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Summer is here and your backyard is calling your name after the long winter months. From pool parties to a neighbourhood BBQ, it is always fun to get together with family and friends to enjoy good food, games and sunshine. Hosting an event, although fun, can get stressful fast so next time you are planning your next summer bash take a look at these tips!

Food: On the bright side…you don’t have to think too hard about the menu for a summer party as many people are expecting the traditional backyard grub, but try to make it fun with a few new staples.

Add some colour to the table with fresh fruit and vegetables paired with some killer dips. Try dipping flavours not many people have like a spicy chipotle hummus or a sweet dip for the fruit like cookie dough. You also want to make sure you have more than just hamburgers and hot dogs for the main dishes. Try to have a vegetarian or vegan option for guests like sweet potato and pepper kabobs. Also maybe you want to be adventurous and try something like salmon on the grill.

Drinks: Make the party fun with some signature cocktails or “mocktails” to celebrate the new summer season. Sangria or frozen cocktails are great for a refreshing beverage for adults and the kids can enjoy slushies!

In addition, having a cooler full of water and soda will ensure that every guest has something to wash down that delicious food with and keep hydrated in the heat.

Games: It’s all fun and games during the summer months! Buying classic yard games like croquet, bocce ball or ladder toss are all good ones to keep on hand. You may also want to provide some playing cards for the tables in case those sitting want something to entertain themselves too.

If you are having a pool party, get some small squirt guns or water balloons for everyone to enjoy. Remember these will always have more clean up than land games though.

Best party set-up: The most important thing when hosting a summer party outdoors is having a space for your guests to cool off and escape the heat. This could either be opening your home and letting people hangout indoors for a bit or setting up umbrellas or shade tents in the yard. Also remember to buy extra ice and cooking fuel! Nothing ruins a good cook-out like hot drinks and cold food.

Some other things to consider is providing sunscreen or bug spray to your guests to keep them safe, especially for little ones as they are often prone to sunburns and bug bites.

Music: If you don’t have a musical ear, go ahead and put someone else in charge of a playlist! There are plenty of pre-made “songs for the summer” playlists on streaming services or free platforms like YouTube, but it can also be fun to make your own. Pick songs that are chill and happy but also appropriate for all ages if children are attending.

Whether it’s a family barbecue or a pool party for your closest friends, take these tips to make sure your summer bash will be the envy of parties for the rest of the sunshine season.