Summer is all about about escape. No beach is too far, no road trip too adventurous. But fall — fall holds its own magic. The weather cools to a delicious crisp. Sweaters and blankets come out. The fire pit, grill, and sports come on. Bread becomes a staple again! Everything feels heartier and cozier—familiar but new. Sounds nice, right?
Our Hosts agree, there is nothing like spending fall at home, especially in the backyard. “As (tired) parents of three toddlers,” our Host Sandra in Arvada, CO says, “a staycation in our backyard sounds like paradise…”
Here, some of our Hosts gave us a sneak peek into their fall weekend retreats in the backyard.
What you’ll need: A white sheet, a projector, snacks!, and a movie you can all agree on
Our Host Emily in Marietta, GA loves a family night in for fall, and so do her girls.
“We hang a sheet between trees and use a projector for a backyard movie night.”
They make an entire evening of it, roasting marshmallows and popping popcorn over an open fire. “When it gets cooler here, I’ll set up a s’mores cart and have a fun s’mores and wine party on the patio.”
Fall Dinner Parties
What you’ll need: A menu of seasonal eats, hungry guests, and probably wine
Fall means a whole new season of delicious ingredients. Staycations go hand-in-hand with dinner parties — whether it’s for two, for the family, or for all the neighbors.
“We just set up our Outer sofa this week,” says Sandra, “and it has totally transformed our ho-hum deck into a posh outdoor lounge. Let the staycations begin. Time to buy more wine!”
Host Ameann in Valley Village, CA loves hosting in fall. “We have more dinner parties under the stars and enjoy the crisp cool weather.” Another fall ritual for Ameann’s family: apple picking and making pies.
Host Marilee in Orange, CA has the right idea for her fall menus: “I decorate our home inside and out for fall—and reintroduce soup and bread to the weekly menu.”
Camping in the backyard
What you’ll need: A tent, sleeping bags, flash lights, and willing campers
Another fan favorite at Emily’s is setting up camp in the backyard. This is a hit with the little ones. They gain a sense of freedom and adventure; plus, if sleeping outside loses its charm half-way through the night, the house is just a few steps away.
What you’ll need: An Outer sofa, one of the apps linked below, a telescope, or nothing at all
Speaking of stars, on a clear, cool night you might be able to catch some extra constellations.
“We use our sofa so much more in the fall,” says Ameann, “It’s close to our fire pit so it makes for relaxing evenings looking at the stars.”
Turn it into a family activity by making a star map to identify different stars and constellations, or download Google Sky Map or Star Chat — both allow you to point your phone into the night sky and identify what you’re seeing.
Even without a map of the stars, there’s something special about cozying up under a blanket, turning on the fire pit, and having a moment of relaxation as the world turns.
What you’ll need: An outdoor TV (worth it!), enough seats for all
Sports fans rejoice. Just like pumpkin spice lattes, football, baseball, and basketball are back in season!
While it’s still relatively warm and sunny in Southern California, Monday Night Football helps Marilee and her family make the transition from lazy summer days to busy fall weeks.
“This summer perk still lingers,” she says. They have a TV outdoors so they can BBQ, eat dinner, and watch the game on their deck.
What you’ll need: Blankets, some vibrant fall flora, and pumpkins. Lots of pumpkins.
For those who don’t live somewhere that seasons are as prevalent — there are ways to fake it.
“I add warm, rich red, orange, yellow, and brown tones to our garden boxes and yard—in both flowers and foliage,” says Marilee of her annual fall decor, “In SoCal we don’t get the brilliant color changes en masse like in other parts of the country, so I add them in myself for a color fix!”
Marilee’s other essentials to cozy up her space: blankets, a fire pit, and pumpkins—many, in different colors and varieties. “All add to the warmth of outdoor living in fall.”
For other ideas on cozying up an outdoor space, check out tips from our co-founder Terry Lin.
We hope you have a fall staycation to remember, and that these ideas inspire you to spend a good part of it outdoors. Feels good out here.