10 Tips for a Magic Outdoor Party

Now that fall has arrived and the weather is a bit less stifling (at least some days!), it’s time to move outdoors and enjoy. Holding an outdoor party can be a great way to celebrate the season and spend time with family and friends in a casual, relaxed environment.

img-17Here are 10 tips to help you plan the ideal outdoor event:

  1. Pick a theme for your party and carry it through, from invitations to food to dress. As an example, if your theme is football, ask everyone to wear their team jersey, serve wings and finger food. If your yard is big enough, divide your guests into teams for a quick game of touch football or just a passing contest.
  2. Keep it simple. While you could custom order invitations for your event, if you’ve got everyone’s email, use a tool like Evite to send out your invitations and automated reminders.
  3. Make clean up easy. Paper goods are ideal for outdoor events. Set out coolers with ice and drinks for everyone to grab their own. Make sure you have trash and recycle bins readily available and marked for easy use.
  4. Don’t hesitate to ask people to bring a dish or drinks. Most people are more than happy to chip in. You might choose to supply the paper goods and a main dish and ask everyone to sign up for an appetizer, side dish or dessert.
  5. Do most of your pre-event yard clean up in advance. Make sure the grass is mowed and everything is neat and tidy. If you don’t have enough seats for everyone, you can rent chairs or ask guests to bring camp chairs.
  6. Spruce up your property to make it welcoming. Add colorful flower pots at the entrance and on your porch/deck. Add landscape lighting or string small white lights. You can also use outdoor torches around the property.
  7. Consider the kids. If this is an event for families, make sure you have outdoor activities for different age levels. Darts (or the kid version) and badminton are always fun, but there are countless other options. Download the Come Alive Outside Book of Games for some ideas.
  8. Invite the neighbors, especially if you expect the party to be loud. They can’t complain if they’re there, right?
  9. Send the extra flowers home with your guests. If you’ve purchased a lot of potted flowers as decoration and don’t plan to use them all, send every guest home with a plant.
  10. Have a backup plan. While most parties will go off without a hitch, have a backup plan in case of bad weather. Do you have an oversize garage? Will you order tents? Will everyone fit inside? Or do you want to set a rain date?

We wish you a wonderful outdoor event! #ComeAliveOutside

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