Falling leaves, cooler air, an entire month of Halloween? Thinking of Fall yet? Good. Because September is right around the corner and now is the perfect time of year to plan Fall events.
Enjoy the changing colors of the season with a trip to the pumpkin patch or apple orchard, make time to stop and smell the roses during a nature hike, or host a costume contest that’ll leave your guests grinning from ear to ear. We have you covered with ideas to make your next fall event a hit!
For more, here’s everything you need to know about planning the perfect Fall event.
Popular Themes for Fall Events.
Holidays like Thanksgiving, Halloween, and all the autumn harvest festivals, can play a huge part in creating those feelings of togetherness. Fall sports and pumpkin carving contests can add friendly competition, while outdoor activities such as scavenger hunts and picnics play a huge part in creating those feelings of camaraderie.
Above all, Fall events should get people excited to see each other, and leave them better friends, co-workers, and teammates. Here are some inspiring ways to bring a little autumn spirit to your next event:
Harvest themes may sound corny (yes, there will be puns), but they do provide a bounty (see) of Autumn foods and activities to choose from.
Ideas: apple picking, hay rides, bonfires, costume contests, carnivals, DIY hot cocoa bar, cider tastings at a local brewery, and the list goes on.
ProTip: End with a professionally catered, fall-themed meal to create the ultimate harvest experience.
Frolic in the foliage.
Autumn is one of the best times of the year to take a nature walk and see birds, wildlife, or maybe just some amazing views.
According to Jon Levy, author of You’re Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence, people create stronger relationships when they accomplish an easy and fulfilling task. This is why a short nature walk is one of the best Fall social ideas. Weather permitting, of course.
Fall sporting events.
Sports can create good-natured competition, and strengthen bonds between teammates.
Football, or likely flag football, is an obvious choice for Fall. Event planners will find both indoor and outdoor football facilities that will fit their needs. Adult leagues can even supply the equipment, such as flags, cones, and footballs.
Other Fall sports include Pickle Ball (a popular tennis-esque sport), curling (trendy, also indoors), a softball game, or a 5k run followed by lunch and drinks.
A costume party (any kind you want).
One of the best event ideas for October is to go full Halloween and throw a costume party. You can keep the costume theme open-ended, or give people a prompt – maybe a TV show that’s always getting memed in the office, or a popular action movie.
ProTip: Create a costume party around an activity so that people wear comfortable costumes. The cardboard robot suit is not a good choice for flag football.
Escape rooms are a great way to tie in the Halloween theme, as well as add competition and problem-solving elements.
To escape, your team will have to work together, under a deadline, all under the pressure of competition and failure. Good practice for the hard days at work, right? The difference is that escape rooms are fun and help improve leadership skills in the process.
What to Avoid When Planning Events in Fall.
Fall events can be very fun, but there are a few hard and fast rules you will want to follow so that everyone has a good time.
Remember, your event is for your attendees. It has to be something they are excited about, something they are available to attend, and something that’s a good experience. Here are a few ways to make that happen:
Don’t plan an event your team won’t like.
You want buy-in early on. If your group wants a low-key activity you can forget the 5-mile nature walk in the woods.
Instead, try a relaxing winery visit and a nice catered meal.
People get busy. They plan trips and attend school functions, plus there are many competing events on the books!
Research local events to make sure your dates aren’t overlapping with the annual fall festival or the start of the school year.
The last thing you want is for your attendees to think that the party is just a cliche you pulled off the internet.
If you are going to a pumpkin patch, then put your own spin on it. Include a photo booth, bring your own props. Host a pumpkin decorating or scarecrow building contest.
The key is you get people spending time together, no matter what.
Don’t depend on the weather.
Fall weather can mean many things depending on where you are. You might need to plan for sun, snow, rain, clouds, hot, cold, perfect temp, or all of the above.
Whatever you do, don’t expect the weather to do what you want it to do.
Can You Have Events Outdoors in the Fall?
Yes, planning a Fall event outdoors is totally possible. Here are a few things to consider:
Look for overhead structures.
Look for built-in wood or metal framed canopy structures that can cover a large group of people. Hotels and convention centers generally have outdoor venues like this. So do local parks, but you’ll want to reserve that spot at the park so that it’s available.
A rainy day under a strong canopy is actually quite nice, assuming it’s not too stormy.
Hot and cold beverages.
Make sure you have both hot and cold beverages available. When you are outside the temp changes (especially in the Fall). People will want hot coffee in the morning and cold drinks in the afternoon. Also, hot tea or coffee as the sun comes down can be just the thing.
Lighting / AV system / Electricity.
If you are planning presentations, music, or any kind of performance, you will need a weatherproof AV system, as well as access to electricity.
This is easier to find at event venues but can be brought to parks with the right permits.
Have a backup plan.
The best way to plan for an outdoor event is to have a backup plan. Maybe you meet back at an indoor location if the weather turns south. It may not be as glamorous but it will have everything you need.
Another good option is a local bar that can accommodate everyone, and preferably has amazing Fall themed drinks! But any drinks should be fine.
Fall might be the perfect season for an event.
Fall is full of fun themes, foods, and activities that are great for any kind of event.
Harvest foods, sports, nature, and Halloween costumes, are some of the main themes you can plan around. Also, make sure that your attendees are as excited about the theme as you are. And if you are going to be outside, plan ahead for the weather! But really, as far as the seasons go, Fall event planning is easy as pie 🙂