Stylish Ways to Entertain Outdoors this Summer
Hanging out poolside and enjoying a meal al fresco are just a few of my favorite things about summer. If you plan on your fair share of outdoor parties with friends and family this summer, there a some simple ways to take things up a notch. Pictured Above Pier 1 Rope Outdoor Dinnerware / Image via Pier 1
Start with a theme. This helps pull the whole look together and adds a festive feel to any backyard barbecue. It can be as simple as the food and how you serve it. Grill up some seafood and serve it on nautical dishes for a coastal feel, or serve your guests Mexican food on this colorful "Cabo" collection. Keep the theme cohesive in everything from appetizers to drinks. Pair grilled fajitas with home made salsa and margaritas, and you've got a fiesta. Pictured: Pottery Barn Coral Starfish Melamine Dinnerware
Designate A Bar Area. Whenever I host an event, this serves several essential purposes for me and my guests. For one, a huge part of making guests feel comfortable is making sure they know where everything is without having to ask, and making it easily accessible. Displaying the drinks on a table or bar alongside rows of glasses make it easier on your guests to help themselves. A well-organized bar area also creates a pretty focal point as well as a place for people to gather and chit-chat. Pictured: Pier 1 Galvanized Metal Tray
Serve A Signature Drink. Every special event has a signature drink. You don't have to make it a fancy cocktail with a silly name (though that is strongly encouraged). For me it's all about making things both easier and less expensive. You can save yourself so much time and money by swapping out a full bar with a large dispenser filled with one drink, like margaritas or sangria. Try my Blueberry-Lime Sparkling Sangria Recipe pictured above. Pair it with one non-alcoholic option like tea or lemonade and something easy like bottled beer. I mean, you can't have a barbecue without beer, right? Okay, maybe you can, but I like a cold one every now and then.
I love to use a large drink container with a dispenser so guests can help themselves. The Del Sol Glass Drink Dispenser pictured above comes with a base that turns into a little chill bucket! I also love a large Mason jar dispenser. For a big crowd, use a large galvanized tub to chill and display bottled drinks.
Get A Fire Pit. Whether you buy one or make your own, a fire pit is such a cool way to entertain outdoors. Who doesn't like to sit around a fire with friends and roasted marshmallows? Or better yet, s'mores! Pictured: Sun Joe SJFP35-STN Cast Stone Fire Pit
Don't Forget About the Outdoor Games. Grown-ups like to play games too! It's a fun way to loosen things up, especially if you don't have a pool. My personal favorite is corn hole (even though I'm terrible at at). For something a little more portable, try Bocce Ball. You can find a set for around $20 that would make a great summer hostess gift for someone who like to entertains outdoors.
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