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The Host with the Most

Host an Outdoor Event This July 4th with These Entertaining Tips

Do your summer plans involve entertaining outside? If you’re hosting — and planning on doing it the right way — we have tips to make your outdoor event the best one possible. Read on for our tips and tricks for summer 2024. 

If you don’t have a pergola or a retractable shade, you can keep guests cool during a midday party by installing a shade sail. You can purchase sails online and install beautiful panels yourself — or even call professionals to put up these relatively inexpensive and streamlined looking — and durable — pieces of material, which will keep out sun, wind, and rain. 

Looking to maximize the flow of your party? Set up a beverage station on a table or outdoor bar cart. This will help direct the traffic away from congested areas and will help guests navigate their way to the most important hub of your party: the drinks. Your drinks station should have an ice bucket, mixers, drinks, garnishes, glassware, and everything else your guests may need in order to serve themselves (assuming you don’t have a bartender working your party). 

You can also create a signature cocktail for your event, which will help streamline the bar and will make it easier for guests to retrieve drinks at their leisure. Have some batched drinks poured and ready when guests arrive. The remaining cocktail can lie in wait at the bar, in pitchers or a punchbowl, along with instructions for service. It’s a great way to highlight your talents as a mixologist, add a little pep to your party, and keep the lines to the bar short and sweet. 

When it comes time for guests to gather, arrange furniture to help facilitate their needs. Group chairs, couches, and side tables together to promote easy conversation. If you need to, bring in extra high-top tables or patio chairs (you may want to consider renting a few extras, if you’re expecting a large crowd). Spreading out furniture around your patio and lawn areas will make it easier for guests to congregate in small groups. 


You can also up the comfort quotient by accenting seating areas with extra pillows, throws, and Turkish towels — anything that is outdoor-friendly and dries quickly when wet. Then, dress up common areas with candles for when it gets dark. Old and unused brass, silver-plated, and pewter candlesticks that have been sitting at the back of a storage closet make for excellent eclectic outdoor décor. Mix them onto your tablescape and pepper them around common areas for a touch of warmth that will help set the mood for your soiree. Bistro lights — these days, you can even buy solar-powered ones, which require no plugs — add an extra-warm touch. 

In the weeks leading up to your party, make sure your garden is in bloom. Weed out your garden beds, apply mulch where needed, and, if necessary, plant new and mature plantings for a backdrop that will make all your guests stare. And finally, don’t forget the entertainment. Although music is always great, there’s nothing more fun than a party with games. For outdoor entertaining, consider lightening the mood with something fun: bocce, horseshoes, and croquet are all great ways to get your guests in on the party.