Playing with Fire: Inspiration Your Perfect Summer Party
Summertime is a great time for an outdoor party! It’s easy to make an impromptu soiree come together with just a bit of planning while the sun is shining, and you can elevate your gathering with some flaming fanfare. If you’re dreaming of some awesome summer-themed party ideas, make this the year you put those ideas into action. If you aren’t quite sure where to start, you can use these summer-themed party ideas to find some inspiration and throw a party that makes the most of the sunny season. From the tropical Pacific Ocean to a lawn on the English countryside, a fun theme that incorporates some grilling (or flames!) can help you easily bring your outdoor dinner party dreams to life right in your own backyard, patio or balcony.
Tropical themes are always fun for outdoor summer parties, but why not kick this classic theme up a notch? How about serving up some delicious Hawaiian dishes? Pulled pork slathered in smoky-sweet sauce may be the gold standard for barbecue in many states, but Hawaiian barbecue is a culinary wonder all its own. Kalua pig has a similar pulled texture and deep, delicious flavor, but it’s distinctly Hawaiian in its preparation. It’s cooked in an in-ground pit and wrapped in banana leaves with steaming rocks on top, but you can easily roast yours on the grill with some vinegar and smoke flavor. It’s delicious to eat outdoors accompanied by a range of fruity, tropical beverages and classic cookout side dishes.
Think about going for a traditional Hawaiian “plate lunch”-style meal by serving your kalua pig on top of steamed cabbage flanked by scoops of white rice and macaroni salad. Want even more fire power? Tiki torches add awesome ambience and can keep the bugs at bay – even during daylight hours.
New England summers are marked by fish, fries, lobster rolls and plenty of time out in the fresh air. If your summer party ideas involve a New England nautical theme, you can serve up some craft beers and wines from Nantucket with a menu focuses heavily on grilled seafood – clams, mussels and crab are so succulent after some time on the barbecue! You can try serving your meal cocktail-style by offering up oyster shooters and lobster roll sliders, or create a sit-down meal with lobster, fish or shrimp as your main course. Brass lanterns with bold white candles inside add some seafaring style as table centerpieces or set up around your patio.
English Garden Enchantment
Garden parties are a fantastic way to enjoy some summer sunshine and gather your friends for a daytime get-together. Think about bringing some elegant elements of the indoors into the great outdoors. Small cafe tables and chairs with large refreshment displays make for a gorgeous garden party. You can serve finger sandwiches, salad with warm grilled vegetables, and small bite-sized desserts on tiered stands for an authentic look and feel, or set up a game of croquet if you have a lawn. Don’t forget the iced tea!
Pool parties are great for daytime, but your pool can still take center stage for an evening party! Use your pool patio to set up some chic cabana-style seating areas. You can make sure there’s some sparkle in the area by stringing up globe string lights and setting lanterns around in romantic groups around your seating areas. Find some floating waterproof LEDs and set them to sail in your pool to bring twinkle and shine and make the pool more visible for guests. Set up a rustic fire pit where family and friends can warm themselves after an evening dip – you’re all set for a fun outdoor party under the stars!
If you have a lawn and an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, you have everything you need to throw a summer camp party with a twist. Set up some tented areas on the lawn with comfortable pillows and blankets and invite a guitarist to lead a sing-along with your guests. You can also set up an outdoor theater for screening a camp-themed movie or gather everyone around the fire for a ghost story contest. You can have the fire going so guests can toast marshmallows. Planning for dinner? Cookout food like burgers and hot dogs are tried-and-true classics, and you can even take the camp theme a step further by mixing up fruit punch and serving it in a large insulated drink cooler.