fbpx

ideal-LIVING
Retirement Blog
Food & Wine

Get Ready for the Outdoors with Great Party Ideas

food-wine-spring-08

Spring is here. Time for those bulbs you planted last fall to begin peeking through the soil, for gardens to shed the dispirited look they’ve had all winter and bloom in Technicolor splendor and for you to give your house the vigorous scrubbing commonly known as spring cleaning. Once your garden is at its finest and your house is sparkling, it’s time to show off what you’ve got. Assemble your guest list and get ready to throw a party worthy of the season. Here are some tips to help you stage festivities so original-and so much fun-that people will still be talking about them the next time the Easter bunny comes around.

Theme Parties… It’s Easier than it Sounds

Backyard “Campout”
Since it’s spring and the weather is balmy, consider hosting your party outdoors. Are you the adventurous type? Before it warms up too much, host a camp-out in your own backyard. All you’ll need for this is a chiminea (or permission from the powers that be to build a bonfire), folding chairs to set up around the flames, the makings of S’mores, and some hot dogs and burgers to toss on the grill. Spice it up with ghost stories to tell around the fire-you might even want to hire a professional storyteller. If you know anyone who has a telescope, tell them to bring it along and give the guests a guided tour of the stars.

Color Party

Does your garden have a preponderance of blue, pink or yellow flowers? Blend right into the foliage with a Color Party. This is one of the easiest theme parties to organize. It can be as simple as purchasing plates, cutlery and decorations in a single color. If you’re ambitious, tell your guests to wear outfits to match, and select the food accordingly.

Old South

Live in the South-or wish you did? Step back in time with an Old South get-together. Drape your trees with Spanish moss, prepare sweet tea and mint juleps, and have your guests dress up in the spirit of days gone by-seersucker suits for the gentlemen and hat, gloves and gowns for the ladies. Get creative with the food-is your party set in old-time New Orleans? Chicken and sausage gumbo, Bananas Foster, po’ boys, red beans and rice, jambalaya, seafood Creole, beignets and even King’s cake can be the order of the day. Top the meal off with fresh Chicory coffee. If you’ve gone back in time to North Carolina, prepare a repast of hush puppies, barbeque, Scuppernong wine, honey-roasted peanuts, grilled crab cakes, freshly caught shrimp, oysters on the half-shell and muscadine jelly spread on freshly baked, flaky biscuits. For dessert, consider strawberry shortcake, banana pudding or red velvet cake. Are you hosting a gathering set on South Carolina’s coast? Make sure to have a Low Country boil simmering away, along with plenty of corn on the cob, shrimp and grits, crab dip, fried green tomatoes, cornbread and peach cobbler.

Travel Theme

Got the travel itch? Transform your back yard into the destination of your dreams, and throw a shindig to match. Hire a live band to create the perfect ambiance, serve foods native to the country of your choosing and coordinate the decorations so that they transport guests to Tahiti, Bora Bora or Finland-whatever strikes your fancy. If you feel really inspired, hire character actors to circulate among the guests, dressed in costume… or invite your guests to dress up themselves. Display maps of the location in question and educate your guests by posting interesting facts about the culture, music, food and geography of your chosen locale.

Eco-friendly Party

Celebrate your environmental consciousness with an eco-friendly party. If you’ve got enough plates, glasses and cutlery in your cabinet to accommodate all of your guests-and the willingness to wash them all-this is your most eco-friendly option. The runner-up is purchasing biodegradable plates and cups (bamboo is a great resource for this) and using napkins made from recycled material. For tablecloths, use bed sheets rather than linens, says Teresa Gausman, co-owner of Premiere Events. “They’re super-cheap and are easy to wash-and they have a dual purpose.” Rather than incorporating cut flowers into your decorating scheme, use potted herbs that you can either send home with guests as party favors or utilize throughout your house and garden. See if you can re-purpose items you already own as party decorations to eliminate additional consumption. Where food is concerned, serve only dishes made from food grown or raised locally.
Hold your party during the day to reduce energy consumption, or use solar lights and candles if your get-together starts after the sun goes down. Finally, use online services such as evite.com to send your invitations and manage your guest list, so you don’t sacrifice any trees in the process. Evite.com also offers a party checklist, drink calculator and budget estimator to make your life easier, as well as plenty of ideas to make your event a success.

Drive-in Movie

Finally, blast back to the past with a drive-in movie hosted in your own backyard. This can be as simple as setting up a large screen outdoors, assembling some seating, and then renting popcorn and snow-cone machines-and it sure beats making it a Blockbuster night.

Three Ways to Ensure that Your Outdoor Event is a Stellar Success

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration.

