Fun in the Sun: A Guide to Outdoor Summer Celebrations

Summer is the season of sun-soaked days, and there’s no better time for a backyard barbecue or outdoor gathering with friends and family. Whether it’s a graduation party, 4th of July celebration or just a casual summer hangout, creating an inviting atmosphere where guests can relax and have fun is key. 

Here are some tips to help you throw the best event of the summer that your guests will talk about long after the warm weather goes away.

Plan Ahead

Everyone’s summer tends to book up fast, so you need to get your party on the books before it’s too late.

Start by setting a date a few weeks out so your guests have plenty of time to RSVP. Sending an evite or a physical invitation card adds a special touch to your event, making it more memorable than simply sending a text message.

Once the invitations are out the door, create a checklist that covers everything from food to decorations. This will help keep you organized before the big day and ensure your party has everything it needs. 

Make Food That’s Yummy and Easy

With potentially dozens of mouths to feed, choosing the right food to serve can seem like a monumental task, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Firing up the grill and serving burgers, hot dogs and grilled veggies is always a fan favorite, plus it’s affordable, too. If you’d rather spend your time chatting instead of cooking, consider setting up a food bar where guests can serve themselves. A build-your-own taco bar or a sandwich station with pasta salads will let guests customize meals to their liking and keep them coming back for more. 

Set the Mood

Whether you’re trying to impress or keep things low-key, a welcoming atmosphere elevates any event. Cozy seating areas give people a place to relax and gather, so make sure you have plenty of chairs and tables to go around. Add some colorful decorative cushions and even a few beanbags to give guests a spot to sink into. 

Is your party going into the night? Hang string lights or place lanterns around your yard to create soft ambient lighting. If that warm glow isn’t enough, starting a fire in an outdoor firepit can set the mood for a fun evening — just don’t forget the s’mores. 

Beat the Heat

Under the sweltering sun, the only thing that can cool you down is an ice-cold drink. 

The cooler is a summertime staple, and there’s no better time to incorporate it into a beverage station. Fill your coolers with ice and stock them with a selection of beer, seltzer, soda, water and other non-alcoholic beverages. It’s also a good idea to keep alcoholic beverages separated so younger guests don’t make a mistake. 

Adding a signature cocktail to your beverage station is also sure to make your party a hit. Set up a table next to the coolers for a spot to place a drink dispenser and fill it with something summery and tropical, like sangria or a strawberry mojito. Bonus aesthetic points for adding fresh fruit to float in your drink dispenser.

Inspire Friendly Competition 

What’s a backyard for if not yard games? Keep your guests entertained with fun games like cornhole, bocce or giant Jenga. Remember, fun is for all ages, so make sure you have a variety of activities for both kids and adults. However, games aren’t always everyone’s style, and a good playlist goes a long way in keeping everyone who prefers a laid-back vibe entertained. 

Looking For a Backyard to Host Your Bash? 

There’s nothing like having all your friends and family over for a fun-filled party at your home. If you’re interested in living in a Starlight neighborhood, get in contact with one of our Home Guides and schedule an appointment today.

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