Fall Entertaining? It’s Autumn, and the Living is Easy!

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The party fun doesn’t have to end when the temperatures dip. Outdoors or in, there are so many ways to enjoy great times with great friends–effortlessly! Have a fall cookout! Gather around a fire pit! Throw a homemade pizza and game night! Enjoy autumn!!

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Summer is over. Summer was fun: cookouts, campouts, picnics on the beach, etc. But now you still have friends and family to visit with as the temperatures cool. How to keep the celebration going with some easy fall entertaining?

First, look to your personal space: your house and your yard. October can still yield warm evenings, so don’t rule out the back patio or deck for dinner. Fire up the grill for some autumn-appropriate dishes, such as succulent strip steaks with bacon lattice and carefree grilled squash.

Add a dessert treat from your home oven that can be prepared days in advance, Don Farmer’s Fresh Apple Cake (thanks to James Beard).

So maybe you can’t grill, but you still yearn to entertain outdoors as the days shorten. Do you have room for a fire pit? For ages, people have gathered around a toasty fire to enjoy each other’s company and share their stories. When you keep that lovely tradition going, that’s some no-fuss fall entertaining!

If chilly evening winds chase you inside, bring the party with you! When temperatures start to plummet, it’s time to think homemade pizza and game night. Assign ingredients to your guests, provide fresh pizza dough (from your local market or pizzeria), and get creative in the kitchen! Your culinary creations can be plain (good old tomato and pepperoni) or fancy, like this easy but exotic Thai chicken pizza. Be sure to offer some great Philly beverages, including a variety of beers from Victory Brewing Company and robust reds from Chaddsford Winery.

After supper, let the games begin! Choose teams and get those competitive juices flowing. If your gang is tired of the same old same old charades, check out this hilarious and fast-paced variation, Celebrity. How fast can you guess famous people’s names?

Another favorite for a crowd is the lively dice game Bunco. Bunco requires a bit more time to set up, but it’s a super way to spend an evening with friends!

Of course, there’s always the latest blockbuster film on Netflix and some movie-theatre style snacks for an effortless approach to fall entertaining!

Finally, get swept up in the excitement of the Philly football season with a tailgate before the big game! In addition to the Eagles, hometown fans cheer for the Temple Owls and the Penn Quakers. Make game day a breeze with a potluck. Everyone brings a dish, and when you bring make-ahead barbecue deviled eggs yours is a snap (delicious too)!

Fall entertaining has its own unique charm, as everyone bundles up and relishes the crisp weather. The days may be getting shorter, but the fun is endless. Find your perfect Philadelphia fall (and winter, spring, and summer) by becoming a “local.”

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Elise Seyfried is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the author of two books of humorous spiritual essays, and a playwright (co-author of 15 plays for children). Her work regularly appears in the Chestnut Hill (PA) Local and The Word in Season (devotional). She has also written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lutheran Digest, Guideposts magazine, Metropolis and The Wittenburg Door. Elise was the lyricist for the Stanley Drama Award-winning musical Flight, based on the life of Howard Hughes. Elise has served as publicist for the Lewes (DE) Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, ME.She is the mother of five children, and her family life is prominently featured in her writing. Elise's topics to date have included children/parenting issues, humor and spirituality. An avid cook, Elise also enjoys writing about food and dining. Since 2002, Elise has been Director of Spiritual Formation at Christ's Lutheran Church in Oreland, PA; previously, she worked for years as an actress. She blogs at www.eliseseyfried.blogspot.com.

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