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Feature

July 7, 2021
36 Must-Haves For Hosting An Outdoor Summer Party
Patio furniture, bamboo dishware, inflatable pools, and more.
SF
Written by
Sydney Fogel

Summer is in full swing, and you better believe we’re ready to celebrate. Outdoor parties are our favorite, and they’re great for keeping guests (who can occasionally get messy) out of your house too. Whether you feel like having a day party to soak up the sun, or an evening hang to enjoy those warm summer nights, you really can’t go wrong.

To help you host the best get-together, we’ve rounded up some outdoor summer party essentials that we’re loving right now. From a modern patio furniture set and one of the best cheese and tapas serving boards we’ve seen, to a bright and colorful ’90s-inspired cooler, we’ve got you covered on everything and anything you could possibly need for summer entertaining.

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A Chic Place To Lounge

First things first — you’re going to need a place for your guests to sit, and you better make sure it’s comfortable and looks good. This five-piece set will serve as the perfect resting place for when socializing while standing becomes far too strenuous (life is hard, we know). Plus, cushions are included.

Get a Walsunny 5 Pieces Patio Outdoor Furniture Set ($440) →

The Most Coveted Seat In The Yard

Let’s be real, if you have an outdoor space that can support a hanging chair, then you better get one. Your guests will probably fight for who gets to sit in it, but there’s nothing like a little friendly competition to get a party started.

Get a Peacock Hanging Chair ($598) →

Citronella Candles That Aren’t An Eyesore

Bugs can be a major buzzkill at an outdoor summer party, so we suggest keeping them at bay with some citronella candles. These mini citronella candles are actually quite stylish and a far cry from the bug-repellant ones you’d take camping.

Get a Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Mini Citronella Cement Candles 4-pack ($20) →

Clean Bug Spray That Actually Smells Good

If those citronella candles aren’t quite cutting it (or if your guests don’t want to stay huddled around a table of candles), find yourself a good bug spray. This one from Kinfield is clean and DEET-free, and it actually smells amazing, with aromas of citrus and vanilla.

Get Kinfield Golden Hour ($22) →

Colorful Bamboo Dinnerware

When it comes to dinnerware for outdoor dining, durability is essential. But instead of using plastic, level up with plates and bowls made of bamboo. With this colorful set, you get dinner and salad plates, pasta and cereal bowls, and even cups. It’s eco-friendly, functional, and cute.

Get Fable New York Colorful Bamboo Dinnerware ($32 - $148) →

Plates That Are Au Naturel

Here’s some more dinnerware that’ll definitely pass the durability test. Unless you take a saw to these babies, chances are they’ll survive any outdoor dining mishaps.

Get Sur La Table Acacia Wood Plates, 4-pack ($40) →

A Bar That Can Follow You Wherever You Go

Are bar carts still cool? We say yes, and we also think they’re great for outdoor summer hosting. This one has wheels and can easily be moved around to wherever beverages are needed.

Get a Novogratz Penelope Bar Serving Cart ($100) →

The Focal Point Of The Party

If you’re really committed to the cause, you can always get a whole outdoor bar setup. This teak wood one from DecMode opens up and allows you to have an arc-shaped tabletop that all your guests will be gathered around.

Get DecMode Teak Wood Bar Table ($799) →

An Ice Box That Also Makes Ice

This cute little ice box is perfect for keeping on your bar, and it comes with a reversible lid that also functions as an ice cube tray that makes cool geometric-shaped ice. The box holds 132 cubes, which should last you well into the night.

Get a Lékué Ice Box With Reversible Lid ($32) →

A Cooler That’ll Remind You Of Your Childhood

Igloo really has us in our feels with their special edition ’90s-inspired retro coolers. They’re bright, nostalgic, and keep your drinks cold. What more could you want?

Get an Igloo Retro Picnic Basket 25 Qt Cooler ($50) →

Classy Acrylic Drinkware

Now that you have your bar situation under control, it’s time to get set up with some stylish drinkware. These gorgeous fluted glasses are made from acrylic and come in both the highball and double old fashioned variety, as well as four different colors.

Get West Elm Fluted Acrylic Glassware ($22 - $88) →

Glasses That Bring The Tropical Vibes

If you trust your guests to not have booze-induced butterfingers, we recommend you check out these glasses from Anthropologie. You can choose between palm tree, flamingo, and cactus designs, but we have a feeling you’re going to want all three.

Get an Anthropologie Bonita Glass ($14) →

The Big Kids Pool

Getting a Minnidip inflatable pool may be the best decision you make all summer. Plus, who knew inflatable pools could be so stylish? Each pool fits up to three adults — or more, if you’re up for the challenge.

Get a Minnidip Inflatable Pool ($45) →

How To Keep The Tunes Going

Having your speaker die because it gets dropped in a (possibly inflatable) pool would be a major party foul, so we suggest you avoid that altogether by getting a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. You won’t regret it.

Get JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker ($90, was $111) →

An Insulator To Keep Your Drink Cold

We love warm weather, but we can’t say the same about warm beer. Thankfully, the mother of all coolers, Yeti, has blessed up with their can insulators. In addition to coming in a standard 12oz can size, they also support 16oz cans for tallboys, and 12oz slim cans for all you hard seltzer lovers.

Get a Yeti Rambler 12 Oz Colster Can Insulator ($25) →

A Way To Ensure Your Wine Is The Chillest

For properly chilled wine, a wine bottle chiller is a no-brainer. This insulated holder will keep your wine cold for up to four hours (assuming the bottle isn’t gone by then). If you really want to fool-proof the experience, you can get insulated wine tumblers too.

