It’s summer. Don’t bother turning on the stove or setting the dining room table. It’s time to enjoy every minute of the long days of summer. Fire up the grill and get outdoors to eat, drink, and party. It’s 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 anyone relax and host the best backyard bash of the summer.
Timing is Everything
The hot and steamy summer weather can be draining and put a damper on the fun. Avoid midday gatherings during the hottest part of the year, typically from noon until 3 p.m. Host a brunch before noon, a late afternoon barbecue or evening dinner party that will be more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone.
Keep the Bugs Away
Make sure guests are there to eat the food and not be the food at any outdoor event. Keep annoying mosquitoes 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 like Mosquito Blues in Smyrna.
Choose a menu that can be prepared mostly on the grill. Plan ahead and marinate meats as this step alone can elevate just about anyone to ‘barbecue master’. Don’t forget about the vegetables though. Grilled corn is one of summer’s best treats. Be sure to choose food items that can withstand the summer heat. Pasta salads are easy and can be jazzed up with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, olives, or oil-based dressings. Want a menu that is easy and fun? Go with grilled pizza. For a sweet option, 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 hydrated with lots of cold drinks, including plenty of water. Consider investing in a large galvanized beverage tub to ice down the drinks. Another great option is to roll a beverage cart outside and add a self-serve drink dispenser on top. Serving fruit like watermelon can also help keep guests from getting parched.
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. Also, look for games that will distract the kids, giving their parents time to relax. Kids welcome any chance to get wet so set up the sprinkler and pull out the water guns. Go old school and start a water balloon fight!
Let the Music Play
Don’t forget the tunes! Put together a playlist ahead of time ready to stream or use Pandora or similar streaming service 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.)