Outdoor summer parties, even in Britain, are fun for all the family, giving more space for kids to run around and more options for entertaining the adults. From family back garden parties to bigger venues open to the public, if you’re charged with some of the organisation, here are a few ideas.
Dusk may arrive later during the summer months, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore outdoor lighting. As the sun goes down, lights coming on around the venue — whether it’s your own back garden or a larger venue — create a party atmosphere like nothing else.
Battery candles are safe and effective light sources, and cast lovely magical light on foliage or around tables. Drape fairy lights through shrubbery or string them between tree branches, or use hurricane lanterns for a similar effect. Solar powered lights help minimise trailing cables and make pathways or steps safer, and all help set the mood and keep the party going.
Depending on the number of guests and the venue, you may need to bring in additional seating or tables. Professional staging companies can help if your needs go beyond feeding family and small groups of friends. The right eating area, table style and comfortable seating can really elevate an outdoor party to a higher level. You can create fun picnic areas or a close and cosy European, outdoor atmosphere.
Organise plenty of party games, especially if children are invited. Ideas include painting activities since you don’t have to worry so much about the mess. Provide all the kids with a cheap white t-shirt and have plenty of fabric paints so they can create their own party souvenir.
Another arts and crafts kid’s idea is to create an exhibition area. All you need is a length of string (or even the washing line) and a few pegs in order to hang works of art up for a quick display. Entertaining kids can be hard work, so get a few adults to volunteer to help and make sure no one is left out.
Seating and Staging
Hosting an outdoor summer party at a pubic venue takes more thinking about than a quick get-together at home. You might, for instance, need to arrange a stage or safety barriers, or additional seating if you’re putting on a show or organising other stage-based entertainment.
Things to consider include the health and safety aspect since you need to ensure all the staging equipment is securely erected and all the cabling is secure. Another big consideration is tidying up afterwards, and repairing potential ground damage that may be unavoidable when bringing in staging equipment.
Because this type of party preparation is quite specialised, it’s best to take some expert advice about exactly what you need and how to get it all put into place. Look for professional staging companies such as Alistage, who have the experience to guide you accurately and safely, especially when hosting a public event.
If you want to offer guests at an outdoor party something different, how about showing a movie? It works well as the sun goes down, especially if it’s been a daylong event and people would welcome time to sit a while. Hire some theatre and sound equipment, and bring in theatre seating to really create that cinema experience. Lay on some popcorn and invite guests to kick back and enjoy the show.
You can also do this at home at smaller parties by hiring a projector and devising a large screen. You could hire a screen, but other ideas include using a large, plain sheet, or even a wall.
The final tip is to give yourself plenty of organising time. Good parties take plenty of planning, but it’s worth it when you see everyone having a good time.