Summer is here, and most of us have been spending time with family and friends outdoors; we all must embrace the good weather while it lasts! Although, in some climates, the summer time keeps us indoors due to heat, and we're eager for fall and football season to arrive. (Here in Colorado we can be outdoors on most summer days, and stay perfectly comfortable. But we all know that fall is coming, and the anticipation builds as summer creeps to an end.)
If you're still loving summertime, an wanting to throw a party, it really doesn't have to be too much work. The hardest part of hosting a summer party is facing our backyards, which may have become a bit neglected over the winter months. And if spring was rough, bringing extra rain and hail, a backyard will require cleanups many times, even throughout the summer.
KEEP FOOD SIMPLE
A summer party can be laid back, even more than a casual indoor celebration. Summer parties evoke a sense of relaxation and a childlike spirit. The food can be the same. No matter who you're serving, for vegetarians and vegans, there are plenty of meat substitutes available thanks to brands like Quorn. If you're going to BBQ, consider bean burgers and veggie sausages, all of which can be purchased ready for the grill. BBQ some colorful veggies and pop them on skewers for ease and fun. A BBQ allows the host to be outside with their guests. Sliced watermelon, chips and dips, and cold drinks are the perfect sides for a BBQ meal. And if you're not a BBQ fan, simple DIY pizzas and a pizza bar are easy and simple. Everyone can make what they love and the host can have time to interact with guests.
Always keep in mind that a BBQ grill can be dangerous for young children. We've read that grill injuries are one of the top emergency room visits for children during the summer.
TACKLE THE HEAT
We don't all have the luxury of sitting poolside in our backyards, but that doesn't mean guests have to melt at your outdoor party. Offering shade with umbrellas, and timing your party to occur when your yard is most shaded will help tremendously. One of the reasons we all love summer is the longer days that come with the season. Parties can happen later in the day, and a game of croquet can still happen at dusk. Keeping guests hydrated and making sure they know where to find the drinks is also important. A little blow up pool for the little kids will be just as fun as any pool, fill it with the hose, and let them splash and soak.
HAVE EXTRA SEATING
When you have guests over, you’re going to need plenty of seating options. After all, nobody wants to spend their entire day standing - especially not when the sun is shining down and the temperatures are high. Outdoor seating can be terribly uncomfortable, so always consider comfort over design when purchasing outdoor furniture. Outdoor couches with cushions and sun loungers are great for relaxation. If you have a pool, you could even consider swimming pool bean bags, which will allow your guests to remain seated comfortably even on the water’s surface (as long as nobody pushes them in)!
KEEP IT WARM
Chimineas are lovely, and can be placed on your patio to burn wood for hours on end, providing heat for your guests during the evening. This is especially lovely if you live somewhere where the temperatures drop once the sun goes down. If you have no use for a chiminea during the summer, consider Tiki Torches, which will help keep the bugs away, and emit a warm glow. String lights are lovely too, and will warm up an evening party even if everyone is trying to stay cool.
The more relaxed you are as a host, the more relaxed your summer party will be.
*This is a collaborative post.