How to Host a Spectacular Outdoor Party This Spring
Once spring rolls around, everyone wants to be outdoors as much as possible. As temperatures climb there is nothing better than relaxing in the sunshine with friends, family, good food and great fun. After spending a few chilly months locked inside, however, you might not know where to start when it comes to planning your first open-air spring bash. Use these tips to get started.
Prepare Your Space
Months of snow and ice can leave your outdoor space looking a little dingy. Get it in proper party form by clearing away any debris that may have accumulated. If you have a patio or deck you plan on using, give it a good power wash so that it looks bright, clean and ready to be used. You are probably pulling your outdoor furniture out from the garage, so be sure to thoroughly wash these pieces as well. Add some charming decorations to your home with potted flowers, twinkle lights, and paper lanterns.
Next, Real Simple magazine recommends deciding just how formal you would like this celebration to be. If you are merely getting together to appreciate the longer days and warmer weather, try hosting a very casual party. If your spring bash is recognizing a specific event, consider making it a fancier occasion. Either way, it is a good idea to send out invitations to your guests. Let them know where and when the party will take place and be sure to explain that it will be held outdoors so visitors can dress accordingly.
Since spring weather can be somewhat unpredictable, it is a good idea to be prepared for any situation. Have umbrellas and tarps ready in case of showers and keep extra sweaters and blankets on hand in the event that the weather gets chilly when the sun goes down. In case it ends up being a hot day, keeps your guests comfortable by using outdoor fans. Always make sure to keep your home in good shape when you know you are expecting visitors. Even if you plan for them to stay outside, unforeseen weather complications could force you to bring the festivities indoors.
Prepare Your Menu
Since your event is outdoors, it is a good idea to keep the food choices light and simple. Wedding and Party Network suggests starting with a salad. Try tossing a delicious spring mixture with spinach, romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, strawberries, and a poppy seed vinaigrette. If you want to cook outside, fire up the grill and make chicken breasts, steaks and a variety of seasonal vegetables. For drinks, fill pitchers with ice water and fruit slices. If you would like to offer a specialty cocktail, keep the spring spirit alive by crafting iced tea- or lemonade- based cocktails.
Keep dessert spring-themed by making cookies or cupcakes and icing them with pastel colors. If you feel like getting creative, try making a cake with frosting flowers.
Create an amusing atmosphere that will encourage your guests to unwind and relax. Real Simple suggested bringing speakers outdoors and playing music everyone can enjoy, like classic rock. Have casual games set up, like corn hole, that people can play at their leisure – do not plan anything too extravagant, since most people will probably just want to mingle and catch up. If you have kids present, purchase inexpensive yard toys like badminton, jump ropes and whiffle ball sets that will keep them entertained for hours.
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