Summertime is party time!
When the days are longer (and warmer!), I am just naturally inclined to want to be outdoors enjoying the weather with my loved ones. There’s no better time to have an impromptu party. I know that hosting people can scare some, but I’ve found that it is a lot easier to throw together a low-key affair than you might think. Here are my favorite ideas for how to gather with friends and family during the summer that won’t stress you out.
Easy doesn’t have to mean boring. I like to come up with one kind of “wow” idea to impress guests at a gathering. It’s my less is more philosophy of entertaining. For instance, one summertime idea I love is to make fruity ice cubes for guests drinks. Nothing is more refreshing than an ice cube containing a slice of citrus or a raspberry. It’s a special touch that is ideal for infusing a bit of fun and flavor into water (still or sparkling) or even lemonade.
Another “wow” idea I love is hosting an outdoor movie night. This is an easy party idea if you have someone in your circle with a modicum of tech skills. All you have to do is hook up a projector to a laptop and stream a fun flick onto a white sheet or blank wall. Provide a range of lawn chairs, blankets and pillows for lounging, copious amounts of popcorn and theater candy—I like to stock up on the boxes like the movies offer which you can find at most grocery stores now—and you have a night young and old will enjoy.
Party fouls to avoid
Two of the biggest problems that strike summer parties are not enough cool beverages and bugs. Head off the first problem, without running yourself ragged playing bartender, by providing colorful buckets, bins or coolers filled with ice and beverages. Check on the buckets periodically to ensure that your stock isn’t dwindling, and let guests serve themselves.
When it comes to bugs, those pesky party invaders, your first area of focus should be keeping food out of their reach. Cover items with cake stand covers or even just upside down bowls. Other bug relief ideas include having a few electric fans placed strategically in the outdoor area to keep the air circulating and discourage bugs. Burning citronella candles or torches is another way to ward off pests, while providing a touch of atmosphere. Finally, offer bug spray to guests as they arrive.
The key to a successful summer party is having fun yourself. Whatever allows you to invite people over and not be overwhelmed will result in an enjoyable event. Make it a potluck, a cookout or whatever, so long as you get outside and relax!