Outdoor Party Must-Haves
As we get into the summer months, our excitement for outdoor parties continues to grow. In fact, we just released the Tuxedo Dining Chair to make your backyard vibes even stronger. Go check it out!
To keep the warm weather shenanigans going--whether you’re in your yard, the beach, the park or mountainside--here are some standby must-haves to put on the most killer outdoor party.
Work With The Weather
Choose the start-time of your outdoor party carefully--early morning brunch or late evening will be your best bet. The lower the sun, the more enjoyable and less sweaty the times will be. While we love the sun, it is easy for guests to get uncomfortable in the heat for an extended amount of time. Keep your pals cool by inviting fans and even iced spray bottles into the party space, depending on how intense you expect the weather to be.
Be sure to keep plenty of chilled beverages (and an overabundance of ice) available throughout the entire evening and have areas of shade or air conditioning open for refuge if some of your guests need a longer cool down. Remember the feel of the party should be one of relaxation and ease--not a “who-here-can-win-a-face-to-face-with-the-elements” type of fun--ya know?
Music, Make A Plan
Set yourself up for success with a playlist made ahead of time. Budget a playing time of about 2 hours longer than the actual length of your gathering, just in case your guests arrive early or linger late. Nobody wants to be left scrambling for the right tunes instead of enjoying the company of friends. Nobody also wants to be subject to a game of passing of the speaker when you ask for suggestions in a pinch.
When curating your playlist, take your overall demographic of guests into account. Will there be kids, strangers, relatives, college friends or a healthy mix? Do your best to choose music that will energize the outdoor space and fit the season without dominating the focus.
Fire It Up
Take into account also your local climate, does the temperature get significantly cooler when the sun goes down? Make room for a small (and safe) fire pit to keep guests warm as the evening gets later. This will also provide fantastic ambiance and light for the later hours.
Introduce other lighting elements like Edison-style string lights, candles, or torches to keep the party in play and to ward off bugs. Especially introduce these lights in the shady spots you utilized during the daytime to transform the base of a tree or tent into a cozy nook for conversation.
If possible, make a few of these lighting elements mobile and localized (examples include floating tea lights, lanterns, etc.) to the primary areas of your party layout so that as it ebbs and flows in volume, no one will be struggling to see.
While you do want to create a laid-back atmosphere for your guests, you also want to create space for a little healthy competition. Set up a variety of outdoor games like volleyball, horseshoes, bocce ball, ping-pong, etc.! Be sure to keep spacial awareness at the forefront to avoid your event from turning into somewhat of a nightmare carnival, where people have to continually be on the lookout for flying paddles and metal balls. Stay smart, keep it fun.
For young guests keep things like bubbles, glow sticks, chalk, and flashlights on hand. For the later hours perhaps you might even want to introduce a small projector screen and pillows for a late night movie.
Weatherproof The Food
Construct your menu with foods that are portable, relatively easy to fashion, and will not be dehydrated by the heat.
For starters, a wide variety of charcuterie might be the way you want to go. Mix a multitude of cheeses, cured meats, fruits, olives and even jams to keep guests captivated by options and the endless combinations of flavors.
Some simple, easy and impressive entree standards here will be grilled chicken and vegetable skewers, possibly with an assortment of topics and sauces to make each customizable.
Try to go beyond the classic hamburger and hot dog this summer. While both are fantastic options, we want you to show your guests you went the extra mile. Introduce new flavors and sauces to these quiet classics with pre-tested, unique toppings.
Show us your outdoor decor!
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It’s freezing outside; it’s dark and windy--all you want to do is build a blanket fort and stay bundled up all day. We totally get that.
To keep things a little more put together at home, while still being able to bundle up at a moment’s notice, we’ve put together a list of ways to make warmth easily accessible and luxurious from your home.