Indoor house parties are great and all, but why not take advantage of the fantastic weather outside and host a patio or garden party instead? The key to success is preparing in advance and getting the right materials together. Here is a quick guide to get you started.
Don’t let a mosquito looking to go for a swim ruin the drinks. Paper cupcake liners make great cup or mug lids — poke a straw through the top and enjoy your insect-free beverage.
Pick plates, not kites
Cheap Styrofoam plates are prone to flying away at the first hint of a summer breeze. Most dollar stores will have sturdier plastic examples that are also easier to recycle afterwards.
A party without enough ice is simply not nice. Rather than finding out the local grocery store has run out the day of, start making ice cubes in the freezer a few days before, filling a few Ziploc bags. If your refrigerator has a built-in icemaker, even better.
Prep the grill
Haven’t barbecued since last year? Crack the grill lid early to gauge the amount of damage control needed before you can start cooking (and refer to our post about BBQ safety).
Ready a few outdoor activities for people to partake in-between trips to the food station. Most big box stores sell inexpensive kits for badminton, volleyball, croquet and horseshoes. I’m partial to bocce ball, which requires virtually no setup and is easy to store away afterwards.
Groom the yard
Don’t force guests to stare at metre-high grass, weeds, or anything else unruly. Mow the lawn, pluck out pesky garden invaders and pick up any wandering items like tools and those toys your kids forgot to bring back inside.