How to Host a Memorable Backyard Summer Party: Fun and Creative Ideas

Summer has arrived! our best summer backyard party ideas to create unforgettable events

Let’s talk backyard summer party ideas! There’s something magical about the warm breeze, the sound of laughter, and the taste of delicious food shared in the open air.

Whether you are trying to create a cozy night around the campfire or some rambunctious backyard birthday parties, entertaining outside is the best part of summer.

backyard oasis crated with pops of color from new umbrella and new rug and the perfect table setting

To make your gathering extra special, pay special attention to the little things!

These all come together to create summer soirees where fun is had, and memories are made.

If you get overwhelmed when trying to create this type of event, don’t worry! We’ve created the ultimate guide to hosting a successful backyard summer party that will give you all the ideas you need to host your own without stressing about the details. 

Let’s get started! 

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garden setting striped umbrella

Backyard Summer Party Ideas: Setting up your backyard 

Let’s talk about ambience first.

If you want your guests to be comfortable keeping the party outside, I recommend turning your backyard into an oasis that no one would want to leave. Especially if you are hosting a large group, setting up your backyard for maximum beauty and comfort takes some thought, but it’s totally worth it. 

Amazing Backyard Oasis: How to Easily Achieve on a Little Budget

My family loves to move our celebrations outside during the season of outdoor living. Knowing this always motivates me to get the backyard patio looking its best.

In this post, we will go through my Backyard Oasis To-Do List that will help you get organized fast! In a nutshell:

  •  Look at the condition of the outdoor items you own. This includes umbrellas, pillows, lanterns, furniture, rugs, decor items, and whatever else you used last year! Anything that you want to use to make your backyard oasis come to life.
  • Decide what to keep and what needs replacing.
  • Then head to our Outdoor Living sections on Amazon to find everything you need! 

modern outdoor patio space featuring a beautiful outdoor rug, gray wicker rattan patio furniture, and warm decor elements.

How to Make your Backyard Special with Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lights are such a good way to make an outdoor space feel cozy and festive.

There are a lot of DIY string light projects on Pinterest, but so many of them require major commitments like cement mixing and pouring that I’m just not willing to make. Simplicity was my ultimate outdoor lighting goal when I did this in my own yard.

I brainstormed and looked at what I already had on hand, and I’m so excited to share my very simple solution to stringing backyard lights. This DIY requires no permanent posts or structures.

Another way we love to add ambiance with lighting is to fill lanterns with Luminara outdoor candles. We especially love Luminara moving flame candles because of their quality and durability. We’ve been using the same outdoor pillars for years and know they really last. They are:

  • sun proof (won’t melt in the sun)
  • water resistant
  • durable and lasting
  • most realistic faux candles on the market
  • keep your backyard safe
  • awesome timer function
  • easy remote control

We have a special savings code for all our followers so you can enjoy Luminara candles. Use JULIETHEDESIGNTWINS10 to save on every order. Shop Luminara here and enjoy.

Get ready to create one-of-a-kind outdoor spaces perfect for entertaining on warm summer nights.

How to Create Luxurious Backyard Destinations

We love hosting a garden party or backyard BBQ party for large or small groups of guests. I have found that regardless of whether you’re hosting casual get-togethers or more formal outdoor events, the key to a great outdoor party is creating different “destinations” around the backyard such as:

  • A dining area,
  • Intimate seating spots,
  • Inviting conversation corners, and
  • Lounging destinations where guests and family can sit, relax, eat, talk, and have a good time.

Read on for my backyard destination designer tips for making your space as cozy as possible using destinations.

affordbale table and chair set from BHG at Walmart

Another thing to remember is that the type of party you’re hosting will help you determine what “destinations” are required.

If you are hosting a small child’s birthday party, some of your destinations might include:

  • Bounce houses,
  • Outdoor games,
  • A glow sticks station, and
  • A kiddie pool.

All kept well away from where the adults enjoy their favorite wine, of course!

Adults-only parties like small intimate outdoor weddings might include more picnic blankets and wine tasting areas instead.

An outdoor movie night will have a screening area and possibly an ice cream bar too.

You get the idea: figure out the best ways to maximize your space for the type of party you’re hosting, and you can’t go wrong. 

relax in this gorgeou daybed from Better Homes and Gardens at Walmart

Backyard Summer Party Ideas on a Budget

And maybe you’re reading these backyard summer party ideas and feeling worried because you aren’t sure you even have the backyard basics down pat yet! We’ve got that covered too!

Check out this post explaining how to get your backyard ready for a party even if you are starting from scratch. The best part? This post is about being grateful for and working with what you have, so you don’t have to have a giant budget to follow these suggestions.

Table filled with snacks and party food for the backyard party celebration

Backyard Summer Party Ideas: Setting the Table

Now that your backyard backdrop is all ready to go, let’s talk about the table itself. Nothing sets a backyard summer party mood better than a well-thought out tablescape. 

How to Create a Festive Fourth of July Tablescape that Wows

I realize this particular tablescape is set inside, but the theme is SO backyard party-perfect that I couldn’t resist sharing it to inspire you!

