Although it may be winter now, spring will be upon us very quickly, and with that comes the possibility for outdoor entertaining. Throwing a party outdoors during warm weather is always a great idea, as the fresh air and open spaces naturally put people in a good mood. If you have a patio or backyard, you can easily throw your own outdoor party at home, whether it be a barbeque, dinner party, cocktail night, or even a backyard bonfire. Whatever you choose, here are some tips to help make sure it goes off without a hitch.
Provide comfortable places to sit.
Most people likely won’t want to stand for the entire party, so assess your resources when it comes to outdoor furniture and arrange them appropriately. A mixture of chairs and stools works well, and you can also put down beach towels on the grass or a ledge so people can relax there as well. Stools also work well as makeshift tables in a pinch. You likely don’t need seating for the entire party all at one time, since people will want to get up and mingle.
Add some ambiance.
If you’re throwing the party in the early evening or night, be sure to add some lighting to really make your yard seem welcoming and cozy. If you spend money on anything for the party, this should be it, as it can totally transform the look of your space instantly. Fairy lights are inexpensive and can easily be hung from trees or roofs, but you also may want to consider adding some hanging lanterns as well. If it’s not too windy, add some small candles on tables and ledges as well.
Set up a bar.
Drinks are crucial to any event, whether it’s your traditional barbeque beer, classy cocktails or rose for a dinner party, or just some punch or lemonade for an afternoon event. Make it easy for guests to get their drinks by setting up a bar area with a table or dresser. Include disposable cups, as well as all of your drink options (be sure to include a few different choices, as well as a non-alcoholic version and water). You can also even put out some small finger food or candies on the bar as well. This will quickly become the center of your party and get people mingling in no time.
Include games or activities.
No matter what your crowd is, you’re going to want some options for keeping your guests busy, especially if it’s a big group. Depending on the weather and size of your backyard, there are plenty of options for activities. You can set up a net for volleyball, or set up your own makeshift cornhole game with some beanbags and a few boxes. If there are going to be kids at the event, you may even want to consider a slip-and-slide. If your crowd is less active, include some card games at each table to get people talking.
Have a backup plan in case of inclement weather.
Although there’s a good chance it won’t happen, be sure to come up with something fun to do instead if it rains. If there’s space in your home, just take the party inside for a movie night or game night, or you could head to a nearby bar or casual restaurant if there isn’t space indoors. If you have a patio cover, you can use that to still host the event and keep the water out. Just be sure to let guests know of the backup plan so they don’t think your event is canceled.