Category Archives: Entertaining

How to Host a Dinner Party Outdoors in the Winter

Hosting a party involves careful planning and preparation, especially if you are having guests over in the winter. But you don’t have to let the cold weather stop you from enjoying fine dining and great company under the stars. You can easily plan the perfect dinner party timeline, including gathering by the fire with your guests. Follow these tips to learn how to plan a dinner party at home.

Be a Good Host

A good host plans an event with their guests in mind. Before diving into the details, take some time to consider the needs of those attending. Does anyone have food allergies or dietary restrictions? Will anyone be bringing children or babies? What ways can you accommodate specific guest needs and include everyone? Also think about your dinner party timeline of events and activities you want to include before and after the meal that you think your guests will enjoy.


When hosting a dinner party, menu is at the top of the list. Display and offer appetizers and finger foods as guests arrive, so they can munch and mingle while waiting for the entire party to assemble. Think simple but elegant, and make sure the arrangement includes plates, napkins, and any necessary utensils, as well as beverages. Provide plenty of indoor seating options and room to move around if the weather is too cold or unpleasant to be outside in.

Once everyone has arrived, been personally greeted, and had an opportunity to visit with other guests for a few minutes, move into the dining area for dinner. Have the dining room table set ahead of time and add a decorative touch with a seasonal centerpiece.

When choosing a main course, always play to your strengths. If you plan to cook the meal yourself, save the experimentation for side dishes or desserts. Prepare something you know will turn out amazing and that is generally popular. If you are not planning to prepare the meal yourself, hiring a caterer is always a great option. Just be sure to do your research, get recommendations, and discuss expectations beforehand.

How to Host a Dinner Party Outside

Let your guests know ahead of time that a portion of the event will take place outdoors so they can dress accordingly. Serve hot drinks and a warm dessert to your guests as they get cozy around the fire and have a few games planned, in case they are needed. If the guests are into slots or casino games, you can check out a few websites such as or casino apps to decide and inform all the guests about it beforehand. You can also get a few board games for entertainment.

How to Heat a Party Tent in Winter

A party tent is a great way to help keep guests warm. You can add heaters to keep the party warm. Make sure that you have stocked up enough heating oil for the event. In case you fall short of heating oil, you can always opt for an emergency oil delivery from or similar websites of oil delivery firms near you. No one wants to run out of oil, especially when entertaining guests so be sure to stock up on oil well ahead of the big day by comparing fuel suppliers online to find the best deal for you. Assume that you are holding a party outdoors and you have arranged for everything, starting from tents to food to portable kerosene or propane heaters. However, you might not have remembered to stock up on the fuel for the heaters. Now when all your guests are enjoying themselves in the tents, your heaters suddenly stop working. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing and spoil the spirit of the party? Yes, that certainly would. In addition to that, your guests might start feeling cold, which would reflect poorly on your hosting skills. That is why it is prudent that you stock up on kerosene (or propane) beforehand. If need be, contact firms like Barnes Petroleum Products Inc. which can offer options of home delivery. Anyway, if you do not have heaters, you can also distribute blankets for guests to use. The sturdy fabric of the tent should keep in the heat from the heaters nicely.

The Perfect Fire Pit

If you don’t have access to a party tent or want a more authentic outdoor experience, a fire pit is the perfect gathering place. With a fire pit, your guest can enjoy the ambiance and warmth a fire pit brings. This is also a fun time to pull out some marshmallows for s’mores or another tasty treat.

When using a fire pit, remember to be mindful of the safety tips and use your fire pit according to its instructions.


Make sure there is plenty of room for all your guests to enjoy the warmth of the fire with comfortable outdoor furniture that allows for everyone to enjoy each other’s company and good conversation.

Ambient Lighting

The light of the fire is easily and elegantly complemented by string or bulb lights. You can also opt for light posts or torches if that better suits your style. A little extra light will make it easier to continue conversations and keep the fun going longer.

