Plan a Memorable Outdoor Party this Summer
Summer is the perfect time for outdoor parties and entertaining, especially for those of us that have to deal with snow during the winter months. Don’t stay bottled up inside at home! Move your party outside and allow your guests to appreciate the fresh air. From your own backyard, or if you’re lucky, a nearby park, any kind of outdoor area could turn out to be the perfect spot for summer party! Of course, only if it’s done right.
Here are some tips that will help you plan the best outdoor party in your neighborhood this summer.
Your Own Backyard
Choosing your very own backyard is the most convenient. Be sure to have plenty of chairs and tables to accommodate everyone, so your guests can relax and mingle. Having a backyard pool is an added plus, and will make the party especially memorable for your non-pool owner guests.
A Nearby Park
If you’re willing to go the extra mile, you can plan the party at a nearby gorgeous park, but be sure to check park regulations in your area, as a permit may be required. Think of having all that space a backyard can’t offer, as well as taking pride in your local area. It can also be easier keeping the little ones entertained, perhaps organizing a sports game.
Outdoors at a Hotel or Restaurant
If it’s in budget, other options include booking a poolside area from a hotel or a restaurant with beautiful outdoor dining. This can be the easiest, as cooking and the clean-up afterward are completely removed from the equation, allowing you to focus on enjoying yourself with everyone. If it’s not a personalized event (e.g., birthday or anniversary), see if friends and family are equally as interested and try evening the bill.
Check an advanced weather forecast before setting a date. Nothing can spoil the party than rain and needing to move the party inside, so make sure it will be nice on the day of your party. If you don’t have flexibility with your date, make sure you have adequate plans for a rainy day. If it’s a personal celebration like a birthday, there’s not much flexibility, but otherwise preferably plan the party for a weekend night, so no one is thinking of work the next day.
Stylish decorations and table setups are key to a standout summer party. If the party is at your own place, consider a unique set of plates and utensils that will coordinate with your decor. Don’t think you’ll need to break the bank on fancy supplies. Even simple party supplies like plastic decorations and utensils can have a stylish look with a carefully selected color theme.
Why not go all the way and make it a theme party to help set the mood and really get into the celebration spirit. Hawaiian is always a pleasant theme in the summer; think of Luau and Hawaiian Leis and decorations to give it an authentic summer touch.
Food & Drinks
It’s all about the sun for outdoor summer parties, but you wouldn’t want the food to spoil because of the heat. Outside of the main course, you’ll want to serve some lighter foods, different kinds of appetizers, and frosty desserts. Just be sure you prepare for adequate portions for everyone.
The classic appetizers include sliced gourmet salami, stuffed olives, chips & salsa. All easy to prepare in as little as 5 minutes! Give the main course some variety, beyond the typical hot dogs and hamburgers. Throw on some steaks, chicken (& wings), sausage, and ribs. Mix it up and give the guests plenty of choices. Corn on the cob is a fun addition, and make sure to offer a vegetarian option such as all kinds of veggies with different selections of dip. A well-made strawberry salad can really add to the summer menu and help digest the food.
Have plenty of sauces, seasonings and condiments around as well, everyone has their preference. Try using a tray so it’s easy moving your condiments around, or better yet, have a self-serve station setup for your guests to prepare their plates.
No summer party is the same without chilled desserts! Have a fruit salad ready with everyone’s favorites: watermelon, strawberries, pineapple, and more. Stock up on different ice cream flavors, maybe even frozen cake and good ol’ fashioned popsicles. Carry on the chilliness to the drinks, and get the blender ready. Try something different outside of the usual beverages; crush ice for adult drinks, such as sangrias, and make some smoothies for the kids.
About the Author
Thanks to Corina Fenton who contributed this article. Corina Fenton is an event planner & celebrations enthusiast and consults for One Way Novelties, an online party supplies and novelty shop.