10 essentials for an outdoor party
When summer is in full swing, there’s no better way to enjoy it than to host an outdoor party with friends and family. Fire up the barbecue and let the good times roll! But before you sit down to relax with a refreshing cold drink, make sure your backyard is party-ready.
From gorgeous decor to tech products that’ll help make your soiree a smashing success, the following 10 items are essentials for your next ‘do. Check out this list of things you’ll need to pull off the perfect outdoor party!
Zoku Quick Pop Maker
This Williams-Sonoma exclusive product ($49.95) is guaranteed to be a hit with kids and adults alike. It’s a handy device to help you make frozen treats for guests to enjoy and cool down with on a hot day. The nonstick cast-aluminum molds enable quick freezing so you can make each treat in just minutes. Fill the molds with juice or try layering different flavours for a more interesting look and taste. It’s not only a quick way to make dessert but your guests will have fun exploring their options.
Set up a laptop computer outdoors – you know you’re going to need it! Use your computer to play music, search for cocktail recipes, upload party pictures instantly to Facebook or settle that friendly debate between Dad and Uncle Hal.
Mosaic Hundi Lantern
This gorgeous lantern (Pottery Barn, $239) adds style to any outdoor space and illuminates a nighttime get-together beautifully. Made with a mosaic of hand-blown glass tiles, this accessory lends an intimate ambiance to your evening by casting a soft and colourful glow when illuminated.
Flip Mino HD
Capture special moments on video with the handy Flip Mino HD ($229.99). This pocket-sized video camera features two hours of recording time and is the perfect tool to help you preserve precious moments with friends and family. Simply plug the device directly into your laptop’s USB port and gather everyone around the computer to watch the clips.
Citronella Bucket Candle
Don’t forget to light citronella candles around your backyard to make guests more comfortable and keep pesky pests at bay. These bucket candles (Crate & Barrel, $6.95) are lovely decorative accents, too. Placed in clusters around the garden or deck, they’ll add both form and function to your fete.
Cusinart Infrared Gourmet Propane BBQ
It’s not a party until someone fires up the grill! This barbecue (Canadian Tire, $649.99) features a 730-square-inch cooking surface with a 31-burger capacity, perfect for keeping hungry guests well fed. Not sure what to cook? Get inspiration from the food experts at canadianliving.com and homemakers.com or try these recipes:
Barbecue roasted turkey
Grilled pork tenderloin steaks with gorgonzola
Smoky barbecue burgers
Spicy grilled corn on the cob
Don’t miss any memories. Keep a camera at the ready to catch those unforgettable moments. Upload the pictures to Facebook during your party and make sure you have everyone’s e-mail addresses so you can forward the photos later. Everyone will be thrilled to have a memento from the party.
Get the party started with a selection of summer tunes that’ll make your guests want to get up and dance! Load your iPod with a playlist of favourite music and play it softly in the background while guests are chatting and turn it up as the night progresses (not too loud; keep in mind your neighbourhood noise bylaws).
HoMedics Rechargeable Wireless Speakers & Dock for iPod
You’re going to need outdoor speakers if you want to play music from your iPod. These rechargeable wireless speakers and dock for iPod (HoMedics, $109.99) play for up to five hours when fully charged. Because they’re wireless, they’re perfect for outdoor use. The universal iPod dock fits all iPod models.
Solid Outdoor Drape
Create a cosy, comfortable outdoor atmosphere with these stylish outdoor drapes from West Elm ($42 - $50). Not only do they create an intimate ambiance, but they also offer privacy and protection from the sun on hot days.