How to End the Party with Grace

As much as you love your guests, there will come a point when it’s time to say goodbye. If you’re concerned the party might go on too long, plan ahead and designate an ending time on the invite. When that time arrives, thank everyone as a group for coming and tell them how much you appreciate them and enjoyed seeing them. This will signal that the event has come to an end. Finish your host duties by personally thanking each guest again on their way out the door.

With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to hosting an outdoor party you and your guests will remember for years to come.

Helpful Tips for Preparing Your Home for a Holiday Cocktail Party

With long-awaited work parties, fun gift exchanges, delectable meals, and annual friendly gatherings, the holiday season around Christmas and New Years can be a wonderful, joyous time of year. While attending these events is typically easy and pressure-free, planning to host a party of your own can be stressful- even for the most seasoned entertainers. By keeping in mind these helpful tips, both you and your home can be ready to host a cocktail party for the books.

Flow Comes First

While things like music, games, lighting, and good company are important when it comes to throwing a festive holiday party, ensuring your home’s layout aids in a good flow is critical. By strategically positioning tables, chairs, sofas, and other pieces, you can be certain that your space has good flow and feels welcoming to your guests. Here are some ideas of how to utilize your furniture to aid with flow:

  • Sofas: Big bulky couches can pose a problem when hosting a party for a lot of people. They don’t provide much seating, and take up a lot of room. If you have a bulky couch position it so that it will take up the least amount of room possible and will leave plenty of rooms for guests. If you own a sofa sectional there are many options to create a spacious area for your guests. Use the sectional pieces to create multiple different gathering and mingling areas.
  • Bookshelves: Bookshelves are good for much more than just holding books. This functional piece can easily double as a snack bar, drink station, or entertainment area during holiday cocktail parties.
  • Coffee tables: Though useful and functional for daily use, coffee tables can pose a bit of a problem when it comes to transforming your home into a flow-friendly party space. With large groups of people a coffee table can feel in the way and can be a tripping hazard. Try moving the table against a wall or against the back of the sofa. This way it is out of the way, but could still be used to feature seasonal snacks and Christmas cocktails.
  • Fire tables: Having a fire table out on the patio can help with flow inside your home. Ideal for entertaining, fire tables create the perfect gathering space for friends and family to enjoy warm, fireside fun. With clean design features and dual-functionality, fire tables make an ideal addition to any backyard Christmas area.

By being creative and innovative with the furniture pieces you put in your home, you can quickly and easily convert a comfortable, cozy living space into a bright, flow-friendly place for holiday entertaining.

You can also experiment with the games you want to play at the party. You can, for example, sit with your friends and play online casino games. People usually go to casinos to enjoy with their friends by playing betting games like poker, blackjack, roulette and so on, but if you’re having a house party, you certainly cannot go to the casinos to play them. In that case, you can recreate sports betting iowa games online and have a good time.

Decor Can Do Wonders

Whether you have an expansive home that’s built for a crowd or you are working with a smaller space for your holiday party, there are creative ways decorations can be implemented to help keep guests out of areas in your home you wish guests not to access. Consider hanging fabric or curtains to keep belongings out of sight or to separate places from the party area. Also if you have quite a long list of guests and need assistance with making the right arrangements so that everyone could have a gala time, you may take the help of party rental services near you. For instance, if you are someone from houston and for your party, you need extra chairs, decorative items, bar stations, or even cutlery, searching for ‘party rentals near me’ on the internet might do the job for you. Similarly, you can also get creative with how you arrange your furniture or where you situate drink stations, snack tables, and gathering spaces. Once the layout is complete, add fun party decor items like an Inflatable Disco Mirror Ball and lights to make the area look welcoming and festive.

Count is Key

Though it may sound rather obvious, one of the most critical components of throwing a memorable holiday party is to check and double check that you have all of your numbers right. If you are going to be getting exotic wines (that now come in a can too!) from somewhere like the McBride Sisters Wine Collection, then you need to have the count of guests who’ll be interested in it. Running out of drinks or food at a party is not something anyone would prefer.

