Three Fun Summer Party Ideas

Looking for an excuse to throw a party? Summer is a good enough reason in itself, and choosing a theme can help you come up with creative food and decorations. Here are three summer party ideas that will heat up your entertaining schedule this season:

Ice cream social

On a hot day, there isn’t a treat much better than a dish of ice cream! Fill a cooler with ice and add tubs of creamy gelatos, refreshing sorbets, and old-fashioned vanilla. Then set out toppings such as fudge sauce, fresh berries, nuts and sprinkles. Add dishes, cones and scoops and let guests serve themselves.

Outdoor Movie Night

Rent or borrow a DVD projector, then put up a screen or simply hang a white sheet from second story windows or on the garage door. Choose the movie; consider campy classics, such as Creature from the Black Lagoon, Beach Blanket Bingo or anything starring Elvis. Or select a fun summer flick, such as Stand By Me, National Lampoon’s Vacation, The Parent Trap, I Know What You Did Last Summer or Jaws. Pop popcorn, and offer snacks with bottles of Faygo and boxes of Good ‘n Plenty, Raisinettes and Dots. Set up chairs and enjoy the show!

Backyard Ball Game

If you have a great back yard, invite friends over for a fun game of softball. You can assign teams beforehand or pick on the spot. Enhance the fun by having t-shirts made. Make bases out of floor mats, and grab bats, balls and gloves. Then play ball! When the ninth inning is over, serve food favorites such as hot dogs off the grill, peanuts, popcorn, Cracker Jacks and ice-cold beverages.

 

What are your favorite summer party ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

How To Throw a Father’s Day BBQ

Mother’s Day might be all about the brunch, but for Dad’s day, he wants to stay home. A survey by Zagat found that 52% of dads prefer to stay home for Father’s Day, 29% want to go out, and 14% “just want to be left alone.” The ideal meal? The majority of dads said grilling at home. Sounds like a backyard Father’s Day BBQ party is on the menu.

Here are five tips for making it fun:

Keep the Décor Simple

The great thing about Dads is that they really like to keep things simple. You don’t need to worry about elaborate centerpieces or decorations. Less is more. Set up your outdoor space by making sure everyone has a place to sit, with the seat of honor for Dad, of course. Stackable chairs are convenient, or you could throw a few blankets on the lawn for a picnic-style meal.

Get Dad’s Favorite Foods

Burgers, ribs, steaks, fish and portabella mushroom caps—they all taste better when they’re grilled outside. Grab dad’s favorite entrée and add side dishes, such as corn on the cob, potatoes, fruit and tossed salad. Then add a cooler of Dad’s favorite beverage, as well as family favorites like bottled water, lemonade or iced tea.

Crank the Tunes

Dads often have big music collections so keep the mood going with a playlist of his favorite artists. From classic rock to rap to country, become the DJ and keep things lively and fun. Maybe Dad will even start a family dance challenge in the back yard!

Set Up Games

Before or after your meal, set up some games Dad can play with the family. Croquet, tag football, corn hole, bocce or badminton are all good choices. You can create teams—boys vs. girls—or let Dad be captain and choose sides.

Plan for the Weather

Check your local forecast so you can be prepared in case it rains on Dad’s day. Come up with Plan B, such as a gazebo that can be shelter from rain or heat. And have plenty of sunscreen on hand so no one gets burned.

Dad will love the thought and attention you give him on his special day. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!

5 Things Every Man Cave Needs

It may sound like something out of the Stone Age, but a man cave is a thoroughly modern way to give men a space of their own and women a little peace and quiet. Armchair quarterbacks can be as loud as they like with their cheering and taunting, and they’re corralled and separated from the center of the home—it’s a win/win!

Adding one is simple, so make room in your basement, unused bedroom or even your garage. Here’s what you need:

Leather recliner for a man cave
The Dylan Leather Power Glide Recliner is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
A Recliner

The man of the cave needs a throne and a recliner is the perfect choice. Personalize the space by your upholstery choice, including leather or microfiber. Then decide on the bells and whistles, such as power settings, USB chargers and built-in cup holders.

sectional man cave
The Bruno Sectional is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
A place for friends to gather

Anyone with a man cave instantly becomes the most popular guy on the block, so you’ll need furnishings that can accommodate friends. A reclining sectional is the ultimate in man-cave hospitality. Friends can kick back and relax. Or go with a more traditional sofa and loveseat combination. Choose durable upholstery and neutral colors that hide stains.

