Jun 09 2010
If you’ve just built a new home with plenty of outdoor living spaces, chances are you’ll want to entertain family and friends. From the backyard to the deck or lanai, any outdoor entertaining space is sure to please your guests. Whether you plan to host a small gathering of friends or a family reunion with everyone from your grandma to your third cousins, this list of entertaining tips will help you prepare for your event.
· Give your guests plenty of notice about the date and time of your party. Mail invitations or send an email if it is an informal get-together. Be specific about who is invited. If it is an adult only party, specify it in the invitation. If the whole family is welcome, specify that the kids are invited too.
· If you’ve chosen a theme, tell your guests. They may want to dress accordingly or bring a themed gift or dish.
· Music adds to the festive atmosphere of any gathering. If your party has a theme, choose themed music.
· Make sure you have enough seating for everyone. Ask everyone to bring a lawn chair if necessary and bring indoor tables and chairs outdoors if extra are needed.
· Have a backup plan in case of bad weather.
· If your gathering is on a hot summer day, consider setting up few umbrellas or screened tents to beat the heat.
· Have plenty of drinks on hand in coolers filled with ice and make them accessible so guests can serve themselves.
· Be aware of guests that may have special needs. Those who take certain medications cannot be in the sun, so make sure there is seating available on the covered porch or provide an umbrella. If someone has special needs when food or drink is consider such as a diabetic or someone with food allergies, make sure you have food items that are safe for them.
· Burn citronella candles for bug control. Place a smaller one in the center of each table and use larger ones at the ends of your entertainment space.
· Netted food domes will keep insects out of food dishes.
· Promote group activities by putting up a volleyball net, provide horseshoes, ladder golf or washer boxes. If you have a large backyard, organize a softball or kickball game.
· Don’t forget the kids. Fill a box or tub with things just for them like sidewalk chalk, bubbles, jump ropes, balls, etc. If it is a hot day fill a cooler or tub with prefilled water balloons and organize a water balloon toss. Water guns are always a big hit too.
· If your party is going to continue from daylight until after dark, don’t forget about lighting. Make sure steps and walking areas are well lit. Solar lighting, rope lighting and even strands of white Christmas lights are great for lighting pathways and covered porches and patios. Check around for themed lighting. If you are hosting a luau, palm tree shaped lights hung around the entertainment space will add a little extra fun.
Don’t forget to refer to this list before you plan your next outdoor gathering.
Visit The House Plan Shop to find home plans with outdoor living spaces that are great for entertaining such as a patio, courtyard, covered porch, grilling porch, screened porch, deck or lanai.
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