MAY 12 2023
Best Backyard Entertaining Tips
Memorial Day is just around the corner! Most of us look forward to this three-day weekend as an unofficial summer kickoff—the season of cookouts, beaches, and outdoor fun. If you’re thinking of hosting a party this year, you still have time to plan. If it’s your first time hosting, or if you’re looking for a few new ideas to make your outdoor celebration the best it can be, check out our entertaining tips below!
Setting the Mood
For maximum enjoyment for you and your guests, take time to set the mood in your space. Depending on your outdoor setup, this might mean a number of things, but making your friends and family feel comfortable should be high on your list. We suggest setting up some lawn games. Cornhole and bocce make it easy for guests to have fun in an active way, and they provide opportunities for easy conversation.
Make a fun playlist—music is always a good way to set the tone—and make sure you have plenty of outdoor seating. Highwood’s new deep seating collection is ideal for lingering and conversation. We think our Bespoke Deep Seating sets are especially great for gathering. One set comes with two chairs, a conversation table, and a love seat. Looking for extra surface area for a larger crowd? Another option comes with two side tables. Once your guests find their way into these extra-spacious seats, they won’t want to leave!
If your party extends into the evening, keep in mind that it may get buggy. Certain plants contain essential oils that help deter insects. To help keep pesky bugs at bay, consider planting lavender, basil, thyme, or rosemary in your backyard space. As a bonus, you’ll have plenty of fresh herbs for salads and other dishes.
Work with the Weather!
As with any outdoor event, be sure to keep an eye on the weather. If it looks windy, consider skipping tablecloths (Highwood tables can handle messes, anyway! For unexpected spills, read about care and maintenance here). Or consider weighing them down with stones collected at the beach for a fun, summery twist. If you really want to lean into the beach theme, bowls filled with sand, pebbles, and shells make for lovely, decorative additions to your table (plus, shell-collecting can be a fun activity for kids!).
Will Memorial Day be a scorcher where you live? To keep guests cool and comfortable, buy a pack of inexpensive washcloths, roll up each cloth, and secure it with a rubber band. Then, set up an ice cooler and toss the cloths in for guests to grab. Your friends and family will thank you!
If it will be cooler, draping cozy lap blankets on your outdoor chairs for guests to use as evening temperatures drop is a much-appreciated gesture. And like our deep seating, it will encourage friends and family to linger.
Food & Libations
Let the weather help you determine your menu. For warmer temperatures, keep things light and simple with pasta and potato salads, green salads that use fresh ingredients (how are those herbs coming along?), and cold dips with veggies and pitas. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with ice cream and classic chocolate-chip cookies, or fill a small cooler with popsicles—an easy and beloved summer treat.
Keep guests refreshed with sparkling drinks, homemade juices, or lemonade. (If you’re making your own lemonade, add plenty of lemon slices and a sprig of mint for garnish.)
If it’s cooler, opt for rich or warming foods, such as soups or hot dips. Warm baked brie is a true party treat, but beware—it will be gone in no time!
What is your top outdoor party tip? We want to hear about it in the comments below!