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Open Air Thanksgiving Picnic in the Orchard

The holiday season is finally here, my favorite time of year, and I’ve created five tips for outdoor holiday entertaining! While it may look a little different this year, let’s embrace change and create a one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving for you and your loved ones.

Take the dessert outside! What better way to enjoy the company of one another than to enjoy the fresh air while indulging in your favorite sweets? Follow along as I show you how to create the perfect open-air Thanksgiving dessert spread – picnic style.

Outdoor Holiday Entertaining

After enjoying an intimate Thanksgiving dinner with your immediate family, invite everyone else over to enjoy dessert with an outdoor picnic.

We are so blessed to live on our family farm where we have an incredible pecan orchard. I have taken full advantage and created a fabulous Thanksgiving dessert spread in the Orchard to share with you today.

You will see how I use gorgeous terra cotta, mohair, rattan and silver throughout my outdoor tablescape to show the elements of nature’s beauty throughout.

Start with a Base

My first tip in creating your outdoor Thanksgiving dessert picnic is to create your base. After picking the perfect spot in your outdoor living space, lay a tarp or plastic barrier down. Next, place your favorite rug down on top of the tarp. This will ensure that your rug does not get dirty or damaged. You may also use a comforter or extra large blanket if you do not have a spare rug. The best thing about this, is you do not have to break the bank! You can simply take some of your interior home items that you already own and bring them outdoors to set up.

Create Comfort Outdoors

Next you will want to layer in extra blankets – for function and beauty! I placed my favorite mohair blanket for an extra pop of color, however with the chilly evenings we have been having here in the south; it can play a dual role and also keep us cozy. You can then begin layering in extra blankets and your cushions that will be used for sitting. I used some of my favorite large interior throw pillows for this!

Continue by adding festive accent pieces! I included gorgeous pumpkins throughout. I also included my favorite copper container full of some of my favorite plants as an accent centerpiece. Click here to see how I made a similar arrangement and this festive garland with our friends at Country Living magazine.

Elevate Your Space

The next step is to elevate your setting. Since you will be sitting on the ground to enjoy dessert, elevating your table will really take it to the next level – literally! It creates such an easy base to work off of when placing all of your sweets. I chose to add this gorgeous rattan tabletop and elevated it even further with a wooden tray. You will see that I later added one of my favorite galvanized tiered stands for even more elevation. Cutting boards make a great addition for this as well!

Layer, Layer, Layer!

After creating such a fabulous base, you can now begin layering in your different elements needed for dessert. For ours, we included cloth napkins, wooden plates and silverware, my favorite Moscow mule mugs filled with cider and layered in a few terra cotta accent pieces.

We then began layering in all of the delicious sweets, my favorite part – oh my yum! Have fun with this part and really get creative in your placement. Finish by placing your serving pieces where needed.

(Check out my favorite fall cocktail recipes here)

Go the Extra Mile

If you really want to ‘wow’ your family members, tie velvet or satin ribbon around your pies. This is such a simple step that really adds an incredible detail to bring your whole look together! Another optional addition is to add a picnic basket to really give your setting that “picnic feel.” Adding edible elements inside will really enhance the picnic experience!

I hope this helps in creating a fabulous outdoor picnic. Please share your outdoor Thanksgiving settings with me!

Happy Decorating!