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How To Host A Fall Party On A College Budget

Fall is here, and there are many fun ways to get into the spirit of the season! There are many things you can do to get cozy this time of year, from indoor activities to traditional outdoor adventures — or even hosting your own fall-themed gathering. If you’re looking for a way to ring in the season, I’ve compiled some tips for how to host a fall party in college, along with the snacks and decor you need to make it extra special. Get ready to host an epic fall get-together, and bonus: these tips are suitable for small, COVID-friendly gatherings and your college budget!

create a fall ambiance

One of the best ways to celebrate fall is with fall-themed decor! Whether you opt for a DIY day or you’d rather shop for new items for your space, try a fall activity like painting mini pumpkins! That’s right — it’s not just reserved for grade school. Mini pumpkins make the cutest little decorations for your college apartment, plus, you can buy them in bulk from a local store or farmer’s market so you and your friends can decorate a few each!

Not crafty at all? Same here, but fear not — you can still style your apartment to create the perfect fall ambiance for your guests. If you have the means to do so, I recommend purchasing a new set of golden cutlery to serve your guests with, or a nice, woolen blanket to drape on across your couch to add a pop of color. If you’re on a tighter budget and only want to invest in a few things, fairy lights, faux autumn leaves, and candles can best aid in creating a cozy, warm mood for your next college get-together.

Bake festive desserts

With the temperature starting to drop, it’s only natural that you start to crave something warm, comforting, and slightly spicy during the fall season. Baking fall treats is a perfect way to spend time with friends and to create something for you all to enjoy! From preparing classic apple desserts to experimenting with different pumpkin spice and drink pairings, you and your friends have a collection of recipes across the internet to create. Invite everyone over for a dessert night, and may the fun begin.

stock up on snacks

If you don’t have an oven in your dorm (or you’re too scared to use the outdated one at school like me), you can still get a taste of fall by making a stop at your local supermarket and picking up a bunch of yummy snacks for your guests to enjoy!

Trader Joe’s is my favorite place to get groceries all-year round, but shopping there during the fall is definitely an elevated experience. My personal favorites from their fall collection are yummy Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s and the Fall Leaf Corn Tortilla Chips, which I keep having to repurchase for when my friends come over.

Maybe you want to still utilize your oven, but you don’t want to gather all the ingredients or deal with cleaning afterwards. If this sounds like you, the iconic Pillsbury pumpkin-shaped sugar cookie is — and will always be — a staple fall treat. Plus, according to the Pillsbury website, the dough is now safe to eat out of the package raw (do what you will with that information!).

watch spooky movies

Is there a better way to celebrate the start of spooky season other than watching a classic Halloween movie? From Halloweentown — which I rewatch every year — to newer releases like the Unsolved Mysteries reboot, there is something for everyone when planning a fall movie night.

If horror movies aren’t your thing, there are still a handful of TV shows and fall movies you can watch. Even though Gilmore Girls is a timeless classic that can be enjoyed year-round, there’s something about its quaint Connecticut setting and its preppy, New England aesthetic that makes it all more enjoyable watching in the fall.

embrace fall beauty

Just because you might be staying indoors this fall doesn’t mean that you and your friends can’t get dolled up. Invite your friends to bring over a few of their favorite fall makeup items, and practice applying each other’s makeup, whether Halloween-inspired or otherwise! Not only is this a fun activity, but you’ll also have killer Instagram pictures later and can get a little creative.

Personally, I live for dark eyeshadow and bold lip color for the fall season. However, if you want something maybe a little more subtle than the traditional, jewel-toned look, you can opt for something neutral, but still timeless.

Whether you’re celebrating from your college dorm or apartment this year, there are plenty of ways to stay in the spirit of the fall season! So, grab your friends, some pumpkin spice, and try the above tips to put on the most Pinterest-worthy night of the season!

Taylor Huang

Syracuse '23

Hi, I'm Taylor and I'm a sophomore at Syracuse University studying Magazine Journalism and Information Management & Technology. I am passionate about food, health & wellness, travel, and college life and hope to share that through writing!
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