During the spring and summer, it’s easy for folks to get dehydrated. Drinks containing alcohol or caffeine, which people tend to consume in large quantities at parties, don’t help. What can you do? Have a variety of delicious beverages available for your friends-and, says Gausman, “serve fruit, like strawberries, watermelon and grapes. It’s a natural hydrator.”

Stop Bugging Me!

In the South, as the weather warms, the insects come out in force. Few things can put the kibosh on a good time like being dive-bombed by hungry mosquitoes. Gausman suggests setting out insect repellent, giving out fans as party favors and decorating with citronella Tiki torches.

Comfort Comes First.

Keep in mind that you may have guests of varying ages and physical abilities. Never use picnic tables, Gausman says, since “they’re hard to get in and out of.” Rent what you don’t keep on hand, like extra tables and chairs. Many rental companies also rent tables and chairs for small children, so that they can have a space of their own. If your party involves families, consider making it BYOB-Bring Your Own Blanket, suggests Gausman. Using blankets and towels for seating promotes a fun, casual atmosphere and allows kids more freedom.

Tips from the Pros
Courtesy of Premiere Events
o Presentation is everything-so make sure your setup looks good!
o Send invitations one month in advance to allow guests enough time to respond.
o It’s not necessary for guests to respond with RSVPs, only regrets.
o Don’t use evite.com for upscale clients or events.
o To reduce costs, hold group parties with two or four couples hosting.
o If cooking isn’t your forté, cater your party. This will reduce your stress level and give you more time to spend with your guests.
o Consider hiring a party planner for an hour-long consultation, so you can benefit from their expert advice.
Best tip: “If you’re going to spend money on one thing, invest in the linens,” Gausman says. “You can put a $20 centerpiece on good linens and it will look better than a $1,000 centerpiece on poor table dressings.”


Your Information Request for your selected properties



By submitting this form, you agree to allow ideal-LIVING.com to provide your contact information to the selected communities.
Noble's Pond

Noble's Pond

Dover, Delaware

Delaware 55+ Community Situated on 293 acres with wooded areas and natural habitats Low Tax Living - Delaware taxes for retirees are ranked #1 in the NE
Read More...

DE


Red Ledges Utah

Red Ledges Utah

Heber City, Utah

Red Ledges is a 2,000 acre, four-season community only minutes from Park City, UT, offering the ideal balance of convenience, privacy and luxury along with a lifestyle to engage the whole family.
Read More...

UT


Haig Point Club

Haig Point Club

Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

Haig Point is on a sea island and the lifestyle here is very special. It has the serenity and seclusion of a most idyllic, sea island life. But extraordinary privacy isn't the only thing you'll enjoy at Haig Point on Daufuskie Island
Read More...

SC


Jasper Highlands - Tennessee Gated Communities

Jasper Highlands - Tennessee Gated Communities

Kimball, Tennessee

Welcome to Jasper Highlands, a unique residential mountain community, nestled along the bluffs of Jasper Mountain in Tennessee. This remarkable piece of residential real estate is positioned above the clouds with majestic views of Lake Nickajack and the Tennessee River Valley, with property taxes starting at $162.10 a year!.
Read More...

TN


Hartness Greenville

Hartness Greenville

Greenville, South Carolina

The community will feature a number of defining amenities including a central park, sidewalks and pedestrian greenways, unique streetscapes, a commercial center with restaurants and shops, a clubhouse with fitness center, a swim complex, tennis and pickleball, a boutique hotel with spa and a 180 acre nature preserve with 15 miles of trails. Come see 450 acres of beauty in Greenville, SC.
Read More...

SC


Bay Creek - Virginia Gated Communities

Bay Creek - Virginia Gated Communities

Cape Charles, Virginia

On the eastern shore of Virginia, life still moves to the rhythms of nature. At Bay Creek, the pristine beauty of nature is visible from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay to the winding waters of Plantation Creek.
Read More...

VA


Cresswind Charleston

Cresswind Charleston

Summerville, South Carolina

Cresswind Charleston brings the award-winning Cresswind active adult lifestyle to the Charleston area. This gated community is integrated within the thriving community of The Ponds while maintaining its own privacy. Cresswind features a full list of resort-style amenities, all located within a natural, Lowcountry setting. Residents can take a short walk to the 12,000-square-foot clubhouse, enjoy pickleball and tennis or participate in activities at the event lawn and amphitheater.
Read More...

SC


Retire Arkansas

Retire Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas

Arkansas is home to diverse cities and communities, each with something unique to discover - from metropolitan areas to rural settings, and adventure sports to relaxing retreats. No matter where you choose to visit or relocate, you'll find friendly and helpful people everywhere you go.
Read More...

