Take your summer get-together to the next level with a watermelon bar.
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Nothing says summer like a fresh slice of watermelon! As we're easing back into outdoor gatherings (here's all the post-pandemic information you should know), consider hosting a festive outdoor watermelon bar party for a small group of friends or family. If you've never tried salt on a watermelon, you're in for a real treat. This delicious seasonal snack is the perfect combination of sweet and savory—and is the inspiration for this tasty summer gathering! Set up a full watermelon bar or host a melon-theme party to explore all the flavor possibilities.

Create a top-your-own watermelon station complete with fresh sliced melon, flavored salts, and citrus. We'll show you how to incorporate watermelon into every aspect of your gathering. Try any of these simple watermelon recipes, pair them with fun watermelon decor, and you've got a sweet summer party!

fourth of july burger party watermelons spread
Credit: Annie Schlechter

Salt Blend Bar

The easiest start to a DIY watermelon bar is to set out watermelon slices with a selection of salt blends for guests to sprinkle on top. Take a base of 1/2 cup sea salt and 1/4 cup sugar and pair it with lemon zest and basil, chile pepper and lime juice, or lime zest and fresh mint. Experiment with different salts, too—gray sea salt and pink Himalayan salt are a couple of our favorites. Small bowls or mini Mason jars ($8 for 12, Target) make the perfect vessels for all your DIY blends.

sliced watermelon on cutting board with knife
Credit: Blaine Moats

Grab and Go Watermelon Spears

We're obsessed with this easy summer watermelon hack. Ditch the individually cut slices and go for these easy-to-hold kid-friendly watermelon bars. They're super easy to cut—just chop your melon in half, place it rind side up, and cut in straight lines to create the square bar shapes. Set out these fresh watermelon spears on a wood serving board ($22, Bed Bath & Beyond), or freeze them and offer toppings like melted chocolate or your favorite fruit dip. Yum!

Watermelon Margarita
Credit: Andy Lyons

Watermelon Cocktails

What's a party without a themed cocktail? (One that's not as much fun!) Bring cool to a whole new level with a delicious frozen watermelon drink served in short tumbler glasses ($18 for six, Williams Sonoma). Boost the flavor in any beverage with frozen watermelon cubes, which create the base for this tasty watermelon margarita. To make the cubes, slice up fresh watermelon and pop the cubes in the freezer. Use them as you would regular ice cubes: Drop a handful into a glass of water for a sweet hint of watermelon or add them to a boozy summer drink for a fruity boost of flavor. You can even take your summer cocktails one step further by serving drinks from a hollowed-out watermelon.

small magenta jar with straw
Credit: Jason Donnelly

Watermelon Party Decorations and Glassware

These adorable watermelon glasses will have your party crew cheers-ing in no time. To make them, simply use a black permanent marker to add seed shapes to a pink plastic cup ($6 for 50, Party City) or glass jar. Finish by gluing green string on the bottom third of the glass to make the rind. These are perfect for those watermelon cocktails, and they make a fun DIY party favor!

Fat-Free Watermelon Sherbet
Credit: Blaine Moats

Watermelon Desserts Bar

Keep the tasting theme going strong with watermelon desserts! We love this watermelon sherbet on its own, though it's even better with a wedge of fresh watermelon on top! Whip up a batch of this fresh watermelon recipe (it's a perfect make-ahead party food).

watermelon planter with flowers
Credit: Jason Donnelly

Watermelon Centerpiece

Nothing goes to waste with a pretty watermelon centerpiece! This gorgeous DIY watermelon vase is perfect for a summer gathering, and it's so easy to create. Cut the top off the watermelon the same way you would cut a pumpkin. Use an ice cream scoop ($8, Walmart) to remove the insides (save the pulp to make watermelon sorbet or delicious summer cocktails) until the watermelon is completely hollowed out. Add an arrangement of fresh flowers to create a gorgeous party centerpiece—just don't forget to add water!

decorative watermelon balloon
Credit: Jason Donnelly

DIY Watermelon Balloons

We're in love with these simple bold balloons. Transform plain giant pink balloons ($11 for three, Walmart) into an oversize piece of party decor by inflating the balloons, then adding seeds with black paint or a permanent marker. Tie on green ribbons to add a pop of contrasting color, and you're done!

watermelon pizza slices
Credit: Jason Donnelly

Watermelon Pizza

Watermelon pizza is the perfect slice-and-serve party food. Simply cut a seedless watermelon into thick rounds and keep them chilled until your friends gather. Set them out on a wood pizza peel ($22, The Home Depot) or baking sheet and let each guest top their own for a delicious take on the watermelon tasting bar. Fresh fruit, finely shredded coconut, and flavored almonds are our favorite toppings!

Spicy Watermelon Salad
Credit: John Kernick

A Surprise Dish

Serve the main course with a surprise hint of watermelon! Since your party guests will be eating and drinking all things watermelon at the rest of the party, a tiny hint of watermelon in the main dish will carry the theme through quite nicely. Try this Spicy Watermelon Salad—it's refreshing and easy to make for a large gathering. Want to try something different? Take your pick from these other watermelon dishes.

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