Most people really enjoy the summer. Kids love it because they are on vacation from school, and adults love it because they can have more family time and spend the days outside enjoying the fresh air and sun. Unfortunately, like all good things, summer must come to an end. Both at home and at the office, you should take some time to celebrate all things summer. With fall fast-approaching, here are our top ten tips for hosting an amazing end of summer party that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. 

Try To Host Outdoors

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Whether you are planning a party for the neighborhood, friends, or your company, the best venues for end of summer celebrations will at least have the option of moving outdoors. You can have an indoor party year-round, but you only have so much time to host outdoor events. Find a restaurant with an outdoor patio, rent a country club, find someone’s backyard and celebrate the end of summer! 

Decorate!

A party isn’t a party without proper decorations. Particularly for more formal gatherings, consider making summer classy. You can always go the route of stereotypical summer things like flamingos, luau, and pineapples, but to really make your party stand out, try to think outside the box. 

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General Summer: You can create a summery feel by using colors like blues, whites, yellows, corals, lilacs, and lighter shades of green. Incorporate these colors into decorations like centerpieces, banners, lanterns, etc. Summer is light and breezy so you can also focus on using light fabrics to make banners to allow breezes to blow through your party. Other easy decorations include live flowers or plants and decorative plates, napkins, silverware, and glassware. For some ideas, check out this blog: https://bsyl.ink/DIYPartyDecorations.

Nautical: Blue and white with pops of brighter colors like yellows, oranges, or reds can create a nautical vibe. Nothing says summer quite like the beach after all. Add to the effect with seashells and centerpieces containing beach sand, sea glass, and other beach items. You can create beautiful banners using rope or twine as it plays into the boating feel. Stripes - particularly blue and white - can also be used to convey your nautical theme. This theme is still summery and fun, but also elegant and classy for the more formal end of summer party. Find some amazing ideas here: https://bsyl.ink/NauticalParty.

Keep It Casual

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Even if your end of summer event is for your business, it is a good idea to keep it more casual than other events. Set the dress code to business casual or even summer wear. If you are having an outdoor event in the hot end-of-summer sun, don’t make guests wear long dresses and pants. Let people wear sundresses, appropriate skirts, polos and slacks, and maybe even shorts. This is a party after all, not a business meeting. Of course, attire requirements are totally up to you, but we would suggest keeping it casual to let people relax, have fun, and play the awesome outdoor games you have planned. 

Embrace Summer Games

Speaking of summer games, here are a few ideas to make your party more fun!

Cornhole: In case you haven’t heard of this game, it is wonderful. Two teams of two try to toss bean bags onto a board and through a hole in the center. The boards are 27 feet apart from each other and one member of each team stands at each board. The first team to 21 points wins. Every bean bag on the board adds one point to the total, and every bean bag through the hole is worth three points. For a party with many guests, you can do a tournament where the victor keeps playing as new teams try to take the title from them.

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Tic Tac Toe Toss: This is a classic that never gets old. If you have cement or concrete surfaces available, draw an oversized tic tac toe board and a line to toss from. Use bean bags (from cornhole!), rocks, foam discs, or anything else you have around and toss them from behind the line to try to get three in a row. This can be a solo challenge or versus another player. There are also boards available that use baseballs or whiffle balls. Rather than a flat surface, these carnival-esque boards have three walls, and each segment on the board is a compartment for the balls to land in. No matter what style board you decide to use, your guests will have fun trying to master their aim. 

Giant Jenga: Jenga is a classic party game. Make it even more fun by making it giant! Giant Jenga is more precarious than the original smaller version. The game is available online and through some popular retailers or you can make your own with blocks of wood. Play one on one or as teams! This game is sure to bring the party. 

Eat Summery Foods

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Summer is notorious for some of our favorite foods. Nothing pays homage to the all-American summer than some delicious barbecue. If you have a large party, creating the perfect BBQ can be time-consuming and stressful. Contact us to learn about our amazing barbecue catering options at (703) 552-4544 or at catering@oldbluebbq.com. We offer all of the staple barbecue items from veggies to chicken to beef and more. 

