Give summer a last hurrah by throwing an end-of-summer party! Find great tips and ideas from our regular contributor, Megan Wild.
Tips for Throwing an End-of-Summer Party
Say Good-bye to Summer with a Festive Bash!
Summer is starting to wind down. It may seem like it’s only been here for about three days, but you can still squeeze a few small drops of summertime fun out of it! While Labor Day has already passed, we still have a few more weeks of reasonable temperature left, so get your friends together to go out with a bang!
Go With a Summery Theme
You don’t have to choose a theme, of course, but it does make the whole party feel a bit more cohesive. Tropical is a pretty clear choice, too, but you can always branch out some. Beach themes, rainbows, flowers or even something different, like fairies, can make for a really fun summer party.
Even if you don’t want to do an actual theme, try to pick a color scheme to stick to. It’ll wow guests without making too much extra work for the hostess (or host)!
Make Use of the Summer Produce
The end of summer is prime time for a few choice food options. Melons are always a big hit now, and tomatoes are ripe for the plucking. This is also the best time of year for things like zucchini and peaches. Try making dishes with these options, like Watermelon, Blueberry & Feta Salad, or perhaps some of these End-of-Summer Recipes. A seasonal produce guide can help you plan your menu for the summer party, especially since produce that’s in season will be cheaper!
Make Serving Simple
The key to simple self-serve is to space things out. Try and place things around so that people can pick and choose where they’d like to go. A table by the grill, one near the fire pit, drinks by a flower bed and a few appetizers close to the door or gate should do it. It keeps everyone from having to crowd around one area and gets the conversation flowing as everyone has a chance to talk.
You can even set up a kids’ area near some toys to keep the little ones entertained! If you plan to have lots of kids for a birthday party or some other family-friendly event, make eating fun, too! A big box of crayons and a tablecloth made of paper means little ones can spend their time playing instead of asking for the next activity.
Create the Right Atmosphere
There are really two aspects to creating a fun-going atmosphere: music and lighting. No matter what, you can’t go wrong with lanterns and string lights, or even this DIY Solar Lamp. When evening starts to set in, break out a few candles, and don’t be afraid to use the citronella ones! If you already have outdoor lighting, such as solar-powered garden lights, those should help add a dreamy atmosphere to your fun.
Of course, lighting isn’t everything. Music sets the mood before sunset, and even before you can see the festivities! Birthday parties should be fun, with dance music for adults or kids’ music to get little toes tapping. A swanky garden party will sound elegant from the driveway with classical instrumentals, and a laid-back barbecue will always be fun with a classic rock playlist.
Keep Bugs at Bay
No one likes to spend a party swatting away mosquitoes or fishing bugs out of their drinks. The end-of-summer always seems to be when the bugs get the most aggressive, as well, so do what you can to keep people bug-free. The most common idea is citronella candles, and they do work wonderfully. However, you can also offer other options.
Put out Bug Umbrellas, paper cupcake wraps to cover drinks, and try to incorporate some insect repelling herbs, like mint and rosemary, into the food. Insects don’t care for those smells, and it’ll help drive them away. Besides, there’s nothing as good as a honey-mint drizzle over fresh fruit salad! You can also check out these 35 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes.
Show off the Last of the Flowers
While autumn does bring some beautiful colors, nothing really beats the flowers from summer. Use this last shindig as an excuse to show off the last of the blooms around you.
If you’re lucky enough to have plenty of flowers still in the garden, plan to have some of the gathering spots around them. Place food and drinks near your late bloomers to draw people close to them. If your flowers aren’t nearby, then snip off some blooms and place them around. A few small, scattered arrangements add an air of whimsy without making the florals seem over-the-top–a perfect touch for your summer party.
Many people don’t automatically announce a food allergy, especially if it’s not life-threatening. Others might be trying to stick to a specific diet. For those reasons, try to label things. It doesn’t have to be laborious, but some kind of simple system can be very helpful. A few different groups of things like “Vegetarian,” “Vegan” or “Allergen-Free” can save everyone an enormous headache, and keep them all safe. If that doesn’t fit with your setup, try a simple menu instead.
An end-of-summer bash is the perfect way to say goodbye to the warm weather. Remember to consider it from the guests’ point of view. The biggest factors are food, music and entertainment. Everything else is just gravy. So get outside and soak up the sun!
Visit Megan at her blog, Your Wild Home!
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