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Top 10 Summer Party Tips


Summer is the easiest season to entertain. Parties are expected to be casual, seasonal produce is abundant and inexpensive, and nature does the decorating for you. Remember to follow these important tips, and your summer parties are destined for success.

1. Always Have Plenty of Ice!

Outdoor group party on the river.
Heath Korvola/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Never underestimate how quickly the ice will be used during a summer party. Even if the party is inside, guests are still feeling the heat of the summer day and requiring lots of cooling ice.

2. You Can't Overestimate How Many Beverages You'll Need

From soft drinks to beer to blender drinks, there's never enough in the summer. Whether your guests are simply walking outside and chatting, or playing an energetic game of volleyball or other outdoor party game, they'll work up a stronger thirst than they do in the other three seasons. Include bottled water in your beverage arsenal. Sometimes nothing does the trick like a nice icy glass of H2O. Place a bucket of fruit filled ice cubes on the side to add a little extra pizzazz.

3. Lighten Up Your Menu

Use as many fresh, seasonal ingredients in your menu as possible. As thirsts increase during the summer, appetites for heavy recipes shrink. Opt for salads and grilled food in place of stews and casseroles. Not only will your guests welcome the seasonal change, you'll find it's much quicker and cooler to prepare this food in the hot weather.

4. Keep Your Party Goods Casual and Colorful

There's no need to drag your expensive place settings outside. Take the opportunity to use inexpensive melamine and other plastic materials. If you don't own any, it pays over the long haul to invest in a sturdy set of summer dinnerware. Colorful dishes help to create a festive mood, it's cheaper than buying disposables if you host a lot of summer parties, and it's better for the environment!

5. Remind Your Guests that the Party is Dress Casual

Unless you're hosting a wedding or some other formal event, nobody wants to wear fussy clothing in the summer. So give your guests permission to wear funky, colorful cottons and sassy summer sandals.

6. Provide Shelter from the Sun

If you're hosting a daytime party outside, provide your guests with options for escaping from the sun. Whether it's a rented tent, chairs placed under a shady tree, or tables with umbrellas, your guests will appreciate a place to escape from the heat.

7. Take Your Party on the Road

Do you have a local beach that permits private beach parties? How about a park or pool club? Change the venue and watch your crowd loosen up with the change of scenery.

8. Remember Food Safety

Always keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Summer heat quickly turns good food into a stomach disaster if not served under correct conditions.

9. Serve Ice Cream Sundaes and Cookies for Dessert

The cookies can be prepared (or purchased) in advance and sundaes are a favorite make-your-own-dessert when you set it up as an ice cream buffet. Who doesn't love this combo?

10. Provide Personal Conveniences Your Guests May Have Forgotten

Hey, it's hard to remember everything when you're looking forward to having a good time! So offer your guests sunscreen, bug spray, flip flops, towels, and even hand sanitizers if you're partying away from home.
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