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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Throw a "Good Advice" Bridal Shower

Share words of wisdom with a bride-to-be in this simple and sophisticated bridal shower.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Share the Wisdom

      Weddings are the perfect time to share advice with a bride-to-be, so why not incorporate it into the shower? From the invites to the perfect gifts, check out this one-of-a-kind bridal shower.

    • Simple Invites

      Spread the word of the shower's theme through your invite. This invitation was made using a bi-fold envelope, lined in a pretty paisley paper that will set the scheme of the shower. Tuck a blank card inside and tell guest to write down a bit of wisdom to go with her gift.

      How to Make It: Check out the Paper Source's (www.paper-source.com) pocket envelope. Pair it with a flat card invitation that you can simply print from your computer. Use ribbon to attach the card to the envelope.

    • Picking the Perfect Gift

      Giving the bride the practical gift paired with the sentimental advice can be tricky. Here a few creative ideas to get you started:

      Advice: Celebrate every day.
      Gift: Champagne flutes or a beautiful cake plate.

      Advice: Take turns cooking for each other.
      Gift: Favorite cookbook and kitchen tools.

      Advice: Experience new things.
      Gift: Travel accessories.

    • Gift Time

      To put a personal touch on each gift, read aloud the advice card before the bride opens the present.

    • Treasured Keepsake

      In a pretty album, gather the advice cards from each guest to create a keepsake the bride will always cherish.

    • Floral Effects

      Small vases filled with bouquets of single flower types add a simple but elegant feel to the shower. Scatter the vases throughout the room to set the mood and color scheme. Here, pink peonies paired with pretty lavender roses provide a springtime feel.

    • Decorating with the Past

      For easy party decor, copy old newspaper clippings on large paper (www.newspaperarchive.com). To highlight the dessert bar, spread the large clippings as a table cover. Continue the vintage theme by displaying the desserts on vintage cake plates and dishes. Add pops of pink with single flower arrangements framing the dessert bar.

    • Simple and Sweet

      Old and new books wrapped in coordinating paper and stacked on a cake stand add to the theme.

    • Stylish Salad Bar

      Fill pretty glass vases with colorful veggies and let your guests make their own salads. For a festive alternative to bottled salad dressing, try our homemade vinaigrette.

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      Fabulous Finger Food

      These irresistible bread sticks are filled with flavorful seeds and spices and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve them with your salad bar -- they're delicious with fresh veggies.

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      "Confucius Says" Noodle Salad

      Light and fresh, this salad features vermicelli and crisp veggies. For a creative twist, serve individual portions in take-out containers with chopsticks.

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      Spring Chicken Salad Bites

      These Sage (Advice) Biscuits taste delicious with our fresh Spring Chicken Salad. Serve them on a footed cake plate lined with a sheet of vellum that coordinates with your flowers and other decorations.

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      Dessert Bar

      This "Pearls of Wisdom"-themed dessert bar spotlights dainty petits fours, pearl-studded cupcakes, and white chocolate oyster shells filled with dark chocolate mousse.

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      Dessert Bar

      Store-bought yellow cake mix, pink icing, and tiny edible pearl sprinkles are all you need to create this pretty party treat. Tie in the theme of your celebration by attaching a clever quote to a toothpick topper.

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      Leave with a Treat

      Send your guests off with a chocolate-dipped fortune cookies featuring customized messages inside ($50 for 50 cookies, www.tankinz.com). For a creative twist, package the cookies in cellophane bags sealed with ribbon and an vintage wedding announcement newspaper clipping.

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