Outdoor Entertaining: Tips & Tools

You’ll probably be entertaining at home more often this summer with fewer restaurant options available, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time with friends and family. 

Planning Your Outdoor Event

Unless you have a pool, you probably shouldn’t have an outdoor event in the afternoon during the summer. Instead, try a fun morning brunch for a less traditional outdoor party with close friends. For evening parties, don’t forget to add in simple games of corn hole or horseshoes to keep the kids entertained while the adults catch up.

Keep it Casual

You don’t need to buy special outdoor dishes: bring your indoor dishes outside or use a mix of leftover disposable plates to serve on. Mix-and-matching makes the event more fun and relaxed for your guests.

Using craft paper for simple table cloth is a simple and sustainable way to decorate. The paper can be thrown away or composted after the event, but you can keep crayons on hand in case any children (or adults) feel artistic.

Everyone wants to get comfy when they’re lounging outside: adding cushions to your outdoor seating area gives a cozy-cool vibe that encourages relaxation and conversation between your guests.

Decorate from the Garden

Pull decorations from your own backyard by cutting flowers out of your garden to fill vases on dining tables or as centerpieces for the food tables.

Set the Mood

String lights, citronella candles, paper lanterns, and a fire pit all add to the coziness of an outdoor summer event while keeping away mosquitos at the same time. Even on a warm summer night, a firepit keeps kids entertained if you have smores supplies and makes the space more inviting for friends as they catch up.

The Food

You can always go classic with cheeseburgers and hotdogs, but try grilling a pizza, either directly on the grill grate or over a pizza stone instead. Avoid heating your indoor oven to 450 degrees, and let the grill do all the work. If you grew a garden this year, you could even have guests choose their toppings straight from the garden.

Don’t forget to incorporate grilled vegetables no matter what menu you choose. An often overlooked but delicious favorite, these meet a wide range of dietary restrictions for your guests. Display fruit and cheese on a beautiful slate or teak wood cheese board to help guests serve themselves.

Keeping Cool: Beverages

If you don’t want to play bartender all evening or morning, set up stations and bar carts around the yard for guests to help themselves. Whether a lemonade station for the kids or a rolling bar cart outside the kitchen for adults, make sure you keep a lot of ice stocked!

Dress up each hydration station with fun colored straws or cups, a pretty garland on the table, and simple signs.

Enjoy Each Other!

Whether you’re still only visiting with family or your close friends, chances are you haven’t seen much of them over the past few months. Play games, laugh, show off recent home projects, and new baking skills. Enjoy spending time in person, welcoming friends inside your home, and being outside together after a long time apart. 

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June, 2020

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