With the weather warming up, you’ve probably already started your yard work. This is one of the few household chores that can be truly enjoyable, especially if you have a vegetable garden, which is the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about healthy eating.
Given the amount of work you put into your yard, you’ll want to show it off – and for good reason! Planning an outdoor party may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be a fancy dinner event or a lofty tea party. A great outdoor gathering can be laid-back and easy to plan.
Know the importance of planning
Everyone’s been to an under-planned party, and though it doesn’t affect the overall atmosphere, it can be difficult for guests to fully enjoy themselves if there aren’t enough chairs or cups for everyone. So take advantage of the early days of spring and start planning your first outdoor gathering of the season! If you don’t know where to begin, consider these six easy tips that’ll make setup a breeze.
- Make invitations: This is the time to decide whether your party will have a theme. If so, feature it on your invitations. If not, stick to a bright color palette that’s inspired by nature to get everyone excited about the idea of an outdoor event. Turn it into a craft project that the kids can help with. This will give your invitations that special touch and make your kids feel included in the adult job of party planning.
- Figure out food: Will you be catering the party alone or will this be more of a potluck? If it’s the latter, create a sign-up list that everybody can view in his or her own time. This will ensure that the party has a well-rounded menu and not just lots of chips and dip. If there’s a theme, ask people to draw inspiration from it and create something inspired. Regardless, politely ask guests to consider healthy eating when selecting food. It’s an opportunity for everyone to show off his or her culinary skills.
- Cover the table: You never know when the wind will pick up, so weighing down the tablecloth is essential. Better Homes and Gardens magazine suggested finding four pretty stones or heavy shells, wrapping them in raffia, then dangling them from the corners with thread. Your kids can practice their sewing skills for this job, which they’ll be proud to point out to partygoers.
- Disposable or house dishes: Disposable cups and dishes will be easier to clean up, but they’re more likely to be blown away as well. If it’s a relatively small party and you’ve got enough table settings, consider using the house plates. Real Simple magazine pointed out that mismatched china will add to the laid-back atmosphere, so don’t stress over which set to use.
- Keep bugs away: A downside of outdoor parties is the bugs. Keeping them away may require citronella candles or torches. Additionally, you should cover your food. Plastic cake toppers are relatively inexpensive and won’t obscure the view of the food inside, keeping your table looking beautiful. For drinks, purchase mason jars, cut out some square pieces of different fabrics, place them over the tops of the jars and tie them down with raffia. Finally, cut a small hole in the center and insert a straw, suggested Sugar Pie Farmhouse. Not only can the kids help with this, but it’ll also allow guests to identify their drinks.