How to throw a Backyard Harvest Festival

ROCKWALL, TX (Sept. 27, 2022) Want a different way to celebrate the fall season? Host your very own backyard Harvest Festival!

I set up carnival tic-tac-toe using a card table, tablecloth, electrical tape laid out in a grid, and two kinds of pumpkins. Have baskets next to the table for the pumpkins and then play tic-tac-toe as you normally would. Kids will love it!

I served a super simple menu that wouldn’t require any utensils: Apple Butter & Pumpkin Butter Sandwiches, Vermont Cheddar Popcorn served in adorable fall bags, plus grapes, apples, and nuts, and my delicious Maple Rice Krispy Treats for dessert. Everything was set up on a 6’ folding table styled with a checkered Halloween tablecloth, pumpkins, white lanterns, and festive mums.

For the drink, I served homemade apple cider. If you’ve never made apple cider before, you’re in for a treat. It makes the whole house smell like fall! It’s so easy to make too. This is a kid-friendly version for our very family-friendly harvest festival, but you could of course add a splash of bourbon for a cocktail! For more Halloween party inspiration, visit 

Homemade Apple Cider

6 red apples (such as Gala)
4 green apples (such as Granny Smith)
1 orange
1/2 cup brown sugar
4-6 cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg
Optional: apple slices, cinnamon stick for garnish

  1. Quarter apples and orange. Place in a large stock pot and add enough water to cover by at least two inches. Add sugar and cinnamon sticks and give it a stir. Grate a bit of nutmeg over the pot and give it a stir.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for two hours. Use a wooden spoon to gently mash the apples the apples against the side of the pot. Let simmer for another hour.
  3. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Serve immediately with additional cinnamon sticks and apple slices for garnish. Refrigerate leftovers for up to five days.

By Katie-Rose Watson, who often covers Rockwall on, from the Farmers Market to Founder’s Day Festival. The Rose Table has over 200,000 fans on Facebook (, millions of video views, and can be found on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest

View her Harvest Festival blog here >>


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