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Autumn Birthday Party: The ultimate guide


Ultimate Guide for an Autumn Birthday Party

The trees spoke to one another softly. “Wisha, wisha, wisha,” they said. “Wisha, wisha, wisha!”
– Enid Blyton, The Magic Faraway Tree (1943)

Remember that marvellous slippery-slip slide that took readers from Moonface’s circular treehouse room all the way to the forest floor via a trapdoor?

Talking trees, colonies of imps and elves, nimble fairies with translucent wings, sly foxes, wise owls, squirrels with aprons and bunnies called Bobtail, nothing captures a little girl’s imagination like the forests of folklore and fairy tale.

And never is the wood more magical than in autumn, when carpets of crisp orange and rust-coloured leaves rustle underfoot, hedgehogs start hibernating, red apples never fall far from trees, and conkers with prickly green shells drop from branches, ripe for the roasting.


So, if you’re planning an autumn birthday party, why not go wild and make it a woodland wonderland?

Outdoor autumn party games and activities include scavenger hunts in nature, hide-and seek among the trees, leaf-blowing competitions, apple bobbing, den-making, twig collecting, and crown-making. And if arts and crafts float the birthday girl’s boat, nothing will butter her nut quite like pumpkin carving or cupcake decorating.


Autumn Birthday Party Games

A Nature Scavenger Hunt

Arm each child with a list of what they’ll find in the woods or garden - bugs, bluebells, bramble, pinecones, dandelions and dried leaves, for example. Give them a basket, bag or treasure box, set a time limit and set them off to scavenge. Offer prizes for completing the list.


For younger children: Turn the scavenger hunter into a ‘follow the fairy’ trail. Hang fairies from the branches of trees or lead children with lanterns, toadstools, elves, and angels to a magical tree where the fairies are said to sleep.


Bonkers for Conkers

If you’re lucky enough to have a horse chestnut tree growing in your garden, and if your bugged out by creepy crawlies, put conkers on the scavenge list instead. While playing conkers is not always a good idea for smaller girls, separating the seeds from their prickly green skins has its own rewards. Plus, parents of partygoers can take them home and put them in their children’s cupboards to prevent moths from getting to their clothes. (Horse chestnut seeds contain a chemical called triterpenoid saponin that acts as moth-repellent.)


Forest Hide and Seek  

One player with a torch[HR1]  becomes ‘It’ and counts while everyone else hides. The goal is to evade the light. If a player is caught in the torch’s beam, they are out. The last person caught by the beam wins and plays ‘It’ next.  Take care they don’t shine the light directly into each other’s eyes.

The Leaf Blowing Game

The children blow a leaf across a table with a straw. (If possible, choose sustainably produced, recyclable paper straws to respect nature while benefiting from its bounty.) The first one across the table is the winner. You can arrange this in a round-robin fashion, and write party participants' names on their racing leaf of choice, to prevent the game from descending into autumn anarchy.


Bobbing for Apples

Apple bobbing is always a party favourite. But if you’re a germaphobe or trying to stave off change-of-season sniffles, Apple Hanging is a great alternative that won’t have your lunging for the antiseptic every time someone goes in for an apple.

How to: Tie strings to the apple stems rather than floating apples in a container. Then hang each string from each apple to a clothesline, tied between two trees.  Each player chooses an apple and stands beside it until the referee yells “GO!”.  The player who eats the most apple, or bags the most bites, in a set time, wins. The only rule: Hands have to stay behind the back.


Den Building

A make-believe world without adults, without rules, where imaginations run wild, where all dreams are possible, and any character from any book is free to sit beside you …building a forest den is as enchanting and instinctive for children, as is a nest of sticks and leaves to a hibernating hedgehog.

How to: Find a slanting tree branch or a big branch with a fork in it. Collect some long branches and place them against the fork on each side so you end up with a tent shape. You could even cover it with moss to camouflage your den, or cover it with old sheets and blankets.

If you can’t find a big enough branch, use two sturdy trees instead. Take thick cord or rope and tie it from one tree to another. Throw blankets or tarpaulin over the rope and use tent pegs to hold it in place. Carpet the den with scattered leaves from the forest floor. And if the idea of a den is daunting for younger children, a tepee tent works just as well!


Autumn Birthday Party Arts & Crafts

/Twig Crown Making

Every princess and fairy queen wants a crown. Why not let the birthday girl and her guests make their own with autumnal foliage foraged from the garden.  Twig crowns can be simple to make with craft wire cut to the head’s circumference, some tape to secure it, twigs and stems for adornment, and a little adult help.


Pumpkin Carving

Oh my gourd! October 31 is Halloween so why not make your birthday celebration part of the preparation?


How to pick a pumpkin prime for the carving:

Look for pumpkins with flat bottoms and less wobble.

Give it a knock. The hollower the better, for carving purposes.


Prepping for pumpkin parties:

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