We recently renovated our back porch, turning what was a cracked concrete patio and partially screened-in porch area (no screen was going to keep our pup from her squirrel-chasing adventures) into a large cedar deck with upgraded patio furniture, lighting and even a ceiling fan to help give some relief from the summer heat. It’s been quite the upgrade to our outdoor space — and one that has motivated us to not only have coffee and mimosas out back on chill weekend mornings, but also to have more people over for a little summer entertaining.
While I wouldn’t consider myself an expert host, I think I’m getting there! At least when it comes to doing some super simple things that making entertaining easier — and more delicious. Read on for seven outdoor party ideas that are totally worth trying!
Easy Outdoor Party Ideas
1. Mix and match your outdoor furniture. We hit up IKEA for a variety of chairs, benches and tables that we could mix and match depending on the size of our group. We have a big table that sits anywhere from four to twelve (thank you, drop-leaves), plus some small fold-up chairs, larger lounge chairs and a couple of benches. These can go with the big table or really anywhere on the deck. Lightweight and easy to move, it makes the space function really well for whatever you need it to be!
2. UV Sangria Vodka. I love sangria. And so does a crowd. Simply mix this vodka with some sparkling water or lemon-lime soda, throw in some fresh chopped fruit, and you and your guests are good to go.
3. Wine glasses that don’t break. I’m notorious for breaking glasses. But these? Can’t break ’em. Genius. (Thanks for gifting us these, mom and dad! You know me too well.)
4. Olive oils for tastings. Cheese plates are fun, but lately I’ve liked to set out a few of my favorite gourmet olive oils — Pomora and Pasolivo — along with some fresh tomatoes and bread for tasting. It’s a nice change of pace and really fun to do.
5. This freakin’ magic lantern. I tried this Mosquito Repellent Patio Lantern years ago for FBG, and it’s been one product we use over and over again each and every time we’re outside. It WORKS. And has no smell!
6. SpinChill. This seems like something you’d see in a TV infomerical or on Shark Tank but pay no attention. It actually works and is pretty darn fun to use. Just hook on your beer, soda or even wine bottle, and let it go. It’ll chill just about any drink in a minute or two. A really fun party trick.
What are your musts for a fab outdoor party? —Jenn