11 tips for an unforgettable outdoor party

Table outside with plates, silverware and cups.

With the summer months in full swing, what better time to host an outdoor party? It’s warm outside, everything is in bloom—it’s the perfect time to soak up some of that beneficial vitamin D (with sunscreen, of course) or party around the bonfire under the stars.

With summer soirees in mind, we’ve gathered 11 tips to help you throw an unforgettable outdoor party that guests will gush about long after the last lantern has been extinguished.

1. Consider the weather

The weather can be a finicky friend and can turn your plans upside down in a flash. With an outdoor event, you always want to have a backup plan and ensure you’ll have tents or an indoor alternative available for the date of your party. 

2. Pick an accessible venue

Choose a venue that’s easily accessible for all guests and one that includes ample parking. And if you have any fun outdoor activities planned, like frisbee, an obstacle course or a scavenger hunt, be sure your space will allow for them. 

3. Send invitations early

Summer schedules can fill up quickly, so send your invitations out early. Send digital invites to easily track RSVPs and keep your guests updated if plans change.

4. Procure plenty of seating

Not having enough seating can make or break your shindig’s comfort level. Consider the age and abilities of your guests and have several seating options to meet different needs. Rent extra chairs or benches if needed, or even ask guests to BYOC (bring your own chair). 

5. Curate a fuss-free menu

Choose food that’s easy to eat and doesn’t require a fancy place setting (unless you’re planning a formal outdoor party, of course). Finger foods, grilling stations or potluck-style meals offer plenty of options and keep things simple. Don’t forget to consider dietary preferences for those who may have food intolerances. 

6. Scare the bugs away

Nothing ruins a party like uninvited winged or crawly guests. Provide eco-friendly insect repellent and set up citronella candles or torches around the venue to keep pesky bugs at bay.

7. Think about the facilities

Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or a picnic at a park, be sure there are adequate restrooms and plenty of trash receptacles to keep the area clean.

8. Keep your guests hydrated

Especially if you’re throwing a party in the middle of the day, ensure your guests have unincumbered access to a hydration station. Offer flavored waters, iced teas and fun cocktails. And don’t forget to provide plenty of ice.

9. Provide a personal touch

Do you have a favorite hobby, book series or movie? Create a theme around this and incorporate elements that speak to your personality. Maybe it’s a DIY s’mores bar or a “potion tasting”—the little things will add a unique flair to your event.

10. Plan for cleanup

Make sure you have a plan for cleanup ahead of time. Whether hiring help or having a few friends stay behind and pick up the mess, make sure you leave the place as good as—or better than—you found it.

11. Have fun

Once everything is set, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Make the rounds to meet and chat with your guests and create memories for years to come.

It’s party time!

Whether you’re a seasoned host or planning your first to-do, these 11 tips will help you plan a stress-free and memorable outdoor party. So, send out those invites and start prepping! We can smell the bonfire already.