Six Tips For Outdoor Entertaining

Memorial Day weekend is just a few weeks away. Pools open, grills are fired up and outdoor furniture is readied. The holiday is known as the unofficial kickoff to the outdoor entertainment season. Use these tips to ensure you are ready to host outdoor parties.

Teak Outdoor Seating

1. Create Different Seating Areas

Provide plenty of seating for your guests. This could be patio furniture, large outdoor poufs or even blankets on the grass. Adding comfortable cushions to the chairs will make guests more comfortable and encourage them to hang out for a while. Use tables and chairs of various sizes and heights to help define different areas.

Teak Buffet Sideboard

2. Serve Up Summer Dishes

Keep food simple for backyard picnics or BBQs. Salads, fresh fruits, veggies, sandwiches and basic sides make for a well-rounded meal without a lot of fuss. Get creative by putting food on sticks to make a variety of “kabobs” that can easily be held. For the kids, standards like PB&J sandwiches or mini hamburgers and hot dogs, that can be easily done on the grill, are the perfect fare. Make sure the grill is clean and ready to fire up with enough charcoal or gas. Have a grilling station that has all your meats, platters, aluminum foil, etc. Looking for some grilling recipes. Check out our five favorite grilling recipes.

Teak Cooler Drink Cart

3. Set Up Multiple (and Mobile) Drink Stations

Having multiple drink stations allow guests to easily refill without having to wait. Galvanized tubs, colorful enamel buckets, bar carts and planters all work perfectly. Fill each with ice and have different drinks available at each station to encourage guests to move and mingle. Bar carts can easily be wheeled into the kitchen for refills. Stock each with the essentials: glasses, ice, openers, a cocktail shaker, etc. Looking for some drink ideas? Check out our five summer cocktails you must try.

Fire pit and Teak Adirondack Chairs

4. Light It Up

When the sun goes down a fire pit can add some ambient light while providing warmth and the perfect place for making s’mores. It also makes a nice gathering place where guests can relax and engage in conversation. Provide comfortable seating such as lounge chairs, Adirondacks, or rocking chairs with comfortable cushions.

Teak Umbrellas

5. Get Shady

Ensure there are spaces for guests to cool off, whether that’s under a shade tree, a portable canopy or umbrella. An umbrella not only has the obvious task of providing shade and protecting from harmful UV rays, it also helps define your outdoor spaces.

Teak Candle Holders

6. Keep Bugs Off the Guest List

Don’t let mosquitoes, wasps or flies spoil your event. Use decorative citronella candles, tiki torches or incense sticks. An oscillating fan can help cool down guests while providing air movement that can help deter flies and other pests from lingering. You may also want to fill a container, such as a flowerpot or basket, with insect repellent for guests who want extra protection.