Planning to host a party outside, on the lawn or backyard?
Who doesn’t love the idea of getting together for a barbecue, beer, and fun activities? That said, you need to give your party some oomph to make it worthwhile and memorable!
Fortunately, we’ve got 7 secret outdoor entertaining tips to help you out. Read our guide below to discover all you need when it comes to hosting a party outdoors:
1. Shading and Lighting
Keep in mind that it can get incredibly hot when partying outdoors. You’ll need to plan for this by getting appropriate shading.
While the premium option is to get an outdoor pavilion tent or gazebo tent, you can get away with less expensive options. If there are trees in your yard, try to keep the bulk of the crowd shaded underneath them. You can also buy PVC tarp and make a DIY cover to shade a specific area.
Shading is only half the equation. If you want to be a master of outdoor entertaining, don’t forget about lighting.
For the most part, the midday sun does the bulk of the work. That said, you should lighten up the shaded areas with string lights. This creates a soothing atmosphere while also providing enough lighting for food and activities, especially at night.
2. Fight Off the Bugs
When you’re outdoors, you’ll easily attract bugs and other pests. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to fight them off.
First, make sure you have bug repellent lotion at the ready. Adults might not use it often but it’s nice to have in case there are kids.
Get screens to surround the tent with food. A simple mesh net can work wonders in this regard. Despite having one, don’t forget to cover food with solid lids.
Drinks can attract bugs too. A simple solution is to use cupcake liners to cover the mugs or glasses. Punch a hole in the middle to insert a straw.
If your outdoor party is at night, buy a few bright lights and install them away from the main party area. Most bugs get attracted to lights and this is an affordable method of keeping them away.
3. Buffet Planning
Got all the replies from the invitations you sent out? That’s a good starting point because it lets you know what kind of food you should prepare and for how many guests. However, cooking the food is one thing — displaying it properly for the guests is another.
One good tip is to put all the snacks at one end of the table, the point where people will start. Put all the heavy dishes at the opposite end.
Why do this?
Most people grab a lot of food at the start of their journey through a buffet line. This means people will prioritize snacks and appetizers and your main dishes get spread throughout the party.
4. Cutlery and Dishes
As much as possible, don’t use high-end cutlery and dishes. Yes, this means prioritizing paper plates and disposable spoons and forks.
Don’t worry, it won’t look cheap. Disposable plates are flimsy so make sure to add plate holders. Holders provide support for the bottom and sides and they look great too.
For the plastic cutlery, wrap them in napkins and tie a ribbon around them.
This presentation goes a long way in making them presentable. It also makes cutlery easier to grab plus there’s the guarantee that everyone gets a full set. You’ll rarely encounter someone who didn’t get a knife or a spoon.
5. Activities Matter
For adults, you should give time to gossip and socialize. That’s pretty much the main reason why adults join these outdoor parties anyway. However, you shouldn’t waste four hours so add a few activities to the program.
You can keep things simple by having a microphone, guitar, and amplifier. This set alone opens up opportunities for performances, speeches, and presentations.
If there are no kids, you can play around with more exciting gimmicks. You can set up an outdoor murder mystery, for example. You can also take the idea of an escape room but instead of solving puzzles to leave, participants will solve puzzles to hunt for treasure.
6. Keeping It Clean
One of the major downsides of partying outdoors is the mess. One all the guests leave, you’ll have to deal with mountains of trash.
Fortunately, you can minimize the work by implementing basic cleaning strategies.
Start by having a few trash cans scattered across your yard. If you can, label them so that people will segregate trash, reducing your workload later. Make sure these trash cans all have lids so you won’t attract even more pests and stray animals.
Do you recycle? This is a good time to put recycle bins out.
Also, there’s no shame in reminding your guests to clean up. Right before opening the buffet table for eating, get the mic and instruct people to throw their plates and other trash immediately after eating. Point out where the trash bins are so they don’t have to wander around looking for them.
7. Entertain the Kids
Indoor parties have one major hurdle: entertaining kids. This is not a big problem for outdoor parties since you have more space to work with.
You can avail of a jumping castle hire service or a kiddie pool if you have enough space. For people with an even larger yard, why not set up a fort for laser tag or competitive water sports?
Don’t stop there. Most kids nowadays have a phone or gaming device. Why not hold a private Pokemon tournament or a Splatoon 2 competition, especially if most kids have a Nintendo Switch?
Master the Art of Outdoor Entertaining!
Become a master of outdoor entertaining with these 7 simple but effective tips and tricks. The main idea behind all these tips is to prioritize convenience for the guests. Keeping guests cool, well-fed, entertained, and safe from bugs should be your goals while hosting a party outside.
But it doesn’t end here! If you’re looking for tips to keep guests entertained or unique food ideas to serve, we’ve got everything you need. Feel free to go over our other walkthroughs now to learn more!