This post was updated in May 2022.
Sometimes when the universe blesses you with that perfect, sunny day, it’d be a crime not to invite guests over just to celebrate! Even if you don’t have anything planned in advance, we have a few backyard entertaining ideas for throwing a last-minute party, while still impressing your guests and showing them a good time. Below are some of our favorite backyard entertaining ideas for hosting on the fly!
1. Prep for those unexpected moments
We know that sounds like an oxymoron, but if you love to have people over, make life easier by doing some of the hard work well before you even know you’ll be having people over. Go ahead and keep your extra silverware together in a basket with table linens. Then when the time is right, you can pull them out with the chicest of ease, and no one will know you didn’t perfectly wrap each and every one that day!
2. A fabulous tablecloth transforms a folding table
Do we really need to explain this one? A plastic folding table is great to have in the basement in case the moment strikes you. Just cover it in your favorite table cloth, and you have the perfect outdoor bar, an elegant dining table, or a party-ready buffet!
3. Throw it all in a pretty jar
Our recipe for Limoncello Spritzers requires little more than dumping a few ingredients in a large beverage jar with some ice. Refreshing and virtually effortless!
4. Anticipate Your Guests Needs
If you’re throwing an outdoor get-together, we guarantee someone will ask you for the following: sunscreen, bug spray, and a towel. Have everything on hand, ready to go, so you don’t have to tear yourself away from lively conversation to go track down the only clean towel in your house … or is that just us?
5. Play it by ear
We didn’t have a cooler on hand, so we improvised with a large basket filled with a trash bag. It worked like a charm and sure looked nicer than a giant piece of plastic! Lesson learned? Don’t be afraid to use unexpected materials for your party.
6. Add a touch of whimsy
Who says your dinner napkins have to be, well, napkins? We used blue bandanas which are just a dollar a piece at the hardware store! Perfect when you want to incorporate a new color and you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on new linens.
7. Pick Your Favorite Internet Radio
No need to spend time compiling your favorite songs from your music library into a playlist. Turn on your favorite Spotify or Apply Music playlist and they’ve done the work for you! And don’t forget to prop your speaker up on a garden stool or side table.
8. Keep cotton throw blankets on hand
If you live somewhere that gets chilly at night, it’s always nice to have some lightweight throw blankets. Or maybe you don’t have enough seating, people can go picnic-style!
9. You need a few baskets with handles
Repeat after me, baskets are my friend! Specifically, baskets with sturdy handles so you can easily carry supplies into the backyard without making a dozen trips!
10. Melamine dinnerware and plastic glasses are key!
We can’t say enough how much we love our outdoor tabletop pieces. You’d swear they are actual glass if you just saw them but they’re light and won’t shatter, making them the ideal option for a hostess who loves to take the party outdoors. No chance of breaking and you won’t strain your back carrying everything across the yard!
Browse all of our outdoor furniture and décor for your next backyard party. For more inspiration, read these helpful posts below:
- How to Mix and Match Outdoor Furniture
- Backyard Pool Ideas: Best Decorating Tips for a New Pool
- How to Up Your Outdoor Decorating Game
- 10 Outdoor Centerpiece Ideas
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Wonderful tips with lots of inspiring ideas. Love the pictures too. Thanks for ALL of your entertaining and decorating ideas!