10 Tips for Successful Backyard Entertaining
Few things are better than enjoying good food, good friends, and good weather, and entertaining outdoors is a wonderful way to enjoy all three at once. Here are some tips to make sure your backyard get-together goes off without a hitch.
- Skip tablecloths, or if you must have them invest in enough tablecloth weights to keep the wind from carrying everything away.
- Set out at least one more cart or table than you think you'll need, because there's never too many places for guests to mingle, for drinks and glasses to accumulate, or for whatever else.
- Control bugs and define a perimeter with incense or citronella tiki lamps.
- Provide shade for day parties by choosing a location with plenty of tree cover, putting up umbrellas, or renting a tent.
- For lighting once things start to get dark consider solar lights that need no wires and come on automatically, battery operated candles that pose no fire hazard, or real candles set in deep jars or hurricanes that protect them from the wind.
- Create cozy seating areas with thick, comfortable cushions. Don't be afraid to bring a few indoor pieces outside.
- Don't let trash pile up by having plenty of trash cans ready in easy to reach, obvious locations. Always err on the side of too many or you'll risk changing garbage bags mid-party instead of enjoying your guests.
- Fire pits are magic -- they work wonders as a center of conversation and they have a way of mesmerizing people so they don't want leave. Plus they can ward of chilly nights!
- Invest in a good bar cart so if supplies or drinks run low it's no hassle to just wheel it right back into the house and restock.
- Don't be afraid to get creative because there are no rules and backyard parties should be relaxed!