15 of the Best Backyard Party Ideas for Summer

Backyard Party Ideas

The days are longer, the air is warmer and spending time in the backyard never felt more appealing. Summer is the perfect time for backyard barbecue and cold lemonade. But throwing a backyard party can be challenging. It’s more than just throwing burgers on the grill and waiting for people to show up. So, we’ll walk you through our backyard party ideas to host the best party. We promise your guests will be raving about it!

Strategically Organize the Buffet

Put your chips and salsa, veggies, salads and other inexpensive items towards the front of the line. Leave all the meats, fruit and other heftier food items for the end so you can stretch your spread. People typically fill their plates up before they get to the end of the line, so you can make sure everyone gets a burger or hotdog by organizing it this way.

backyard party buffet

Make Utensils Easy to Grab

Wrap your cutlery in a napkin to make them easy to grab and hold with one hand while people are filling up their plates. This backyard party idea looks chic and keeps the line moving!

Use Popsicle Sticks to Label Condiments

If you plan on having more than just ketchup and mustard available for your guests to deck out their hamburgers and hot dogs, use popsicle sticks to label all the condiments so guests don’t have to guess what everything is. It makes the line move more efficiently when people know all the toppings and condiments.

backyard party condiments

Keep Centerpieces Inexpensive

Choose decorative, inexpensive centerpieces to save your budget for food and drinks. Candles, lanterns and other small centerpieces are easy to find and save on. Your backyard party will still look stylish without the added cost.

backyard party lighting

Prepare for Seating

Get a head count of how many people plan to come to your backyard party so you can plan on how much seating you need. If you don’t have enough seating to accommodate your guests, you can always pull some of your dining chairs outside to use. If you need more seating, you can rent folding chairs for a pretty reasonable price as well.

Quilts also work as a seating alternative for a more relaxed, picnic-like feel. And bringing some poufs outside work great too! For an option you can enjoy after the party is over, invest in some patio furniture. It’s perfect for a backyard party and you can keep using it long after the party is done.  We’ve listed a few of our patio favorites for you to get inspired.

Secure Your Tablecloths

Keep your tablecloths from flying away or blowing into the food by weighting them down. Clipping a fishing weight onto each corner is one easy way to keep your tablecloths secured. You can weigh the corners down various other ways as well, such as creating pockets on each corner and putting rocks in them. This backyard party idea will save your food and drinks along with your sanity.

Help Guests Identify Their Drinks

Keep gift tags or markers available for guests to write their names on their cups. It’s so easy to get distracted and set your cup down, only to forget which one is yours. Take the guessing out of it with this simple backyard party idea.

backyard party tags

Keep Guests Cool

Backyard parties can get hot depending on the weather. The last thing you want is for your guests to be miserable in the heat. Keep handheld fans available for guests, or buy some inexpensive wash cloths, roll them up and secure them with a rubber band. Toss them in a cooler of ice water for guests to grab. It’s an easy ice-cold compress for guests to drape around their necks to cool down.

Don’t Blare Music

It’s difficult to talk if the music is blasting. Keep the volume lower so guests can mingle with each other. The best set up is to have four or more speakers spread out, set at a lower volume. But if you’re going to use an iPod dock or single Bluetooth speaker, place it above ear level so it’s not blasting at your guests’ heads. If you turn it towards the house, you can make it a little louder because the sound will bounce off the house and amplify.

Choose to play songs that people recognize as well. Try to have a variety of music that everyone will like. Plan for about five hours of music. Most parties don’t last beyond that and if they do, most of your guests won’t notice that the playlist has started over on hour six.

backyard party speaker

Create Ambience with Lighting

Keep your backyard party lit up when it heads into evening. Hang string lights on the deck, fence and even in the trees to create ambient lighting. Hurricane lanterns and tealights work great too. The ones you see in most magazines and on TV for outdoor parties are globe string lights, which work great for the backyard.

backyard party lighting

Keep Mosquitoes Away

Mosquitoes are never a welcome guest at the party. Keep them away by getting rid of standing water, which is breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Empty kiddie pools, rain gutters, standing rainwater and any other pool of water that you can. Plug fans in on the deck around guests and near food on the table. Mosquitoes are weak fliers, so the airflow helps keep them away. You can also light tiki torches or citronella candles to keep them at bay. And lastly, offer bug wipes or bug spray to your guests for any pesky mosquitoes that still manage to make their way in.

Keep Bugs Out of Food & Drinks

Mosquitoes aren’t the only unwelcome guests at the party. Flies, moths and other insects love to hang out where your food and drinks are. Place cupcake liners over the top of your glass and poke a straw through to keep bugs out of your drinks. Then be sure to also cover food with mesh domes or paper plates.

backyard party drinks

Photo Courtesy: Mom 4 Real

Entertain the Kiddos

Your adult guests will be fine with mingling and sipping a cool drink. But the kids need much more entertainment. Have activities on hand for the kids so they don’t get bored. Bubbles, sprinklers, Slip ‘N Slide, beach balls and disposable cameras are all good ways to entertain kids.

Set Out Lawn Games

The kids aren’t the only ones who enjoy a good game. Set out lawn games like bags (cornhole), horseshoes, croquet, ladder toss and Kan Jam for the older kids and adults to play.

backyard party games

Make Serving Frozen Dessert Easy

If you’re the type of person that feels pressured to scoop ice cream into dishes quickly, so it doesn’t melt before you get it to your guests, we have an easier solution for you. Pre-scoop ice cream into small bowls and place them on a cookie sheet. Throw the sheet in the freezer until you’re ready to serve up dessert. There’s no melting and no mess. Just an easy way to distribute dessert and keep it frozen.

backyard party ice cream

It doesn’t matter how you host a backyard party, as long as your guests enjoy it and you have a good time. It’s all about the experience and getting your friends and family together. These tips are to help you host a backyard party smoothly so that everything can go off with a bang! Spend less time stressing over what you forgot and more time sipping an ice-cold drink. Cheers!

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