It’s the perfect time to start thinking about heading outdoors to enjoy the longer daylight hours and warmer weather. Whether you’re hosting a casual Friday night pizza night with friends or a long Sunday lunch with the family, these summer outdoor entertaining ideas are sure to inspire you.
Check out our list of outdoor entertaining ideas below:
1. Prepare your outdoor entertaining area
Put your best foot forward and start by preparing your outdoor entertaining area for guests the day before your event. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and clean the patio. If your outdoor dining set hasn’t been used in a while, give it a hose and let it dry in the sun (we suggest hosing well before the event, so everything is dry in time!).
2. Light up your outdoor entertaining area
If you’re hosting an evening event, nothing quite makes the atmosphere as special as some pretty mood lighting. Have a fiesta with some bright, almost retro, 80s inspired coloured light bulbs, or go for a subtler look with some beautifully strung fairy lights. Lights strung across balcony railings, on tree branches, or bunched into glass jars and hung above the table are really effective.
3. Have table centrepieces
Pretty up the table setting with a summery centrepiece. Make a colourful, fragrant centrepiece by pairing up florals with fruit. Bright colours and fresh, zingy smells like citrus will enhance the atmosphere of your outdoor entertaining area.
4. Choose a theme or cuisine
No matter how big or small the get-together, it’s always nice to have a theme! If you’re having a retro party, make your next outdoor gathering a little nostalgic by serving up some traditional Aussie BBQ fare that your parents rocked about 30 years ago such as the cob loaf dip.
Go the extra step by decorating the area, setting up a photo booth, and get in the mood for a party.
5. Set up a drinks station
Set up a ‘serve yourself’ drinks station for your lunch or dinner party – buckets, a wheelbarrow, a table, your kid’s billy kart or even a small boat filled with ice are great options for serious entertainers. Not only will it look great, but you’ll take some of the effort out of hosting by getting guests to help themselves.
6. Keep the mozzies away
The humid, muggy weather we know and love summer for, brings with it an inevitable plague of insects. Keep your guests comfortable by fighting off the mosquitoes and midges with mozzie coils or citronella oil. If you want to be really clever about your lighting, centrepieces and insect repellent, you could make your own citronella candle table piece.
7. Play some tunes
Set the ambience by putting on some background music. It will help carry the conversation and create a good mood (and fill the gaps if awkward silences occur). Acoustic guitar covers work well for a relaxed evening under the stars, a hired jukebox will crank up the party for a significant birthday, and a live band will take your engagement party to the next level.
8. Cook up a storm on the BBQ
Speaking of BBQs… what is outdoor entertaining without a BBQ? Any type of BBQ will do the job; so long as it’s got a flat plate and a grill plate, you can do almost anything on it! Think summery, spicy, skewers, gourmet sausages, minute steaks, whole baked fish and chicken wings. Or if the weather calls for it, do a roast (beer can chicken is a favourite) and serve it up with a sensational salad and some BBQ sweet chilli corn.
We hope you enjoy these summer outdoor entertaining ideas. Let us know if you have any more!