16 Easy Summer Party Ideas

Gather inspiration for a casual outdoor gathering from one of our easy summer party ideas. From dinner on the deck to a festive taco buffet, your options are endless for a no-fuss summer party.

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11 Fun Ideas for Decorating a Cake with Candy

Make a birthday cake or other special day cake oh-so-adorable with candies! Cookbook author and stylist Libbie Summers shares 11 super-simple ways that cinnamon candies, jellybeans, maltballs, and other sweet favorites can make you look like a professional cake decorator in minutes.

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Coconut Cream Island Punch, The Cutest 5-Ingredient Cocktail Ever!

Make our DIY party cocktail -- that includes just a few tasty ingredients -- for an adults-only drink everyone can agree on. Cut-up star fruit provides a gorgeous base inside your drink pitcher.

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Sugar-Coated Ice Cream Social

I scream, you scream … You know the drill. Host a sugar-coated ice cream social the kiddos will love -- with cereal necklaces, paper crowns, candy truffles, and a whimsical ice cream truck. Go on and get celebrating!

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Pitcher Cocktail Recipes

Where there's a pitcher, there's a party. Whether you're brunching, dinner partying, or hosting a (very) happy hour, these fun pitcher cocktail recipes are sure to hit the spot. Find icy margaritas, fruity sangria cocktails, spiked punch, and more!

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Kids' Parties: Throw a Hawaiian Luau Birthday Party

Borrow the laid-back, fun-loving attitude of Hawaii for this fun birthday party theme. With ideas for party foods, party games, and even party favors, this birthday party is just waiting for your birthday boy or girl to enjoy.


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    • Host a Tropical Luau Party

      If you're stumped for a birthday party theme, think sand, sun, and island fun. This party is easy-to-throw and adaptable for many ages. Start with decorations: Coconuts, seashells, and tropical flowers (faux are just fine) will set the mood for luau-inspired party activities.

    • Party Invitations: Luau-Inspired

      Hawaiian party invitations set the tone for an exciting afternoon. To make them, cut a skirt-shaped piece of yellow cardstock (about 5-1/2 inches long, 6 inches wide at the bottom, and 3-1/2 inches wide at the top). Print or write the party details on the front of the card. Using a glue gun, attach strips of green raffia to the card top. Glue two 3-1/2 inch-long strips of narrow ribbon at the card top to form a waistband. Embellish with a silk flower glued near the top corner.

    • Party Appetizer: Pineapple Salsa

      Dunk a crispy chip in this fruity pineapple salsa, and you'll be transported to the tropics. It's the perfect party snack to keep kids going. If your child isn't crazy about onions or peppers, scale back on those ingredients.

    • Party Food: Nutty Chicken Drumsticks

      Disguise kid-approved chicken as a tropical feast with this party recipe. Chopped macadamia nuts and herb-seasoned stuffing mix create a flavorful and crispy crust for baked chicken. Kids will love dipping their drumsticks into a homemade honey-mustard sauce.

    • Party Drink: Hawaiian Lemonade

      Kids love this fruity, bubbly drink and it only takes 15 minutes to prepare. Tropical glasses wrapped in flower bands and adorned with paper umbrella straws make this simple lemonade party-worthy.

    • Party Activity: Do the Hula

      Get party guests moving and encourage them to hula. Hawaiian-style music will inspire even your most bashful guests to sway along. Best of all, there are no complicated dance steps. Provide grass skirts and leis for an authentic feel.

    • Party Favors: DIY Leis

      Making paper leis is a great party activity that doubles as a party favor. To make, gather corrugated craft paper in bright colors. Using scissors, kids can cut their own flower shapes or cut them from a stencil or pattern you create. Hole-punch each flower in the center, then string onto yarn. Separate flowers with pieces of colored straws, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces. When the lei is complete, knot the yarn ends together and slip over the child's head.

    • Party Game: Limbo

      Thanks to its island origin, the limbo is the perfect party game for your luau. It's also so easy to play. Let two people hold a bamboo stick (or broomstick), while each child tries to lean back and dip beneath it. After each round, lower the stick a little bit.

    • Party Snack: Fruit Pops

      Freeze layers of fruit juice for a fresh birthday treat. This party recipe is easily customizable per the birthday boy or girl's tastes, and they can be made a week or two in advance.

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      Party Dessert: Island Cakes

      Kids will flip for these "pineapple" party desserts, and you'll love how easy they are to make. Start with store-bought cream-filled snack cakes. Pipe chocolate icing in a criss-cross pattern over the cakes. Then add sliced almonds and rosemary sprigs to complete the treat transformation.

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      Next Slideshow Cheap Outdoor Party Ideas

      Cheap Outdoor Party Ideas

      Throw an outdoor party on a budget -- we have paper decorations, easy snack ideas, and even a fun dip-dye technique that transforms dollar-store napkins into perfect party accessories.
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