The Best Summer Entertaining Tips
As soon as the snow melts and the sun starts to shine I get this itch to host outdoor dinners and parties. There is something about good friends or family getting together outside, enjoying delicious food and delightful conversation that I just love.
When we bought our first home nearly three years ago we were so excited to move out of our small, two bedroom apartment and be able to have people over for dinner- more specifically to have them over to enjoy our patio and eat outside.
We’ve hosted everything from end of year weenie roasts, baby showers, 4th of July pizza parties for the entire neighborhood, s’mores with family and friends, Sunday dinners with the grandparents to everything in between.
That being said- I’m also a planner, a worrier, and sometimes social settings gives me anxiety. That combination can be difficult when hosting a social event- even if it is the smallest gathering of people. However, I have discovered that if I can have almost everything planned and ready to go- I can relax a little more and enjoy.
Come Up With a Theme
Sometimes you invite guests over last minute and just throw hot dogs on the grill- but what if you want to throw a big shin-dig?
The first thing to do is to decide on a theme. It doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate and could consist of just nailing down the type of foods you are serving.
I have found that if I decide on a menu everything else falls into place. The best way to do that is to take into consideration your guests and go from there.
Great themed ideas might be:
- Pizza Party
Either order pizzas or make your own on the grill! Have everyone bring toppings to share
- Water Party
Set up a sprinkler, a baby pool and other water toys for little ones and keep the menu simple.
- Weenie Roast
Roast hot dogs and have endless options of toppings.
- Tin Foil Dinners
Bring Your Own Tin Foil Dinner! Nothing says Summer fun better.
- Picnic Style
Have sandwiches, watermelon, chips, fruit and cold drinks
- Bring Your Own Meat
Go traditional and have guests bring the meat of their choosing and you supply the grill. Everyone will get to eat what they really enjoy this way.
Make Sure You Have Seating For Your Guests
When we first moved into our home we bought a few lawn chairs, and found a slew of plastic children chairs at a thrift store. Over time we have since added a nice patio set that allows for much more comfortable dining for guests. But sometimes that just isn’t possible.
We found that throwing blankets on the lawn and setting up what chairs we had- always made it feel like there were mores seats available. No one likes to feel like they have to stand the entire time so having ample seating is always a must.
Get creative, turn large pots over and cover with a cushion, go to your local thrift store regularly and look for used lawn chairs, borrow chairs or tables from friends or bring chairs outside from inside your home.
Use Disposable Paper Goods
At the end of the night the most satisfying things is to be able to just throw your mess away!
Stock up on paper plates, napkins, utensils and cups. Be sure to place a trash can outside where guests can easily spot it so pick-up can happen as you go along.
Keep In Mind The Time Of Day
Will it be really hot during your party? Or will it be more cool and well into the evening?
Make sure you have umbrellas or pop-up tents set up to shield your guests from the sun.
Or actually plan your gathering during a time of day when you know there will be more shade.
Let Guests Help Out
I’m definitely not a control freak so I am happy to hand control over to others. If they offer to bring a dish- let them! Make food assignments from the beginning- most people are happy to help provide the meal.
If you want to cook the main dishes consider assigning others to bring drinks, desserts or sides.
You don’t need to go all out but it is always nice to have a little entertainment available for guests.
Hook up a speaker for music or make sure you have outdoor toys ready for little kids.
Stock up on bubbles, chalk, balls and hula-hoops, too.
You could set up a badminton net or croquet so people have the option of enjoying a fun game before or after eating.
Keep The Bugs Away
This is post was sponsored by Zevo. However, my thoughts and opinions remain my own.
There is nothing more annoying than trying to eat a nice meal during the summer than having a pesky insect flying around! It really can make for a horrible experience!
But there is a remarkable, new device that can help with those flying insects that always seem to congregate on the patio!
Zevo is not your average fly trap. It is a chemical insecticide-free alternative that helps you trap flying insects (indoors or on covered patios). It leaves no odors or messes and you can use it indoors or on your enclosed patio.
One of the best parts about it is that it is easy to use. You simply snap on a trap cartridge and plug it into any wall outlet. So simple! The dual lights attract the flying insects and the sticky adhesive traps them in. You then simply toss the and replace the cartridge when it becomes full.
I appreciate how it helps protect my family and my guests from flying insects and chemical insecticides- which also benefits pets and loved ones with respiratory issues because of it.
When it comes to having guests over you don’t want them to worry about mosquitoes, flies, gnats and moths so I love the peace of mind that comes with using Zevo. It really is the best fly trap – no matter where you are.
Hosting gatherings doesn’t need to be that stressful! With a little planning you will be hosting your own parties more often than you thought!
Cindy Maudsley lives in Utah with her husband and five children. Aside from writing, her passions include her family, faith, and spreading infertility awareness. She also loves a good book or podcast, true crime documentaries , Netflix binge, diet Coke and Target run