Now that summer is here it’s time to starting thinking about pool parties, BBQs and lots of impromptu outdoor get-togethers. Today I’m going to give you 8 tips for how to plan for an outdoor party, and what to always have on hand for when your friends drop by.
To always be prepared for people to stop by, or to have a last minute outdoor party, it’s important to plan ahead. Head to the store and stock up on fun paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, silverware and straws. Having these items on hand will ensure you’re always ready to serve.
While you’re at the store stocking up on plates and napkins, grab some appetizers and snack foods. Most stores sell delicious frozen appetizers that you can keep in your freezer and pop in the oven right before your guests come over. Also stock up on chips, salsa, crackers and other snack items that everyone loves. Store these items with your other party items so they don’t get eaten by the kids when you’re not looking. I also like to always have cheese and hummus in the fridge for when guests arrive because it’s easy to throw on a platter and always looks “fancy”.
Drinks are an important part of a party, especially in the summer because who doesn’t love sitting by the pool sipping on a margarita? Stock up on bottled waters, juice boxes (for the kids), pre-mixed margarita mix, beer and wine. If you have room in your fridge to store these items, that’s great, but if you don’t, keep them in an ice chest on your deck and throw in a bag of ice right before your guests arrive. Being able to offer your guests snacks and drinks when they arrive, will have them singing your praises!
Games and Toys
Whether you have a pool or not, it’s always good to think about what you will be doing with your guests when they drop by. If you have a pool, make sure to have lots of clean beach towels ready, as well as pool toys for the kids. If you don’t have a pool invest in a croquet set, a slackline or other fun outdoor games. Every time we set up our slackline our party ends up growing because people walking by, or our neighbors always want to come over and try it out.
Everyone loves music, especially at a party! Plan ahead by putting together a couple different playlists on your iPod, iPhone, etc. so you’ll always have music ready to play. Invest in a speaker dock so you can take the music anywhere the party goes, by the pool, in the house, the front yard, the options are endless!
Decorations are an important part of every party. No one expects you to have full decorations for an impromptu, or pool party, but adding a few decorations at the beginning of the summer, will make your yard, or deck, look fabulous all summer long.
Pot flowers or herbs and set them around to add color. Purchase some “fancy” citronella candles, or citronella Tiki torches, and put them around the yard for decoration, and to get rid of the bugs! Tea lights are also an inexpensive way to add charm to any party. Line your deck or patio with Mason jars and before your guests arrive drop a tea light in them to add a little extra glow to the evening.
The last thing you want to invite to your outdoor party are the bugs! Stock up on mosquito repellant and have it sitting out for your guests to use.
I always have a couple different kinds on hand to give my guests options. Also stock up on citronella candles and have them ready to light when the bugs start coming out. A bug zapper is also a good investment and can create quite a bit of conversation when it gets a good catch!
Even though the majority of your summer parties will be outside, don’t forget to prepare the inside of your house too. Guests will always need to use the restroom so plan ahead by having plenty of clean towels, soap, toilet paper and tissues. Make sure that if your toilet paper runs out that it’s easy for your guests to find, so they don’t have to look through all your cupboards. You can also keep your sink faucets looking clean by using this trick from Ask Anna.
By planning ahead and following these 8 tips your summer parties will be the talk of all your friends! Your parties will be fabulous and the best part is, they’ll be stress-free! I’ll drink a margarita to that! Have a wonderful summer and enjoy being the hostess with the mostess!