AR


Babcock Ranch

Babcock Ranch

Babcock Ranch, Florida

New solar-powered town near Fort Myers in sunny Florida promotes active, healthy living with 50 miles of trails to get out and explore. Take in 9,000 acres of preserved green space, farm-to-table restaurants, community gardens, and the Healthy Life Center that align with the Babcock Ranch vision with a focus on wellness and sustainable living. Residents can choose from a mix of affordable, moderate and luxury residences that blend with the natural environment.
Read More...

FL


River Bluffs

River Bluffs

Castle Hayne, North Carolina

Located just 10 minutes north of Downtown Wilmington, NC (by boat or car) sits River Bluffs, overlooking the North East Cape Fear River. Residents enjoy a serene community where they live and play. Together, residents and the neighborhood's developers have established over 30 clubs. The clubs include boating, kayaking, dancing & more!
Read More...

NC


Port Ludlow

Port Ludlow

Port Ludlow, Washington

Port Ludlow is a resort-style community located on the shores of the Puget Sound, just a 30-minute ferry ride away from Seattle, Washington. Port Ludlow is close enough to the city, but far enough to enjoy an active and tranquil lifestyle. With views of the Olympic Mountains, a bustling social life, waterfront inn, and myriad of recreational amenities, the community has regularly been ranked as one of the top ten neighborhoods in the U.S.
Read More...

WA


The Governors Land at Two Rivers

The Governors Land at Two Rivers

Williamsburg, Virginia

Celebrating 25 years of distinctive living, you'll find that The Governors Land at Two Rivers offers an active lifestyle for all ages since our diverse community is one-third families with children, one-third working couples and one-third retirees.
Read More...

VA


Stonecroft Village

Stonecroft Village

Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania

The 55+ community of Stonecroft Village, set in the beautiful Tulpehocken Creek Valley of Berks County, PA, was designed with relaxation, natural beauty, and recreation in mind, to be enjoyed alongside neighbors 55 and over at a similar stage in life.
Read More...

PA


Fawn Lake

Fawn Lake

Spotsylvania, Virginia

Spanning over 2,350 acres of gently rolling countryside just nine miles west of the historic city of Fredericksburg VA, Fawn Lake offers the unique opportunity to live in the relaxed resort atmosphere of a gated community and carefully preserved trees with a 288-acre deepwater lake with over seven miles of shoreline plus and an Arnold Palmer...
Read More...

VA


Wellen Park

Wellen Park

Venice, Florida

Wellen Park is a vibrant new gated community in Venice, Florida that offers new homes and resort-style amenities. Located in the fast-growing, master-planned community of Wellen Park, we offer new homes that will complement this beautiful Sarasota County area. Get ready to enjoy the Southwest Florida lifestyle and great weather all year long. Choose from an array of thoughtfully-designed Paired Villas and Single Family Homes with unique curb appeal. Amenities will include a clubhouse, pool, tennis, pickleball, bocce, full-time Activities Director and events, parks and more. You'll love living just minutes to Downtown Venice, award-winning beaches and I-75. Quick move-in homes are available.
Read More...

FL


Black Creek Chattanooga

Black Creek Chattanooga

Chattanooga, Tennessee

At Black Creek, we are building a community that embraces all that has been forgotten about what defines a life well-lived. Imagine access to 1000s of acres of protected land just footsteps from your door while living just 10 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, where shopping, dining, entertainment as well as top hospitals are quickly within reach.
Read More...

TN


Amelia National Golf & Country Club - Florida Gated Golf Communities

Amelia National Golf & Country Club - Florida Gated Golf Communities

Fernandina Beach, Florida

Tom Fazio golf and country club affords golfing, tennis, resort-style swimming pool, snack-bar, lounge and fine dining, gym, walking trails and 24-hour manned and gated guardhouse. Three miles from Amelia Island, close to beaches, historic-district and marina.
Read More...

FL


Pacific Lots and Homes of Costa Rica - Costa Rica Real Estate

Pacific Lots and Homes of Costa Rica - Costa Rica Real Estate

Ojochal, Costa Rica

Pacific Lots represents that largest development for North Americans in Costa Rica. Now in our 26th year, we have developed 17 phases in the southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica. We are the largest builder of Custom Homes in Costa Rica and offer turn key rental services for our clients.
Read More...

CRI


Grand Highlands at Bearwallow Mountain - NC Mountain Communities

Grand Highlands at Bearwallow Mountain - NC Mountain Communities

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Unparalleled panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and pristine forests. This award winning mountain top community is removed without being remote. It is minutes from the conveniences of Hendersonville, NC and the Asheville Airport. Ideal altitude from 3,200 to 3,800 feet to enjoy cool summers without the harsh winters.
Read More...

