Being a host is one of the most challenging and rewarding things you can be at a party. Throwing an outdoor party may just be the best kind of party—a summer filled with food, drink, and good conversation is one worth remembering.
Moving a party from the inside to the outside isn’t always easy; you have to have the right outdoor entertaining ideas. The elements play a huge factor: wind and excessive sun. Outside of shade, you should consider simple table settings, an accessible menu, sharp outdoor décor ideas and fun activities such as croquet, badminton, bocce or bag toss.
Whether you’re having a family get-together, a neighborhood bash, or just throwing an impromptu party for your closest friends, here are five of the best outdoor entertaining tips.
Comfortable Seating & Shade
You want your guests to be comfortable; consider putting comfortable cushions on the chairs you have outside. If you don’t have any cushions you can put/want to put outside, buy/make some weatherproof cushions.
Shade is essential, buy a large umbrella/canopy for your patio which will help define your outdoor space. If you have a large and exposed yard maybe consider multiple umbrellas with strategically tables and chairs. This will give your guests multiple locations to roam to and mingle at (if you are having a larger party).
Drinks Available Everywhere
You could buy a mobile drink station for yourself and your guests. This encourages your guests to serve themselves (you don’t want to play bartender the entire party); stock the bar with glasses, ice, stirrers, and a cocktail shaker.
The good thing about a mobile drink station is that when the supplies run low, you can just roll it inside, stock it back up, and then roll it back outside without ever missing a beat.
Setting the mood is important and the night time mood revolves around lighting. Most people think about a campfire straight away when it comes to evening parties.
Fire isn’t always a good idea. Buy battery-operated candles that can illuminate your area at nighttime without having to worry about the wind and spilled wax. This makes even more sense if you have a lot of children or pets running around.
Do consider killing two birds (or rather bugs) with one stone and buy citronella candles or incense sticks to light your area. The scent will help keep bugs away; having a can of bug spray handy is always a good idea as well.
When deciding what serve let the weather influence your menu. If it’s a scorcher serve sparkling drinks and cool bites and richer foods on a chilly day or evening.
Think classic picnic: fresh fruit, salads, crackers, cheese, dip, and deli meat (finger sandwiches are always a winner).
If you want to grill up a bunch of food before or while your guests arrive that’s your call (prep the food either way). Regardless, you probably don’t want to spend your time isolated in the kitchen.
Make it easier on yourself and buy disposable plates and silverware. Choose food for everyone, consider asking about things like food allergies while inviting people.
If you want to really impress people, consider decorating your outdoor table(s) with clippings from your garden/flowers—a nice centerpiece.
Electronic Outdoor Entertaining Ideas