  • Exactly how many people are you expecting to attend this event? Consider requesting a solidified RSVP to help you get a final headcount for the party.
  • Do you have enough food? While some say it’s better to have too much food than not enough, you don’t want to go overboard in the preparation, setup, and expense, nor do you want to make your guests feel overwhelmed. Remember that, unlike hosting a dinner party, hosting a cocktail party means you can easily get away with simply setting out a few favorite finger foods and light snacks for guests to snack on throughout the party.
  • Do you have enough seating? While one of the perks of a cocktail party is that you don’t have to have a seat for each and every guest, it’s smart to ensure you have enough for at least half of the people on your guest list.

Not only does having these numbers help planning and preparation go smoothly, but it can also help to take away some of the stress that can often accompany being a holiday party host. Furthermore, by heeding the advice of these holiday party tips, you can ensure your festive gathering goes off without a hitch.

How to Prepare Your Home for a Happy Thanksgiving Day

Woman setting outdoor dining table

Thanksgiving is much more than sitting down to eat a delicious turkey dinner (with some football thrown in for good measure). It’s about getting together with family and friends, sharing unforgettable moments, and creating wonderful memories. This may sound fantastic, but to make sure that you have a happy Thanksgiving day, you’ll want to do a bit of planning and preparation.

To help you have the best Turkey Day, here are some tips for preparing your home.

Seating Arrangements

Seating arrangements are sometimes an afterthought, but they shouldn’t be. By strategically planning who sits where, you can help encourage pleasant conversations (and maybe avoid some of the drama that accompanies family get-togethers all too often). Make some table place cards with guests’ names – you can find great fall party ideas on Pinterest or Instagram that include free templates to design your own. These templates save you time (and grief) and are easy to make.

Decorating your House

Decorating your house for Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a chore; all it takes are a few small changes. Add some autumn-themed accent pillows to give your house a cozy feel. Take out your board games and place them on side tables or coffee tables for guests to use as they wish. Then add a few of your favorite seasonal decorations here and there to tie it all together. Some classic Thanksgiving decorations ideas that don’t take too much time include a wreath for the door, candles, and decorative gourds.

Go Outside

If weather permits (and depending on the climate of where you live), why not dine outside? Put your outdoor dining set to use. Set up additional tables as needed for serving. Some comfortable outdoor seating would be great for overflow seating or if you’d rather not dine outside your family and friends will still have the option to take a breath of fresh air if they need to. Leave a few side tables next to your patio seating, so guests can set down drinks and plates.

Prepare for the Football Game

If football is a part of your Thanksgiving Day celebration (as it is for millions of Americans), having multifunctional furniture will provide the perfect seating arrangements and space for your guests to watch the game comfortably. Ottomans are great, for example; they can either provide extra seating or a place for guests to relax their legs (if their team is winning).

By pairing sofas with armchairs and bar stools, you give your guests more seating options and allow them to move around easily. If you want a more intimate feel, and you do not have a large guest list, a cushy sectional that is sized to your living room will be perfect for the event.

Relax and Have Fun

These are just a few Thanksgiving party ideas that hopefully will help you have a happy and relaxed day with your friends and family. After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about! You’ve planned a great day, and now it’s time for you to enjoy it and have fun.

Hosting Your Halloween Party At Home

It’s that time of year again. The kids are back in school, leaves are changing, there’s a chill in the air, and Halloween is right around the corner. If you’re planning to host a party – whether it’s spooky and haunted, or rustic and autumnal – we’ve got your Halloween festivities covered.

Here are three ideas for making sure your Halloween party at home is one your guests will never forget.

1. Design a spooky living room.

Use your decor to set the tone for the party. In your living room you could toss around some furry accent pillows to give things a “monster” feel, and place some decorative coasters on your coffee table for guests to use. Then try out some of the following ideas for a more spooky feel.

  • Drape “cobwebs” over doorways and furniture.
  • Create eerie lighting with candles and red/orange-tinted lighting.
  • Decorate with cute items like dolls and teddy bears- placed in the right spot with the right lighting cute cute toys become creepy.
  • Cutout figures out of cardboard (like monsters or witches) and place them in your windows–at night with the lights on inside it will create some spooky silhouettes.
  • Play a spooky Halloween soundtrack in the background to set a ghostly atmosphere.

