Skinny? Far from it. A girl can dream can’t she…
I enjoy a nice summer cookout or pool soiree as much as the next girl and for some strange reason I have friends who seem to think I’m some kind of expert, so they ask my advice. A.) I’m no expert and 2.) I don’t think I have any brilliant ideas but I am a great list maker and so I thought I’d list out some ideas to help anyone planning a casual family summer shindig make it THAT much better.
Feel free to limit your guest list.
It’s a great season to not invite everyone because everyone won’t be around. Invite the number of guests that works best for your time and budget, and then send the invitations to those who are in town.
Expect an extra guest or two.
As people may be returning from vacation and receiving your invitation late (even after the RSVP date), expect that some guests you haven’t heard from may just show up.
Parties may fall on weekdays during this time of year.
Because of more flexible summer schedules, you may find that parties fall on weekdays or even weeknights. If your schedule can accommodate this, that’s great. You may find that it’s less stressful because you’re not competing with the weekend parties.
Make a Plan B in case of rain.
If you are throwing your party outdoors, make an alternative plan in case of rain. Make sure that at least some of the activities you have planned can be done indoors, or you have alternate activities planned.
For an outdoor venue, prepare the food beforehand.
The easiest way to serve lunch or snacks at an outdoor venue is to have the food pre-packaged and prepared for easy hand-out during the party. This makes it much easier for food distributions, especially if you’ve got a large crowd with children.
Coolers keep hot food warm.
If you are serving hot food, wrap it in foil and place it in a cooler. Heat up microwave warmer pads and place them between and on top of the food in the cooler. Now you have your own portable oven to keep things warm when you serve them at your summer party. Whodathunkit?
At a pool party, designate someone to watch swimmers for the entire time.
Folks who don’t know how to swim, and little children always create a potential for danger. When lining up your party help, make sure to designate someone to watch in and around the pool area the entire time.
Plan time for free play for kids.
Don’t fill the entire party with activities. Make some time for unstructured free play in the yard or park. The kids will want to play together, and scheduling free play into the party is a perfect way to handle this.
Limit time in extreme heat.
If your party is mainly outdoors, be mindful of the temperature. Guests running around for extended periods of time in the heat can become exhausted, so limit outdoor activity if temperatures are extreme. Also, make sure you have plenty of beverages on hand. Cold water with crazy straws and fun ice cubes is a great treat for kids and adults of all ages.
On sunny days, encourage sunscreen.
When the guests arrive at your party, have a bottle of sunscreen available for them to slather on before they head out into the sun. It’s an important precaution to take if they’ll be outside for the entire party.
Enjoy your summer!