Plan a Summer Party
Having summer parties can be lots of fun. The weather’s usually nice, and there are endless potential themes.
First of all, there are casual summer parties, and there are more formal summer parties. Casual summer parties don’t require invitations or much advance notice. Calling people up a couple days beforehand and inviting, “Want to come over at 7 on Saturday?” is just fine. For more formal parties, invitations at least a week in advance are required (though nothing TOO fancy – computer generated sheets go).
If your party is casual, there is not a lot of work required. You don’t need to worry about decorations or special food. Make sure you set chairs out for people to sit in (or ask them to bring their own if you don’t have many). Most people like to sit outside, so this is usually a good thing to do. Make up some easy snacks – fresh fruit and dip, chips and salsa, lemonade, iced tea. Set this out on a table with some cups (and plates if you like, but not necessary). If you want music, go ahead and put a boom box outside. When people arrive, encourage munching and talking. If you want to, you could fire up a barbeque and make s’mores.
For a more formal party, it’s time to work out more specifics. Plan it a few weeks in advance. Most parties in the summer time are still casual compared to parties at other times of the year, so go for a pot-luck style meal. Ask everyone to bring a side dish to share, and you can provide the meat for the main course (usually barbecued meat, whatever you like – burgers, hot dogs, brats, chicken, etc.).
Write on your invitations where your party is, when it is, if there’s a theme, and what people should bring. Ask them to RSVP so you know how much food to buy.
Themes are a really nice thing to have at summer parties. You can do a holiday-themed party (Fourth of July or Memorial Day, even Labor Day). You could also do a beach or tropical-themed party or a pool party. For the adults you could have a “game night” party and play some cards.
For a theme party, you should decorate for the theme, and you should also have activities that go along with your theme. You can even ask people to dress up (for a tropical party you might ask the men to wear Hawaiian shirts and the women grass skirts. You can also pass out leis). The food should also match the theme.
A tropical party might have an area with a kiddie pool to represent the ocean, an area of sand next to it to represent the beach, bright colored flowers stuck all over the place, ‘tropical’ music playing the background, maybe a limbo contest or even a bathing suit contest (if you’re daring!). The food might be barbecued with citrus fruit glaze, with everything cooked over an open fire or barbecue pit. There might be drinks made with pineapple and coconut juice, and maybe even some real coconuts sitting around!
A pool party might be much more casual than that, with everyone pretty much hanging around the pool area, munching on snacks (keep lots of fresh fruits and vegetables around, and plenty of water, lemonade, or iced tea – it keeps the whole ‘refreshing’ thing going), and sitting in bathing suits. You can encourage water games like “Marco Polo” or water volleyball. Make sure you have pool toys so people can play, because no one really swims at a pool party!
For a cool summer night, a bonfire and s’mores is a great thing. People love to sit around the campfire, talk, and eat their favorite summer treat. You can plan this one in advance and hope the weather cooperates, or you can make this one happen at the last minute. You can also turn this into a back-yard campout, if you so choose.
Basically, the word in the summer is “casual,” as far as the atmosphere of the party goes. Some parties definitely won’t be casual in the preparation, but when people party in the summer, they like to be lazy. Keep this in mind as you plan your parties (borrowing these themes if you wish).