Summer may be over, but the incoming cold weather doesn’t have to put a stop to your fun. Throwing an outdoor party is still an option in autumn if you know how to plan it just right. With the following fall party ideas and tips, you’ll be all set to host a shindig that people will remember.

Backyard Party Ideas

Dinner party. If you have a patio or porch, it’s relatively easy to convert the space to an outdoor dining area. With a few decorations, a great menu, and some lighting and music for ambiance, you and your guests can enjoy dining under the stars.

couple roasting marshmallows over a fireBonfire. You don’t have to live near the beach to have a bonfire party. A backyard fire pit or outdoor fireplace can provide the same kind of toasty atmosphere—especially nice in cooler temperatures. Set the mood with a backyard barbecue first. Just don’t forget the s’mores ingredients for dessert!

Costume party. With Halloween around the corner, you may want to start planning a costume extravaganza. Costumes are often composed of many heavy layers and makeup that can melt off in the heat, so a cool night is the perfect setting for people to dress up without getting too sweaty.

Thanksgiving. If you live in an area that doesn’t hit freezing temps in late November, consider hosting your Thanksgiving dinner outdoors this year. The fall foliage will be a beautiful backdrop to your meal. Just make sure your house is prepared for potential overnight guests.

How to Decorate for Fall

decorative pumpkins, flowers, corn, and berriesWhen it comes to decorating for fall, use the warm colors of the changing leaves—browns, reds, oranges, and golds. You can even incorporate the leaves themselves into your decor. Pumpkins and other gourds are also popular accent pieces, and flowers are always a beautiful choice. Even with leaves dying, there are still many flowers that bloom in fall; chrysanthemums, sunflowers, and heather are a few colorful options.

If you have kids or are expecting trick-or-treaters, turn up the Halloween spirit with fake cobwebs, jack-o’-lanterns, and whimsical lawn figurines, such as skeletons and gravestones. If that’s a little too over the top for you, or if you want decor that will last all fall, you can always embrace more understated seasonal options, like autumn door wreaths or cornucopias, that will be in style through Thanksgiving.

Hosting Tips

When hosting an outdoor party, make your guests’ comfort a priority. Your party’s outdoor space should be warm, well lit, and bug-free. Tiki torches are a festive decor option that can help you achieve all three of those things if you install the kind that uses citronella oil. If there was recently any rain, it may be advisable to hire a mosquito control service. Don’t forget to have ample seating and table space set up as well. Finally, make sure you’re aware of any dietary restrictions your guests have so you can plan a menu with options for everyone.

The best hosts can plan a party around anything—even cold weather. Use these fall party ideas to show your friends and family that the fun doesn’t have to chill out when the cold fronts come in.