I am excited to have been asked by The J.M. Smucker Company to share my tips for planning the perfect outdoor party, which includes using favorite J.M. Smucker Company products. So, my daughter is back in school and my son is getting used to our homeschool routine. To say we eased right into our back to school routine would be a bit of a lie. I am on a bit of a night owl by nature and so are my kids. This means we are up half the night and sleep later in the morning. Thank goodness Caitlin’s high school doesn’t start until 9:30! Perfection! Speaking of perfection…how about an end of the summer outdoor party? I love to throw a party, especially if we can arrange it outside. How about you? To have a successful shindig, you need to follow a few cardinal rules.
Here are my top 7 Tips for Throwing the Perfect Outdoor Party
Decide on a Theme: What is your party about? What are you celebrating? Coming up with a theme will make planning the perfect outdoor party much easier! We decided on an outdoor ice cream bar. Sounds like fun, right?!
Decide On A Budget: So, now that you know your theme, you need to decide how much you can spend. This will determine everything from the food and drinks you can serve to decorations to the number of guests you can invite.
Send Your Invitations: Now that you have a budget and know how many people you can invite, you need to make your guest list. Next, send those invitations! You can go the free route and send them an “e-vite” or you can go the old fashioned route and mail them a cute store bought or handmade invitation.
Decide on the Menu: Now that you have the theme and the budget, and number of guests, you can decide on the menu. If you are having a Luau, your menu will be much different than from our ice cream bar. Don’t forget to include drinks in your menu. Be sure to serve some alcoholic and some non-alcoholic, so everyone has something to choose from. Are you having a buffet, serving a casserole or are you grilling out? Be sure to tell your guests what time you are serving dinner so you aren’t firing up that grill over and over and over again!
Seating: Be sure to have comfortable seating for all of your guests. This should be not only for them to eat, but to sit and relax as well. For the outside party, we have our patio table and chairs, Adirondack chairs and some big outdoor pillows. Renting chairs can be an affordable option if you don’t have enough seating of your own.
Lighting: If you are hosting an outdoor party, be sure to have lighting for when the sun goes down. It wouldn’t hurt to throw in some citronella candles to keep those pesky mosquitoes away! For the indoors, remember you don’t want to go to harsh and bright. Make sure you have lighting that will make people feel relaxed, but not put them to sleep lol!
Misc. Details: Don’t forget to include some music to set the mood, some fun activities to keep the kids occupied and an alternative place to sit inside if your outdoor party gets rained on. You will also need plenty of plates, bowls, glasses and flatware. If you don’t want to use paper or plastic, check into rentals. Many rental options will fit easily into your budget.
When we were deciding on our party theme, the kids kept coming back to the ice cream bar idea. I loved it because it is easy to do and wouldn’t cost much as I had most of the supplies on hand. The only thing I needed was a few toppings for the ice cream sundaes or cones. For me, that would be a few of our family favorite Smucker’s® sundae toppings from Walmart. At Walmart, I know I will find the best selection of our favorite Smucker’s® ice cream toppings at the best price. Because Smucker’s® has so many options, we were able to find a topping to make each of us happy. With the Smucker’s® ice cream toppings at Walmart, you can make any day a “sundae!”
By shopping at Walmart for our “SundaeFundae” goodies, I am able to get everything we need at the best price. I can get all my sundae needs at Walmart and we can turn an ordinary bowl of ice cream into a fun occasion! I love their selection and quality. The strawberries and bananas we found were just perfect for our outdoor ice cream bar party. All we needed to make our stash complete was a package of napkins from the party goods area, small mason jars from the housewares area and some chalkboard paint for our “SundaeFundae” welcome sign. I cannot wait to share the pictures and tell you all about our outdoor ice cream bar we created for our back to school/end of the summer bash!
Will you share one of your tried and true tips for planning the perfect outdoor party?