A Last-minute Backyard Summer Party

Brought to you by Joy
A summer party can feel daunting, but it doesn't have to. Take tips from a fellow party planner on how to make the splash happen - even on a short timeline.

The kids have been out of school long enough that they've really ramped up their ongoing chorus of, "We're bored! There's nothing to do!" Or your friends or family are coming down for a weekend and you need some activities to keep everyone busy.

Regardless of the reason, here are a few tips on making your spur-of-the-moment summer party as smooth and stress-free as possible.

1. Location, Location, Location!

Just like real estate, planning a party is all about location. Quickly survey your friends and family and neighborhood. You don't need to overthink it - a backyard can be a perfect option - but you can check out some public parks, too. Many have pavilions you can rent out for the day. If someone has a pool, or there's a public pool nearby, that's always a great option.

2. Get Organized

Once you've settled on your party strategy and location, be sure to make a list of what you'll need, including:

Who you're inviting

Food and condiments (there's nothing worse than making delicious burgers and forgetting the ketchup)

Paper plates and paper towels

Music options and equipment

Game supplies


Making a list will help you stay organized on an extra tight timeline. Water balloons are always a great option. If you're doing it at home, you can fill up a bunch in advance. Throw some squirt guns and sprinklers into the mix and you're all set.

3. Food That's Quick and Easy
- Deciding on a menu for any party can feel overwhelming because there are so many options. But given the carefree atmosphere of most summer parties, there's no need to worry about fancy appetizers and decadent deserts. Stick with simple and you'll win every time.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

3 Delicious Picnic Style Recipes

10 Easy Grilled Flatbread Recipes

Ideas for Cooking on the Grill

Coleslaw 3Ways

Kebabs 3 Ways

If a grill is available, that's a great choice. Hamburgers, hot dogs and some fixins' are all you'll need. And most will probably be happy to bring their favorite side dish and make it potluck-style.

Tip: Don't forget that ordering pizza is always an option. A couple of hot slices paired with cold beverages spells fun for anyone.

4. Music

Nothing steps the party up a notch like some good tunes. There's no need for a private DJ, though. Do you have a friend who are always in the know when it comes to the next big hits and latest music artists? Have them bring their playlist and portable speakers so that they can help create the party vibe.

Don't forget to have fun, too! Control what you can. Don't worry about what you can't. And if things get messy, just wash those plates with Joy Dishwashing Liquid to have them bright and clean in no time. You've got this!

What's your favorite dish to serve in backyard parties? Write them in the comments section below!

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