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.”


Plantation Bay Golf and Country Club — Florida Golf Communities

Plantation Bay Golf and Country Club — Florida Golf Communities

Ormond Beach, Florida

An abundance of sparkling new facilities take this prestigious private community to luxurious new heights, with two clubhouses, a magnificent 7,000-square-foot Spa and Fitness Center, 10 tennis courts and 45 holes of golf to challenge and delight players of all levels. Plantation Bay is the perfect place to get pampered, stay in shape and play, all right in your back yard.
Read More...

FL


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


Savannah Quarters  - Modern Living. Historic Charm.

Savannah Quarters - Modern Living. Historic Charm.

Pooler, Georgia

Developed by SunCal, Savannah Quarters, Savannah Quarters is a master planned community ideally located less than 15 minutes from the center of historic Savannah, GA.
Read More...

GA


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


Celadon

Celadon

Beaufort, South Carolina

Located in SC's Lowcountry, a mere three miles from downtown Beaufort, this beautiful master-planned community allows you to focus on a simpler, happier, healthier life.
Read More...

SC


The Retreat at Ocean Isle Beach

The Retreat at Ocean Isle Beach

Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

The Retreat at Ocean Isle Beach is a special community just 1 mile away from the beautiful sand and waves of Ocean Isle Beach. Residents at The Retreat are positioned uniquely within walking distance to the local grocery store, incredible restaurants and quaint shops that make Ocean Isle Beach so desirable. The colorful homes and lush landscape pay homage to the bold and bright colors you'll find lining the oceanfront streets just across the causeway.
Read More...

NC


SIMCA Developments | The Best of Mexico For the World

SIMCA Developments | The Best of Mexico For the World

Playa del Carmen Quintana Roo, Mexico

SIMCA is the number one property developer in Southeast Mexico, covering Cancun, Tulum and Merida! SIMCA Developments have 15 years of experience working in the hottest cities in Mexico!
Read More...

MEX


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


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


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


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


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


Sunset Ridge

Sunset Ridge

Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

Sunset Ridge is located in Sunset Beach, North Carolina and has been one of Bill Clark Homes' longstanding flagship communities. At its completion, it will showcase just over 400 single family homes and is planned for 100 townhomes. Just 3 miles from the Sunset Beach barrier island, Sunset Ridge offers its residents the easy access to both the beach and the Intracoastal Waterway all at a very affordable price point.
Read More...

NC


Kingfish Bay - Homes in Coastal NC

Kingfish Bay - Homes in Coastal NC

Calabash, North Carolina

he setting for Kingfish Bay is a sprawling 60+ acres of coastal Carolina. Great care was taken to weave the development design into this natural setting, while creating a functional, convenient, and aesthetically pleasing lifestyle community.
Read More...

NC


SweetBay

SweetBay

Panama City, Florida

Alongside more than five miles of bay-front shoreline in northwest Florida lies the perfect coastal community. A place where the best of nature meets the best of neighbors. A place where every square foot of your home, your neighborhood and your favorite gathering spot was overseen with masterful planning and architectural design. At SweetBay, we see things differently.
Read More...

FL


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.

Search for Land Preservation By State:

Share this with friends!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

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.