Hosting a summer backyard party is a great way to spend time with family and friends and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine and warm weather. And whether you're into planning a small get together with a few a close friends, an all out bash that will be the talk of the town, or maybe something in between the two, there are plenty of things you can do to make your backyard party a raging success.
There is just something about the celebratory months of summer that make you want to take advantage of every single moment. And if, like me, you happen to live where the winters are brutally hard and cold and seemingly never-ending, those summer celebrations seem to be all the more important.
I live in the tiny, fly in/fly out community of Norman Wells in the Northwest Territories, just a 150 kilometers from the Arctic Circle. We've had eight long months of snow, and temperatures reaching below -45 degrees Celsius, and let me tell you, I am so stinkin' pumped about getting outdoors into my backyard and hosting a summer party, that I can hardly stand it!
Read this post, Creating A Summer Hygge Sanctuary In Your Backyard
for ideas on how to set the stage for your party!
Why host a summer, backyard party, anyway?
Here's the deal. I'm a firm believer that hospitality is a beautiful expression of love and gratitude; a gift, if you will, to others. People are important and cultivating relationship with one another is a vital part of our emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Anytime you open your home (and this includes your backyard!) to others, you are practicing hospitality and investing in the lives of the people around you.
Read this post, Hygge - Where It Begins for more on Hygge hospitality.
While I believe that it is important to offer hospitality throughout the entire year, it can often feel very intimidating to invite people into our homes. Small houses; large families; feelings of inferiority; can often inhibit our extension of invitations to others to come into our homes. But there is such a beautiful, relaxed ease and atmosphere that happens when we entertain outdoors. A backyard party is a wonderful way to practice the gift of hospitality in an unintimidating way. Plus, it's just fun!
So, whether you're a confident host, a somewhat reluctant host, or maybe somewhere in between, here are
20+ Amazing Ideas For Hosting A Backyard Party This Summer!
Ideas for hosting a small, intimate backyard party.
1. Host a wine and cheese party.
Create a simple Charcuterie board. Gather a selection of three or four different cheeses and about the same number of different cured meats like salami, prosciutto, and soppressata. Add in a bunch of grapes and sliced apples or pears. Add mixed nuts, olives, and a variety of pickles. A loaf of sour dough bread that can be torn and dipped in an oil and balsamic vinegar mix will round out your food fare. A good quality bottle, or two, of wine is all you need for your wine and cheese party.
2. Prepare an easy, make ahead pasta meal.
There is really nothing easier than assembling a lasagna, tossing together a fresh Italian, salad and baking, or buying a garlic bread. Having these dishes prepared prior to your guests arrival will allow you to visit, stress -free, outside while the lasagna bakes in the oven. All you have to do is heat up your garlic bread and pull the salad out of the fridge and serve. A simple, but delicious meal with zero stress. And if you'd like a delicious, simple make ahead summer dessert, try this super easy Salted Caramel & Chocolate Ice-cream Cake.
3. Set up a DIY succulent garden station where your guests can create their own mini succulent gardens to take home.
4. Or a DIY terrarium with a collection of compatible plants.
5. You could also make it a fairy garden theme.
6. Or what about an outdoor paint night?
Now, for each of ideas, you could choose to provide the supplies yourself if it's something within your budget, or you could have your guests contribute. When setting up either of these little DIY parties, inform your potential guests of your thoughts and see if this is something they would be interested in taking part in. Then you could decide if you'd like a monetary contribution where you choose, and bring in all the supplies, or if you'd like your guests to bring in their own supplies. Either way, this would be a lovely way to spend an afternoon or evening with your guests before enjoying a meal together.
Ideas For hosting a mid-sized backyard party.
1. Host a BBQ party with a variety of meats, veggies and sides for guests to enjoy.
This could be a pot-luck style meal if you prefer. Keep it casual and relaxed with music in the background, while guests mingle and visit with each other. Using paper plates and cups and recyclable cutlery will keep the clean-up to a minimum.
2. Host a DIY s'mores bar where guests can make their own s'mores.
Traditional s'mores are a simple combination of milk chocolate and a toasted, ooey gooey marshmallow sandwiched between two graham cracker cookies. But this s'mores bar needs to be something special! Along with marshmallows, provide a wide range of different kinds of chocolate, different kinds of cookies, (Home-made would be to die for!) and maybe even some toppings such as salted caramel, strawberry or chocolate. Candy sprinkles or other tiny candies such as mini M&M's would be a fun addition, too.
