Summertime is here and along with the mosquitoes and blazing heat – backyard parties are in full-swing. Whether it’s for graduation, the 4th of July, or just to get together with some friends and family, outdoor parties are a staple of summer.
While buying some red solo cups and hot dogs, then talking to your Uncle Steve for an hour about politics in your backyard is perfectly fine for some – we’re here to help make all your outdoor parties this summer a massive success.
How to Decorate a Backyard for a Party
When it comes to decorating your backyard it all depends on what your space allows you to do. If you have outdoor furniture, a table, a fire pit, or a pool, it will drastically change how you want to decorate. Our advice is to go with simple outdoor decorations to add a pop of flair to the experience. In fact, decorating your patio with potted plants, hanging baskets, and a centerpiece featuring whatever fresh flowers are in season is all you really need to dress up your backyard gatherings this summer. Best of all, there are no decorations to clean up when the party is over – just beautiful seasonal flowers that will look great on your patio for weeks to come.
Or, maybe you’re hosting an outdoor birthday party this summer. In that case, head to the dollar store for colorful balloons, streamers, and other table decorations to liven up your outdoor living space.
But no matter what your backyard looks like, there are some general guidelines that apply to all, anything more than that is completely up to your own creativity.
Plastic or paper plates and silverware are common at any backyard get-together, but it’s important to get the right plates. There’s nothing worse than a super flimsy piece of paper that doesn’t hold your food. While they are more expensive, your guests will appreciate some nice, sturdy plastic plates to dine on. It’s also a nice touch to purchase matching plates, napkins, and cups.
Red solo cups are another staple of outdoor parties, and there is nothing wrong with them. If you want to go above and beyond, and match a theme of the party, like college graduation for example, themed plastic cups are the way to go. Who doesn’t want to drink out of a cup with someone’s face on it?
Besides plates and cups – balloons, streamers, and table decorations go a long way to liven up your backyard. As I mentioned before, it is easiest to pick a theme or colorway to decorate.
Patio Parties for Apartment Dwellers
For those of us that unfortunately do not have a backyard, there are a few ways to still host a summer barbecue.
Most apartment complexes have common areas outside with a few grills and seating areas. While it’s not the same as a backyard, these areas are great to hang out with close friends and family. You can also grill everything and then bring it up to your apartment and host the party on your patio or balcony if you have one.
If all else fails, it never hurts to ask a friend or family member to host the party in their backyard, and then you can provide all the food, plates, yard games, etc.
What to Serve at an Outdoor Party
The appetizers or snacks are a big deal – nobody wants cranky grandparents joking about the service being terrible.
The easiest appetizers are veggie and fruit trays that you can get at any grocery store. You can also get premade buffalo wings, chips and dip, and more. But charcuterie boards are also very popular (mainly because they make for a perfect Instagram post). And while they are time consuming to make – your guests will love it.
As for drinks, it’s impossible to know what everyone likes. So, it’s best to play it safe and get the popular sodas like Coke, Sprite, root beer, and Fanta. The same goes for alcoholic drinks like beer and seltzers. And don’t forget some non-alcoholic seltzer waters, too! They’re perfectly refreshing on a hot day.
The main course for most is going to consist of grilling or barbecuing ribs, brisket, burgers, chicken, bratwurst, and hot dogs, which is always well-received and what I expect when going to a backyard party. If you want to go over-the-top, renting a food truck or catering food will make your job a lot easier, but unfortunately, then dad is going to have to take off his grease-stained “Grill Master” apron.
Outdoor Party Games and Backyard Entertainment Ideas
The yard games are my favorite part of going to any outdoor party. The competitiveness that comes with wanting to beat your family members in any game is unmatched, at least for me. For adults, there are the classic games like cornhole/bags, ladder toss, playing cards, and horseshoes. But there have been some new yard games released relatively recently you may not have heard of.
My go-to is Spikeball, which is great for four people, but you do need a lot of backyard space. There’s also Kan Jam which is a fun frisbee game, badminton, bocce ball, and giant yard pong, which I didn’t know existed until a few days ago.
As for the kids, you can set up a couple of slip n slides if you don’t have a pool, do a potato sack race, tire them out with capture in the flag, or purchase a giant Jenga set. Honestly, when I was a kid, I was most entertained by running back and forth through the sprinklers.
Also, if you have outdoor TVs, make sure to put on any sports that are on (mainly baseball in the summer). Or, if you’ve got a smart TV, you could allow your guests to stream their own YouTube videos directly to the big screen. Although, depending on who you invite to your backyard party, your milage may vary with this approach!
A good music playlist is also essential to a backyard barbecue. While everyone has their own music taste, the safest way to go is classic 80’s and 90’s, in my opinion.
Patio Parties with Self Storage
Whether you need a place to store all your pool supplies to clear up some space in your backyard or realize how much stuff you have laying around while trying to plan for a party, self storage may be right for you. Check out our Self Storage Calculator to find the right sized unit for you and rent online today!