No matter what, you want to make sure you have enough comfortable indoor seating for your guests. If you’re hosting a large party you may want to maximize space by setting up additional indoor and outdoor seating areas.

2. Break the ice naturally.

You want to get your guests talking, but not everyone appreciates the typical icebreaker activities because they can feel awkward and forced. Instead, consider giving some of your guests assignments, like passing around the hors d’oeuvres or checking on people’s drinks. For guests who struggle striking up conversations with strangers, this provides an open door but doesn’t hold the same pressure as coming up with a cool story or unique fact about themselves as most of the standard icebreakers do.

For a Halloween-themed party, a fun way to get people mingling could be a pumpkin-carving activity. Set up a carving station out on your patio; and keep things cozy with a fire table or space heaters. With everyone seated around a long outdoor table, it’s a great way to get some natural face-to-face interaction started.

3. Create a haunted house.

For a truly haunted and memorable party, you may want to consider transforming your home into a haunted house. First of all, be sure to keep it age-appropriate. If your guests are adults, have fun spooking things up and go all out with the scares. But, if you’re going to have children running around, maybe leave out the chainsaw-wielding zombies, and focus instead on design elements – such as creating a spooky atmosphere.

Some fun haunted house ideas include:

  • Drape white sheets over sofas and chairs.
  • Create a haunted graveyard in the backyard with styrofoam cutouts of gravestones.
  • Go crazy with glow-in-the-dark stickers.
  • Turn your dining room into an “operations room”.
  • Write scary phrases on the wall with red lipstick.

The next step is planning out the haunted path through your house. What do you want the guests to see? Do you want to go all out in every room of your house, or just focus on a few? Outdoors, indoors, or some of both? This can be as grand- or small-scale as you want it to be.

Now that you have a few ideas for a haunted Halloween at home. Decide just how scary you would like your party to be and happy planning!

Summer Party Guests Will Love These Interactive Centerpieces

The best backyard gatherings are always filled with laughter and good memories. We all know there’s nothing worse than guests standing around, silent and awkward. The way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to give your guests something to do upon arrival.

Here are eight interactive table centerpiece ideas that break the ice and add the special “wow factor” to a variety of summer party themes.

1. Here’s To the Poets & Painters

If you’re throwing a fete for artists and intellectuals (or hopefuls), scatter the dining and conversation tables with poetry and photography books. The literature and art work is sure to start a curious conversation when coupled with comfortable outdoor couches and chairs.

Additional Accessories

Use easels and hanging lights to display notable words and prints. Present leather-bound notebooks and sharpened graphite pencils at each place setting so everyone can create their own masterpiece.

2. Seasonings & Spice

Working well for just about any festivity, from Indian Festival to Mexican Fiesta, allowing your guests to customize their food and drinks according to their own palate preferences is a surefire way to please even the pickiest party-goer.

Festive Flavors

On dining tables, vases full of fresh herbs that can add flavor to beverages and entrees. Presented in bowls or jars, spices will add just the right amount of kick for each guest’s taste.  

3. Stone Cairn Stacking

Stones are a wonderful element in any natural centerpiece. If your backyard bash is all about loving on nature and the great outdoors, challenge attendees to a balancing rock competition.

Other Zen Activities

Under large patio umbrellas, set up hammocks for a relaxed party vibe.

4. Show Off Your Charcuterie Board

Stack small wooden boards on outdoor side tables and present a smorgasbord of enticing treats down the center of the dining table. Inviting guests to fabricate their own appetizer will be sure to become a memorable (and tasty) part of your summer soiree.

Complementary Components

Choose a variety of bread, cheese, fruit, nuts, slices of meat such as prosciutto or salami, and some olives or sun-dried tomatoes. Honey is also a nice touch.

5. Lego Living

Have your family build some fun creations to use as centerpieces and then pile extra blocks around them. Before you know it, everyone will be in on the fun.

