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A Refreshing Summertime Birthday Party

Plan a Menu Designed to Keep Your Guests Cool and Your Party Hot

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A Refreshing Summertime Birthday Party

Watermelon Iced Tea

Photo by Marko Goodwin, Used with Permission From Lindsey Goodwin, About.com Guide to Coffee and Tea

Summertime birthdays can be the best kind. Most guests are already in a relaxed state of mind thanks to the season, and you can plan a menu to take advantage of the freshest ingredients. Of course, to keep everyone relaxed and in the mood for a party and not for a meltdown, you'll want to make sure that the beverages are refreshing and that the food is light and refreshing too.

Setting the Stage for a Summertime Birthday Party

Choose table linens, place settings, and drinkware in cool colors like pale blues, greens and white.

Stock up on plenty of ice so that you won't run out.

Set a small fish bowl at each place setting. Put colorful gravel on the bottom and a small fish in each one. Your guests can take home these bowls as party favors along with a small bag of fish food.

If you wish to use flower centerpieces, choose white flowers to mix in with copious amounts of greenery.

The Menu

This menu is designed to keep your guests feeling refreshed and ready to stick around as long as the party is going strong.

Pickled Shrimp Appetizers - This unusual recipe has the added benefit that it can be prepared and refrigerated the night before your party.

Tomatoey Pasta Salad Recipe - This is the kind of recipe you want for a summer party when basil and tomatoes are at their very best.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken - This traditional summer picnic dish can be served warm or cold.

Cucumber Salad with Dill - I don't think you can get a more refreshing side dish than one that includes cucumbers and dill.

Ice Cream Cake - Ice cream cakes are always popular for summer birthdays. This recipe combines a layer cake with ice cream giving you a two-for-one dessert.

Watermelon Iced Tea - Good enough for adults to enjoy, familiar enough for the kiddies.

Iced Orange-Pineapple Yerba Mate - This tea "punch" can be prepared up to two weeks in advance - talk about convenience!

Arnold Palmer - This popular summer mocktail blends lemonade and iced tea for a refreshing combination.

Easy Coffee Martini - For adults only, this alcohol spiked cocktail gives a jolt of caffeine to keep the dancing and conversation flowing.

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