Fall is the best time of year to throw a fantastic party. Between the cooler, crisper weather and the colorful changes in the leaves, the outdoors is a great place to throw your next party or get-together.

Whether you are throwing an outdoor birthday bash or just inviting friends over for an autumn weekend shindig, outdoor parties in the fall need crucial elements to make your party both fun and festive. The four party ideas below will help transform any outdoor autumn party into a great and memorable experience:

Food and Snacks

Food can make or break any party. The lack of food can really alter the quality of an event. Because of this, serving a great variety of delicious snacks is essential for your event to be a success. When deciding what food to buy and make for your outdoor autumn get-togethers, consider serving foods that fit the beautiful fall season.

Days and evenings in the fall can be a little cooler, so plan your meals and snacks accordingly. Consider serving body-warming and stomach-filling dishes like chunky soups, hearty stews, and thick chili. These one-pot wonder dishes allow you to let them cook and simmer all day while you make your yard ready for the party. You can also consider going the barbecue route by grilling vegetables, like squash and zucchini.

In addition to the main course, serve seasonal drinks like ciders and spiced juices along with fall-colored or themed finger foods and desserts to set the festive mood—think ginger cookies, apple pie, and pumpkin cheesecake.

Games and Activities

For so many people, when the leaves start to change colors, they get excited because they know it means that football season is upon them. Naturally, any great outdoor party in the fall needs to have some sports or games going on.

During your next autumn party, try to arrange a little impromptu football game if you have space. Even if you do not have any room, consider buying a football if you do not already have one and throw it around with some friends. You could also arrange to have your party at a nearby park so that there would be plenty of room. Just make sure to set some precautionary rules beforehand so that nobody gets hurt.

Since not everyone is a fan of football, include some other smaller games and activities. Any game that is great to play while tail gating is also perfect for your backyard party. Games like horseshoes, ladder toss, and corn hole are just a few games you can add to your autumn extravaganza. These games are especially great to have if you have children around so that everyone can have a chance to participate in the events.

Festive Decorations and Supplies

Every autumn party needs an abundance of décor. Whether you prefer having macabre Halloween decorations or fun harvest décor, fall is the best time to go over the top with the embellishments.

Fall decorations come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and themes. Unless you are not careful, you can find yourself spending thousands of dollars on furnishing your party. For surprisingly high-quality party supplies like napkins, plates, cups, and serving dishes, shop at your local dollar store. You will be paying pennies on the dollar for the exact same fall themed supplies at any other store. This allows you to save money on purchasing more food, entertainment, and décor.

For some decorations, you may want to involve your children and create something. Look up a few crafts on Pinterest that you know you’d enjoy making and having around the house. These could be wreaths, Halloween yard decorations, or really anything that is fall-related.

Fun in the Water

Even though fall is a great time to relax outside in the cooler weather, there is always the looming threat of the cold and snow of winter. Fall is the last time of the year to get in your favorite outdoor activities, including using a pool or hot tub.

Pool or hot tub parties are always the type of get-togethers that people love going to and will remember for years to come. If you already have a hot tub, sauna, or pool, consider getting it ready for one more use before packing it away for the winter. If you do not have one, consider having one installed by a professional, like those at Bonnie & Clydes Above Ground Pools & Spas, to get your yard ready for the greatest party of the year.

Just because summer is over does not mean it is time to pack up your grill, pool, hot tub, or badminton net. Instead, use this opportunity to enjoy the great, fall outdoors as much as possible with family and friends. Before you start planning your next great outdoor event, consider trying to add as many of the above elements as possible to make your fall party the best ever.