Man Cave TV
The Dalton Console is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
A place for your TV

Every man cave needs a TV and a place to put it. This is a great opportunity to show off your personal style. You’ll find consoles and entertainment centers to fit any type décor, such as this cool industrial-inspired piece. A larger wall unit allows you to show off your sports trophies and memorabilia.

Man Cave Lift Top Table
The Lift Top Coffee Table is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
A place to set your snacks

Now you need a place to set your nachos, wings and micro brew. A lift top cocktail table brings your food to you, or choose a table that has drawers that keep your giant foam finger and face paint handy.

Man Cave wall art
The Man Cave Wall Art is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.
A little man cave ambiance

Finally, you need something that oozes testosterone, such as manly wall art, a cowhide rug or bar. Choose something that reflects your passion and personality.

And there you have it. A man cave that even a woman would love! Next project: a She Shed.

Be sure to shop this weekend for delivery in time for Father’s Day!

Impromptu Summer Party Tips

Summer and celebrating go hand in hand. Holidays are a natural reason to gather, but just warm weather provides a good excuse to call some friends and throw an impromptu bash. Once you’ve got your menu together, it’s time to think about ambiance and activities. Here are four summer party tips for a laidback event.

 

Get plenty of seating

Encourage your guests to linger outside by using a comfortable sectional. You can also put out plenty of chairs; stackable chairs are a great option for events. Or ask guests to bring their own. You can also set out blankets and tablecloths that will invite people to sit on the lawn.

Decorate!

Choose a fun theme for your summer party. You could go Americana with red, white and blue. Or go with a tropical palette, featuring colors of the water and beach. Or take your cue from ice cream colors, with shades of strawberry, pistachio and banana. Use colorful tablecloths. Hang lanterns or lights, and set a magical atmosphere for fun.

Plan activities

While gathering with friends is fun, think ahead and plan activities and games to keep kids and adults busy. Play charades. Put out bottles of bubbles or get a beanbag toss game. Set up croquet, or rent a karaoke machine.

summer party tips

Prepare for the weather

If it’s hot, so you’ll want to provide shade or other ways for guests to cool off and get out of the heat. Use a big umbrella over dining tables or a portable gazebo. Plan your event around the best time of day for your yard and the sun. Or include wet ways for your friends to chill, such as sprinklers, squirt guns or misters. When the sun goes down, it can get chilly. If your party is at night, consider getting a firepit that will take the crisp out of the night, or set out blankets and sweaters.

Enjoy the summer with friends and family, and you’ll have lots of memories for when the weather turns cold.

Simple Summer Party Tips

summer party tips

The summer is filled with lots of reasons to celebrate. From holidays to birthdays, graduation parties and more, plan a party to enjoy the season with friends and family. The best part of summer parties is that they’re often casual and laidback. That means your job is easier. Here are three summer party tips for getting the right food and refreshments for your backyard gathering.

Focus on fun not fuss

Choose foods that are easy to prepare, cook and serve. Traditional barbecue fare such as burgers (psst … get the premade patties) and hot dogs seem almost effortless when prepared on the grill. Or prepare foods like ribs or chicken the day before and finish them on the grill. Add simple side dishes like pasta or potato salad, fruit and veggie trays, chips, cookies and brownies, and you’re ready for a crowd.

Make it simple

While you can provide all of the food, consider throwing a potluck and asking guests to bring a dish to pass. You’ll spread the responsibility and cost, and guests can show off their favorite dishes. You can also call the caterer or grab your favorite takeout, like fried chicken or subs. While food is an important part of the day, the emphasis should be on fun. Whatever you choose, aim to make it simple and easy.

summer party tips

Don’t forget drinks

Provide coolers with a variety of beverages so guests can help themselves. Canned beverages are convenient, or you can set out pitcher of lemonade, water, and have plenty of cups. Have Sharpie markers on hand so your friends can write their names on their glasses; this will keep everyone’s drinks straight and eliminate unnecessary waste. Create a signature drink for the party–alcoholic or non. It’s easiest to limit the choices. Or ask guests to BYOB!

Parties often revolve around food, so take some time to make smart choices, and enjoy the day!