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As the warmest season of the year draws to a close, don't let end-of-summer depression get to you.

Host a fun and delicious end-of-summer barbecue


As the warmest season of the year draws to a close, don’t let end-of-summer depression get to you. Instead, mark the season’s passing by hosting a fabulous outdoor party for family and friends. Use these tips to gather everyone together for one last chance to enjoy the sunshine.

Pick a perfect menu
Your party’s menu should be indicative of the seasonal change you’re celebrating. This means that in addition to classic, light summer fare, you can mix in a few heartier options more commonly associated with autumn. Start with a variety of enticing appetizers that will get your guests’ mouths’ watering. Have visitors bring basics like potato chips and onion dip so that you can focus on crafting more gourmet hors d’oeuvres.

For a tasty, fresh starter that won’t fill everyone up too fast, try building mozzarella skewers. Simply slide one small ball of fresh mozzarella, one cherry tomato and one fresh basil leaf onto wooden skewers. The source recommends mixing balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper together as a side dressing that guests can use as an optional dip. Recipe 4 Living suggests whipping up this avocado and mango dip, which is the perfect union of salsa and guacamole with a tropical fruity twist.

The main course should be centered on staples, like hot dogs, hamburgers and grilled chicken. After all, you’ll miss these summer favorites once the leaves start to fall! Try grilling your vegetables as well for healthy and delicious sides your visitors will adore. Potatoes and corn are perfect options, as they are present in both summer and fall cuisine.

Take advantage of fresh summer fruit for your desserts. Opt for dishes that include strawberries, peaches and watermelon, as these will quickly be out of season. Panama Jack suggests setting up a build-your-own sundae bar, as nothing screams summer quite like finishing the day with a frozen treat! When it comes to drinks, create the perfect summer to fall balance with fruity sangrias and spicy pumpkin beers.

Grill classic summer fare as you transition into fall. Grill classic summer fare as you transition into fall.

Create a dazzling ambiance 
In addition to food and drinks, you’ll need to keep your guests satisfied with a beautiful and cozy atmosphere. Because it is still summer, you may need to keep guests cool with outdoor fans while the sun is still out. Once it gets dark, however, the temperature will likely drop, so have plenty of blankets and sweatshirts on hand, or plan to move the festivities inside.

“Have music playing at all times.”

Make sure you have music playing at all times -after all, what is a party without some tunes? Create a lengthy playlist that will last all night so that you do not have to keep adjusting the background noise. Set up the speakers before guests arrive so you can gauge the appropriate volume and placement. Choose classic songs that most people will know, and throw some current popular favorites in for fun.

If your party has small children at it, consider setting up a craft corner or games area to keep them entertained while the adults catch up. You could tie craft activities into a back-to-school theme to get kids excited about heading to class once again. Put out other toys, like Frisbees, bean bag toss, and kick-balls , to keep more active little ones entertained.

If the adults at your soiree want to get in on the fun, have some grown-up activities on hand as well. Card games are always popular options, so make sure you have a deck and some fresh ideas. Outdoor games like corn hole and bocce are also crowd pleasers.

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