NC


Latitude Margaritaville Watersound

Latitude Margaritaville Watersound

Panama City Beach, Florida

Latitude Margaritaville Watersound is located on Northwest Floridas Emerald Coast between Pensacola and Panama City. A full range of lifestyle components is nearby, including an enticing array of dining, shopping, entertainment, cultural and recreational opportunities as well as service businesses, medical offices, hospitals and more.
Read More...

FL


Riverlights

Riverlights

Wilmington, North Carolina

Enter the home of your dreams and the lifestyle you crave in RiverLights ™, Wilmington's newest waterfront community. Designed to foster a coastal, wellness-centered environment, RiverLights offers the energy of a city amid miles of tranquil beauty. Set along the naturally magnificent Cape Fear River, it's a new kind of community that celebrates family, honors nature and breathes new life into Southern heritage.
Read More...

NC


Ocean Ridge Plantation

Ocean Ridge Plantation

Sunset Beach, North Carolina

Ocean Ridge Plantation is one of the most exclusive and luxurious beach and golf communities in coastal North Carolina. Ideally situated in Sunset Beach between the historic port city of Wilmington, NC, and the Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach, SC, Ocean Ridge offers luxurious appointments, world-class amenities, and 72 holes of award-winning golf.
Read More...

NC


Windward at Lakewood Ranch

Windward at Lakewood Ranch

Sarasota, Florida

Windward at Lakewood Ranch is a picturesque community centered around a British West Indies design theme along with colonial Dutch enhancements. Island palm trees, lush landscaping and scenic sunrises are present at Windward. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy gathering at the resort-style swimming pool, on pickleball or tennis courts, and walking furry friends at the dog park. Come see all Windward at Lakewood Ranch has to offer!
Read More...

FL


The Lakes at Harmony

The Lakes at Harmony

Harmony, Florida

This gated community, with a golf clubhouse, exclusive Members Retreat and a resort-style pool with a spacious deck and Sunset Gazebo, sits on 11,000 acres. With two lakes and 12.5 miles of walking and bicycling trails, Harmony boasts a serenity matched only by its outstanding proximity to everything you could ever want.
Read More...

FL


Horizon Homes of Wilmington LLC

Horizon Homes of Wilmington LLC

Wilmington, North Carolina

As a family-owned and operated business, Horizon Homes of Wilmington has one main mission in mind: to design homes that suit homeowners' individual needs and lifestyles with quality materials at an affordable price.
Read More...

NC


Palmer Ranch — Sarasota Lifestyle Communities

Palmer Ranch — Sarasota Lifestyle Communities

Lakewood Ranch, Florida

Endless recreational activities, country club living, tree-lined streets and the nation's top-ranked beach, Siesta Key, makes Palmer Ranch a popular and enriching retirement destination rivaling any area one is considering a move to.
Read More...

FL


Lakewood Ranch | Best Places to Live in Florida

Lakewood Ranch | Best Places to Live in Florida

Lakewood Ranch, Florida

At Lakewood Ranch, it's all about the good life. Health, family, and fun are the focus. And, there's an activity to fit every lifestyle. The community hosts 54 holes of golf, a country club with two clubhouses, and tennis and athletic centers. Additionally, it's home to the Sarasota Polo Club and seven world-class polo fields. Lake Ranch polo tournaments attract players from around the world. Still, the list continues with a 75-acre premier sports campus, A-rated schools, and a hospital and preventative medical clinic.
Read More...

FL


Del Webb eTown

Del Webb eTown

Jacksonville, Florida

Active Adult Community in Jacksonville FL is Del Webb eTown. Explore this Builder and 55+ community in sunny beautiful Florida! Brand new master-planned community now selling!
Read More...

FL


Coosaw Point

Coosaw Point

Beaufort, South Carolina

Enjoy the Lowcountry lifestyle in this 400 acre community along the Coosaw River on beautiful Lady's Island in South Carolina. Fall in love! Settle into your very own home by the River. Feel the breeze, breathe in the ocean air, slow down time and know you're home at Coosaw Point.
Read More...

SC


Del Webb Bexley

Del Webb Bexley

Land O Lakes, Florida

Del Webb Bexley is a 55 Plus Active Adult community near Tampa in Land O Lakes FL. Love life to the fullest in this gated, master-planned community. Enjoy the coastal life of Florida.
Read More...

FL



Search for Land Preservation By State:

One thought on “Get Ready for the Outdoors with Great Party Ideas

  1. A genuinely excellent publish by you my friend. I’ve bookmarked this page and will occur back following several days to examine for any new posts which you make.

Comments are closed.