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7 Tips for an Effortless Outdoor Party

With the absolutely fabulous weather we’ve been having lately, it’s the perfect time to host a summer shindig at your home. But the perfect summer party doesn’t have to be a pain. After all, what’s the point of getting all your friends together if you’re too frazzled to enjoy it? Read on for our 7 tips that can make your get-together everything you imagined, and easier than you believed possible.

  1. Location, Location, Location.  Outside is the obvious place to have an easy summer party. Nature does your decorating for you, and spilled drinks are no big deal. However, this does necessitate having the right kind of outdoor space. Whether it’s a big yard, a beautiful raised deck or elegant stone patio, the right entertaining area outside can make your summer party easy as pie. If you don’t have the right space, keep that in mind the next time you’re house shopping. In the meantime, see if you can use a community space, like a park pavilion.
  2. masondrinkMason Jars, Not Just For Jam Anymore. When it comes to summer parties, running out of drinks just isn’t an option. At the same time, serving as bartender can be a real pain. Try this easy tip instead. Prepare iced tea or lemonade just like you normally would, and pour them into pint sized mason jars. You can even add a slice of lemon and some ice. Seal them up with a lid and a ring, and drop them in a cooler or tub full of ice. You have easy, elegant drinks that you don’t need to worry over.
  3. Plan for Bugs. Even the best outdoor party can be thwarted by the presence of our 6 legged friends. The cicadas are in full swing, but they’ll start disappearing soon. Even so, a week or two before the party, remove any standing water in flower pots, rain gutters or anywhere else rainwater may have collected. Removing these breeding grounds will cut down on mosquitoes. Also, use fans to keep flying insects away. A couple box fans around the party will keep mosquitoes (notoriously weak fliers) away, and a table fan blowing over the food will cut down on flies.
  4. Make Your Own Flower Arrangements. When sprucing up the tables, keep it simple and low key. A few flowers cut from your own yard, placed in a pop bottle, perhaps interspersed with a fresh cutting of herbs, will make for easy, cheap and fragrant table decorations.
  5. Cook Healthy Sides. With so many people trying to eat healthy, toss them a bone and add something lite alongside the potato salad. Almost any vegetable tastes great when brushed with italian dressing or flavored olive oil and grilled. Larger pieces like sliced squash can be placed right on the grill, while smaller ones can be lined on a metal or bamboo skewer.
  6. Light the Night. If your party will last into the night, don’t force your guests to stumble around your water hose or your ceramic frog collection. As it gets dark, everyone’s eyes will adjust, so all that is needed is a little mood lighting. White Christmas lights add an elegant touch, or use tealight candles, which can be bought by the hundreds for cheap, electricity-free light.
  7. 5933144052_616a566028_oTry out a Dessert Bar. Rather than preparing complicated and heavy desserts, a series of canisters or bowls filled with tempting treats make an interactive dessert that your guests can snack on. Make it elegant by sticking with a theme. Try various kinds of flavored popcorn, a selection of berries and dipping sauces or even a plethora of candies for a kid-friendly option.

Photo by HungryJac/ CC BY
Photo by Stephanie Kilgast/ CC BY

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