Bonus Benefit

If the kids are busy building, the adults will have a chance to sit back and converse together for hours. Just be sure to provide plenty of outdoor soft seating.

6. S’more Cooking

Fire is a sensational centerpiece and a Fire table is a fabulous addition to any backyard get-together. Just add s’more stuff to get this party started.

Campfire Fun

Everyone loves a good ghost story. Brush up on your tale-telling beforehand and invite others to share their own. Play spooky night games like Ghost in the Graveyard or Flashlight Tag.

7. Sand Castles

For a backyard beach bash, bring the coast to your backyard. Pile kinetic sand (which is more fun with less mess than normal sand) on tables with mini buckets and shovels, then sit back in your lounge chairs and enjoy the scene of sand castles dotting the tablescapes.

DIY Magic Sand

For a homemade version of kinetic sand, all you need is baking soda, baking powder, and dishwashing liquid.

8. Build-Your-Own Bouquet

Let your guests be in on the botanical action when they build their own centerpiece bouquet. Not only will it cut down on the party prep time for you, but this idea also provides guests with a take-home gift.

Furniture Arrangements

Just as flowers need a little finesse to create a beautiful arrangement, so does your garden furniture placement. Give the biggest space to the dining table and chairs. Set up tables and decor in front of doors and stairways you don’t want to be accessed, or to create the ideal space for people to stand and mingle. Keep drinks on a table away from the entrance.

With these incredibly fun and interactive centerpiece ideas, your backyard bash will be the most memorable one yet. Now let’s get this party started!

Extend Your Living Space By Creating the Perfect Patio


It’s not unusual to have a deck; most single-family homes have some kind of deck or back patio that leads into the backyard. A good majority of homeowners, though, don’t do much more with their deck other than set up a grill and a patio chair or two and call it a day. This tendency to do very little with the deck is a sad waste of valuable space—space that can be a valuable extension of your living area, and a great spot both for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

Your deck and patio area can become the perfect place for hosting summer parties, for enjoying time as a family, for eating meals on a beautiful evening, and so much more. That’s why we’ve gathered up these helpful tips for transforming your deck into the best place to escape to.

Family Fun

Want to take the hassle out of planning spring and summer activities? Look no further than your own backyard for endless entertainment. With a little bit of help, your deck can become the ideal family hangout spot. Just check out some of the following ideas:

  • A large patio table can offer plenty of comfortable seating when combined with colorful cushions and pillows.
  • To keep the party going on into the evening, add some brightly colored lanterns and strings of lights for a cheerful ambiance.
  • Keep a collection of games on hand outdoors so your family can come together for a game of Jenga, Tic-Tac-Toe, chess, Twister, or any other family favorite.
  • Take the exercise outside with a backyard gym on deck or a yoga patio for encouraging fitness while having fun together.
  • A built-in firepit can turn an otherwise boring spot into a place to gather night after night to roast hotdogs and make s’mores—something every family member can appreciate.

Another great addition is the increasingly popular outdoor movie screen so the whole family can gather together for backyard movie night with buckets of popcorn, patio chairs and a sky full of stars as you all enjoy a favorite summer flick.

Relaxation Station

Turn your back patio into a private oasis where you can retire each evening to dine, talk and relax with someone you love. Essential pieces for a truly envious deck include a wide and durable outdoor umbrella for providing plenty of shade and comfortable outdoor chairs where you can spend hours reading or kicking up your feet. Take the appeal up a notch by adding an inviting hammock or two, and you won’t need to leave your backyard all summer long.

Creative homeowners look for backyard design ideas in which they can incorporate a meditation garden with their favorite plants and fragrant flowers, shady trees and lounge chairs for transforming a simple deck into a zen patio unlike any other. Add the soothing sounds of a built-in fountain or other similar water feature and watch all your daily stresses simply melt away.

Hosting Others

Impress your friends and neighbors with an outdoor party unlike any other on your luxurious patio complete with stylish, comfortable patio furniture (like our stylish Bloom Collection) made with entertaining a larger group in mind. If you love eating outdoors from spring through fall, you might want to consider the many benefits that a backyard kitchen can bring. A special countertop for food prep, a simple sink and an outdoor refrigerator can transform your backyard into hub for summer festivities.