3. Have a DIY ice-cream sundae bar.
Include lots of different ice-cream, toppings, cookies, brownies, chopped fruit, nuts and candy for the ultimate sundae bar! And don't forget the whipped cream! These 16 oz disposable ice-cream cups will make cleanup a breeze plus, they are such fun colors! Or, if you'd prefer reusable ones, try these Eco friendly, Unbreakable Wheat Straw Fiber Bowls.
4. Host a DIY pizza party.
Your guests can assemble individual pizzas and take turns cooking them on your outdoor grill. Again, include a good variety of favorite pizza toppings including ham, salami, pepperoni, ground beef, chicken, different kinds of chopped veggies and of course mozzarella cheese! If you want to bump this up a notch, include toppings for specialty pizzas like Margherita pizza, Cajun pizza etc.
5. Host a donut decorating station for a totally unique outdoor party!
If you're not into making your own, pre order your donuts (think approximately two per guest!) for your party and pick them up just before your guests will arrive. Have your icings (maple, chocolate, salted caramel, etc.) and toppings in bowls and ready to place outside on your table.
7. Host a DIY jewelry-making station where guests can create their own jewelry.
8. Host a DIY henna tattoo station or hire a henna artist to come and create henna tattoos for your guests.
As with the other DIY ideas where supplies are needed, you can choose whether or not you will have guests contribute to the cost and/or the supplies needed. Just be sure to inform them prior to showing up at your party.
9. Host a pool party with floats, water games and poolside snacks.
Don't have a pool but want to have a water party still? Rent or borrow a bunch of kiddie pools and fill em up! Set up a slip n' slide for kids and adults alike! Have a water balloon fight. Organize some crazy water relays. An outdoor water/pool party is about as relaxed as you can get so you are sure to have hit with this one. Keep your food fare simple with pre-made sandwiches, your favorite potato chips, watermelon and fizzy drinks.
Ideas for hosting a large, backyard party.
1. Have a hot dog and smokie roast.
Round this out with potato chips and watermelon for food and you're good to go. Music pumping out some fun, summer tunes in the background will keep your guests relaxed and feeling good at this large, easy backyard party.
2. Set up a cookie decorating station.
You'll want to have the same kinds of toppings as you would for a donut party here, but the real star should be your cookies. Offer three or four different kinds of cookies, large enough to be able load up with a ton of different sugary delights.
3. Host a backyard movie night.
Set up a large screen for an outdoor movie projector. Have your guests bring their own lawn chairs, blankets, pillows and sleeping bags so that they are super coxy. Set a a popcorn station with different toppings so that guests can assemble their own bowl their own way.
4. Host a karaoke night.
Invite the neighborhood over for a super night of fun for a karaoke event. This would be a great accompaniment to a hot dog roast and a DIY cookie decorating station. The whole evening will be relaxed and lowkey without worrying about how to entertain your guests. They will actually provide the entertainment for you!
This is a great way for getting families working together for an evening combining education and fun.
6. Host a backyard talent show.
7. Organize a backyard pet parade where your guests can show off their four legged friends in their best costumes and outfits.
8. Put together a backyard craft fair where guests can set up and sell or trade their handmade goods.
9. Host a sports event, or lawn games themed afternoon or evening.
Whether you're into more competitive team sports like soccer and football, or more inclined toward lawn games like giant Jenga, bocce or ladder ball, there are a multitude of different options for you to choose from. You could set this up as an elimination sporting event where it ends up with one overall winning team. A little friendly competition keeps things fresh and exciting and if you really want to make a big splash of things, you could offer a prize or trophy to the team that comes out on top.
Be sure to offer some sort of food station with each of these previous five events. It's a party after all, and what's a party without food? You could have everyone bring their own picnic style lunch, or keep it simple with a hot dog roast. Or, if you've got a big gathering planned and you want to do something really special, you could connect with a local food truck and arrange for them to come right to your house and allow your guests to order their own supper. How awesome would that be?
Incorporating a few of these 20+ amazing ideas for hosting a backyard party this summer will be a game-changer. Or maybe they've inspired you to come up with your own! (I'd love to here your ideas in the comments!) Whatever you choose to do, this is your summer to host an absolutely awesome, backyard party! It doesn't have to be extravagant or over the top, but it should be memorable! However you choose to entertain your guests, be they small, or large in number, what it comes down to is that it's all about the time spent together. So whether your party is centered around the firepit roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, or situated around a more elegant table setting, just be sure to love on your people and you'll most definitely host a party to remember!
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And as always,
Stay holy, Beloved.