Summer is a time for enjoying life outdoors. Here are some ideas to make your summer parties great again!
‘Tis the season for grilling
From a hibachi to a high-end Weber Summit stainless-steel, get outside and grill.
Marinate your meat in olive oil and fresh peppers. Rub your chicken in hanaheros or another spicy pepper. Just get adventurous with flavours. Throw fresh, seasonal produce on the grill. Throw everything on the grill! You can even grill peaches — an idea I found after stumbling upon a great summer BBQ checklist.
If you are like me, you are probably looking for an excuse to drink when you are behind the grill. I find BBQ recipes that call for bourbon so when the parental figures come around and give me looks of reproach, I can simply point to the recipe and get them off my back. Bourbon is a perfect ingredient for BBQ sauce (and for sipping while grilling!).
Get thee to a fire pit
When the night falls, the party doesn’t have to end. Find a fire pit to turn the day into a night party!
A summer night around the fire pit is a night of conversation that usually turns into more engaging conversational territory. There’s something about a night around a fire that promotes a different sort of discourse. You can hide in the shadows, but when the campfire singing of inspirational tunes begins, well it’s hard not to join in — regardless of where you stand on the topic of conversation.
Glamp it out!
Bring out the camper and glam it up. Glamping is a hot thing right now.
Maybe you have vague plans to go camping this summer but you’re afraid the summer may slip by and that camper will stayed parked and inactive throughout the season. Some of the best plans — even in the summer — get buried under a full calendar of activities.
Bring your camper into focus and turn it into a party annex. Roll it out into a prominent place and deck it out with some fanciful personality. Make it a destination. You can even turn it into a bar for the adults during summer celebrations.
If you don’t end up camping again this summer (although the chances are probably higher if you bring it out), your glamping-in-place will enhance your summer parties.
We are turning this:
Image source: Clinton Wilson
Into something like this:
Image source: MaryAnn Zimmerman
Let your imagination run wild this summer. Get bold. Get crazy. That’s what the summer is all about.
Go to your local farmer’s markets to find the best seasonal produce to throw on the grill or to toss into a colorful salad. Summer is a busy time, and it’s probably easier just to follow routine and travel to the supermarket, but it is rewarding to know that you are supporting local growers. The interactions you’ll have with farmers and patrons of these markets is an experience unto itself. If you have kids, this is a great teaching moment to get them thinking about sustainability, GMOs, and buying organic.
There are outdoor festivals in your area that you’ve probably thought about attending throughout the years but have never made it to. When Labor Day rolls around, you feel a pinch of regret that you never made it to the events you’d planned to attend. Don’t let 2016 be that summer.
In most communities, there are great festivals or concerts (many of them free) offered in the summer. Challenge yourself and go out and see something you’ve never seen before.
Throw a neighborhood party
You see your neighbors all of the time around the hood, but maybe you’ve never met most of them. Seize an opportunity this summer to get to know your neighbors by throwing an early evening party with light snacks and wine. Make some flyers and walk door to door to offer a personal invitation. Keep your invitations on hand so you can hand deliver them when you see the neighbors walking their dogs or going out to retrieve the mail.
Turn your summer memories into prints
By the end of the summer, you’ve probably amassed a heap of images on your phone, on Instagram, or on Facebook. Collect the best of them and print them in a photo book that you can display on your coffee table. Keep the memories of summer alive throughout the year!
Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com