Make your party feel more like an exclusive, VIP event with plenty of privacy thanks to the help of lots of enclosures such as detailed garden walls and fences lined with fragrant flowers and green vines. For those who really want to host a great outdoor party, the addition of a hot tub on the deck will boost the summer party experience and can still be enjoyed solo or for a romantic evening as a couple without leaving home.

Best Outdoor Furniture for Stargazing


Imagine coming home on a Friday night after a long week of working hard, gathering with friends and family on your back patio, and gazing up at the night sky at one of Mother Nature’s greatest masterpieces: the stars. Not only is stargazing a universal activity, but it’s also one that doesn’t require much planning or advanced technology to truly enjoy.

When you’re ready to unwind, instead of turning to the TV, computer, smartphone or video gaming system to give you instant entertainment, consider grabbing some snacks, gathering up your family, friends, and/or neighbors, and making a fun evening out of watching an all-natural, awe-inspiring star show. With these helpful tips, you can transform your backyard or patio space into a comfortable, functional stargazing paradise.

Set Seats for the Stars

It’s important to have enough comfortable, adequate outdoor patio furniture. Instead of simply putting out some lawn chairs and hoping that they do the job, consider investing in quality, versatile seating pieces that give guests options of how and where they can settle in. Check out these star-friendly patio seating options:

  • Luxury chaise lounge chairs: Sophisticated and contemporary lounge chairs with five-way adjustable backrests and fold-out feet allow you to set up a perfect laid-back, stargazing sanctuary.
  • Club chair settings: Comfortable, plush club chairs that have swivel and rocking capabilities are ideal for gazing up at the night sky.
  • Club & ottoman sling chairs: These versatile, practical, and durable sling chairs and ottomans are built for offering leisure outdoor living and can be a great addition to a stargazing-friendly patio set.  
  • Full patio set-ups: Get an all-in-one patio seating option with a plush, luxurious the Resort Outdoor Furniture set or a seating arrangement from the Portofino Collection. A timeless style and quality construction make these sets beyond ideal for stargazing.  From couches and club chairs to sectionals and loungers, you can create a unique, customized seating set-up that fits all your wants and needs.

Don’t Skip the Snacks

What is stargazing without some yummy snacks on-hand? Spice things up a bit with some fun, star-special treats like meteorite Krispie treats, constellation cookies, solar system fruit kabobs, and full-moon sandwiches. Other go-to snacks include things like chips, granola bars, peanut M&M’s, Oreos, and crackers.

Add Fun Accessories

In order to truly create a serene place for fun star-gazing, you should incorporate some fun accessories to make your backyard unique. Some pieces to consider are:

  • Hammocks: What’s better than sitting in comfortable patio chairs and watching a meteor shower? Rocking in a plush hammock and watching a meteor shower. Plush, quilted hammock beds are supported by a cypress wood frame that just summons you to lay back and watch the stars unfold.
  • Fire tables: Fire tables are a must-have piece for fun evenings with friends and family. These pieces help to create a focal point for your backyard and can create a beautiful design element for your space.
  • Pillows: By incorporating decorative outdoor pillows in your patio set up, you’ll be adding a bit of flare to your space while also providing guests with a comfortable place to rest and enjoy mother nature.

Don’t Forget the Star-Gazing Staples

With comfortable seating options, fun accessories, and enough snacks to keep tummies happy, you’ll also need to make sure you have all the staples in order to create a successful night of stargazing. Make a checklist for the following options and keep it handy when you’re preparing for a night under the stars.

  • Telescope and accessories: If stargazing is something you and your family plan to enjoy for years down the road, consider investing in a high-quality telescope for stargazing and accessories like a dew shield, a Barlow lens, Moon filter, or nebula filter.
  • Binoculars: A decent set of binoculars is a great tool to have close at hand while star-gazing and can truly enhance the entire star-gazing experience.
  • Laser-pointer: As you know, it’s virtually impossible to successfully point to a particular star or constellation with your finger. Laser-pointers, on the other hand, make it easy to point out things for everyone to see.
  • Added comforts: Make sure you include items that will enhance the overall stargazing experience. Some staples include blankets, bug spray, music, hats and gloves, information on stargazing for beginners, and any other things that you think your guests might enjoy.

