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Fall is here and that means we need to switch gears a bit when it coming to planning and hosting a Fall party.   The change in weather makes things so cozy…but does come with a bit of challenge.  Where do I host?  How do I fit people in my home without using my yard?  What if the weather is terrible? Do I have to host at a kid’s play place? Are any of these questions rolling through your head right now?  Good!  Keep reading…I’m here to help you answer them all AND give you some new tips and tricks to think about before sending out those pretty little earth tone Fall party invitations.

Party Space

The two statements I hear most often when it comes to hosting a Fall party at your home:

1. “I can’t host at my house because I don’t have enough room”

2. “My house is NOT nice enough to host a party.”

I totally get it.  I am lucky to have two summer babies and a big, beautiful yard to host parties in.  BUT that doesn’t mean that I still don’t host in my home during the other 10 months of rain we get here in Seattle!

Hosting at home is my preference because I am able to control everything.  I control how the space looks, what food I can serve, whether or not I want to serve my guests cocktails (yes.), and what time my party starts and ends.  For me, those things far outweigh the negatives of hosting at home (messy. blah.).

Clean House

Before I talk about other places to host, I want you to take a look around your space.  I bet you have a lot more room than you think.  There have been plenty of times I have moved furniture out of the party space to get more room.  What would your room look like without your oversized arm chair and large coffee table? Or even without your kitchen table?  Would that give you just enough space to host?

A rainy day Halloween party I hosted last year in my empty dining room

Another idea is only inviting the kid and one parent…or having a drop off party.  I love including the whole family, but indoor space fills up fast and hosting double the amount of people gets tricky.  This past year for Evie’s 4th birthday, I only invited her friends- not their little siblings.  Obviously if there was a childcare situation, the little one was invited, but I wanted to keep it “just the big kids” so I had less people to worry about hosting, but also to give the moms and their big kid a fun outing to do together.  It worked out awesome, there was the perfect amount of people in attendance, and I think I may just do that every year from now on!

Doing a big themed party for friends, and a separate more casual party for family is also nice.  A lot of times people want to bust it out in one day, but that can get a little stressful and you never get to visit with people since you are playing hostess.  A dinner party or pizza lunch is just as fun and gives you the chance to catch up with family members.

Okay…time to talk about your garage.

WHAT?!  Why are we talking about my garage?  Well, friend, it is a covered space attached to your home that you can use as an extension to your party space!  How cool would it be to turn your garage into a haunted house?  A space station?  Or even a soccer field!  Yes it is going to take some effort into cleaning it out and making it safe for kids….but hosting a party at home is FREE.99, people.  Free is worth some cleaning that you probably need to do anyway…am I right?  Related to this….renting a tent and heaters to extend the party to your patio is also an option.  Not the cheapest, but not terrible either!

Ask a friend or family member!

I bet you have someone close to you with a house just waiting to host a party.  Or maybe someone lives in an apartment/condo or a community that has a club house for their residents.  When Evie was born we lived in a tiny house with an even tinier yard.  There was no hosting a party for 50+ people there.  I am incredibly lucky that both of our parents live around us, and my parents graciously “hosted” my daughter’s first two birthday parties in their yard.  I was able to control all the things we talked about previously, but did go over to clean before and definitely after the party to ensure everything was put in its place and back to normal.  This is definitely worth asking…maybe bribe them with free babysitting?  Take them out to a nice dinner?  A weekend of yard work?  The worse that can happen is they say no!

If you still are thinking, “that’s great, Allison, but there is ZERO way I can host a party at my home” then here are my suggestions for you…

1. An Air BNB or VBRO
  • A space all to yourself to decorate!
  • I compared prices and for one night- it was comparable if not cheaper than the price of a play place party package (What?!) *I looked in the Seattle area only- so this may differ elsewhere
  • Host the party, send the guests, home…and relax with a night to yourself to celebrate your hard work!  YASSS!
2. A Community Center
  • Churches or hotels also usually have large spaces they hold for groups and large get togethers
  • These are usually very cost effective and you still have a large room to decorate however you want
  • There may be limitations on food, especially not being able to bring hot food because you won’t have an oven
  • Inquire well in advance- you aren’t the only one unable to host at your home and they can fill up fast!
3. A Themed Destination
  • Goes hand in hand with your theme!
    • Museum: dinosaur party, space party, Mad Scientist party
    • Aquarium or pool: mermaid party, under the sea party, whale party, nautical sail-a-bration
    • Indoor gym: sports party, jungle party (think little monkeys 😉 )
    • Zoo: party animals, jungle party, wild one
    • Farm: most is outside, but guests will be prepared to get dirty…and most farms have a covered area you can minimally decorate and serve food under
  • Most of these places have large rooms for parties that you can decorate and do at least one themed activity before going off to explore/play
4. A Play Place or Restaurant
  • They almost always have a birthday party room that you can decorate
  • Lots of times they have food included
  • You can reserve for a certain amount of time at specific times
  • Usually your most expensive option because you almost always are required to buy a package
  • More times than not you also do not get to rent the whole space, so you will most likely be sharing with other people or parties

Regardless of what you choose, your party will be a blast!  Stressing about where to host is not worth the effort.  You have lots of options.  I suggest trying to host at home- look around with fresh eyes and some new motivation.  If it just won’t work, head on down to Plan B Land and refer back to my suggestions on other places to host.  It will all work out in the end, I promise.

Go into the party with your number one goal in mind: creating lifelong, cherished memories for you and your loved ones.  That is what a party is all about!

Evie (2) as a pilot at a Halloween party I hosted for her and her friends.  I created an outdoor photo area (taking advantage of my covered porch!) to capture all the littles in their cute costumes!

Are you hosting a Fall party and need some guidance?  I’ve created a FREE Fall Party Planning Template for you!  It is a short and sweet little place to jot down some notes and organize your thinking when it comes to your party.  Snag it below!

For more info on this, check out my Facebook Live Video I did on this topic!  Click here to watch!

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Still overwhelmed and need some more help?  Have a party coming up and zero time to sit down, look for ideas, and plan the dang thing?  You’re in the right place, love!  Contact me here and let’s get it done together!

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