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Summer Party Hosting Guide: Refreshing Beverages, Colorful Menus, and Outdoor Fun

Summer Party Hosting Guide: Refreshing Beverages, Colorful Menus, and Outdoor Fun

Hosting a party this summer? Whether you’re planning a backyard barbecue or a relaxed garden party, we have tips to make sure your summer gather is a hit. From refreshing beverages to delicious menus and outdoor games, let’s dive into easy summer party ideas to make it a success.

Plan Refreshing Beverages

The key element to a summer party is making sure you have plenty of beverages to help your guests cool off and unwind! And when serving cocktails, it’s hard to know how much to have on hand. Our drink calculator for parties is a great place to start.

The average guest will have two drinks per hour. See the chart below to determine how many bottles to buy.

drink calculator for party

Tip – Preparing nonalcoholic punches for all to enjoy while setting out a bottle or two of liquor so your guests can spike their own beverages is a great way to make sure all guests are covered.  

Summer is a great time to break out your fun drinkware! We love mix and matching colorful glasses to bring some intrigue into your tablescape.

cocktail glasses

Credit: World Market

Looking for more drink inspiration? Explore 6 of our favorite summer cocktails to beat the heat.

Serve a Colorful Menu

Showcase the vibrant flavors of summer with your menu choices. If you’re hosting a full summer meal, plan to have appetizers, a main dish, 2-3 side dish options and dessert. Check out our sample summer barbecue menu here.

If you’re going for more casual snacks, we love this Tzatziki recipe served with fresh vegetables.

tzaktziki recipe

Or, this summer antipasto cheeseboard is always a crowd-pleaser and is a great, easy option for summer party food.

summer antipasto cheeseboard

Embrace the Grill

Keep your kitchen cool and make the grill the center of your party. These Smoked Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches are always a hit and can be prepared in advance.

pulled smoked chicken sandwich recipe

Don’t forget to pair it with this Easy Red Cabbage Slaw for a delightful combination of flavors!

We have a full collection of grilling cookbooks to find the perfect recipes for your next gathering. Explore more.

Offer Outdoor Games

Keep the party lively with easy outdoor games. Our favorite, classic lawn games are croquet, horseshoes, and bocce ball.

The Martha Manual: How to Do (Almost) Anything features all of the measurements for setting up classic lawn games and a comprehensive rules, along with guides for setting your table and building the perfect bar cart. 

Investing in cornhole boards that fit your aesthetic is another easy, crowd-pleasing game option. We love this designed set by Ellen Merchant

ellen merchant designed cornhole set

Credit: Anthropologie

Keep It Comfortable

Ensuring your guests stay comfortable throughout the party by making sure there are plenty of options for shade and bug protection. Umbrellas and decorative citronella candles are a great way to keep your guests comfortable while adding a decorative flare that creates an inviting atmosphere.

We love these ceramic citronella candles. They bring functional beauty to any outdoor gathering. 

decorative citronella candles

Credit: Antropologie 

With these summer hosting tips, you’re well on your way to creating an unforgettable event. Remember to enjoy the festivities yourself and make lasting memories with your loved ones!

Explore More Inspiration for Summer Entertaining