(StatePoint) Hosting friends and family for backyard barbecues, picnics and garden parties during summer carries its own challenges. Here are a few tips guaranteed to keep your guests cool, comfortable and happy when you entertain.
â€¢ Create Shade: Entertaining outdoors? Remember, not all guests are going to want direct sunlight for too long. Take into consideration the sunâ€™s position in the sky during the hours you will be hosting, ensuring your seating offers guests the option to sit in the shade. Create DIY shades by hanging curtains or fabric around or above your party location.
â€¢ Protect Guests: Protect your guests from getting bitten and burned in your garden or yard. Be sure the space is clear of standing water in advance of the party. Also, create a small station with bug spray and sunscreen (kidsâ€™ varieties, too, if youâ€™re hosting families). Keep it away from the areas where the food and drinks are being served. Consider adding citronella candles or tiki posts as an additional strategy for warding off mosquitoes and other insects.
â€¢ Be Creative with Cold Drinks: Nothing is more evocative of summer than a cold glass of iced tea. Indeed, Iced Tea Month, celebrated in June, is a great time to create an iced tea bar that includes several varieties to suit your guestsâ€™ different tastes. Serve varieties like sweet tea, no calorie tea, tea mixed with lemonade, and peach tea. Label each clearly with smallÂ chalk boards or calligraphy name cards. Offer guests ready to drink teas made with high-quality, fresh, natural ingredients, such as Miloâ€™s. They fresh brew all of their teas and do not add any extra â€œstuffâ€ like colors, acids or preservatives.
A handy trick to keep beverages undiluted and impress your guests as things heat up? Create ice cubes out of Miloâ€™s Tea in advance, then use those to cool down drinks. For recipe ideas, visit drinkmilos.com.
â€¢ Serve Cool Snacks: You may have the grill going, but you can keep things otherwise cool and light with snacks and sides like cruditÃ©, dips, pasta salad, fresh fruit skewers and cold finger foods, like tea sandwiches.
â€¢ Play Games: Take full advantage of your yard this outdoor entertaining season with a few simple, fun lawn games like cornhole, horseshoes and ladder toss. Want to make things more interesting? Create an elimination bracket and tournament for each game.
From refreshing drinks to fun and games, you can make the most of the summer with a few cool strategies.
Photo Credit: (c) Jennifer Hagler