The weather is great, your friends are over, and you’re all heading outside. Make sure your yard is well equipped and ready for fun.
Remove any dangerous obstacles and non-essential clutter. The assortment of children’s toys spread out over the yard isn’t a problem from day to day, but you’ll want a cleared, safe yard for a visiting group. While you’re at it, block off any dangerous “work in progress” areas. And if you have spiky plants such as cactus or rose bushes, make sure they’re safely guarded.
Make sure you have enough seats available. How many is enough? That depends on your crowd, but if you expect all of them to want to sit at once, that’s how many seats you need. A lot of them can be folding chairs, easily stored and easily deployed, at a moment’s notice. Once the group is back at the games, you can make extra room by clearing them out of the way. They’re always ready to grab, for anybody who needs one.
It’s a nice day, and everybody is having a great time in the sun, but offer refuge with a Quick Shade pop-up canopy or beach umbrella. As the afternoon turns to dusk, they are fast and easy to fold up and store. Prevent sunburn, offer a retreat from the heat, and stake out a shady area.
Do you have a decent sized, level, grassy area? Then you can also have a croquet court, bocce lawn, badminton court, putting green, and horseshoe pit. A flat, level driveway can instantly become a half court for basketball, with a portable, temporary hoop. If you’re going to multipurpose the same area, organize a timetable, and make sure everybody knows that at 3:00 pm, the croquet tournament will be ending, to make way for the beanbag toss.
Even if you’re not serving lunch or dinner, per se, snacks and drinks are an essential part of any outdoor gathering. The number one rule for food at outdoor events is: have enough. Assume that everyone will eat something, and stock accordingly. Having leftovers is great, and the last thing you want to do mid-party is make a store run. You can keep it simple with chips and dip, elevate your game to sandwiches and potato salad, or go full BBQ with the whole range of hot dogs to steak.
This all applies to drinks as well – have enough. Consider using two coolers, one for soda and juice, and one for the beer and whatever other alcoholic choices you’re providing. Have an endless supply of disposable cups, plates, and cutlery. Whatever you don’t use, you’ll use at your next event.
Place at least one full-sized trash can in a very obvious and central location. Two is even better. Right next to the door to the house is a good spot, since everybody passes that way. Have extra trash bags standing by, so the can is never overflowing.
Even if it’s just your iPad and a Bluetooth speaker, you’ll want to get some background music going. Music carries the event through the lulls in conversation, the quieter eating times, and the end of party wind-down.
Your outdoor event is going to be great. You’ll have all the supplies you need, many options for games and activities, and comfortable surroundings for everybody.