Well…that happened fast! Summer is over and school is back! If you are like me and only scratched off about 1/3 of your Summer Bucket List.. Have no fear, you can make up for it with having an end of Summer Party!
I used to not like hosting parties mostly because I would be too stressed out to enjoy myself. But I now have learned to cut corners and focus more on having fun. After putting in a pool last summer, I quickly realized I needed to get on the hosting train. Since doing so, I decided to share some tips for an End of Summer party that will be simple and not have you cursing Pinterest while you try and carve a mermaid out of a watermelon.
Last year we had our first End of Summer party. It was right after school was back in session but it was still hotter than Dallas at high noon. In our case we did a Luau theme, mostly because The Dollar Tree and Target had Hawaiian style party gear everywhere on clearance. However, this year we are going to go with a classic “End of Summer” theme.
I plan on hitting up Michael’s, The Dollar Tree and my BFF Target, for some plastic red & white checkered tablecloths and paper goods. I’ll fill some mason jars or canned good cans that I scraped the labels off of and shove some sunflowers, cut hydrangeas from my front yard, bright mini carnations and dahlias and spread out these little arrangements throughout the backyard on table tops and counters.
No backyard summer party is complete without some overhead little lights. You can grab some on big sale this time of year either at Target, Home Depot or Costco. String some lights across the back yard.. they don’t have to be perfect. Just the glow of the lights make up for any haphazard light hanging. Add a couple of outdoor lanterns that I have been seeing all over Marshall’s and you have yourself a simple but classic party scene.
Because of the heat at the end of summer, I usually keep the food inside and just keep the beverages and some non-melting appetizers outside. And since its bound to be hot, I don’t plan on spending too much time cooking in the kitchen leading up to the party or standing over a BBQ the entire time. I’ll make Pulled Pork Sandwiches that can sit in a Slow Cooker all day and not heat the house. Add some corn, salad, fruit and rolls and you have yourself a simple summer meal that will fill up a crowd.
For dessert I’ll scratch one of my bucket list items off by making homemade ice cream. We rarely make this but its soooo good when we do. Add some blackberries and some cookies and you’ll be set.
Aside from the usual suspects of beer, wine, sparkling water and juice boxes, I like having a big pitcher of lemonade and also like making a big batch cocktail to fit the theme. I made a rum cocktail last year to tie in with my Hawaiian party. This year I’m thinking something along the lines of this Cucumber Lemonade Cocktail since it looks like the perfect adult refreshment to beat the heat.
Didn’t get around to watching movies in your backyard this summer like your Bucket List says? Bust out this DIY project a couple days before and put on a classic summer movie like The Sandlot, The Great Outdoors, National Lampoon’s Vacation, The Little Mermaid or Cars. Everyone will think your house is the coolest on the block.
What are your end of summer party tips? Does anyone else celebrate the end of summer like me?