When you think of an outdoor party, what comes to mind? Burgers, bouncy houses, and bugs. But it doesn’t have to be this way! There are some really fun and creative ways to plan an outdoor party for any occasion that will keep both the kids and adults equally happy and entertained. Check it out.

The Right Food

Outdoor BBQ’s normally mean burgers, hot dogs, and cold salads. And this can still work! But if you want to take things up a notch, why not offer a bar for toppings? Let guests get creative with their burgers by offering a different variety of cheese, bacon, and vegetables, both cold and sauteed. Mushrooms, peppers, and onion are great on a burger. And don’t forget the hot dog lovers. You can offer the classic toppings like relish and sauerkraut and get fancy with chili, cheese, and diced onions.

If you’re looking for a different take on the basic BBQ menus, how about a pig roast? If you or your guests aren’t comfortable roasting an entire pig, you don’t need to. You can make or order pulled pork, ribs, or brisket. These make awesome sandwiches. Put your pulled pork on a bun and top it with coleslaw. Corn on the cob makes another tasty addition to this menu. If you really want to get creative, what about renting a pizza bar? Everyone loves pizza! Companies bring a real brick oven to your location and make pizzas to order, with whatever toppings you want. It’s a completely new twist on a backyard party.

The Right Games

Nothing is worse than a group of bored kids! But with these outdoor games, everyone will have good, safe fun.

The bean bag toss is a classic game that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Also referred to as corn hole, this game involves two boards, each with one hole, two teams and six bean bags. Each team gets three bean bags and the object of the game is to toss them onto the opposing side’s board. You get more points for sinking the bag into the hole, but still get points if the bean bag stays on the board’s surface. Children can play right alongside adults, though you may need to move the boards closer to one another. Or, check out these kid’s versions.

Other great outdoor games include horseshoes, volleyball, badminton and ladder toss. But most kids are pretty easy to please when it comes to outdoor activities. Give them some wide open space and a few balls and they’re happy! If it’s hot outside, let them use water balloons or a sprinkler to cool off. Just be sure to keep the water activities away from the food and adults.

The Right Lighting

Are you planning an outdoor bash that may go into the night hours? If so, using outdoor lighting can create a gorgeous and welcoming space. White lights are best for creating a warm and mellow atmosphere. Hang them from low-lying trees, your deck, or even the food tables. If you’re planning a themed party you can incorporate lighting into this element. Use pre-lit palm tree decorations, Chinese lanterns, or even scatter battery operated candles across the lawn or on the tables. Just ensure that everything is safe and set-up correctly in the presence of children.

The Right Entertainment

There is a long list of entertainment options outside of lawn games. Music is the first one that comes to mind and can be extremely cost-effective. With so many streaming music options these days, all you need is a portable, wireless speaker and either a phone or iPod. You can also use a smart device like the Amazon Echo. Music helps set the mood for any party. Use it to entertain the kids too, with a game of freeze dance or musical chairs.

A pinata is a pretty simple and fun game for kids, with a sweet reward. One of the adults can hold the pinata up using a rope while another helps blindfold, spin, and guide the child in the direction. Just be sure to keep the other kids at a safe distance when someone is swinging the bat or stick. You can use the same long stick to play Limbo! Bubbles are another inexpensive addition to your outdoor party that will keep the kids entertained and active for hours.

The Little Things

When it comes to party planning, your mind naturally goes to the basic components of food and entertainment. But what about those little things you may forget? Here’s a quick list of things to remember when planning outdoor parties.

Keep the Bugs Away

Mosquitoes can be pesky and unwanted visitors at any outdoor party. You can keep them at bay in a variety of ways. Using citronella candles is one way and can actually add to the ambiance and smell lovely. You can also use fans to help create a breeze, which deters mosquitoes. Of course, having bug spray on hand is always an option and bug repellent wipes actually smell better than the spray variety. If your yard has any stagnant water, you’ll want to eliminate that. This is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Have Enough Seating

Though most outdoor parties mean lots of walking around and mingling, you’ll still want to make sure you have ample seating for all guests. This can include any patio furniture you have on your deck or patio area, but you may need some additional seats. Bring some chairs from inside, out. Folding chairs are easy and portable options, as well. Just make sure any seats placed on your grass are sturdy and do not ruin your lawn.

Prepare for Weather

Outside parties are great, except for when it rains or the heat is unbearable. The best way to deal with these types of hiccups is to be prepared. If rainy weather is predicted, invest in tent rentals or other structures that provide cover. If you have ample space inside your home, just know that if the skies open up, this outdoor party may become an indoor one before you know it.

If your party is hosted during times of intense heat, be sure to have plenty of cold beverages and water available. The fans you use to repel mosquitoes can double as fans to cool guests off. Hot weather is a great time to incorporate some of those water games for kids.

Try Not to Stress

Party planning inevitably comes with some stress over being the host or hostess. You want to make sure your guests have a good time and everything runs smoothly. By incorporating some of these tips, your party is sure to please!

Featured Photo Courtesy: rwalsh623 via Pixabay