Throwing a party during the Texas summer is the ultimate hostess challenge: How do you entertain your guests without having them dissolve into a puddle of sweat? With temperatures soaring, mosquitoes swarming, and the lure of the air conditioner ever-present, it can be difficult to throw a successful summertime bash. Here are some tips and tricks to keep everyone cool and content:
Embrace the Mason Jar
Mason jars have long been a Southern catch-all – They have a million uses, they’re inexpensive, and they are significantly more chic than a red plastic party cup!
Use Mason jars as glassware for a Make Your Own Mojito station! Set out a bucket of ice and all your ingredients, then let your guests take care of themselves! Be sure to include the lids – the jars can be used as a cocktail shaker that turns right back into the guest’s personal glassware. If you’d like to go the extra mile, print out a copy of our No-Fail Mojito recipe and include it on the bar! Offer a variety of fresh fruit to add in, several different rums to choose from, and multiple fizzy toppers (my favorite is sparkling wine – it adds a little something special.)
For a non-alcoholic treat, offer some fruit-infused lemonade and iced tea. Don’t forget the water so everyone stays hydrated!
Mason jars of various sizes can also be used as serving dishes for condiments – the lids keep bugs away, and it makes clean up a breeze! Be sure to put your condiments on ice if they’ll be staying out in the heat for an extended period of time. A galvanized tub works great for this purpose!
Protect Your Guests from the Elements
Everyone has arrived at a summer BBQ woefully unprepared at some point. Impress your guests by providing a basket of sunscreen and bug spray. To really wow your friends and family, throw in some inexpensive sunglasses and koozies! Be sure to provide a shady spot for people to relax in – if you don’t have enough trees, a canopy can be a moderately priced solution, especially if you’re planning on throwing multiple summertime events.
Lighten Up Your Food Offerings
Instead of offering the traditional brisket, potato salad, and beans try a lighter menu to keep your guests from falling into a food coma. Think grilled fish tacos topped with a refreshing slaw, flavorful salads, fresh fruit, and grilled vegetable kabobs! As a bonus, most of these items can be prepped the night before so you can be the most relaxed, put- together hostess on the block!
Keep the Kiddos Entertained
Keeping the kids entertained during the summer can be a challenge. With Netflix, Facebook, and an endless supply of interesting apps at their fingertips, kids aren’t always interested in facing the heat to have fun outdoors. There are so many schools of thought on how to combat the inevitable summer slump, but these are tried and true:
Let Them Get Wet!
Sometimes you just have to embrace the mess for the greater good. Backyard BBQs are one of those times, when only splashing each other with cool water will cut the heat.
Give the kids a spacious battleground far from the adults, and fill a kiddie pool with a few bags of ice topped with water balloons. Don’t have time to fill a million balloons? Try this clever contraption that fills 100 balloons in less than a minute! Another great option is setting out buckets full of ice water and squirt guns – an instant ammo station once the balloons are all popped! Provide plenty of towels and demand a détente for dinnertime.
Yard Games – The Great Equalizer
Kids and adults love a good yard game, and they have become more and more varied over the past few years. Offer a few classics, like Corn Hole and Giant Jenga and consider some of the new offerings that have been popping up at tailgates like Yard Yahtzee! Pinterest is a wonderful resource for DIY versions if you’re feeling crafty, and Etsy provides pre-made options if you’d rather order online.
Wishing You a Fun-Filled Summer,
The Downtown Bryan Events Team
Fruit-Infused Lemonade – http://bit.ly/1wBb97N
Kiddie Pool Water Balloons – http://bit.ly/295OCzY
Mason Jar Mojitos – http://yhoo.it/293ylXF
Condiments – http://bit.ly/1HAk0Bi
Sunglasses – http://bit.ly/29eltSy
Fish Tacos – http://bit.ly/1K3ziA8
Cornhole – http://bit.ly/29r69l4