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Planning Tips for Hosting a Perfect Summer Party

There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them… Who loves to party? You know that I sure do, right? I love any type of party – from a fancy wedding dinner party event, to a barefoot camp out on the beach. But my favorite parties happen right here in my home – with my best-est, most favorite-est friends and family. {Yes, I know I just made up a couple of words…. :)} We entertain here throughout the year, but summertime is my favorite, since we have a pretty awesome outdoor space. So if you’re ready to spice up your summer entertaining, keep reading for some of my fave tips for planning the perfect party:

summer entertaining tips

Looking for some ideas to spice up your summer parties, has entertaining tips and how-tos for entertaining at home!

The most important essential for hosting a successful summer party is planning! A great plan doesn’t have to be complicated, but you want to cover all of the bases – cleaning before and after, a theme, menu and drink choices, decorations, games, favors, and guests. So, here are some easy peasy tips to help you plan ahead for your own perfect party this summer:

  • Cleaning: We all know that this is a super important part of having guests over, right? Check out a great post on Step-by-Step Quick Cleaning Tips for your Rental Home – these also apply to home owners too. This includes a room-by-room break down on quickly getting your house ready for guests! And, to make clean-up after the party simple too, read my tips on making any party a one-bag party!
  • Theme: Any party is easier – and much more fun! – with a theme. Whether you go super simple and just pick a couple colors to tie things together, or get more elaborate with a theme like a Summer Luau party, a fun Football party during Superbowl, or  a family game night, a theme makes it much simpler to pick your menu, drinks, games, and other fun party stuff.
  • Food & Drink: If you need some inspiration for super cool party foods and unique drink ideas, check out my boards on Pinterest. You’ll find super fun creations to make for your next summer party – including great ideas for kids foods too.
  • Decorations, Games, & Favors: These are totally up to you… I personally love to make most of my decor and favors myself – with a little help from fun Dollar Store finds, and party packs from Oriental Trading Company. You can also use free printables for many of your party needs, from invitations to banners, to cupcake toppers. Love these.
  • Guests: As I mentioned in Neighbor-Friendly Entertaining Do’s & Don’ts, it’s super important to make sure you invite the kind of guests who will not only be respectful of your home, but also of your neighborhood too. If your guests leave empty bottles and cans along the sidewalk as they leave, your neighbors are going to consider that your mistake – and will rightly expect you to clean it up. Not a great way to make friends in your ‘hood, you know?

So, armed with these great tips, anyone can put together a great plan for their next summer party – or a party any other time of the year. One of my favorite sayings has always been, “Failing to plan is like planning to fail,” because it’s just so true. Yes, a party can be put together on the fly, and sometimes you get lucky. But even a last minute party can benefit from just a few quick minutes of planning – make a couple of lists, divide up the tasks between a few trusted helpers, and things should flow much more smoothly! 

The do's and don'ts of summer party hosting

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What are your best tips for planning a perfect summer party? Share ’em in the comments!

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  1. Livivua Chandler says

    I don’t see the question for the end of this post!

  2. Mary Happymommy says

    Definitely have plenty of drinks and ICE!

  3. I think a good idea for a summer party is to serve ice-cream for dessert to cool off in a hot day

  4. Do as much as you can before the day of the event…and then take time to enjoy the party.

  5. Citronella candles or natural bug repellent. Bugs are SO nasty here in the south and they love to bite us sweet gals. I find it necessary to have things like that sitting outside so that bugs stay away.

    Another thing is to have a smoking section. I don’t smoke and I don’t want smoke anywhere near me but I can’t tell people not to smoke when they’re outside. I usually designate a place on the side of the house by putting an ashtray over there for the Schmokers.

  6. Jessie C. says

    A perfect summer party must- haves: Beverage , ice cream and fruit smoothies !

  7. Lisa Brooks says

    Make sure you have a wide variety of food. So people with food restrictions, can still have fun, and feel you thought about them too.

  8. Amanda Starr says

    Make sure your guest have access to a bathroom and that it’s well stocked.

  9. Katharine D says

    finger foods make a summer party, people want to be able to move around and finger foods make that easy

  10. lots of great food and plenty of drinks

  11. I think it’s great to make watermelon gazpacho! Everyone loves it on a hot summer day!

  12. Elizabeth says

    Try to pick foods and beverages that can be served cold or at room temperature safely. That way, you can make them in advance, and beat the heat at the same time!

