As spring cleaning gives way to outdoor entertaining, here’s a summer party checklist that’ll make your warm-weather celebrations successful.
Outdoor Party Lighting
Get double-duty from your outdoor holiday lights by hosting a “Christmas in July” party.
Poke holes in tin cans and fill them with battery-powered LED lights.
Submersible LED lights are inexpensive and can adorn anything aquatic from kiddie pools to bowls of colored water and ice (https://www.100candles.com)
Keep the Bugs Out — Or at Least Away
Create a sunscreen and bug spray station so everyone knows where to find these summer essentials.
Use cupcake liners with cutouts for straws to keep sugar-seeking bugs out of your sweet drinks.
DIY Outdoor Party Decorations
Cover your outdoor tables with butcher or kraft paper for a casually finished look and super easy clean-up. A 30” W x 20’ L roll of white or tan kraft paper is available at michaels.com for as little as $4.79.
Consider red-checkered tablecloths to turn a barbecue into a picnic.
Clothespins are a charming accent and help hold the tablecloth or kraft paper in place.
Use leftover beer and wine bottles as vases to showcase your summer flowers.
Keep Food Cold for Chill Parties
Nothing ruins a party faster than a touch of food poisoning. But with a little creativity, you can serve and hold food at the ideal temperature.
The same types of multi-use containers that we suggested for container gardening (metal buckets/tubs, wheel barrows, clay pots), can also be filled with ice to keep cold items cold. (Can we link to previous blog?)
Clay pots are so versatile, they can even be filled with charcoal briquettes for an impromptu s’more station. Line them with aluminum foil first for easy clean-up.
Try a polka-dot theme. Fill a pool float or raft with ice and/or frozen water balloons for a colorful alternative cooler with quick clean-up.
Start freezing and storing ice cubes several days before your party. You’ll need it. You can’t have enough.
More rhubarb than you know what to do with? Try something new at your barbecue, like this rhubarb mojito. It’s sure provide pure refreshment for your guests.
Make it Easy on Yourself
Keep side dishes simple, like salads, fresh fruit and cold drinks.
If watermelon, cantaloup or honeydew are on the menu, hold onto the in-tact rind as serving bowls for the chilled bite-sized pieces of fruit.
UMH homes all feature yards for entertaining. And most of our communities even have amenities like a clubhouse to make room for your growing summer social calendar.