The allure of entertaining outdoors is all in the details. We want mood lighting and fireplaces for ambience, pretty serving pieces and drinkware, and sophisticated patio furniture where guests can relax. This list of outdoor entertainment essentials will help make any garden party a smashing success.
Solar lights and garden stakes are a nice way to light up pathways and highlight areas in your garden, but hanging fixtures bring a unique twist to any outdoor space. Whether solar or electric, they look gorgeous hanging from the patio umbrella, along the back fence, or anywhere you can find a place to hang them. Tabletop gas fireplaces make for luxurious, luminous additions to any backyard. An outdoor fireplace adds an extra element of coziness and warmth to a setting. It gives the feeling of getting away without having to leave the comforts of home.
It’s the little things
What’s more refreshing than an ice cold drink on a hot summer day? Set up a drink station in a colourful or galvanized tub to keep your concoctions chilled, and have glassware, bottle openers, straws, and garnishes ready for guests to serve themselves while they mingle. Remember to include non-alcoholic drinks such as juice, water, or pop.
If you find yourself searching for a new set of acrylic dishware this season, a new series of patterns and designs are released every year—making you want to stock up again and again. Whether you prefer pineapples or palm trees, there’s a set to suit your taste. Mix and match from year to year if you choose. Clear acrylic pieces have come a long way, so look out for stemless wineglasses, serving pieces, pitchers, salad bowls, trays, tumblers, and wine buckets.
Sit down and stay awhile
It’s the three Cs that are most important for backyard entertaining: comfort, comfort, and comfort. Make your guests feel as content as possible with the new lines of sofas and conversation sets that offer deep seating that’s second to none. DOT Furniture and Bradford Greenhouses stock staple patio furniture pieces that suit your backyard décor best. If you notice your guests loitering on your loungers, you’ll know why. If all of this talk about outdoor entertaining has you itching to invite people over, take stock of the pieces that you have in your outdoor entertaining inventory and make a list of what you need to buy. Then, all you need to do is plan the menu, extend your invites, and ultimately, enjoy your party—and the space you’ve created.
A quick list of what makes a party perfect!
LIGHTING For ambience – plus your guests will need to see one another. Mix solar, electric and candles together for a varied look.
MUSIC Create playlists well ahead of time: Top 40, jazz, classical or Latino, anyone? Bluetooth outdoor speakers are great for carrying your tunes across the crowd.
GAMES Especially if kids are attending. Think horseshoes, croquet or badminton.
DRINKS Set up a drink station with glasses, ice and beverage selections. Label your libations that may be in beverage dispensers so guests know what’s available.
BLANKETS Fluffed and folded, keep some blankets handy for guests to grab and stay warm long after the meal has finished.
NAPKINS Consider fabric instead of paper for an eco-friendly option. Just wash them and they’re ready for the next party.
FINGER FOOD It’s easy to serve and easy for guests to help themselves.
WASTE BASKET Place a bin slightly away from the party for easy disposal. A smaller wastebasket strategically placed makes for easier disposal so guests don’t have to interrupt their conversations to walk across the yard to throw away their waste.
by Becky Dumais
Barrie Pioneer Family Pools
Barrie Pool & Patio
Blue Ocean Lighthouse
Bradford Greenhouses Garden Gallery
The Copper Shop
DOT Patio Furniture Experts
Glass Lighting Gallery and Home Finishings
The Muskoka Store
Simcoe Home Furniture