5/11/2012

Backyard Parties

As the summer heats up, our activities gravitate to the great outdoors. Hosting a backyard party during the summertime can be a great way to connect with family and friends. Here are some ideas to help you throw a party to be remembered for years to come.

Engage other friends and family: You don't have to do it all. Consider how you can include the participants in the planning where possible. Family members will enjoy the party more when they had a part to play. Aunt Susie may be an awesome cook and might take charge of the food planning (that doesn't mean that she has to do it all but she now has an area that she oversees). Cousin Tommy, might be great at games, someone else on decorations, invitations, pictures, music, set up, clean up.... You get the idea. All you need is a theme and then begin the plan. By engaging all family members in the process you build anticipation for the fun day and increase the joy on the day.

Be Available: Prior planning can help you to be available more during the big party. People came and they want to see you. Disappearing to take care of logistics behind the scene makes the event work for you and not what your guest had hoped for. By creating a checklist and assigning duties, everyone gets to enjoy more of the fun.

Plan For Weather: Have a plan in case it rains or the weather does not cooperate. Having a covered shelter or a tent can be a great way to give people a way to stay dry if a sprinkle or two should crop up. Also if you have decorations for your party, make sure they are securely fastened in case a wind should blow up (don't forget about paper products - they blow nicely if they are not secured).

Lighting: If your party will go into evening hours be sure to have plenty of lighting around the yard so your guests don't have to search for their food and drinks! If you don't have outdoor lights, consider renting them from a local rental supply.

Food: Have as much of the food prepared in advance as possible. That way you are not slaving over preparations while the guests are there. Also consider foods that cook quickly like burgers and dogs to maximize the enjoyment of the fellowship with friends. If you are having guests bring a dish help them to know what would be helpful. You might suggest that they bring their dishes in low cost aluminum containers so they don't need to worry about taking empties home and you don't have to stress about reconnecting people with their dishes.

Bugs: Citronella candles can be a great addition to a backyard party. Also consider having a few cans of bug spray floating around for guests to use. Don't forget to provide cover for the food as well. Having a mesh tent for the food can keep bugs out and make your life much easier.

Chairs: Have extra chairs available for people to sit and enjoy the event. For those who do not bring a folding chair consider having some extra available.

Games and Activities: Simply providing a soccer ball or football can be enough to get a game started. In addition to the list below, check out our summer games list:

-:- Backyard cricket
-:- Basketball shoot out
-:- Discus throwing using a frisbee.
-:- Egg and spoon race
-:- Relay race with batons
-:- Sack race
-:- Volley ball match


Pictures: Your party is an event that you want to remember, so don't forget to take pictures not only of the set up before hand, but also of the guests enjoying themselves.

Music: Don't forget the music! Select music that is in keeping with the theme of your party to help your guests get into the mood.

Decorations: The internet can be a great resource for creating themed decorations without spending a lot of dough. If you decide to use a theme for your party, you can create the mood by creating decorations that convey the character of the theme. Decorate your fence with balloons and streamers to add to the festive nature of the event.

Theme Parties:
  • Luau: Go polynesian by decorating with a luau theme. Bamboo mats and floral decorations can create a wonderful mood. Fruity drinks with umbrellas can make the occasion very festive.
  • Garden Party: This can be a great excuse to get some of that landscaping done! Add some baskets and buckets of plants and flowers around and you have created a feeling of lushness.
  • Years Gone by: Create a theme of fifties, sixties or seventies to add a little life to the party. Guests come dressed in theme. Decorate with items from the time gone by. Vinyl records, muscle cars, drive-ins, create the appearance of going back in time!
  • Outdoor Theater: create the effect of the outdoor drive in by hosting a movie outdoors!

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea. We love having backyard parties. We just recently just bought a new house and have been looking for pool companies in PA to come and install a new pool before the summer gets here. We think adding a pool will add a whole other entertainment level to the parties. Thanks so much for some of these other party tips.

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