The temperature’s rising, the days are longer, and backyard grills are firing up. Yes, it’s summer and time to think outside the entertaining box. So take your next party or get-together outdoors for some alfresco fun. Try these easy tips to ensure success:
1. Keep Your Cool
Nothing can zap the energy out of a party or your guests like heavy summer heat. Avoid midday events, especially those between noon and 3 p.m. Try a morning brunch, late afternoon mixer, or enjoy the evening with dinner on the lawn. Open an umbrella or pop up a tent for larger coverage. To really beat the heat, be sure to stock plenty of cold beverages.2
2. Ice, Ice, Ice
Just because bottled water and soft drinks often come standard at outdoor parties doesn’t mean you have to serve them from a plastic foam cooler. Explore other ice-toting options, such as a large decorative container. Use your imagination. Inspiration may be as close as your garage or garden shed or storage area. Fill a wheelbarrow with drinkable delights for the adults. Substitute a wagon to create a refreshment station just for guest or kids. For smaller parties, try carving out a watermelon lengthwise. Not only will your guests love the fresh summer fruit, they’ll melt for this ingenious ice bucket.
3. Decorative dishes versus Disposables
Time and time again, disposable plates make the guest list at outdoor events, but paper and plastic dishes overstay their welcome, lingering on the lawn or blown over the property after the party’s ended. What’s a host or hostess to do? Try our melamine dishes shown below for outdoors, you will have to wash them at the end of the event but at least your guest eat from a decorative hard dish other than a paper plate. The color of the plates will also help you start with a color theme for your party.
4. Shoo, Fly! Don’t Bother Me
You may host the best barbecue of the season, but if your guests wake the next morning to find themselves covered in mosquito bites, chances are they’ll remember their discomfort more than your perfect party planning. Avoid the morning-after itches, and arm your guests with insect repellents when they arrive. Light citronella candles around your outdoor area or patio, or stake torches in the yard. The flames will signal “welcome” to your guests and “stay away” to pests. Ensure you place citronella candles on the table to keep smaller bugs away from the table. See our jar citronella candles below.
5. Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Fun Right Over
Some of your adult guests might relish a laid-back evening or an event with entertainment. Children at your event will be aching for party games. Have plenty of outdoor games ready and waiting for the little ones. Board games and card games are fun for adults. The fun doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down. Supply the kids with flashlights for a game of nighttime tag, and the adults can continue to sip some wine and savor the evening.