Don’t bother to turn on the stove or set the dinning room table. It’s time to enjoy every minute of the glorious long days of summer. Fire up the grill. Get outdoors and eat, drink, and party. Its that time of year when impromptu gatherings with friends are welcomed without the stress to impress. Casual and fun is the way to go. Here are the best tips to help you relax and host the best backyard bash of the summer.
Timing is Everything – It gets real hot and steamy during the summer months. The heat can be draining and put a damper on the fun. Avoid midday gatherings during the hottest part of the day, typically from noon till 3 p.m. Host a brunch before noon, a late afternoon bbq or evening dinner party that will be more comfortable and enjoyable.
Keep the Bugs Away – You want your guest to eat the food and not be the food at your next bash. Keep annoying mosquitos away with strategically placed Citronella candles. Pretreatment of your yard with a mosquito barrier treatment in advance of your party is a good idea too. Use a licensed and state certified company.
Get Your Grub On – Chose a menu that can be prepared mostly on the grill. Plan ahead and marinate meats and vegetables. It is worth it. This step alone will have your guests calling you a bbq master. Be sure to choose food items that can withstand the summer heat. Avoid salads with mayonnaise. Pasta salads are easy and can be jazzed up with jared fixins like sun dried tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, olives, and oil based dressings. Want a menu that is easy and fun? Go with grilled pizza. Both savory and sweet. Try a grilled brie and fresh berry pizza drizzled with balsamic glaze and topped with fresh basil.
Drink and Be Merry – Set up a drink station to keep everyone cool with lots of cold drinks. No need to roll out the cooler at your home. Step it up and invest in a large tub to ice down your drinks. A beverage tub is a must have for summer entertaining. Another great option is to roll your beverage cart outside and add a self serve drink dispenser on top.
It’s Game Time – Even at laid back shindigs, it is a good idea to set out a few outdoor games to keep the fun going. Think easy games that can be played while holding a refreshing drink in one hand like horseshoes, bocce ball, or a game of spades. For family gatherings the kids will need something to keep them distracted from the adults so that the adults can remain relaxed. Kids welcome any chance to get wet so set up the sprinkler and pull out the water guns. You might want to even try out one of those water balloon gadgets that actually work. They fill up a bunch of balloons in less than a minute.
Let the Music Play – Don’t forget the music. Have your playlist ready to stream or use Pandora as an easy way to get the music flowing. Be the first to bust a move at your own party. Dancing counts as entertainment too.
Let There Be Light – For evening events, lighting is the single most important decor item to include. Using string lights, lanterns, and candles throughout the yard really set the scene for the party. String lights are the best choice for the most impact. They are affordable, reusable, and easy to install. Plus there are so many stylish options like mini flamingo or metal star string lights (Don’t be tempted to pull out those Christmas lights).