  13. Amanda Sakovitz says

    bbq bbq and more bbq. if you have a pool have pool games for the kids!

  14. Barbara Montag says

    Great tip — make it a potluck.
    Easier on you and so much fun!
    Thank you.

  15. Create a custom playlist to keep the music going!

  16. Jessica Snow says

    I would say to have lots of cool drinks on hand and also sun block and insect spray if this is outdoors.

  17. Have everyone bring a dish.

  18. Jessica Vaughan Gengler says

    Having cold drinks available is best!

  19. Make it an easy theme–like Mexican or wine and cheese, and have everyone contribute!

  20. Sarah Hirsch says

    give yourself plenty of time to prepare – don’t try to get it all done right before the party. clean and get the food ready the day before, so you won’t be too beat to enjoy the party

  21. have activities and we do prizes for best dish

  22. Lisa Brown says

    Lots of good food and company

  23. Ashley Hatten says

    make sure you have some sort of entertainment so your guests don’t get bored

  24. Make sure it’s not too hot outside.

  25. Tiffany Winner says

    keep it simple so u can enjoy it

  26. Marcia Goss says

    Don’t have the party in the middle of the day when it is too hot. The guests won’t enjoy themselves as much. Evening parties are much more enjoyable.

  27. Katie Contests says

    Have a Plan B, C, D, & E in case the weather goes awry! Nothing worse than having all outdoor activities planned and then you end up staring at your party guests inside with nothing to do!!

  28. don’t have a loud party late at night if you have a lot of neighbors that work early in the morning

  29. Rebecca Shockley says

    I would say plenty of seating, food and beverage and also shady seating

  30. s riches says

    Have the party in the evening and have lots of ice.

  31. Diana Stanhope says

    Great tips again! For summer parties I try to always have lots of cold drinks, especially water located in coolers at various locations so that there is always a cold drink handy.

  32. Stacey B says

    My best tip is if you’re going to have a summer party, do it somewhere inside, or at least have a place the guests can go to cool down

  33. Have an option of somewhere cool to be whether it be inside a house, a pavilion, a big tent, etc.

    Don’t want your guests getting overheated o.O

  34. Find out what my guests love and prepare that for the party.

  35. Jennifer Marie says

    make sure the weather is going to hold up if you are having an outside party!

  36. Have enough food to satisfy everyone and lots of COLD drinks.

  37. Juli Guthrie says

    WIth 3 young kids, the best party planning tip I have is to ALWAYS have kids friendly ideas of things to keep them busy. Games, art, something.

  38. Bridget Merker says

    Have bug spray and suntan lotion on hand!

  39. i say have fnger food versions of everything! and lots of wet wipes handy if kids are there!

  40. Sara Wood says

    If you play loud music keep the music kid friendly. People are more likely to complain if the music is inappropriate.

  41. have good summer type music playing in background

    brich22 at earthlink dot net

  42. julie hawkins says

    My tip is to have a fun game planned in advance that people can play to get to know each other

  43. Make it a pot luck so you don’t have to do it all.

  44. jen gersch says

    ask others to bring a dish

  45. Susan Smith says

    Have the party in the evening when it’s cooler and have low calorie food and drink options for those who are watching their weight.

  46. Kelly Nicholson says

    What are your best tips for planning a perfect summer party? Share ‘em in the comments!

    have enough money because i cant do it

  47. I always try to incorporate some type of “make your own…” treat (such as s’mores or sundaes) to get everyone involved!


  49. Katharina says

    Let people help when they offer. It will free up some time for the host/hostess to enjoy more of the party and the guests without having to burn out before the fun starts.
    Katharina angelsandmusic[at]gmail[dot]com

  50. Mojitos, Pina Coladas, and Magarita’s put everyone in a festive mood.

  51. Jo-Ann Brightman says

    For a perfect summer party make sure to invite people who are considerate, have plently of ice and appetizers and prepare as much as possible in advance so that you can enjoy it too

  52. Michelle S says

    Have summer activities planned to engage the entire group.

  53. shirley zolenski says

    Get friends involved in the planning. It makes it easier

  54. Make sure there is enough ice!

  55. heather c says

    Have more than one bathroom available for guests, have inside and outside seating, provide music but NOT television, have a get-away room for the kids and have plenty of ice!

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