Whether it’s a Fourth of July cookout, lively pool party, or a simple alfresco meal there is nothing quite like having a party outdoors. While there are plenty of specifics to consider, there are a handful that are a must. Before you start freaking out over the details, this handy guide will help you check a few essentials off of your list.
Try as we might to plan for it, sometimes Mother Nature has a mind of her own. Sudden downpours, or an unseasonably cold evening, or a spike in the high temperature can all throw party plans for a loop. It’s important to have a backup plan for the bad weather for the safety and comfort of your guests. An excellent choice for outdoor parties is to spring up a canopy shelter or tent, especially if it’s light rain, or to give partygoers a place to escape the sun’s blazing rays on a hot day. An alternative is to have an indoor location where the party can be moved to easily, even if for just a short time. Even providing shawls or blankets for a chilly evening bonfire or sunscreen for a pool party can add the perfect touch to your party.
Hosting a great meal outdoors starts with preparation and a schedule. Even a casual barbecue can benefit from having a thoughtfully crafted menu. Preparing ingredients ahead of time may also alleviate some of the stress that comes with hosting a party, as there is less to do close to party time. Serving meals family or buffet style is an easy way to serve at your party, and can also encourage guests to mingle. There are also inevitably guests who have special food needs and their dietary restrictions should be taken into consideration. It is decidedly easier to have tofu or gluten free hamburger buns ready than having to make a mad dash to the grocery store during the party.
Hosting a great meal outdoors starts with preparation and a schedule. Even a casual barbecue can benefit you from having a thoughtfully crafted menu. Preparing ingredients ahead of time may also alleviate some of the stress that comes with hosting a party, as there is less to do close to party time. Serving meals family or buffet style is an easy way to serve at your party, and can also encourage guests to mingle. It is decidedly easier to have tofu or gluten free hamburger buns at the ready than having to make a mad dash to the grocery store during the party.
No party is complete without some tunes to set the mood. A playlist made ahead of time can have guests dancing and in high spirits, or relaxing as soft music plays gently in the background. Instead of bringing out your delicate home audio system, you may choose to opt for a more rugged portable wireless speaker such as the Denon HEOS 1 that streams audio over your existing network. It is easily hidden into the party’s decor and with no wires to trip over, is a safe bet for the crowd. Lighting is another way to set the tone for your party. Tiki torches and string lights are popular choices. If pests are a problem and you like a dual purpose lighting, consider citronella torches or thermacell outdoor lanterns that repel mosquitoes and other flying insects.
Although for many eating a good meal amongst loved ones is enough to keep them occupied, it never hurts to provide games for those that are so inclined. Backyard party staples like horseshoes or croquet are a lighthearted addition, and easy enough for everyone to enjoy. Writing ice breakers on the name cards at a sit down dinner can also be a fun way to enjoy each other’s company. If a more modern approach is your style, a projection screen in the backyard can turn a simple get together into a drive-in (or in this case, sit-in) movie experience.
Last but not the least, being mindful of the possibility of heatstroke or sunburn, bug bites, and various other outdoor emergencies is always a good idea. Be sure to keep a first aid kit on hand and be alert to strange behavior due to illness, especially from children, elderly friends, or pets. If the party features a pool, be extra cautious with young children. If it is not a pool party but there is a pool in the backyard, you can fence it off for the party for added peace of mind.
Taking the party outdoors is a surefire way to take it up a notch while still being easy and enjoyable. In future if you are planning to make any plans for an outdoor party make sure you keep the above mentioned tips in your mind. It will certainly help you to plan out things in a proper manner without need to invest more time and energy.