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Outdoor Spring or Summer Party Planning

Spring has sprung and summer is around the corner!  As we cut the grass and fill the patio pots with new plants, we might find ourselves getting giddy from the fragrant flowers in bloom around us. And that’s when the idea of throwing an outdoor party pops up! 

So, if you are itching to gather all your friends to celebrate a new spring season, here are eight things to take care of before your guests arrive.

Protection from the Sun’s Rays – Even if your outdoor party is around the pool, it is imperative that there be shady spots for guests to gather if the party starts while the sun is still shining.  No host or hostess wants to cause friends or family to experience a severe sunburn or heatstroke as a result of poor planning.  If a covered patio isn't available, market umbrellas or sail shades can create protected spots while adding a blast of color!

Rain Check - Spring showers bring May flowers, remember? So, in case of rain, something overhead will keep your guests from making like sardines in the kitchen. And always have a back-up plan where guests can escape, if the weather turns really blustery or becomes like a sauna outdoors.

Homeowner Associations - If you live in a neighborhood policed by HOA's, you’ll save yourself some grief if you review the association bylaws (and local laws) to determine community curfews, alcohol ordinances, and noise restrictions.

Neighbors – Neighbors have no choice about when you decide to throw a party. Often their quietude is interrupted by the celebration held by their neighbors and their friends, especially if they have their windows open.  It is a good idea to invite neighbors when you have a party, and even if they don’t attend, they will be more understanding and forgiving if you’ve made them feel welcome to join in. If they pass on the invitation, ask them to let you know if the noise gets too loud for them.  This may save you from a visit from the local police if the party really gets rocking. 

Bugs – Many bugs become dormant during the cold months, but when the weather starts to warm up, they put on their flip flops and head outside too! Ants, roaches, flies, wasps and bees could crash your party, so take the steps to control the pests in your area prior to the party and hang pest strips or turn on the bug zapper once it’s started.  If you have a problem with mosquitoes, hand out No Buzz Zone wrist bands or Mosquitorepellant patches.

Music - Music is essential for any party.  If you haven’t installed outdoor speakers, move an indoor sound system outside under adequate cover, or invest in a good portable player, or some of the cool speakers available for your cellphone.

Seating – Most parties involve a lot of milling around, but at some point every guest will want to take a load off or sit down to feast on the party food.  If you don’t have enough patio furniture, hit up your friends to bring theirs, or rent some.  Renting tables or chairs for a day is relatively inexpensive, with chairs renting for a dollar or two each, depending on the type you choose.

A Safe Ride Home – Every responsible hostess should make sure that if their guests have a little too much fun, they will have a safe ride home or a place to crash.  Be prepared to drive them home, call a cab or invite guests to spend the night, even if the guest bed is an inflated Aero bed!

There you go…party time’s a ’wastin’ and your friends are ready to blow off the stink after a crazy winter.  Let’s get it started!

By Jan Peterson

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