Take the Party Outside With the Perfect Combination of Warm Weather, Family and Friends

Entertaining takes on a laid-back, casual appeal when you head outside to the patio or backyard to enjoy leisurely long days. From the delicious recipes to the inviting setting to your own personal decorating style — use these outdoor entertaining ideas as an inspirational guide to taking advantage of this spectacular time of year.

Set the Table

An outdoor patio set serves as the focus of your entertaining area. Whether it’s an evening meal with just family or you’ve invited guests over, this will become the first stop everyone makes, so be sure to select a patio set with plenty of chairs. Even better – take advantage of matching accessories like a wicker table cooler or side table.

Cast Iron Chimnea

Add a Touch of Warmth

The addition of a cast iron chimnea adds a charming element to your backyard festivities. Everyone loves to gather around a chimnea for the ambiance and warmth and provides a focal point for guests. Extend the ambiance throughout with festive candles, hurricane lanterns and lit glass orbs.

Melamine Dinnerware

Serve It Up Right

Forget the paper plates when you can add style to your outdoor dining with Mediterranean-themed melamine dinnerware. It’s stylish, colorful, eco-friendly and you don’t have to worry about breaking china with this easy care solution. Don’t forget refreshments! Serve them up like a pro when you fill beverage servers with favorites, like lemonade and tea, and let guests serve themselves.

Patio Umbrella

Under Cover

That pesky sun can stay on the move throughout your gathering. A patio umbrella in a lovely hue adds both style and practicality to your outdoor entertaining event, providing much-needed coverage from the sun and elements.

Garden Figurines

Be Whimsical

Let your outdoor style be an extension of your indoor decorating style. Add your own personal touch to the outdoor setting by incorporating your favorite color palette, artwork that is uniquely yours and accessories that match your mood. Decorate with charming garden figurines, colorful wind chimes or whimsical garden statues, just to mention a few!

Recipes for a Great Cookout

Head to the grill with marinated meats and veggies, or prep a casserole that can be easy to pop in the oven and have ready when guests arrive. Either way, you will be able to enjoy time on the patio with friends instead of being a slave to the kitchen.

Provide a variety of refreshing drinks for your guests. Fill a cooler with a wide selection, or opt to fill beverage coolers with crowd favorites. Try hosting a lemonade bar with everything from fruit, fresh herbs and flavored syrups so guests can customize their drinks.

The perfect side dish for outdoor entertaining is the salad, from cool and creamy potato salads to refreshing combinations of veggies or fruits to classics like Waldorf salad. Best of all, most salads can be made ahead of time then tossed with dressing at the last minute, or some will even benefit from a night of chilling and marinating in the fridge.

Be sure to end your outdoor gathering on a sweet note with a light dessert that takes advantage of in-season fruits, like peaches, berries and melons. Light and simple recipes usually yield the most rave reviews at cookouts and backyard barbecues this time of the year.