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Tips for Throwing the Best Backyard Party

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How to make your next backyard bash a hit

Summer has arrived – and it’s the perfect time to kick back, relax and gather again in the backyard with family and friends. Hosting a backyard party can be an easy way to entertain both kids and adults with the focus on more fun and less fuss.

Whether your home has a big back lawn, a small patio or deck, or if your “backyard” is your front yard, this guide is full of inspiration and tips to help get your outdoor party started.

Plan your backyard party theme and invitation

What kind of yard party are you in the mood for? A classic backyard BBQ? A “play date” theme for kids and adults with outdoor party games? An outdoor movie night with popcorn and a movie projected on your wall or garage door? How about a fiesta with colorful piñatas and a build-your-own taco bar? 

No matter what kind of backyard get-together you’re aiming for, your party invitation can be a simple email, an evite, a printed card, or a flyer delivered to your neighbors’ doors. Make sure your party invitation lets your friends know what to expect and what to bring, such as kids, food, BYOB and lawn chairs. If the pool’s open or water games are in the mix, be sure to mention swimsuits and towels, too.

Charcoal grill and sign indicating a backyard BBQ party

Design your backyard party setup

 Rule number one for any backyard party: keep things fun and casual. 

If you want to keep your party solely outdoors, post a sign at your front door that directs guests to the backyard (or wherever the party is taking place). This keeps people from coming inside your home and doesn’t leave anyone knocking at the front door while you’re hosting in the back.

When setting up your outdoor space, be sure to provide ample seating with multiple conversation areas. If your party will have tables with food and drinks for your guests, it’s a good idea to set this up in the shade or under a patio umbrella or lawn tent.

If too much sun or hot temps are a concern on your party day, a few strategically placed oscillating fans can create cool breezes and help keep mosquitos away. Place some bug repellent wipes where guests can use them — although, even with your best effort some people just have the gift of being very attractive to biting bugs!

Music is also a key ingredient in setting the stage for a fun party vibe, so give some thought ahead of time about what works best for your crowd. Place the speakers or sound system in areas that project well but won’t make conversation difficult. Music is an instant party starter and a great way to put your guests in a party mood.

On the chance that your guests may not all know one another, an easy ice-breaker idea is to set out name tags. Ask your guests to fill out a nametag with their name and one fun fact about themselves. These make great conversation starters and are also a lifesaver when someone’s name slips your mind.

Lastly, don’t forget to provide bins for trash and recycling so guests can help themselves and keep your yard looking neat.

Children playing in backyard as parents sit at a table conversing

Elevate your space with backyard party decoration ideas

A rule of thumb for almost any backyard party decorations is to keep it colorful and casual. Go with your theme if you have one. Piñatas, strings of fluffy paper pompoms, inflatable toys, and colorful flowers are easy ways to create a festive setting. Balloons are also fun decorations for any party but be sure you have a good way to dispose of them that does not endanger animals or toddlers. You can also cover your serving tables with waterproof tablecloths for easy cleanup. Colorful paper plates, napkins and striped drinking straws that add a pop to your color scheme are a nice finishing touch.

For evening backyard parties, it’s the perfect time to hang those string lights you’ve always wanted or wrap your trees in twinkle lights. For additional outdoor lighting solutions, scatter some flameless candles about and install solar landscape lights in the yard to up-light trees and walkways.

Pots of flowers also will enhance your outdoor décor and provide enjoyment all season long. Purchase flats of flowers from a nursery, then surround them with fabric to use as backyard table decorations that can be planted later.

Last but not least, a bubble machine is certain to draw smiles from guests of all ages. Who can resist popping bubbles?

Adults playing croquet in their backyard

Include fun outdoor party games

There’s no age limit to fun. So, while you provide water games, slip ‘n slides, and water balloons for kids, you can also include some backyard party games for adults and kids to play, such as cornhole, croquet, beachball, volleyball, lawn darts, capture the flag, or badminton.

If your backyard party isn’t technically taking place in a yard, you can still find outdoor games that will keep everyone entertained. Whether it is putting out sidewalk chalk and inviting everyone to get creative on the driveway or having a giant tic tac toe game made from frisbees or bean bags, the possibilities are endless!

Group enjoying a party in their backyard

Fun builds an appetite and thirst 

Backyard fun and fresh air make everyone hungry and very thirsty. Another backyard party tip we recommend is to place coolers with lots of water and drinks around your yard and areas where guests will be congregating. Having a table set up or a pass-through window from your kitchen where adults can grab a signature cocktail or mocktail will also help make your party memorable.

As for food, there are several routes you can go with depending on the type of backyard party you’re throwing. For large outdoor parties, keep the food simple. In other words, easy to pick up and eat — tacos, burgers and dogs, and chips all make perfect foods for big backyard parties. For smaller backyard dinner parties, potluck-style is a great option where everyone can be involved (and it helps take some of the hosting stress off you). It’s also a good practice to include at least one vegetarian or vegan option for those who don’t eat meat.

Classic party desserts such as brownies and cookies never fail, but if you really want to make the most of the outdoors, you could offer s’mores at the firepit or an ice cream sundae bar as the party’s capper.

As you plan your outdoor party, give an eye to your home’s curb appeal. Your friends at Window World will be happy to discuss exterior remodeling ideas, including entry doors, windows, and siding that renew your look and can provide energy savings to your home. Schedule a free in-home or virtual consultation to get a quote or find a store near you.

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