July tablescape ideas

A lot of the tips shared here are perfect for any kind of outdoor summer party, so read on to see what you can take away for yourself.

  • To create a lively atmosphere at your patio table, top white dinner plates with silver appetizer plates.
  • I chose to add antique pewter plates for a vintage feel.
  • For a relaxed, summer-time vibe use round woven placemats.
  • Add either red or blue checkered cloth napkins for a little extra patriotic pizzazz! And of course, you can add napkins of any color for a different themed party.

My centerpiece of a simple white vase, fresh flowers, and an on-theme ornament (in this case, American flags) is easy to recreate for your own party.

Backyard party is perfect place to celebrate birthday together under the new festive umbrella

Backyard Summer Party Ideas: Feed Your People 

We have saved the best for last! Of course, one of the biggest things to plan and execute with any backyard party is how you feed your hungry guests. Whether you’re hosting a:

  • Birthday party,
  • Dinner party,
  • Dessert party,
  • Barbeque,
  • Casual picnic, or
  • Cocktails on the patio,

What you serve your guests is going to take up a large part of your time and energy.

If you have been following our blog, you will know that we are experts in the sweet tooth department, so we will leave the main course magic up to someone else. (Although we have added our favorite Pesto Pasta Recipe down below.)

It’s a great idea to search Pinterest for outdoor dinner party main course ideas, and you’re sure to come up with something yummy.

Whether you’re throwing steaks or chicken on the barbecue or planning to gather around the fire pit and roast hot dogs, your guests will be thrilled with whatever you serve. 

family backyard party with updated pillows and fresh spring decor

We have one offering in the main course department that you won’t want to skip: 

How to Make Grandma’s Amazing Secret Homemade Basil Pesto Recipe

Few things scream summer eating like fresh basil pesto!

This versatile pesto is perfect for pasta salads, spreading on bread for sandwiches, as a marinade…you see where we’re going.

There is a way to incorporate it into almost any dish you might want to serve your guests. And I can hardly remember a family meal without this Grandma’s Basil Pesto Recipe, so you know it’s good.

The area we really shine is…dessert!

Once your guests have eaten their main course, they will need something to nibble on while the conversation stretches into the evening.

We have several toothsome treats to share with you, any of which work well for an outdoor backyard summer party. The best part is, they are all make-ahead dishes that you won’t have to stress about prepping right before your party.

Homemade basil pesto sauce with bowtie pasta noodles on black and white buffalo plaid table cloth

How to Make a Fresh and Fulfilling Fruit Pizza with Lemon Glaze

Everyone loves pizza. It is such an easy way to feed a crowd! This beautiful and delicious fruit pizza recipe is easy to make using fresh fruit, a cream cheese layer, and a soft sugar cookie crust.

It’s versatile, and you can make it fit your color scheme for any party or special occasion.

I’m sharing everything you need and giving step by step instructions to creating your one-of-a kind dessert that will earn you so many compliments at your next gathering.

How to Make Quick and Luxurious Salted Caramel Rice Krispies Squares

Who doesn’t love a classic Rice Krispies treat? There are some oldies that just never actually get old, and this is one of them!

Soft, warm, and gooey straight out of the oven, these simple ingredients make up the taste of childhood and family potlucks. I’ve found a way to make the original recipe new and exciting again with the addition of delicious caramel sauce.

This classic treat is a popular choice for barbecue because it requires no plates or utensils to serve. It’s perfect for sitting around the fire chatting at the end of the evening. 

plated salted caramel rice krispies squares

How to Bake the Easiest Great Tasting Magic Cookie Bars Right Now

How much do we love Magic Cookie Bars? So much! Whether you know them by this name or as 7-Layer Bars, Hello Dolly Bars, Coconut Dream Bars, or Screaming Eagles, you know how tasty and easy they are to make.

Made with vanilla wafers, chocolate and butterscotch chips, walnuts, and condensed milk, my version of these cookies are made in muffin cups to make them even easier to make and serve, especially at a backyard party where plates should be optional! 

Little magic cookie bars made in a muffin tin

There you go, some outdoor summer party ideas! You now have all my best tips for yard setup, decor, and food. Just add sunny days and the perfect party theme, and you’re all set for your next outdoor party. 

And just remember, everything will be better and more authentic if you let your own personal taste and preferences guide you. Take our backyard summer party ideas and adapt them to make your party your own! We hope we have given you a good place to start hosting the perfect summer gathering that your friends and family will remember for years to come. 

Which ideas did you find most helpful? Let us know in the comments how you’re going to make your next backyard summer party stand out! 

jodie & julie
P.S. Don’t forget to check out our amazing outdoor living sections on Amazon to help you create your ultimate backyard this summer and beyond.

backyard summer party ideas featuring food, summer themed tablescapes and backyard decor

How to Host a Memorable Backyard Summer Party: Fun and Creative Ideas
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How to Host a Memorable Backyard Summer Party: Fun and Creative Ideas
Summer has arrived! It's the perfect opportunity to gather your friends, family, and loved ones for unforgettable backyard parties. There's something magical about the warm breeze, the sound of laughter, and the taste of delicious food shared in the open air. Read on for tips to host a memorable event!

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