Take It Outside

As published in Azalea Magazine Spring 2018.

As the temperature goes up, it’s time to get outside!

Whether it’s a backyard grilling party, a more formal sit down meal, or simply gathering family and friends, the key to outdoor entertaining is keeping everyone comfortable outdoors.

Hosting an enjoyable outdoor party can be a breeze with these easy outdoor entertaining tips.

Prep The Yard. Get your yard clean and in order. Make sure the grass is mowed, raked and free of debris, tools and toys.

Keep Your Cool. To beat the heat, avoid midday events, especially those between noon and 3 p.m. If your party is during sunlight hours you will want to have plenty of shade to offer. Trees, tents and strategically placed umbrellas offer guests a place to hide from the sun. Running a fan near your dining area can also help keep your guests cool.

Let There Be Light. Once the sun goes down, you want to make sure to keep the party going. All you need is a little ambient lighting. Hang lanterns or strings of lights on the deck, the fence, even tree branches. Enjoy candlelight even on breezy evenings by using hurricane lanterns to shield the flames.

Beware Of Bugs. Entertaining outside is lovely, but make sure you access your bug situation prior. Provide insect repellent nearby for you and your party guests. Light citronella candles around your deck or patio, or stake torches in the yard.

In Case Of Rain. We all know how unpredictable weather can be. Always have a backup plan just in case — perhaps a change of venue or a rain date.

Use these tips and take your next party or get-together outdoors for some alfresco fun.