Eat, Drink, Play: Everything You Need to Throw a Summer Party

summer party planningSummer is right around the corner, people! Can’t you FEEL IT!?!? All I’ve been doing is daydreaming about laying by a pool, ice cold beverage in hand, and a sweet cabana boy named Kyle at my every beck and call…

Ok, odds are that’s NOT going to be the way I spend my favorite season. I don’t even know where the closest pool is around here. But that won’t stop me from throwing a party to celebrate surviving yet another polar vortex! So for those of you who have to make do with a regular backyard party like me, I’ve got a few ideas to help make planning a breeze.

When figuring out the details to a party, there are really just three categories you need to worry about:  Eat / Drink / Play

EAT

No one shows up to a gathering and isn’t hungry. It’s science. So when your friends arrive at the door, having something for them to nibble on is a must. I made these pretzel bites at our latest house party, and they were a huge success! They may look intimidating (hello…yeast…) but were actually pretty simple, and made me feel like freaking Betty Crocker.

You also can’t go wrong with classic chips and  dip. Break out your fun bowls, and set up a little “salsa station” by offering several different types. The only prep involved is twisting off jar lids and opening chip bags.

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Fiesta-ready finger food

Once all your appetizers are devoured, it’s on to the main course! Nothing goes hand in hand with summer like barbecuing on the grill. This is also a great way to get the guys involved in the planning process. Give them meat, fire, send them outside, and you’ve pretty much made their day.

A fun little twist to the average BBQ is serving kabobs. You can prepare these ahead of time, or depending on how many people you’re serving, offer cuts of meat with chopped veggies, and let your guest build their own. Everything is way more delicious when served on a stick, trust me.

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Is your mouth watering yet?

Finally, we can’t forget about dessert. No backyard party is complete without a campfire and s’mores!

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S’mores are my absolute FAVORITE summertime indulgence. Like seriously, don’t even get me started. But don’t Wellman_SummerParty_5think the deliciousness stops with just marshmallows, grahams, and chocolate….oh, no sir. Check out these 39 Life-Changing Ways to Make Better S’mores and hold on, because your mind is about to be blown. Don’t have a fire ring? No worries, this brilliant contraption sits right on the grill.

DRINK

Now that you feel a serious food-baby coming along, it’s the perfect time to sit, relax, and sip on a nice frosty drink. To keep things easy (and portable!) fill up a wheelbarrow with ice, and use that to keep all of the drinks chilled. It also totally beats lugging heavy coolers around.

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A drink that looks as cool as it tastes, is a Crescent Moon (shown above). Fill your glass halfway with Blue Moon, and top the rest with Guinness. Be sure to serve this in a clear glass; the contrast of the light and dark beer is what I love most about this drink.

PLAY

What is a party without some fun!?!? If you have the space, Cornhole is a great game to play outdoors. Another crowd pleaser is Giant Jenga. Write tasks the players have to complete, or quirky rules to add to the game on each block for an additional challenge.

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So when are you throwing your next party?!?!

Can I come???

Pleeeeeaaase!

I’m a SUPER fun person, I swear.

Image credits: A Beautiful Mess / Simply Scratch / The Southern Trunk

Bethany is a graphic designer by day, self proclaimed decorator/maker of things by night! Though originally from a small farming town, she found herself in the big city of Cincinnati, OH after graduating from Ball State University with a BFA in Visual Communications. When she’s not working on design, you can find her dance-cooking in the kitchen, singing at the top of her lungs, exploring the closest thrift store, getting her fitness on, or fixing up her house alongside her hubby. Be sure to check out her little corner of the interweb, A Soliloquy by Bethany.

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About Bethany W

Graphic Designer by day, self proclaimed decorator and creator of things by night!
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