How To Host A Fall Themed Dinner + Some Inspiration

fall themed dinner ideas

We started a new family tradition this year – hosting a fall dinner party! We got the idea from a reader and we’re dubbing our Fall Fest an annual tradition the first week of fall every year. Here’s some ideas so you can do it in your family!


A fall dinner party is a fun new tradition that we’re doing this year!

A few weeks ago I shared a post about making your own happiness, and how important it is to purposefully put things into your life that bring you happiness. I mentioned that one way I do this is by celebrating little holidays, or making random days special.

You can read the whole post RIGHT HERE.

Someone messaged me that day and told me that after a hard day, that post was just what she needed. So instead of feeling sorry for herself or unhappy, she started planning their annual Fall Fest dinner.

Excuse me, what? I liked the idea of a Fall Fest…what was it?


All the details about a Fall Fest dinner party

She told me it’s an annual dinner they do the first week of Fall to celebrate fall coming. They all dress in plaid or flannel, they decorate the house for fall, they burn a fall candle, drink apple cider and fall themed food, and then watch a fall movie (she said Remember the Titans or You’ve Got Mail are two regulars).



Make your fall themed dinner as simple or involved as you choose – that’s the fun of it!

We did our Fall Fest dinner last week, so I wanted to share a few photos from our dinner, as well as some of the inspiration I found.

You can make it as simple or as involved as you’d like — remember, this isn’t supposed to be stressful, it’s supposed to be something that brings you joy! So even if it’s just lighting a cinnamon candle, putting some pumpkins on your table, and reading a new fall book with your kids that night, that can be enough! It’s just fun to celebrate the new season in a special way.

And by the way, I keep calling a dinner party, but we did it just as a family. You can invite people or not!


Decoration ideas for your Fall Fest Dinner

  • PUMPKINS on the table are an easy way to make a fun fall centerpiece with a very small budget. Most grocery stores already have pumpkins out!
  • A PLAID SCARF is a really fun and easy idea to use as a tablecloth and add some fall coziness to your table.
  • CANDLES on the table are another great way to add ambiance.
  • FALL LEAVES are in all craft stores and are a fun way to decorate the table.
  • WOOD BOARDS or CHARGERS add a rustic feel to your tablescape!

Check out these pretty fall dinner tablescape ideas I found on Pinterest:

gorgeous fall tablescape for a fall fest dinner
gorgeous fall tablescape for a fall fest dinner
gorgeous fall tablescape for a fall fest dinner
gorgeous fall tablescape for a fall fest dinner
gorgeous fall tablescape for a fall fest dinner
gorgeous fall tablescape for a fall fest dinner

What to eat and drink for your fall fest dinner

  • SOUP! I love the idea of a cozy fall soup for this cozy fall dinner.
  • And if you do soup, serve it in BREAD BOWLS.
  • PUMPKIN or APPLE PIE — yum!
  • APPLE CIDER. Not only is this the perfect fall drink, it’s also going to make your house smell amazing.
  • A FALL-THEMED CHARCUTERIE BOARD. Pile on all the yummy meats, cheeses, nuts, dried fruit, and other fall themed snack foods.
  • ROASTED ROOT VEGGIES. It doesn’t all have to be carbs!
  • CIDER DONUTS. Ok, now I want these. Trader Joe’s has some you can buy, or you can make your own.


Look how gorgeous these bread bowls and this fall charcuterie board look!

fall charcuterie board
bread bowls for a fall themed dinner

Other little details for your fall fest dinner.

  • Give your kids Halloween pajamas so they can wear them all month long! Some favorites are below:



  • Read some fall themed books before bed (my sister has a whole post about some great ones HERE).
  • Choose a new fall-ish chapter book to start that night (we read a new Harry Potter book every fall so I bought the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and we started it that evening after our fall fest dinner!)
  • Watch a fall movie together. The girl who gave us this idea recommended You’ve Got Mail or Remember the Titans, but other good options might be Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rudy, October Sky, While You Were Sleeping, and I’m sure you can think of more!
  • Burn a candle for the first time this season
  • Make everyone wear flannel or plaid for the fall fest dinner


What we ate and did for our fall fest dinner

We held our fall fest dinner last Friday and it was such a blast. We decorated the table, ate dinner, watched Remember the Titans, ate dessert while we watched, and then I gave the third illustrated Harry Potter to my boys and we read the first chapter together.


  • Apple brickle dip. This is a toffee cream cheese dip that is insanely good. I served it with honeycrisp apples.
  • Pear and pomegranate crostinisThe only change I made was the laughing cow cheese. I didn’t even try to look for it — I already had plain cream cheese, so I added a little cinnamon and sugar to that. It worked great and they were delicious.
  • Maple glazed pork. I used this recipe, but cooked it in my dutch oven instead of on a sheet pan, and cooked it with root veggies and Brussels sprouts. I coated the meat with the corn starch mixture according to the recipe, browned it in the dutch oven, and then brushed with the glaze according to the recipe. Then I added the glaze and cooked at 350 for about 45 minutes until everything was soft and cooked through and the glaze was caramelized on the meat and veggies. Seriously so so good.
  • Apple Cider. I bought a gallon of it from Trader Joes – nothing fancy, but my kids absolutely loved it!
  • Apple cider donuts and vanilla ice cream. This is what we had for dessert. I bought the donuts a few days previously, so I put them in the freezer so they wouldn’t get stale. I took them out, microwaved them for about 45 seconds, and served them warm and sizzling with Tillamook vanilla ice cream. They were aaaaamazing.
merrick's art fall fest table
fall dinner recipe ideas
fall dessert idea
fall dinner idea

Links to the furniture in our dining room


Seriously you should start this tradition in your home!

Doesn’t this sound like the best tradition? I love when you guys share your traditions and it brings new, happy traditions into our homes.

If you throw your own fall fest, make sure you snap a picture for your instagram or instagram stories and tag me (@merricksart) so I can see!


  1. Alex Dixon says:

    Delicious menu! it’s yummy and mouth-watering. I wish if you had shared the recipe, and i appreciate if you would keen to share it.

  2. Lori says:

    Dounds amazing! Now that yOu are a TX resident, have you tried Bluebell ice cream? If not, you need to. It’s the best

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