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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Party Snack Ideas

Make your party snacks easy to prepare and fun for guests to nibble as they mingle. These quick party snack recipes will show off your party skills and encourage guests to eat with their fingers.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Caramel Snack Mix

      This crisp mix is always a party pleaser. The sweet caramel coating adds just the right twist to nuts, pretzels, dried cranberries, and two kinds of dry cereal.

    • Sweet Onion-Tomato Tartlets

      Puff pastry topped with roasted sweet onion and grape tomatoes bakes into an easy party pleaser.

    • Blue Cheese-Apricot Bites

      Mix the sweetness of dried apricots and the tangy appeal of blue cheese to create tasty nibbles with crunchy toasted walnuts sprinkled on top.

    • Fruit Dip

      Three ingredients are all you need for a dip that turns the fruit tray into the party hot-spot.

    • Bacon-Filled Medjool Dates

      Medjool dates meet sizzling bacon to make a sweet-and-salty, flavorful party appetizer.

    • Lemony-Herbed Olives

      Guests can’t resist the zippy lemon and spicy seasonings of these easy-to-prepare marinated bites.

      Editor’s Tip: Crushed red pepper takes Kalamata and green olives from mellow to memorable. If you like foods spicy hot, use more crushed red pepper.

    • Charcuterie Platter

      Artfully arrange pates, Italian meats, olives, pickles, spicy mustard, and toasted baguette slices for a party tray that's pleasing to both the eye and the appetite.

    • Fried Mushroom Risotto Balls

      Mushrooms, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and Arborio rice meld into a flavor-filled nibble that will satisfy partygoers.

    • Caramel Corn

      Sweet, old-fashioned caramel popcorn is always the hit of the party. Its can’t-stop goodness will keep guests coming back for more.

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      Avocado Pesto-Stuffed Tomatoes

      These colorful light bites brighten up any party table. Calorie-conscious guests will appreciate the tiny impact on the waistline, too.

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      Fried Olives

      Breading and frying make everything taste better, including olives. These garlic-stuffed gems are bursting with flavor.

      Editor’s Tip: If you’re not a garlic fan or if you want to offer a broader party selection, choose olives stuffed with almonds, anchovies, capers, jalapeno pepper, or pimientos.

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      Carrot Hummus

      This simple hummus has the added party appeal of striking texture and color. Adding carrots to the garbanzo bean mixture produces a vibrant, flavorful party dip.

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      Endive Chicken Boats

      Crunchy endive is a just-right container for this chicken coated with peanut sauce and a hint of lime juice and a little cilantro.

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      Confetti Peanut Butter Munchies

      With crunchy cereal, sweet dried fruits, and chocolate-peanut butter coating, this colorful concoction bursts with flavor.

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      Olive Medley Pinwheels

      Olive fans will adore this lively blend of green, ripe, and Kalamata olives and cream cheese rolled together in a simple flour tortilla.

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      White Chocolate Snack Mix

      When white chocolate surrounds clusters of raisins, almonds, tiny marshmallows, graham cracker pieces, and cereal squares, a party snack that’s sweet enough to make guests happy to indulge is born.

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      Deep-Fried Dill Pickles

      Treat guests to a slice of Southern hospitality. Cornmeal-encrusted dill pickle slices add a tasty twang to the table.

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      Beet Hummus

      Color hummus in pleasing red-pink by blending beets into the mixture. The unexpected hue will get curious party guest talking, and the taste will keep the conversation going.

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      Homemade Kettle-Style Popcorn

      This oven-baked treat is sweet and salty with a crunch reminiscent of sugar-coated popcorn churned in big kettles. Party guests will eat it by the handful.

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      Edamame-Avocado Dip

      Rich avocado and sweet soybeans meld for a luscious twist on standard guacamole. A sprinkling of chopped tomato adds bright contrast to the pretty green dip.

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      Olive-Pepperoni Kabobs

      Spear a sliver of cheese, a slice of pepperoni, and a whole Italian olive on a rosemary sprig to create a delightful party morsel.

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      Melty Cheese Puffs

      Flaky puff pastry wraps gooey cheese in a made-to-mingle party snack. Assemble the puffs well ahead of the party. Pop them in the oven in time to serve the cheesy puffs at their toasty best.

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      Chevre-Stuffed Dates

      Fill fat, flavorful Medjool dates with creamy, herb-filled stuffing and wrap them with salty prosciutto. The dates are so sweet they’re often called nature’s candy.

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      Pear-Brie Strudel Rolls

      Flaky phyllo pastry wraps a delectable filling of Brie, pears, nuts, dried cherries, spices, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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      Crunchy Asian Snack Mix

      With wonton wrappers, crisp pea pods, sesame sticks, and a coating of Asian-inspired spices, this snack will be an unexpected favorite with party guests.

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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.
      Begin Slideshow »

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