Summer is the perfect season to celebrate America's favorite pastime -- baseball. An outdoor setting is just right, so tailgate at a nearby ballpark or toss some balls around in your own backyard. Fill your team up with a hearty meal and you're sure to hit this one out of the park.
Grand Slam Invites
This craft is a two-in-one invitation and party favor.
How to Make It:
Decorate plain wooden boxes with lids (available at most crafts stores) with baseball-theme stickers or scrapbooking papers. Consider sticking a baseball card to the box with temporary adhesive tack so the card can be kept as a collectible. Choose boxes deep enough to hold a baseball nestled in shredded green paper "grass." Use a permanent felt-tip marker to write the party information on the baseball. Hand-deliver baseball boxes to party guests.
Peanut butter and dried fruit are a tasty surprise on crisp celery. If everyone is going to the ballpark, prepare this snack after you arrive because it can get messy during transportation.
Triple Play Snack Mix
It doesn't get much simpler than this three-ingredient recipe. Just toss it all together and dive in!
Home Run Cheese Ball
Peanuts give this creamy cheese ball a crunch. Wrap in plastic wrap to keep its shape when traveling, then just unwrap and serve with crackers.
Prepare a variety of favorite sandwiches -- like ham, cheese, and mayonnaise; turkey, cheese, and mustard; and peanut butter and jelly. Cut with different size star-shape cookie cutters to give them a fun shape. Arrange the sandwiches on a serving platter, then cover tightly with plastic wrap. Don't forget to keep them chilled until serving time if there is mayonnaise on any sandwiches.
Wash down ballpark snacks with this cool drink. Fresh fruit is naturally sweetened with honey, and yogurt gives it a boost of calcium.
Parent Party Tip #1
Hold onto all the game tickets until you are entering the baseball park so they don't get lost or misplaced. Make sure everyone enters the park as a group.
Parent Party Tip #2
Let kids blow off some energy by playing toss before the big game. Ask kids to bring their own balls and gloves, but bring some extras, just in case. Pick a spot away from windows and parked cars.
Parent Party Tip #3
If a whole team is going to the game, encourage them to all wear their team shirts. This is a handy way to keep track of your group. Consider setting some rules for behavior in the park, like everyone stays in the seating area at all times or instituting a buddy-system if kids are a bit older.