How to Throw a Sweet Summer Soiree

Host your own casual outdoor party complete with croquet and tea sandwiches. Get three easy DIY projects and pretty recipes, everything you need to celebrate summer in style is right here.

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Dress Up a Dessert in 8 Seconds (or Less!)

Make any dessert recipe worthy of a party with these easy ideas to dress them up. Each dessert idea can be done within 8 seconds!

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Our Latest Party Recipes

It's time to take it outside. We're sharing recipes that are best served al fresco with friends. Salute summer, from drinks to dessert, with the latest recipes from Better Homes and Gardens.

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How to Throw a Vintage Backyard Luau

Say aloha to paradise. With island-inspired decor and pineapple-kissed dishes, your backyard luau will be looking like a vintage oasis in no time. Now crank the Jimmy Buffet and get chilling!

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Summer Party: How To Set Up An Outdoor Bar

The best outdoor parties include a self-serve drink station so no one gets stuck tending bar. Here are three tips for your next event.

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Throw an Outdoor Party on the Deck

For a fabulous and easy party location, look no further than your deck or patio. A simple party menu, a single house cocktail, and laid-back decor create a mellow, fuss-free atmosphere that's perfect for enjoying an evening with friends.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • How to Host an Outdoor Party

      You don't need much besides a warm, breezy evening to make this party a success. Set some comfy seating and a buffet of our easy summer dishes, and you're set for a night of relaxing fun.

    • Best Party Tip: Takeout is OK!

      When we said easy, we meant it! The first step to this simple party is picking up the takeout. Browse your deli's sandwich choices, and pick up some basic snacks like chips and salsa.

    • Choose a House Cocktail

      Another way to make your party easy? Choose one cocktail to make and stick to it. We love the refreshing taste of Moscow Mules, and their trademark copper cups instantly upgrade your party spread. The best part is, you only need four ingredients to whip up these citrus quenchers: mix two parts ginger beer with one part vodka. Add some lime juice and a lime wedge, and you’re ready to start sippin’.

    • Prep for the Party Ahead of Time

      Prep the first round of cocktails just before guests arrive. That way, you won’t miss a thing, and the party can get started immediately.

    • Create the Party Spread

      Keep serving and cleanup simple with a stack of summery plates, a basket of napkins, and a cup for flatware. Leave a few sandwiches in their boxes so guests can grab the leftovers on their way out. Snacks, such as chips and salsa and lettuce wraps, fill out this easy party spread.

    • Set Aside the Party Sandwiches

      Fill another basket with unwrapped sandwich halves so guests can easily grab and try different flavor combos.

    • Make a Quick Party Snack

      These fresh and crunchy appetizers are just about the easiest thing on the planet. Fill hearts of romaine with croutons and a drizzle of ranch dressing. Guests will love the zesty flavor, and you’ll love the quick prep time. Line them up on a fun cutting board for savvy presentation. 

      Tip: For homemade flavor, season and toast your own bread cubes.

    • Create a Kids' Punch Station

      A colorful punch station lets kids in on the party fun. Set up a small table on the deck with a fruity punch, colorful straws, and sturdy cups.

    • Don't Stress on Seating

      Arrange your outdoor space with multiple seating areas so guests can mingle easily. Short on seating? Grab chairs and colorful cushions from inside to create a fun mix-and-match look.

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      Decorate with Paper Lanterns

      Simple white lanterns are an inexpensive, reusable party decoration. Hang them from a tall tree in your yard for a dramatic, ethereal backdrop.

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      Next Slideshow 18 Perfect Wedding Color Combos

      18 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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