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Outdoor Party Tips for Summer

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Outdoor Party Tips for Summer

   seasonal   July 1, 2016  Comments Off on Outdoor Party Tips for Summer

5 Tips to Make Your Outdoor Party a Huge Success

Partying in the Summertime is often what we wait for all Winter. Somehow being outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine tends to bring out the best in folks. That's why we've listed five tips that are sure to heighten your outdoor experience and get the party started, "Right"!

1. Scheduling
Summer is Festival season--so when you are deciding on the date, check the calendar and make sure that there are no competing events happening near where you live or even on the TV! Don't schedule your party for the day after a big event because people may still be in recovery mode. Send personalized invites out at least four weeks before the event so people have plenty of warning; and do it by snail mail so the invites can be placed somewhere that they will be seen as an ongoing reminder. Send out notices as the date approaches too--to build anticipation and interest.

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2. Weather
Just because it's summer you can't assume that every day will be sunny, especially when you live in an area where there are many microclimates - the SF Bay area being one where a 10 minute drive can put you in a completely different climate zone! Check the long range weather forecast well before the event and keep checking as the event approaches so that you can be prepared if the weather forecast suddenly changes.

3. Appropriate Settings
Being outdoors is great - as long as you are not sitting in the direct sunlight on a 100 degree day! If you are having a daytime event make sure that there is sufficient shade anywhere that people are likely to spend a significant amount of time, sitting or standing. Tents, marquees and umbrellas are all easily available so a few days before the party, spend time noting where the sun and shade are so that they can be positioned to avoid overly sunny spots for people and for the food.

The other problem with outdoors is that you are sharing it with millions of hungry insects so keeping food safe can be a challenge. The easiest way to protect your food is to cover it with a mesh food cover. If you can find them, glass covers can add a touch of class and glass jars for chips and nibbles is a nice touch too. Not all insects are after the food so mosquitoes and other biting insects can be deterred using citronella candles or lamps which also generate a pleasant smell. You can even make your own lamps and add citronella lamp oil instead of the chem-based tiki oils. 

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4. Lighting for Nightfall

If your party heads into the evening then you will want to provide sufficient lighting for the revelry to continue without it being overwhelming. Choose medium to low impact lighting to set the tone for the change in music, dancing or games. Remember that bright lighting also attracts unwanted flying guests; so invest in warm coloured LED lights to keep the bugs at a minimum. You can get them as low as $10 but getting better quality lighting will ensure you can use them for your next soiree. Side Note: I know all of you musicians and music buffs think that number four or even number one should have talked about the party music--but come on, even President Obama has a playlist, now.

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5. Menu - Appropriate Food and Drinks

Keeping food fresh on a hot summer's day can be a challenge so plan the menu to include lots of foods that stand up well in the heat. This can include raw fruits and veggies, cold soups (gazpachos are nice), salads, grilled or BBQ'd chicken, dairy free light desserts (seasonal parfaits, macaroons and cakes), a select group of cheeses (fresh or ripened goat cheeses, mozzarella and washed rind cheeses). Dairy free condiments such as grainy mustards and hot chili sauces also add a nice touch. It's important that you observe food safety guidelines; you don't want to send any of your guests home sick! Certain meats, seafood (particularly raw) and dairy products can turn your "good time" into a "nightmare". Even with the right menu it is best to keep things as cool as possible so make sure the food is well shaded. You can even purchase acrylic ice servers with lids that provide contained air flow to help keep foods safe to eat.

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Great cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages are an addition that you won't want to overlook. At Keena's Kitchen we tend to avoid sodas, heavy sugar based drinks and processed juices. It's easy to put together a few selections that are fresh, tasty and won't break the bank. Lemon mint water served in a dispenser with ice is always a big hit. Making sure your guests stay hydrated in warm weather can be a big plus. Other dispenser drinks like lemonade, infused iced teas, liqueur-presseco spritzers and sangrias are all good cost effective choices when serving groups. 

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No matter how you slice it, everyone loves a good outdoor celebration. Following these tips could be just the thing that makes you the "life of the party"! To learn more about our private party services visit the Private Dining page to find out how we can help make your outdoor party a memorable experience.

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