Summer time, with the warm weather and longer days, is the time for outdoor parties! Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ or a Pool Party, here are some tips to keep in mind!
Make sure you have lots of drinks so your guests don’t get dehydrated. It’s especially a good idea to have a water station set up. You’ll need lots of ice to keep these drinks cold. One idea is to freeze water balloons and put them in the bottom of the cooler. Put your drinks on top and when the water balloons thaw, the kids can have some fun with them!
An “adult” drink station is also a great idea. You can set out precut fruit or herbs and your guests can experiment making their own drinks. This way, you don’t get stuck playing bartender all night. It is also completely OK to ask people to BYOB (bring your own beer) as it can get pretty costly to try and get something for everyone.
Invest in a large water dispenser! It makes less waste and can be used over and over. I got one at Walmart a few years ago that even has a place for ice in the stand to keep the water (or whatever beverage you choose to put in there) cold! It wasn’t that expensive and I have definitely used it enough times to make it worth it!
A potluck is a great way to have everyone involved in the party. It’s usually a good idea to coordinate ahead of time so you don’t get 6 people bringing hot dogs and no one bringing buns! If you’re providing all the food, one tip I read was to put the less expensive stuff (chips, appies, veggies, dips, salads etc) at the beginning of the table. People will usually fill up their plate with a lot of these, leaving less room for the more expensive meat (or whatever the main dish is).
Use jars with lids to set out snacks like pretzels and cut up fruit. This way the flies stay off the food, the food doesn’t get all soggy and it looks great as well!
Weigh your options on what kind of plates and utensils to use. Real dishes mean more to wash, but less waste. Paper or plastic dishes are way less work, but create more waste. Put utensils out in cute mason jars or other containers for people to grab. This keeps them all in one place and you can easily see which type of cutlery you are running low on! You can even store them like this in your pantry so you’re ready to go for an impromptu outdoor gathering at any time.
Your guests will really appreciate if you set up a sunscreen and bug spray station. How many times have you gone to a backyard party only to realize you’ve forgotten bug spray or sunscreen or both (if you’re like me!) Why not provide them for your guests? They will have a lot more fun if they aren’t sunburnt and covered in bug bites!
Cupcake Liners… Ok, stay with me here, I haven’t gone crazy! You can get 2 really good uses out of cupcake liners at an outdoor party. First, you can punch a hole in one and put it upside down over your drink cup to keep the wasps out! Genius, right? Second, you can punch the stick of a popsicle through it and it works as a drip catcher when the popsicle starts melting. I have one daughter who hates getting her hands sticky, so this is a brilliant idea that I am going to use this summer!
Keep your trash can and recycling can in an easily accessible place. Clearly mark which is which so you don’t have to go through and sort it out later.
It’s also probably a good idea to do something to at least try to keep the bugs away from the food. Apparently, if you cut a lime in half and fill it with cloves it’ll keep the bugs away, they don’t like it! You can also us Tiki torches or have citronella burning (just be careful with little hands getting burnt!)
If you’re having a pool party, it might be fun to set up a volleyball net or basketball net in the pool. You can also have diving or canon ball competitions.
If you’re in the backyard, there are a TON of fun games to play! Ladder Toss, Giant Jenga, Corn Hole, Croquet, Bocce Ball are just a few. You can even find some of these at your local thrift store if you’re looking to save money.
So, there you have it! Everything you need to throw a successful outdoor party this summer. Whether you’re inviting family, friends or neighbours you will be able to host a great party where everyone (including yourself) has fun!