Memorial Day’s just around the corner so time to celebrate. And celebrate outside with friends and family. So here’s some outdoor party tips to help make the ultimate party.
Get a good handle on the number of people. There are all sorts of apps and web software to create invitations and manage the preparation for the party. These programs can tell you how and who to expect. You can customize the invites. Send out updates. Sign up lists if you need help or if it’s a potluck.
Theme. Memorial day is about remembering the fallen of our great American soldiers. Have some flags hanging or those commemorative small ones on the tables. If you have relatives who need to be commemorated, have photos of them properly displayed. And you can also push the red, white and blue theme in the decor.
Food. Make sure you have plenty is the obvious tip. You can go two ways on this one. Use the cooking of the food as the centerpiece. For the most part, that means outdoor grilling. Have people bring their own grilling delicacies and cook it for them or swap off. The smell of good outdoor cooking can make for nice ambience. OR, have everything ready prior and spend time just refilling or replacing. Recruit help to monitor empty trays.
Drinks. Know your audience is the best advice. This way you know how much and what kind to have. Even add that to the online invite to help. Or, many times, and is fine in an outdoor setting like this is to BYOB – bring your own beverages. Just make sure there are enough space in your refrigerator and coolers throughout the yard. Designate one cooler for the kid’s drinks. Make sure you have enough cups and napkins.
Make sure it’s kid friendly if it’s open to families. Have a dedicated room playing movies or video games. Especially those games that make them move like “Just Dance”. Have sprinklers, blowing bubbles, beach balls, squirt guns but make sure there’s something that keeps the kids happy and wanting to be there.
Make sure there’s enough seating. While many people will be standing and mingling, you want to make sure there are enough seats to sit and tables or stands to place drinks.
Music! Set up a minimum of a 2 hour playlist of the best and classics. From One Direction to Chuck Berry and everything in between. Make sure to mix it up. Don’t play one artist, genre or in the same decade more than 2 songs in a row. Unless it’s a themed party of course. You don’t want that person groaning twice who happens to not like that song or genre.
You want to tell guest that ‘don’t worry’ if you don’t like this song, you’ll like the next as they range all over decades and genres. Make sure they’re upbeat and make sure they’re popular. Parties are not the time to play esoteric music. You want people to smile and have fun and using songs to touch off good conversation.
Set the speakers high so they’re not blaring in people’s ears. Try to get four spread out. The high quality of wireless and small speakers are incredible and affordable these days so having good background music is not the monumental feat it once was.
Prepare for the clean-up now. If you’re worried about stains then make sure you have plenty of paper napkins available. Make sure there are trash cans readily available but somewhat hidden so there are no eyesores. Designate your recyclable cans. And monitor them regularly to bag up when full and replace. You don’t want overflowing garbage. A good tip for readily available trash bags is to put a stack on the bottom of the trash can so when you lift the full one, empty ones are ready right there.
Make sure there’s enough light. If your party goes into the night time then you need to have proper lighting. String lights give off a good glow. Not too bright but enough to see well and for ambience. Use those string Christmas lights in your basement if they’re not too obviously Christmasy. String lights are also cheap. Another suggestion are those solar lamps and lights. They have a unique feel and look but can be a bit costly on the front end but they don’t cost any electricity from then on.
Make sure extension cords are secure. Use all of those extra wire hangers and cut them into U shape pieces to firmly plant the cord into the grass. For pavement, use heavy duty duck tape. You do not want guests kicking around or stumbling on the loose cord especially after a couple of drinks. Duck tape is now being offered in many different colors so you can still be festive as well as safe.
Create a slide show. Putting together a pictorial slide show on your computer and/or to your TV is fairly easy and can be loads of fun for the guests especially if they’re in them. Use one of the many slide show programs out there which many are free.
Keep mosquitos away and stay cool at the same time. Set up some fans. Get rid of standing water. Get some cintronella candles and have some spray or wipes readily available.
Rent it if you don’t have it. Go to your local rent-to-own store if you’re looking for furniture, sound systems, refrigerators or computers for that week or if you want to replace some of your old ones. Find your local party rental place for the specialty party items you’ll need. But, shop around! Many party rental places are expensive.
Just another ShopRTO Home Lifestyle tip.