Get a Vinglacé Wine Bottle Chiller ($90) →

A Classic Summer Lawn Game

No summer party is complete without some lawn games, and by lawn games we mean cornhole. This set has everything you need: two boards with a blue gradient design, and eight bean bags — four with a kiwi print and four with a floral print.

Get a Sun Squad Wood Bean Bag Toss Game Set ($80) →

A Game All Ages Can Play

We’re here for ALL the summer fun and games. And what’s another classic lawn game? Ladder toss.

Get a Hathaway Solid Wood Ladder Toss Game Set ($70, was $128) →

Your Ticket To A Clean House

One of the main benefits of an outdoor party is that the inside of your house stays clean, and let’s keep it that way with a durable doormat. Made from coconut fiber that’s interlocked in a braided design, this doormat isn’t an eyesore either.

Get an Anthropologie Braided Doormat ($38) →

The Pizza Party Starter

Any party can become a pizza party when you have your own pizza oven. This gas-powered one reaches 950°F and can bake a pizza in just 60 seconds.

Get Oooni Koda Outdoor Pizza Oven ($484) →

A Skillet So You Can Chef It Up

We’re all for burgers and steaks, but sometimes you need to add a little variety to your grilling routine. That’s where this outdoor skillet from Made In comes in. It allows you to cook veggies, potatoes, shrimp, and other smaller foods while still achieving that signature barbeque flavor.

Get a Made In Blue Carbon Steel Grill Frying Pan ($89) →

Not Your Grandma’s Apron

Let’s prevent that carefully curated party outfit of yours from getting dirty, shall we?

Get a Hedley & Bennett The Essential Apron ($95) →

The Perfect Hideaway

If you can’t stand the heat, well, get under a sun shade. This printed shade is perfect for kids to play under, and it’s great for pets (in addition to adults). If you need to tap out for a few minutes, we’ll know where to find you.

Get a Caligrafica Zaha Sixties Sun Shade ($199) →

A Place To Kick Back And Relax

Here’s another place where you, or your guests, can take a little breather. Don’t worry, we (and this sling chair) have your back.

Get an Alja Horvat Areca Palm Pattern Sling Chair ($149) →

Placemats That’ll Liven Up Your Dinner Table

Placemats may not always be necessary, but if you want to elevate your tabletop look, they’re definitely not a bad idea. Summer 2020 was canceled, so summer 2021 warrants the extra effort.

Get a Chilewich Heddle Placemat ($25) →

BBQ Blends From Around The Country

There are four classic American barbeque styles — Memphis, Texas, Carolina, and Kansas City — and they all offer their own flavor profile. With this spice blend kit you’ll be able to season, sauce, and marinate from all four of these barbeque-making regions. As a bonus, the kit comes with a cookbook for plant-based barbeque recipes, so you’ll be able to feed all your guests some barbeque regardless of their dietary restrictions.

Get Neil Edley BBQ Blends Rub & Sauce Kit ($38) →

String Lights For An Optimal Ambience

Outdoor string lights really are chef’s kiss and they’ll never go out of style, so string these babies over your patio or along a fence in your backyard. These lights are dimmable, which means you’ll be able to set the mood.

Get Outdoor Heavy-Duty String Lights ($39.99) →

The Most Convenient Cooler

We’re all about convenience, which is why we’re loving this inflatable floating cooler. Now you won’t have to get out of the pool when you need a drink refill. Work smarter, not harder, right?

Get an Inflatable Rainbow Cloud Floating Drink Station ($29) →

Cocktail Mixers To Make Your Life Easy

Want another way to work smarter and not harder? Buy cocktail mixers. This trio from Casamigos comes with Margarita mix, grapefruit orange Paloma mix, and blackberry basil smash mix. All you need to do is add tequila (though the mixers alone make for great virgin drinks).

Get a Casamigos Best Selling Cocktail Trio ($56) →

A Way To Bring The Heat

Like moths to a flame, a fire pit will serve as the place where all your guests will gather. We love the modern design of this one, and the nearly 5-star rating doesn’t hurt either.

Get a Get TIKI Brand Stainless Steel Fire Pit ($350) →

A Cool And Functional Serving Dish

This is a far cry from Pete Campbell’s chip-and-dip in Mad Men, though, in all honesty, it ultimately serves the same purpose. It’s actually quite the functional serving dish.

Get an Anthropologie Marin Chip & Dip ($58) →

A Nifty Swivel Cheese Board

Speaking of functionality, this compact contraption swivels open to transform into the perfect cheese and tapas board complete with bowl and cutlery holders (and even a space for crackers). The ceramic serving bowls and cheese knives are included.

Get a Compact Swivel Cheese And Tapas Board ($85) →

Molds For Endless Refreshing Possibilities

Making your own popsicles is a fun activity and it allows you to whip up frozen treats that are usually healthier than the ones you’d buy at the grocery store (and less expensive, too). Plus, you can get creative with flavors and maybe even make some boozy popsicles.

Get a Zoku Classic Pop Mold ($14.95) →

An Essential For Any Party

Pair this popsicle piñata with those homemade popsicles, and you’ve got quite the summer theme going.

Get a Meri Meri Popsicle Party Piñata ($30) →

Your Backyard Movie Theater

We love the idea of hosting an outdoor movie night, and it’s incredibly easy to do when you have this portable projector screen to set up in your backyard. You don’t have to worry about it taking up too much room either, as it all folds up to fit into a compact bag that you can store or transport anywhere.

Get a Blina Portable Projector Screen With Stand ($96) →

A Blanket For When The Sun Goes Down

Make your outdoor movie night as cozy as possible with a good throw blanket. Comfort is not the place to compromise.

Get a Sunday Citizen Tulum Throw ($155) →

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