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Outdoor Entertaining Tips

composite deckBarbecues, pool parties and deck get-togethers are some of the highlights of the summer season. Unlike more formal dinner parties, these outdoor activities are much more relaxed and laid back; however, they still require some work if you really want to wow your guests. Here are a few tips on being the best backyard host you can be.

Have comfortable seating. While your new cedar deck may have beautiful deck benches, chances are they aren’t very soft. Placing pillows and cushions on decks, benches and outdoor seats brings the comfort of the indoors out to the party.

Have outdoor games on hand. There are many great inexpensive, easy-to-play outdoor games you can offer to liven up your backyard party. Bocce ball, croquet, horseshoes and ring toss are just a few games your guests will love – and so will you.

Keep food simple. One of the great things about backyard barbecues is that the food is simple and easy to make. Stick with the basics: fresh fruit, salads, fresh vegetables, burgers, steaks and snacks. Don’t try to go gourmet – keeping the menu simple will reduce your stress level and still please your guests.

Use the space. It doesn’t matter how much space you actually have in your backyard. If you use it well, your deck party or barbecue can feel spacious and fun. Place tables and chairs away from each other – this will encourage your guests to explore the space and socialize with each other.

Strategically place lights. If you are planning on hosting your outdoor party in the evening, make sure you have adequate, attractive lighting. Torches provide an exotic flair to a party, but make sure you use caution, especially if you have a cedar deck. String lights are an easy way to provide soft, ambient light provided you have access to an electrical outlet.

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