Summer’s almost here! We’ve sprung forward, the sun is setting later in the day, and summer vacation is inching ever closer. As the season of backyard barbecues and afternoons at the pool draws near, we’ve pulled together some points of inspiration for entertaining family and friends as the days grow warmer.
One of the pitfalls of backyard get-togethers is the endless back-and-forth into the house to grab things from the kitchen, refill drinks and generally make sure everything and everyone is taken care of.
Anyone can pop open a cooler and fill it with ice and canned drinks, but for a sweet old-fashioned alternative, consider an aluminum tub like the one pictured above with pre-mixed beverages in mason jars for guests to serve themselves.
And if the adult-to-child ratio is in favor of the former and wine is on the menu, consider retrofitting your backyard picnic table with a clever wine bottle trough like this one:
Whether your backyard is overrun with toddlers or thirtysomethings, gingham is the quintessential pattern of summer. It’s available from the highest-end retailers all the way to the dollar store, and you can enjoy it in tablecloths, napkins, and numerous other applications. Nothing says “al fresco” like red and white checks:
Burgers and steaks are grilling essentials, of course, but for the little ones who need their deliciousness in bite-sized pieces (or just for a change of pace), shish kebabs are always a fun alternative. Sur La Table carries this helpful skewer station to keep things organized:
And for those nights when the sun begins to set as the fun’s just heating up, paper lanterns always set a festive mood:
From old-fashioned hanging jars with votive candles to a simple string of lights from Target, a little ambiance goes a long way toward casting the summer memories you’re making in just the right light.