Summer Entertaining Essentials
Serve beverages in style on this Teak Bar Cart ($500; frontgate.com). With three shelves for storage, it’ll keep all of the supplies you need within reach. Repurpose the removable trays to tote food from kitchen to table.
Consider it a sensible splurge: The chic CalypsoSwivel Lounge Chair with Sunbrella Kiwi Cushion ($600, crateandbarrel.com) has wear-resistant fabric and hidden rollerblade wheels underneath, giving one lucky guest (or you) max movability to mingle.
These hardworking candles do more than add charming flicker: Gold Canyon's Papaya Passion and Jasmine Lime Specialty Scented Citronella Candles ($14, goldcanyon.com) keep bugs at bay while putting off a downright pleasant aroma (yes, really).
Tad bit chilly come nightfall? Create a campfire feel with less work using the Garden Treasures 30" Matte Black Steel Wood-Burning Fire Pit ($59, lowes.com). The screen cover keeps embers under control.
Mason jars aren’t just for canning. Perfect as drinking glasses, votive holders, or DIY lanterns (just add wire to make a handle), they’re always party-ready — and hard to break! Stock up with this inexpensive 12-pack of16-ounce Ball Regular Mouth Jars with Lids and Bands ($16; amazon.com)
Mix up a big batch of iced tea or lemonade in the Striped Beverage Dispenser ($6, target.com for stores). The easy-to-pour spout let’s kids get their own drinks — make that, let’s everyone get their own drinks.
In a variety of bright colors and stripes, the 6’ Round Umbrellawith Eucalyptus Pole ($99, potterybarn.com) is an instant, affordable way to update your outdoor furniture. Bonus: Unexpected showers or harsh sun rays are less likely to thwart party plans with protection overhead.
Give party drinks a pop of color with quirky, conversation-starting Fred Swizzle Sticks Drink Stirrers ($6; amazon.com). The adults will love them as much as the kids do.
A Place to Park
Bust out the board games or just give folks a place to nap off their lunch on a moisture-resistant Foldable Striped Travel Mat ($22, overstock.com). It provides the perfect position from which to stargaze after dark, too.
Fun and Games
How to ensure kids (of all ages) have a good time: Set up a safe but sure-to-get-the-blood-pumping outdoor game like My Sunshine 10-Pin Bowling Set ($7, walmart.com for stores). Just be ready for some healthy competition.