The long, lazy days of summer are a great time to reconnect with old friends and get to know new ones. Once your garden is in bloom, and the weather has warmed, there’s nothing like a classic backyard party to create priceless, lasting memories. Follow these simple tricks, and soon you’ll be throwing backyard get-togethers like a pro.
Clean your outdoor area
This is especially important during your first party of the season. It may take a little work to get your outdoor living area in tip-top shape after the long winter, so it is vital to plan ahead and begin cleaning and refreshing a few weeks before you invite guests over. Clean off your patio furniture, plant some colorful annuals in pots to brighten the space, and clear away any leaves and sticks that are marring your outdoor living space.
Find enough seating
Depending on the number of guests you are entertaining, you may need to bring in extra seating. Break out your kitchen chairs and stools from indoors for an eclectic, homey vibe, or consider renting chairs if you have a larger group. You can also ask people to bring a camp chair or folding chair if they have one.
Lights make everything better
Since most backyard parties take place around or after dinner time, light is an essential component. Don’t just stick with your overhead porch lighting either. Spice it up and bring a more whimsical feel by stringing up Christmas lights or fairy lights in the trees or along an awning. Tiki torches are great for a more tropical BBQ type of setting, while candles are fantastic for an intimate get together. Make sure that your guests will not trip over extension cords or wires.
Battle the bugs early
Summer is the best time to spend outside enjoying your vibrant garden and spending time socializing in your yard. Unfortunately, it is also the time when mosquitos, gnats, and other irritating flying insects abound. Keep citronella candles lit around the food and on any tables to deter bugs and have natural bug wipes available for your guests. It could also be a good idea to have a rotating fan set up near your main seating area to blow mosquitos off course. Mosquitos are also attracted to stagnant water. Clear any standing water such as kiddie pools, or rainwater that has collected in your gutters.
Clean the bathroom
Where drinks and juicy watermelon abound, there will be quite a few guests who need to use the bathroom. Don’t forget to clean your bathroom and home as well as your outdoor space and be sure to clearly direct party-goers to your facilities.
Music brings the fun
Music is one of those things that can be easy to forget about when planning a party, but one that is an absolute necessity. It can help fill any awkward silences between conversation, and get guests off their feet and dancing. Use a speaker system and put together an upbeat, yet nondistracting playlist or nominate one of your friends to be the designated DJ for the night. Be sure not to turn it up so loud as to prevent conversation or disturb your neighbors.
If you don’t have a very loud speaker or sound system, turn it towards the house instead of the yard. The wall will help amplify the sound and make the music travel further.
Have games available
Backyard games like bean bag toss, horseshoes, ladder ball, and croquet are perfect for summer parties. Have areas for these games set up and make sure to let your guests know they are available. This is a wonderful icebreaker and a certain way to get everyone’s appetite up. If you have friends with kids, it is important to give them activities as well. Consider things like bubbles, beach balls, or chalk.
Don’t forget the ice
Have lots of ice on hand to keep drinks cold. Place the punch or drink container in a larger bowl full of ice to prevent it from getting watered down or provide a separate container of ice for guests to add to their own drinks.
Do you have any tips and tricks for throwing the perfect backyard party? Let us know in the comments below.