We think there's nothing quite like a summer get-together. Childhood memories of sparklers crackling in the dark, shimmering swimming pools, laughter, catching fireflies and playing the best games (like Ghost-in-the-Graveyard) after dusk. Summer is still magical for adults – especially the time we spend with our families and friends.
WeInvite is all about bringing people together, whether for business or fun. There's something about celebrating for any reason or no reason at all during this glorious, golden season. We have some fun and unique summer party ideas to inspire, whether during a day at the beach, the lake, by the pool or in your own backyard.
Here are party ideas you can mix and match across occasions as you like -- let's get going!
1. 4th of July Party
Independence Day is the day to celebrate with a red, white and blue color-coordinated party. Consider using fresh flowers; they're a great way to dive into this color palette while staying light and fresh. If you have your flowers in pots, you can enjoy them all summer long.
2. Classic Cookout
Savor delicious classic grilled foods like hot dogs, steak, hamburgers, chicken and corn on the cob. Set tables with quintessential red and white checkered tablecloths, and you've got a start on a summer cookout.
3. Outdoor Movie Night
Sure, a movie theater is an air-conditioned oasis on hot days, but your backyard is the most fun place to watch a flick. Find a projector to display the movie or use an AirPlay-type feature to view a summer classic like The Sandlot, National Lampoon's Vacation or Summer Vacation; even horror movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Friday the 13th if everyone within seeing and hearing distance can handle it!
Hang some outdoor string lights and ask your guests to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs to chill out in while you take care of the snacks.
4. Cocktail Potluck
The name is self-explanatory. The concept: everyone at the party mixes their own extravagant beverages to serve guests. Consider incorporating mocktails in the offerings for guests who are abstaining from alcohol for various reasons, like health.
It's not unusual to organize drinks by color to let guests drink their way through the rainbow. You can assign guests a liquor or agree on one liquor – because, you know, hangovers.
5. A Real Splash of a Pool Party
If you are fortunate enough to have your own pool, it's simple to get it party-ready. Blow up some fabulous pool floats, and adorn your deck with lights or lanterns. You can even use a portable cooler wheeled around the pool or a floating cooler. For the kids, even a water slide, sprinklers and squirt guns are a lot of fun.
6. The No Lockdown Dinner Party
After a lengthy, albeit necessary, lockdown, it's time to celebrate in epic ways. One of those ways is a no-lockdown dinner party. Why not pull out all the stops with attire, decorations and a special dinner party menu? Hook yourself up with a dress you might not wear in your backyard, adorn your space with string lights, chic dinnerware and classy candles (citronella keeps bugs at bay).
What to serve? Offer dressed up barbecue foods such as these:
Tomato and Grilled Bread SaladVia marthastewart.com
This Tuscan salad is a beautiful way to use up day-old bread: Use coarse-textured, good-quality bread. You can improvise by adding olives, anchovies, or canned tuna.
- 1/2 pound country bread, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 3/4 inch dice (about 4 cups)
- 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch dice (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces
Heat grill to medium. Brush bread slices on both sides with 2 tablespoons of oil. Grill until lightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into large cubes
In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with tomatoes, cucumber, and basil. Drizzle with vinegar and remaining 1/4 cup oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and serve.
Scallop, Orange and Cucumber KebabsVia Everyday Food
Nothing says easy summer eating like kebabs: They're an all-in-one meal perfect for groups, small or large. Make a batch and start grilling!
- Olive oil, for grates
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 navel orange, halved and cut into 1/2-inch wedges, plus 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 8 very thin slices of peeled fresh ginger
- 1/2 Kirby cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 pound large scallops
Heat grill to medium; clean and lightly oil hot grates. In a small bowl, combine honey and orange juice.
Onto four skewers, thread orange wedges (through the skin), ginger, cucumber, and scallops, beginning and ending with orange wedges; season with salt and pepper. Grill kebabs until scallops are opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes, turning and basting with honey mixture halfway through.
Both wooden and metal skewers are great for kebabs. Wooden skewers need to be soaked in water for 30 minutes before use.
These are just a couple of food ideas to get you going!
7. Backyard Carnival
There are a couple of approaches to this theme. Sure, you could do the full-on mini Ferris wheel, carousel and other rides. Here at WeInvite, we appreciate the affordable and more straightforward method of DIY booths with classic yard games such as bean bag toss, balloon darts and horseshoes. Make it fun and competitive by offering prizes.
Since a party is only as good as the food served, consider buying a snow cone maker, a cotton candy machine and making homemade funnel cakes – and remember the homemade lemonade!
8. Family Field Day
There are many kids that can have a good time playing almost anything. Therefore, it doesn't require a massive effort to organize a field day. Split your guests into teams and add up points throughout the day as you play various games, like tug of war, wheelbarrow, relay and potato sack races, and egg toss.
At the end of your field day, offer your winning guests summer-themed prizes like beach totes filled with towels, toys, a portable cooler or gift certificates.
9. Old School Softball Event
You and your guests can pack your sunscreen because it's time to play ball! Divide your guest list into two teams, and assign each a color so they'll know what to wear. If you think you'll have too many guests for two teams, consider separating the kids from the adults, or have the kids play tee-ball if they're young. Once your game is over, it's picnic time!
Summer Party Tips
- Tell guests what to expect: the grill master will be slinging grub from 6 to 7 PM. This is helpful for those who typically arrive late.
- Give a head's up on attire – what's the vibe? Flip-flops? Bring swimsuits? Sundresses?
- Calculate how much food & beverages you'll need to buy. A general rule is 1 ½ servings of any burger, hot dog or sandwich, and 1 ½ cups total of whatever sides you're serving up.