The time of year for summer parties is almost here. At the first sign of clear skies and sun, many start to daydream of summer fun and get togethers. If you are hoping to throw an amazing summer party this year, whether it be for kids, adults or both, there are so many different options. From food and drinks to activities and decor, the sky is the limit.
The Ultimate List of Summer Party Ideas
Planning the Food
Having a menu plan is an important part of planning any party. Make sure to have a list of the food items you will be offering. Consider who will be attending, if there are kids on the guest list, you will want to ensure that you have a variety for them to choose from.
The Appetizers- One of the best parts of a summer party is the wide variety of snacks and appetizers available. Smokey Onion dip makes for an amazing starter without being too filling, just remember to keep the appetizers simple. An easy corn salsa can be served with tortilla chips for a fresh and refreshing appetizer without too much fuss. Choose easy, light foods to serve as appetizers so that guests still have room for the main course.
On the Grill – When many think summer party food, the first thing that comes to mind is the BBQ. There are so many fantastic recipes that can be made on the Grill. Try something new with orange glazed BBQ Chicken drumsticks, or Pineapple Tamarind Beef Kabobs. If it’s the classics you’re looking for, hot dogs make for great BBQ food. You can even get creative with the toppings by trying some sizzle worthy hot dog recipes that the kids will be sure to love. No matter what you choose to grill, just remember to consider the people on your guest list and any food intolerances they may have. There are a variety of delicious options for everyone when you’re grilling.
The Sides – Choosing accompaniments for your main course doesn’t have to be difficult. There are so many different summer salads that make great side dishes to anything that comes off the grill. Grilled vegetables like corn and zucchini are also delicious options.
The Dessert – Once the main course is finished, it may be time to cool off with some sweet summer treats. A watermelon salsa with cinnamon tortilla chips is a light and fresh dessert option, or choose a cute grill themed dessert to go with the summer party theme. Just remember to keep the desserts in a cool place until you are ready to serve them.
Planning the Drinks
Over the summer, the beverages you serve at a party are just as important as the food. The weather is hot, and you want your guests to stay hydrated, so having a variety of options is beneficial to their enjoyment.
Mocktails – Offering a variety of delicious mocktails is a great way to add some class to your summer party. Using fresh Grapefruit to make a batch of grapefruit mojito mocktails, or some pomegranate to make pomegranate mojito mocktails produces delicious and colourful drinks even the kids can enjoy.
Lemonade – Fresh lemonade is another delicious summer classic. The neat thing about Lemonade is that there are a variety of different recipes you can use with different flavour combinations to choose from, so the sky is the limit.
Other beverages – There are many other beverages that you can offer at your summer bash. Water, cans of pop, alcoholic beverages and more can all be kept in a cooler. Just remember to keep your cooler in a shaded area so the ice doesn’t melt as fast.
Games and Activities
Planning games and activities for your party is very important. You want to ensure that the kids and even adults, are entertained.
For the Kids
Freeze tag – Winner gets a prize.
Outdoor movie night – Make popcorn, set up an outdoor screen, lay down blankets and watch a movie under the stars.
ABC Scavenger hunt – Divide the kids into teams and provide bags for them to place their items in. The first team to find items that start with every letter of the alphabet, wins!
Musical chairs – You know the drill. When the music stops, the person left standing is out.
Squirt gun painting – Fill squirt guns with washable paint, bring out a large white sheet and let the kids go crazy filling it with their designs.
Relay races – Have the children divide into two teams and keep racing to the finish line until every child has had a turn. First team to finish wines.
For the Adults
Lawn Twister – You can use large circle stencils and spray paint, to create a game board on your lawn.
Giant Jenga – Use pieces of 2×4 to create your own oversized Jenga pieces, then stack away until it falls over.
Water balloon dodgeball – Fill water balloons with water, and play!
Outdoor Pictionary – Get a large chalkboard, split into teams and draw.
Glow in the dark capture the flag – Use glowsticks instead of flags for a nighttime twist on an awesome game.
Your party décor can set the mood for the entire experience. Little personalized touches to your decorating will add pops of colour and even some class to your backyard get together.
Twinkle lights- Drape twinkle lights around the fence, the umbrella and inside your gazebo to create a beautiful and whimsical look in your own backyard.
Candles – Candles, even flameless ones, are a great way to add light and ambiance to your party.
Paper Lanterns- Another great lighting feature. Colourful paper lanterns can add a pop of colour and brightness to your backyard function.
Tablecloths- A long colourful table cloth won’t just protect your table, but it can add a beautiful pop of colour.
Flowers – Fresh flowers make a beautiful outdoor centerpiece for any party.
Hosting a backyard party can be an amazing way to welcome the warmth of summer with great friends, amazing food and fun activities. Make sure to plan your menu, organize some drinks and get some activities going.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!