered area with plenty of shade and seating, plus a 16’ x 12’ firepit area. Rentals are for a half-day and have an occupancy of 10 people per cabana. They’re the perfect place to open gifts and take pictures, right on the waterfront! 

Outdoor Movie Party

If the cinephile in your life is missing the Alamo Drafthouse, a backyard movie party might be just the ticket this fall. 

With a projector and a sheet tacked up to the side of the house, you can screen an old favorite or a new release. Make a big bucket of popcorn and put drinks in a cooler. You could even have friends over from outside your “bubble.” Set up their chairs at least six feet apart, and ask everyone to BYOP (bring your own popcorn.)

You could go with a spooky flick to get into the Halloween mood, or watch a new release like Mulan on Disney Plus or Enola Holmes on Netflix.

Garden Party

Between sheltering in place and working from home, this has been a very casual year. Why not break out the cocktail attire for a classy outdoor garden party? Decorate the garden with cafe lights and a few cocktail tables, and make a big batch of sangria or spiked lemonade. 

Invite just a couple of close friends and set the cocktail tables at a distance so everyone can chat while remaining in their own space. 

Birthday Parade

For a socially distanced event, especially for older relatives, how about a drive-by birthday parade? Family will gather to drive by grandma or grandpa’s house and share their love and well wishes. You can decorate your car with window chalk and balloons to make the event more festive. 

The parade crew can also stop in front of the house to sing Happy Birthday to the honoree. This is a fun way of showing your love while keeping high-risk friends and family safe. 

S’mores and Stars Party

Birthdays are a great excuse to bend the rules a bit. Let the kiddos stay up past their bedtime with a “S’mores and Stars” party. Melt marshmallows over the backyard firepit, and set up a telescope to take in the celestial wonders of the night sky. 

Some dates to consider: 

  • October 13th — Mars will be the closest to earth and will be visible all night long. 
  • October 16th — The full moon will not be visible, which will make the rest of the sky darker for star viewing.
  • October 21st and 22nd — Orionid Meteor Shower
  • October 31st — Full moon
  • November 16th and 17th — Leonid Meteor Shower

Backyard Petting Zoo

If you can’t go to the petting zoo, bring the petting zoo to you! Tiny Tails to You is a mobile petting zoo with bunnies, chinchillas, guinea pigs, bearded dragons, and more. They’ll bring their mini menagerie to your home so the kids can touch and snuggle with these adorable animals. 

They’re currently doing in-person events (with COVID policies) and virtual events. 

Have a Pumpkin Carving Party

After you pick up your pumpkin from the Barton Hill Farms Pumpkin Patch, why not have a carving party? This is best done outdoors anyway, as it can get a bit messy. 

Invite a few families over, and give everyone their own station in the backyard. Provide carving tools (or ask them to bring their own) so they can scoop the innards and carve their creations. Play spooky music to get everyone into the Halloween mood!

Once the carving is done, let everyone vote on their favorite and give the winner a prize. 

Pro tip: spread a little petroleum jelly on the cut edges. This will help seal in moisture and prevent shriveling!

Party Time! 

Even though celebrations and gatherings look a little different this year, we can still gather with our loved ones to celebrate milestones — or just to celebrate being together. 

With a little creativity, there’s no reason to put our parties on hold a minute longer!