Looking for fun ways to celebrate summertime? Instead of leaving town, turn your outdoor areas into welcoming settings for entertaining events. Host a farmers’ market poolside lunch. Decorate your deck with a Polynesian twist for a tropical cocktail party. Move onto your lawn for a sunset happy hour rivaling a true fiesta. Or barbecue a patriotic patio dinner with a nostalgic flair.
Farmers’ Market LunchFood and beverages: For fresh, locally grown summer salad fixings and flowers, visit a farmer’s market. Scope out your favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables one week early. Ask vendors which farm-to-table options they’ll offer next time to base your menu on availability. Being friendly with growers can get you better deals. Choose light recipes that bring out just-picked fruits and veggies’ genuine flavors and beauty. Feature spinach, corn, squash, peas, cucumbers, and tomatoes in salads. Serve fresh-squeezed strawberry lemonade and cherry limeade. Vivid fruit kabobs with melons, berries, kiwi, grapes, and pineapple make naturally sweet desserts that are easy to eat without silverware. Pool decor: Display buffet items in rustic containers on teak furniture with colorful patio umbrellas shielding tempting dishes from the sun. Multihued fruit baskets and wildflowers in mason jars make quick, fragrant centerpieces. Stock wooden produce crates, wire baskets, or wicker picnic baskets with trays, plates, silverware, and napkins. Place teak lounge chairs near the water so guests can nibble while socializing. Then take a dip for pool pong.
Tropical Cocktail PartyDrinks and eats: Enjoy casual, carefree summer days on your deck with colorful Polynesian cocktails and appetizers. Treat partiers to refreshing tropical drinks like mai tais, piña coladas, blue Hawaiians, and non-alcoholic mangos smoothies. Display hors d’oeuvres such as coconut shrimp bites and ham/pineapple kebobs on ornamental banana leaves. Provide bowls of macadamia nuts and fresh fruit salad. Deck decorations: Say “Aloha!” with leis as guests arrive in wild floral shirts. Invite them to visit serving stations and cocktail seating areas. Feature teak deck furniture including bar carts, tables, stools, and chairs. Set the island ambience with palm trees, tiki torches, and grass skirts wrapped around railings, stairs, and tables. Brightly colored plates, napkins, fresh flowers, and luau trimmings in intense tangerine, brilliant turquoise, hot pink, and lime green will signal fun. Place vibrant umbrella picks in fruity drinks and finger foods. Island music will mimic the appeal of idyllic escapes even further. Encourage friends to outdo each other in hula and limbo contests.
Sunset Fiesta Happy HourDelectable specialties: Spice up summer with a festive backyard party. Authentic snacks and beverages featuring staples like chili peppers and limes will spark the fiesta spirit among revelers. Keep the chips, guacamole, salsa, and nachos coming. Sipping margaritas as mariachi music accompanies the setting sun is a delightful combination to commemorate. Celebratory style: Drape railings with colorful cultural standards like serape blankets and sombreros. Group teak side tables and Classic Teak chairs in remote serving/sitting areas that allow ample room for mingling, dancing, and games. Accent food and beverage stations with flashy paper flowers in Mexican beer bottles, napkins with southwest patterns, and bright plates and glasses. Blindfolded guests will have a blast freeing treats and trinkets from a paper animal piñata.
Patriotic Barbecue Dinner
Old-timey menu: As patriotic holidays approach, family and friends are eager to unite for backyard cookouts. Take pride in reviving traditional recipes representing various American locales. Serve Coney Island hot dogs, Kansas smoked sausage, Wisconsin cheeses, Idaho potato salad, Boston baked beans, and Mississippi mud pie. Identify their origins with toothpick labels in old-style typewriter fonts. Line classic soda fountain glasses with parchment paper to hold munchies. After dinner, remove inserts and fill with old-fashioned ice cream sundaes. Timeless soft drinks in glass bottles will support the vintage vibe. Offer red and blue alcoholic beverages like strawberry daiquiris and blue martinis.
Patio preparations: Play patriotic music to set a nostalgic tone. Before sundown, backyard game standards like croquet and horseshoes will evoke peaceful olden days. Small to large groups can socialize around teak patio furniture. Choose dining table sets in various sizes, shapes, and styles. Use flag-colored dishcloths as placemats and bandanas as napkins. For mood lighting, wrap beeswax candles with red/white/blue ribbons and secure with historic political buttons. Float tea lights in mason jars with essential oils and water. The twinkling effects in these natural bug repellents and reminiscent tales will enthrall your gathering until the stars emerge.