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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11 Ideas for an Elegant Outdoor Party

Master hostesses and novices can unite around these easy outdoor party ideas. With inspired crafts, like DIY invitations and tablecloths, and simple recipes, you can spend less time fretting and more time socializing in the sun.

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    • #1: Serve Small Bites

      Keep your guests full well into the evening with a medley of sweet and savory tartlets. Small bites are perfect for warmer weather, as you can take out only what you need, and replenish from the fridge if necessary. Stock up on cute trays for easy transportation from kitchen to yard.

    • #2: Make Picnic-Inspired Party Invitations

      Handmade invitations set the tone for a thoughtful, beautiful day. Weave paper (get help here) to bring to mind woven picnic baskets.

    • #3: Make Cookie Party Favors

      Guests with a sweet tooth can pack a few lemon thyme cookies to go. Our "berry stained" muslin satchels are almost as cute as the cookies, and they'll seal your status as the ultimate hostess.

    • #4: Go Berry Picking

      Before the festivities begin at home, have the group meet at a berry patch. Most patches let you wander and pick freely, so it's the perfect leisurely activity for adults and kids. A head's up that berry patches most often charge per pound of berries.

    • #5: Serve a Signature Drink

      If summer has a quintessential drink, it's lemonade. For a chic but easy spin on the classic party drink, add sprigs of lemon thyme and juicy peach nectar. Set up a jug with glasses on the buffet, so guests can refill as necessary.

    • #6: Decorate with Candles

      Homemade copper lanterns offer a sophisticated vibe at a lean cost. The secret? Copper tape from a home store looks just like the real stuff. Choose blush-color flowers to echo the colors in your flower arrangements.

    • #7: Create a Simple Buffet

      Whether you make everything from scratch or pick up chips and dip from the store, a pretty buffet arrangement can make any party spread look good. Start with our pretty dyed tablecloth. (Get the how-to HERE.) Then, think variety: multiple shapes, colors, and heights of dishes.

    • Set Up an Appetizer Display

      Here are a few inspiring (and easy!) ideas for setting up a gorgeous appetizer display at your outdoor party.

    • #8: Enhance Your Party Trays

      Make a simple wooden tray look smashing with woven copper strips. Pick up the strips at a craft store or georgiacopper.com, then follow our how-to for fabulous results.

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      #9: Decorate with Flowers

      Summer party decorations are waiting in your garden. Here, we used a mix of roses, apple blossoms, and blackberry stems, but you can use whatever flowers are in season.

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      #10: Set Up Stations

      No matter your party activity, make sure you have extra supplies for each guest. For berry picking, we gathered baskets, sun hats, and muck-ready boots for guests to borrow.

      Other Ideas: Set out sunscreen, cup koozies, or lawn games like boccie or croquet. Extra sunglasses for forgetful guests would certainly be appreciated.

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      #11: Rent a Tent

      Don't let wiley summer weather ruin your outdoor affair. Rent a tent for the day to add shade and sophistication.

      For more fabulous outdoor party ideas, download our free party kit HERE!

    • Throw An Outdoor Party In Three Easy Steps
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      So-Easy Party Tips!

      Here are three easy tips for making your summer soiree the party of the season.

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      Next Slideshow 27 Perfect Wedding Color Combos

      27 Perfect Wedding Color Combos

      A smart color scheme is the place to start for much of your wedding planning. Whether you'd like a subdued, elegant wedding or the bold party of the century, colors can help tell your story. Click through our favorite wedding color combinations to inspire the rest of your celebration.
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