Summer entertaining

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Summer is here and it is a wonderful time to plan an outdoor party with your friends and family. The ability to entertain outdoors offers a plethora of possibilities for great gatherings and parties. It gives you flexibility in your guest list and lots of options for fun themes, games and menus. Get ready to fire up the grill and plan your summer entertaining party.

summer entertaining

My mantra, especially in terms of an outdoors event, is always having a rain date and always put it on your invitations. You don’t want to be calling your guests the afternoon of the event and trying to reschedule. Between vacations, graduation parties and other summer activities, you need to plan ahead carefully. Get your invitations out as early as you can. I am seeing more and more people using free online invitation sites or sending out the invites through their social networking space, such as Facebook or even doing email invites for casual gatherings. So if you want to save money on invites and postage, this is a definite option. Plan to have your summer party at home, at the beach or at a park.. all of which are free. Put together a budget that will cover food, drink and fun party favors. Don’t be shy when your guests ask what you need…let them bring something and then cross that off your list and your budget!

There are tons of reasons for a summer party. They can range from graduation parties, to 4th of July festivities, to family reunions or theme based gatherings such a luau or fiesta. Stage your own summer Olympics with a fun sports themed party. You can run volleyball, bocce ball or even croquet tournament. Croquet is a vastly under-rated game that is a ton of fun. You could even plan an “Alice In Wonderland” themed party and the croquet tournament could be the highlight of the party. If you are really ambitious, plan a “Friends and Family” golf outing with dinner and awards back at your house. Invite all the golfers and their families or dates to join in the fun. All these parties are easy to plan and fun to both give and attend. For food, you can grill, cater or do pot luck depending on your budget. Decorations are optional but you can string lights, add holiday themed buntings for the Fourth of July party or get some great decorations based on your theme. My favorite aspect of any party is great party favors. There are so many terrific “light up” items on the market that you can buy in bulk for very cheap. Also for those of you lucky enough to have children with summer birthdays…plan to do it at home this year. You can turn your backyard into a water park or plan a carnival for under $100.00.

So get your plans in place now and put together a great party this summer. Enjoy the opportunity to entertain casually in your own backyard and be able to do it on a budget that you can afford.