Throw a Blockbuster Backyard Party!

Throw a Blockbuster Backyard Party!

Fire up the grill, call your friends and family and get ready for some fun. Whether you’re celebrating a graduation, the first day of summer, Father’s Day or simply the fact that the sun is shining in a bright blue sky, your backyard beckons. After months of being cooped up inside, now is your opportunity to host a blockbuster outdoor party. Let’s get started:

Make the food memorable. Sure, hot dogs and burgers are always fun, but why not take the time to come up with unique dishes? Consider cooking to a theme, such as Mediterranean food. You could serve up tasty vegetable kebabs, succulent roasted lamb, and maybe even grill up some simple pizzas over an open flame.

The drinks should stand out, as well. Again, why serve up sodas when you could go with something thirst quenching and unique? Try Mexican aguas frescas, which are ice-cold refreshments from south of the border that typically combine fresh fruit, ice water, sugar, lime juice and sometimes even spices and grains. Popular flavors include melon, mango, papaya, lemon, strawberry and even hibiscus. Keep them in steady supply because they’ll be in heavy demand.

A pony keg is a great option when you want to serve up adult beverages to a large number of people. Cheaper than a full keg, it will serve 27 guests three full beers. Want a great flavor for this summer? Try India Pale Ale: cold, refreshing and full of tangy hops.

Games go a long way. If you have plenty of yard space, make sure to keep supplies of Frisbees, footballs and other outdoor distractions on-hand. Have some extra patio space? A ping-pong or foosball table is sure to attract a raucous crowd.

Rent a bounce house if you have a large number of children coming to the party. It’s a perfect way to keep the kids playing safe in one location while the adults can feel relatively free to socialize. Make sure to have the older kids and little ones take turns.

For yards that don’t have much shade, setting up strategically located collapsible pavilions will shelter your guests from the hot sun. Better yet, install a patio misting system to supplement that shade. Don’t forget to have sunscreen distributed among the tables.

Consider purchasing an outdoor fireplace, firepit or chimnia for your outdoor festivities since the evenings are still a little cool. Or, you might want to rent outdoors patio heaters, like those seen at restaurants.

If you do plan on partying past sundown, you’ll need lighting. Get creative with outdoor lighting systems that look like Chinese paper lanterns for a cozy, romantic look.

Keep the bugs at bay with citronella candles, mosquito coils, bug zappers or bug-abating Tiki torches. Like your sunscreen “party favors,” make sure to distribute bug repellent among the tables