Savoring the Season

As you finally settle into fall, you may be looking for ideas to entertain family and relatives. There are many avenues to discuss family entertaining but for our purpose, we’ll define it as entertaining for family and loved ones. Unless watching everyone lounge around for hours of football between Sunday dinner courses sounds good (it might if you're not cooking, cleaning and getting kids ready for bed!), we’ll focus on a few seasonal activities.:

Your family entertained? Yep, that’s the goal. Take advantage of the weather and head outdoors. Visit a local orchard for apple or pumpkin picking and savor the season. Take advantage of empty beaches for an end of season picnic. Task grandma and the kids with picking out colorful mums to adorn your porch. An orchard hayride can conclude with a family lunch packed from the local market. The seasonal spirit can continue by getting everyone involved in decorating the house for fall.  

Brunch it or Grill it. Instead of Sunday dinner, consider a family brunch or lunchtime grill. Take advantage of warm days to dine outside. Have your kids pick the theme and decorate with fun buffet signs. (Printable templates are about $3 on Ask the kids to draw mini favors to adorn the table. Relatives will love it and you won't feel the rush of kicking everyone out!

The Mini Reunion. We’ve planned reunions and usually they involve months of coordination. Throw a mini reunion for local family and friends. Gather heirloom recipes and invite everyone to send a digital photo for a new family shared album. You could splurge and rent a photobooth, hire a photographer or savvy friend for an updated portrait. Don’t want to do all the cooking? Ask guests to recreate a family recipe or hire a chef to prepare dishes using your ideas. Mini reunions don’t have to be complex but a theme for gathering in an informal setting. Ask guests to jot down birthdays and anniversaries and e-mail afterward. You and your guests will have updated calendars all year! 

Gameday. Sorry, this isn’t the Sunday Football TV kind. Invite relatives to your soccer superstar’s game or into ballet or gymnastics class. Check out locally based activities like Horseback Riding, 5K Walks, Indoor Rock Climbing or even the park or beach. Change up your regular park and visit a new one for some free family fun!

Family Brainstorming. With a long winter ahead, gather the family for a brainstorm. Find out what’s fun. Maybe it’s a cozy movie night or a cake decorating afternoon. Ask everyone (including Dad!) what they would like to do and tackle one activity per month this winter. 

And finally, get some help! I cringe watching my mother-in-law bust out a ten-course Italian Christmas Eve dinner and keep “threatening” to get her help. While we may all pitch in, hiring someone to assist with prep, serve and clean will allow you to savor time with your family and keep the event to a reasonable time. Ranging $30-$60 per hour, there are local staffing companies & caterers who will hook you up.

Related to family entertaining, here are a few seasonable hostess gift ideas when you’re the guest:  

Local books: I recently received a photo book from my old NYC neighborhood and it was so thoughtful. Chances are, it’s not something I’d buy myself. There are several super photographers in the area who have published books that make great hostess gifts. I love In The Garden by local photographer, Stacy Bass.

Locally and seasonally grown foods– You may not want to bring a bushel of apples but gift what’s in season. A small pumpkin, farmers market pie or jam are great ways to say thank you.

Something sustainable: Sustainable textiles are becoming extremely popular. Check out the tea towels and placemat sets from or the terrarium bottles from

Gourmet flower bunch:  Flowers never get old! Dahlia’s, mums, sunflowers and stalks of wheat are fall beauties. Ask your favorite florist to pull together a seasonal bunch or make your own with store bought flora and raffia ribbon.

Take a few seasonal cues and keep things simple these next few months while reconnecting with your loved ones.

Michele SinacorePrior to starting michele sinacore events {mse}, Michele Solomon-Sinacore worked for over 11 years in Corporate Sponsorship Marketing & Events for some of the largest brands in Sports, Entertainment & Media. mse offers customized event services that include full planning, month-of event coordination & event consulting. Michele creates top-notch events always with an eye for fresh style and an aim for clients to enjoy (vs work) at their events.

Michele Sinacore Events
Event Planning and Coordination for Corporate and Social Events
(914) 432-5709

Related Articles

Let’s Hear It for the Girls

October is a celebration of female leadership and business at The Village in Stamford.

A New Deal

Meet Courtney White, former President of the Food Network,...

Shining Moment

Award-winning work from your hometown magazines