16 Summer Entertaining Hacks You Need to Know About

Summer Outdoor Entertaining

The summer entertaining season is here(!), and I’€™m sure many of you have parties and gatherings penciled into your calendar for coming months. Here’€™s a list of my favourite party hacks guaranteed to make your warm-weather soirées a smashing success.

  1. Keep drinks cold with frozen water balloons. Fill your coolers and buckets with the icy orbs and stick your drinks in and around them. It saves your drinks and cooler from getting unappealingly wet as the ice melts. An added bonus is that when completely thawed, the balloons can be used for a water balloon fight with the kids.
  2. Never underestimate the popularity of a DIY burger bar.
  3. If you don’€™t have a grill basket – the kind used to grill vegetables’€”you can make your own by punching small holes into a disposable aluminum pie plate.
  4. Keep a summer party bin full of plastic dishes and cups handy. Pick up items from the thrift, dollar and discount store and add it to over the years. Use these items when eating outdoors.
  5. Linen napkins are always nice, but don’€™t necessarily fare well when used outdoors to mop up sloppy barbecue sauce and drippy ice cream. IKEA sells bundles of tea towels for less than $1 each. They wash well and are an eco-friendly alternative to disposable napkins.
  6. Instead of using ice in your cocktail add frozen fruit to the glasses. It looks pretty and keeps the drinks from getting watered down.
  7. Make easy garbage and recycling bins by purchasing inexpensive pop-up laundry hampers from the dollar store and lining them with garbage bags. After your party, remove the bags and collapse the hampers, which take up little storage space when folded.
  8. Pre-scoop your ice cream before serving it. It saves time and a mess when you’€™re serving up dessert.
  9. Set out a large rubber or galvanized tub and label it ‘dirty dishes.’ Ask guests to fill it as needed throughout the party.
  10. Keep frozen cookie dough balls and ice cream in your freezer at all times. When impromptu guests pop by you’€™ll be able to make homemade ice cream sandwiches.
  11. Set up a self-serve bar and let your friends and family help themselves to their drinks. Tie a bottle opener to the bin that holds your beer and keep a corkscrew close to the wine.
  12. Fill a bucket with sunscreen and bug spray and label it as such. Keep it within easy reach of your guests all summer. Chances are they will forget to bring their own.
  13. To keep ice cream cones from dripping out the bottom, pop a mini marshmallow into the base of the cone before adding the ice cream.
  14. Speaking of ice cream cones, use them as an edible bowl for fruit salad.
  15. Rolls of patterned gift-wrap make for a quick and colourful disposable patio table runner.
  16. Make use of your mason jars. They can be used more than 25 different ways.


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