Outdoor entertaining is something that people have been doing for centuries. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the season, and there are many ways you can do it.
As long as you plan, outdoor entertaining doesn’t need to be expensive or hard work. You can make the most of your backyard and patio, especially if you’ve invested in insulated panels and roofing systems. These can help dissipate heat under the roof and dampen the noise of rain or even hail.
Below are some easy and inexpensive ideas when entertaining outdoors.
Plan Your Menu Carefully
Decide on your menu for outdoor entertaining carefully, as you won’t have all the tools and cupboard space you’re used to in your kitchen. Choose dishes that can be prepared beforehand or early on during the party so that they don’t take up too much room when entertaining.
You can organise a barbecue for your outdoor dinner, but there are many options, from local potluck dinners to picnics in the park or on the beach. You could even have a buffet-style dinner and bring everything outside.
You don’t have to do anything complicated when it comes to drinks. However, you should make sure you offer your guests something special. You could even create a signature drink for the occasion and ask everyone to bring their own mixers along with them at the start of the party so that they can add their preferred booze.
When planning your menu, remember that food and drink need each other to be successful when entertaining outdoors. Consider how much alcohol needs to be served when choosing which kinds of dishes you want to prepare, as well as how heavy or light they will be. There’s no point serving up a three-course meal if all anyone wants is beer and crisps.
Lighting Is Essential
You should always make sure you have lots of light outside when entertaining. You don’t want to be stumbling around in the dark or tripping over things, so make sure there are plenty of options for lighting available.
You can set up string lights along with your patio if you haven’t got overhead lighting; they look beautiful and will give your backyard that festival-like feel. If you can’t afford to do this, then at least make sure there are plenty of lights inside your house that will light up the area where you’re entertaining.
You don’t want bugs or animals getting into the food you’ve prepared for your party. You could purchase commercially available containers designed to keep flies away from food, but these can be expensive if you’re planning on having many people at your event. Instead, take along some extra picnic baskets to hold things like burgers and vegetables. This way, nobody reaches over each other’s plates to get their nibbles.
Tables Are Essential
Of course, tables are essential when entertaining outdoors if you have guests. Not everyone likes eating off trays while sitting on the grass. Take time to prepare your backyard or patio with multiple tables that are big enough for everything you plan on serving. It’s better to err on the side of having too many tables than not enough.
Don’t Forget the Decor
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on festive decor for your outdoor entertaining. Although if you want to go all out with flags and balloons, then why not? It’s best to keep it simple with easy-to-transport things, like tablecloths or flower garlands.
You could place candles in jars around your garden or patio, and you could even add some lights inside these if it’s a chilly evening. Just remember to check the wind direction before setting fire to things.
Encourage Your Guests
Encourage your guests is essential when entertaining outdoors if you want them to have fun. Nobody wants a party where everyone sits silently around a table eating.
Setting up a few lawn games can be lots of fun for your guests, especially ones that involve water, like water bombs or squirt guns for kids. You should also make sure there are plenty of outdoor chairs and loungers available. This way, people don’t stand around all night (if there’s room).
Keep Things Fresh
Make sure you have plenty of things to keep your guests occupied when they aren’t eating or playing games. You could set up some outdoor sporting activities like horseshoes or volleyball, and you should also consider having a barbecue station with plenty of cooked meats on hand.
You don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen cooking things all night; instead, spend some time out with your guests.
Prepare Cleaning Essentials
Having clean-up boxes is also essential, as nobody wants to spend ages putting the garden furniture back where it was or picking up leftover food bits that can attract pests. Keeping these things separate means you can enjoy your party that much more.
Entertaining outdoors doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive if you follow these simple and affordable ideas. Enjoy nature and spend time with your friends and family in the great outdoors.