Great Summer Party Ideas

A summer party is fun to have when proper planning and simplicity are in play. All too often, stress makes a backyard barbecue feel like a chore. That stress can be reduced if not eliminated simply by planning ahead and keeping things simpler.

Start your planning with fun but simple summer party ideas such as themes that make the party fun for guests and hosts alike.

When the date for the summer party is set, choose a theme to base the party on and include the theme in the invitations. This helps guests know what to expect and possibly how to dress for the occasion. Then begin preparations for the party right away. Much of the food can be bought well ahead of time and made ready for cooking and then frozen or refrigerated until closer to time for the summer party. Decorations can be gathered and put in a place where they will be easy to get to and put up early in the day before the party.

For a summer party, a refreshing idea is a tropical theme.

Plan centerpieces that carry out the theme. These can be real or artificial tropical fruit arranged in bowls with some tropical flowers added for extra color. If the fruit is real, it can also serve as appetizers by hollowing out a pineapple and filling it with bite-size bits of fresh fruit. Fresh fruit can be cut up and kept in the refrigerator until just before the summer party. For evening parties, candles make a nice addition to the table decor.

Kabobs are a great food option that can easily be prepared for the grill the day before a summer party and kept chilled until time to put them on the grill. Grilled vegetables go great with them and can also be cut up and chilled the day before. Dipping sauces can be made a couple of days ahead and refrigerated. Simple sherbets make a cool and refreshing dessert that can be kept in the freezer until after dinner at a summer party.

For a bit of summer party variation on the tropical theme, you can go Jamaican. This difference might be expressed mostly in some of the table decorations and in background music. It can also be carried out in how some of the food is prepared if you have any Jamaican seasonings or recipes.

Other themes for a summer party include old west, barn dance or, for the 4th of July, patriotic themes.

Decorations for an old west or barn dance party could include horseshoes and old lanterns with daisies and sunflowers to add color. 4th of July, of course, would have red, white and blue decorations. All these party themes could have the same simple menu with just a few slight variations. As these themes are ‘All American’ themes, what better food than good old hamburgers and hotdogs with baked beans and potato salad alongside. Cupcakes and ice cream are a perfect finish to the meal.


Whatever theme you use, consider using tableware that is colorful and goes with the theme. To avoid having a lot of dishes to wash after the party, use disposable tableware. Tablecloths can also be disposable or you can simply use solid color tablecloths and let the plates and napkins carry out the theme more explicitly.

The best summer party ideas of all is in the advance planning and preparation so you can relax and enjoy the fun without feeling worn out from the work that goes into preparing food and decorations just before the party starts.

Any food that can be made ready to cook and frozen a week or so before will save time. Fresh foods, some salads and sauces can often be made, well covered and refrigerated the day before. Decorations and tables set up the morning of the summer party and that leaves you time to relax so you feel rested and refreshed when it is time to fire up the grill and start cooking.