By following these helpful tips, you’ll be able to create a backyard oasis that’s perfect for enjoying star views with friends and family.  



Outdoor Entertaining Ideas For Your Backyard This Summer


Make the most of the warm weather by hosting a fun and memorable outdoor party. These seven outdoor party ideas will establish you as the king or queen of outdoor entertaining, and your parties will be remembered and talked about for years to come. Make sure to start planning well in advance to make your party an unforgettable experience for your guests.

Ice Cream Social

Kick off the summer season with an ice cream social block party! Start by planning the food, arranging for home-made ice cream, a buffet of self-serve toppings, and tasteful bowls and dishware appropriate for all ages. Make sure you have proper seating for your guests, and keep the ice cream cool by serving it and the toppings under a patio umbrella and/or in a cooler.

If you don’t already have an outdoor umbrella, it’s a smart backyard patio idea to purchase at the start of the summer, because the cooling shade and protection from the elements can extend the fun and preserve the food for your outdoor parties.

Tropical Luau

Bring out the tiki torches and flower leis for a taste of the tropics at this intimate party. Serve fruity cocktails in coconuts and set out your loungers for your guests, allowing them to relax in the sun as if they were on the beach. Plan fun beach-theme games, such as a limbo or hula contest, and serve luau-themed food, such as roasted pork and grilled pineapple.

After-dark Soiree

Hire a babysitter for this party, because the after-dark soiree is best kept for the adults. Outdoor seating around a fireplace or fire table can help set the mood for this elegant party. Send invitations requesting semi-formal attire for this event, and create stylish table settings and decor with an eclectic, exciting menu. Hang solar string lights for an energy-efficient yet attractive ambiance.

Red Carpet Movie Premiere

Go all out with a fun red carpet movie premier party. Invitations should include the dress code of “red carpet, dress-to-impress,” and you can even lay down an actual red carpet to lead your high-profile guests to the main event. A fun idea for this party is to create a photo backdrop like those at red-carpet events, and set up a camera for your guests to take pictures.

Set up a large movie screen and play a movie that will please a large group of people. Consider setting out hammocks and plenty of pillows for your guests to watch in comfort as they sit for the length of the movie.

All-American Party

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a classic BBQ bash for your neighbors, friends, and family. Choose traditional red, white, and blue for your decorations and dinnerware, and use patriotic flags and banners to accent your outdoor seating furniture, patio, and yard. Fireworks and sparklers will enthrall the children and, let’s be honest, even the adults. Serve traditional Fourth of July food, such as hot dogs, burgers, lemonade, and ice cream.

Summer Olympics Party

Bring out the competitive side of your friends and family with a summer Olympics party! Upon arrival, assign each person, or team of people, a country to represent. Prepare team uniforms in advance, or you could send invitations in advance with country assignments, instructing each person to wear a particular color. Purchase or make trophies and medals for each winner, and display them on an outdoor accent table to motivate the competitors.

Backyard Movie Night: How To Create Your Ultimate Outdoor Space


There is something magical about sitting under the stars to watch a movie together as a family. And setting up an outdoor movie screen is easier than you might think! You don’t need a lot to create a great setup. With a few supplies, most of which you already have on hand, you’ll be ready to host a movie night in your own backyard.

You’ll need:

  • King- or queen-sized white sheets
  • Projector
  • Speakers
  • Clothespins
  • Comfortable outdoor patio furniture (maybe even a fire table)
  • Pillows and blankets (some you wouldn’t mind if they got a little dirty)

A simple white sheet works beautifully as a movie screen, and you can double them up for better picture quality. If you have a clothesline, simply drape the sheets over it, secure them with some clothespins, and anchor the bottom with bricks or rocks to hold it in place in case of a breeze. If you don’t have a clothesline, string some rope between two trees, or deck posts, or something else have on hand. You might want to iron the sheets first to get rid of any creases.

