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Summertime Entertaining Essentials

During those first warm days of the summer season, don't you hear "Summertime" on repeat and want to bust out the running man?! No, just me?

This year, we are READY to socialize in a big way. Between multiple rounds of COVID and a long winter, it's time to have your friends over and celebrate! What better way to kickoff the summer than with a little get together on your patio?

To help you out, we've rounded up our favorite summertime entertaining essentials - all guaranteed to keep your guests fed, entertained, and make your life just a little bit easier. Use these fun and unique items below and get your entertaining on!

(Note: this post contains affiliate links which means that if you purchase through these links, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate when you shop using my links! :) )

Party Serveware

What's a party without food and drinks? (Answer: it's not. People expect food and libations.) Below are our favorite items for easy AND stylish entertaining this season:

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1. Build the perfect charcuterie board that holds not only your favorite meats and cheeses, but also has 3 little spots for mustards, chutneys, and olives. Dig in!

2. Don't let ants and flies get to your delicious spread. Use these adorable food tents for keeping out those pesky bugs!

3. There are so many pretty options for outdoor melamine dinnerware that are safer for outdoor dining. Choose a color and pattern that you love, like this peppy blue dotted pattern, and leave the breakables indoors!

4. Use a pretty pitcher to hold your signature cocktail. This insulated version doesn't just provide a lovely display - use it to pre-mix it in a big batch ahead of time so that you can mingle with your guests instead of being the bartender all evening.

5. Sometimes when I'm entertaining, I swear I go in and outside 342,509 times. (Ok, maybe not that often but you get the point.) Serving trays are not only pretty, but they can save you so.many.trips. I love this natural woven version!

Keeping the Kids Entertained

Whether it's a birthday party, backyard barbeque or an impromptu neighborhood get-together, chances are, the kiddos might need a little entertainment. Check out these ideas for keeping them occupied and having a good time too!

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1. Do your kids love popsicles as much as mine do? Get them in on the action and make your own with these silicone molds! Freeze juice, smoothies or even yogurt for a delicious treat that will cool them down…and I’m willing to bet are a bit healthier than the store bought version!

2. The inflatable water slide and pool combo literally saved our summer last year. With COVID restrictions, we didn’t get our usual fill of pool time, but even this year, I'm sure we’ll be bringing it out again! It takes just a few minutes to setup so that your kids can be slipping and sliding away in no time!

3. You can almost instantly fill 100 water balloons at once with Bunch-O-Balloons. It’s nearly-magical self sealing mechanism will save your sanity -- and your fingertips -- so that you don’t have to have tie one hundred water balloons! #gamechanger

4. Give a classic like kickball a reboot with this supersized inflatable version! Kids big and small will have fun - and it's great for burning off some post-smores energy!


Now that you’ve got the food, drink and kids taken care of, let’s focus on setting the mood for your guests! Below are the must-haves to make for a relaxing evening at your next party.

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1. You can never have enough chairs and extra seating. Sure, you can run out and buy out the plastic Adirondack ones at a big box store, but why not choose something with a little more character, like these modern wicker versions?

2. Music in the background is key for setting a mood, and this portable speaker delivers great sound. Even better, it’s waterproof, and you can link a few of them up for stereo sound around your deck or pool! They come in a fun pop of 14 different colors too!

3. Fight back against those pesky mosquitoes with citronella candles. You can find them everywhere, but how cute are these ones in their swirly blue tins?

4. Ambiance is all about the lighting, and these outdoor cafe-style lights are perfect! If you live in an older home, there’s not always a convenient power supply outdoors to be able to plug something into. Fix that problem with solar powered lights so you don’t have to worry about a power supply and voila! Instant ambiance.

5. I love a good gooey smore, but I don’t love smelling like a campfire afterwards. The Tiki version firepit is not only more modern looking than most, it features technology to give you a toasty warm fire without all the smoke!

I hope these ideas gave you some inspiration for your next summer get-together (and inspired you to break out some dance moves....)

Enjoy each other out there, and if you have any favorite things that you use when you're entertaining, drop them in the comments below! Happy summer!!

And PS, just in case you need something stuck in your head for the rest of the day - here you go....

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