10 Unique Backyard Party Ideas

Summer entertaining beyond the BBQ

Some of the best parties are the ones that never require leaving home.  Here are 10 unique backyard party ideas guaranteed to make any house party a hit:

10. Low Country Boil – This is the ultimate summertime feast: shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn-on-the-cob smothered in Old Bay. Served family style on a plastic tablecloth, friends and family forget their manners and dig in with their hands. Have some summer beers on tap for the adults and fresh lemonade for the kiddos. This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

9. An Old-Fashioned Family Picnic – Think a three-legged race, a water balloon toss, and a build-your-own sandwich bar. No one can resist a game of family feud!  Set out a bucket of sidewalk chalk for the kids to keep score on the driveway. So much fun your neighbors will be calling “Red rover, red rover, can we come over?”

Image Source: Kara’s Party Ideas

8. A Craft-beer Tasting – Ask each guest to bring a few bottles of his favorite craft beer. Pour one-ounce tastes into small cups labeled by number. Guests rate their favorites based on pre-set criteria like flavor, body and aroma. At the end of the party announce the winners and call out the guest with the best palate. Serve beer-friendly foods like pretzels, pigs in a blanket and chicken wings.

7. Backyard Movie Showing – How about a feature film under the stars? Set up a screen (a white sheet and projector do the trick!), pick your favorite flick, and serve up cinema snacks like popcorn and Junior mints. Ask friends to bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets to make themselves comfortable, of it you’re party is kid-friendly, set up this adorable “drive-in.”

6. Gather ‘Round the Campfire – Step 1: Build an awesome fire pit in your backyard.  Step 2: Invite friends (especially those that play guitar or tell great ghost stories!) Step 3: S’mores. Don’t have room for a fire pit? Try this ingenious s’mores bar idea.

5. An Ice Cream Social – Nothing says summer like ‘scream! Doll up waffle cones with sprinkles or place scoops in small Ball jars. Set up a toppings bar with diced fruit, candy and sauces. Don’t forget a wet wipe station to clean up sticky fingers before letting the kids back into the house.

cute idea for an ice cream party - put all the toppings in mason jars (takes up less space too!)

Image Source: Baked Bree

4. Backyard Brunch – Invite your friends over (and ask them to make a best-served-cold dish) to enjoy iced tea and dainty finger sandwiches in the garden. You’ll feel straight out of Downton Abbey when you host this elegant afternoon tea party.  Use fresh flowers and mismatched place settings for a chic garden party feel.

3. Let’s Luau – A Hawaiian-inspired party will make any backyard feel like paradise. Decorate the lawn with tiki torches and don guests with leis. Not ready to bury a hog for dinner? How about Hawaiian pizza and frozen pina coladas?

2. Dog Days of Summer – Invite your best friends and their best friends: their pups! Set out water bowls and treats to keep the dogs happy as well as refreshments for the humans. What’s on the menu? Hot dogs, of course!

1. Backyard BBQ – No backyard entertaining list would be complete without a recipe for the best backyard BBQ. Really, there’s only one rule: grill it. Whether you’re going fancy with flank steak or casual with burgers, there’s something to please even the pickiest eaters. To keep it simple, invite guests to bring a side dish or dessert. Have sunscreen and bug spray at the ready and keep decor casual with bright colors and fun table settings.

Victoria Keichinger is the Director, Brand Marketing for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. When she's not managing national media and advertising for the Coldwell Banker brand at work, she finds herself most at home in Jersey City, NJ with her pre-school crush turned spouse (and baby on the way). A true francophile, she loves to travel and will go anywhere there are ski slopes.

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