There are more higher-quality outdoor screen ideas you can look into, but sheets are easy to store, you probably already have them on hand, and the picture is still decent.

The projector will be one of your bigger investments if you don’t already have one, but you can usually snag one for under $200. As for sound, some external computer speakers will usually do the job just fine. Set it all up on a tripod, or perhaps a sturdy nightstand if you don’t have one, and you’re good to go.

If you need ideas for the best outdoor movies, here’s a list of some great classics like The Goonies, to Ghostbusters, to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Don’t forget comfy seating

Keep things cozy by arranging your patio furniture around the movie screen. If you’re in the market for some patio furniture, an outdoor movie night is a perfect opportunity to showcase your new additions. People often think only of price, but there are many different aspects to consider when you’re looking for outdoor furniture, such as the size and shape of your yard, the climate where you live, and how much use it will see. You also want to be sure to stock up on some comfy and durable cushions for the furniture you land on.

For kids or just extra seating in general, throw some blankets and pillows on the ground in front of the patio furniture.

Add some sparkle

Are you hosting a party and want to snaz it up a bit? Consider hanging twinkle lights from trees, bushes, and porch/patio railings. They are great for turning an ordinary space into a fun, enchanting atmosphere. If kids are involved, you could set up a snack stand. Make the sign with a small decorative chalkboard, and set out bowls of candy, popcorn, and other typical movie treats. For drinks, an outdoor flower box is a fun idea for holding soda pop and water bottles. Retro soda (in the glass bottles) and paper straws are always fun.

Now sit back and enjoy the show!

How to Plan a Romantic Outdoor Dinner at Home

Going out to dinner can be a real hassle and restaurant meals can get expensive. Skip the long lines and forget paying for parking by hosting your next romantic dinner at home on your backyard deck! Follow these great steps to transform your outdoor space into the perfect gourmet dining area for you and someone special.

1. Pick the Spot

Romantic dinners require a change of scenery. If the weather is warm, turn your backyard into a lover’s oasis. Set up your outdoor dining set on the patio or even in the grass and go barefoot. For colder months, bring that lightweight patio furniture inside and create a cozy dining spot in front of the fireplace.

2. Plan Your Meal

Use this opportunity to display your culinary chops. Make the whole experience a date by hitting the grocery store together, followed by prepping and cooking the meal. If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, contact a local caterer or order out from your favorite restaurant. Accompany your meal with a paired cocktail, wine, or even beer.

  • Save time by marinating or breading meat ahead of time
  • Opt for easier to eat pasta such as tortellini or ravioli
  • Oysters, basil, almonds, and asparagus are great aphrodisiac ingredients to use
  • Take it easy on garlic, onion and strong spices


3. Set the Mood for Romance

Turn off any main lights and dimly light the outdoors with candles, decorative strings of bulbs, or even lamps. Play instrumental music in the background from a stereo or through a relaxing internet station. Set up a picnic-style floor bed in the grass equipped with fluffy pillows and soft blankets on which to later enjoy dessert or stargazing.

4. Prepare a Proper Table

Dress up the table with a clean tablecloth, place a small bouquet of fresh flowers in a short vase for a colorful centerpiece, and set the table with nice dishes and silverware, even if you’re just serving take out. Cloth napkins can also add a fancy touch to your dining experience.

5. Dress Up

Even if pajamas are the official uniform of your home, ditch the baggy duds for just one night. Just as you dress for a night out, dress to impress at home. Dressing up for a special dinner at home shows your effort in wanting to look nice and makes the dinner a special treat.

6. Go Dessert!

It’s not a romantic dinner unless it ends in sharing a delectable dessert. Splurge on fancy truffles to pair with wine or champagne or set out toppings to make your own ice cream sundae. You could even skip the fancy dinner and make the candlelit dessert the sweet surprise main course.

Clear off that patio this summer and visit RST Brands to make your furniture stand out for your romantic outdoor dinner at home.