In addition to our fabulous barbecue catering offerings, we also suggest incorporating chips, watermelon, berries, and fruity drinks into your party menu. Citrus is very much a summer flavor, and you can’t go wrong with things like ice cream, sherbet, Popsicles, and other cold treats.

When it comes to drinks, do your research for what mixed drinks are most suited for summer. We have compiled a list of ten must-have summer southern-style cocktails that will fit in perfectly at your party: https://bsyl.ink/10-Must-Have-Summer-Southern-Style-Cocktails. Make sure you also stock fruit juices and plenty of water to keep guests hydrated, healthy, and happy all day long.

Take Advantage of the Long Days!

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When planning your event, take into account how long the summer days are, even at the end of the season. Your party can start later in the day, or you can start early and party all day long! As long as you have appropriate lighting and warn your guests of the potentially long event, do not hesitate to party on!

Use Festive Lighting

We touched on the option to use lighting to decorate your party area. String lights are really popular right now, so you can easily find some that fit the mood and theme of your event.

Fairy Lights: Fairy lights are always cute, but don’t rely on them as a main source of lighting. You can use fairy lights in jars for centerpieces or table decorations for a soft glow effect when the sun goes down. 

Lanterns: String lanterns are a good option if you have a tent or fences to hang them on. You can also buy individual lanterns to hand from the ceiling or from tree branches. You can even make your own if you struggle to find some that match your theme. Check out this tutorial to learn how: https://bsyl.ink/PaperLanters.

Other Options: Small ground lights, lanterns, or tiki torches can help keep the fun going well past sunset. Other popular lighting options include candles and lights in mason jars or glass bowls. The options truly are endless and you can find or make lights that perfectly emulate your party’s theme. 

Keep the Bugs Away

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What’s the biggest issue of outdoor parties? Bugs. Keep pests at bay and away from food with citronella candles and food nets. While most people understand that flies come with the territory of an outdoor event, it is always wise to try your hardest to keep them away. For parties that extend into the later hours of the evening, make sure you supply bug spray, and definitely have citronella candles on hand.  

Consider a Movie or Fire

If you are in a backyard or anywhere else that permits, consider ending the party with a movie or a fire. Fires are a great way to bond and s'mores are always a good idea. In addition, the warmth of the fire could come in handy if the soon-to-be-autumn air gets a bit brisk. Fires are also great at lessening the bug population in your party area, even if no one decides to sit around it. 

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Everyone loves drive-in movies. You can make your own in a backyard or any outdoor area! The most difficult part of creating this amazing party experience is finding a way to project the movie. If you don’t happen to have a projector lying around your house, you can find some to purchase here: https://bsyl.ink/OutdoorProjectors. Once you have a projector, there is no excuse to avoid outdoor movie nights anymore. They can become a staple that everyone is sure to love. You can project onto a blank white wall, or hang up a piece of rope and drape a white bed sheet over it. Presto! Your own movie screen. 

Give Away Summer Goodies

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It’s always nice to offer people a parting gift as a thank you for attending the party. You don’t need to go out of your way to buy presents. If you have centerpieces, let people take them home. You can also offer small desserts like chocolate-covered strawberries, caramel popcorn, chocolate-covered pretzel rods, etc. If you so desire, you can decorate glassware before the party, and allow guests to take them home following the festivities. Other popular ideas include flip flops, beach towels, small sand buckets full of candy, or sunglasses. 

What you decide to give out is totally up to you. Try to hand out what you think will be most memorable for your guests. Again, it doesn’t need to be anything big, just something to help your guests remember the party and keep the fun going.

We hope these tips have inspired you while planning your end of summer party. Summer is a time for fun, so make sure your party reflects that. We may be biased, but we believe the key factor to a good party is the food. Let us handle feeding your guests so you can focus on entertaining them. Our barbecue catering is the highest-quality and award-winning. Contact us today to schedule catering for your party at (703) 552-4544.