1. Keep bugs away. You can keep bugs at bay naturally with a bit of strategic gardening. Plants that ward off bugs include lavender, marigolds, and rosemary. Plant these varieties in and around areas where you entertain guests.
2. Pump up the jams. Have guests request a few of their favorites to create a playlist that everyone enjoys, or use a streaming app. To pump up the tunes, use waterproof Bluetooth speakers.
3. Create ample seating. Depending on the number of guests you are expecting, you may need to increase your seat count. Rent additional tables and chairs, or take a trip to a local secondhand shop and give used outdoor furniture some love with a makeover. Benches and inexpensive poufs work well in a pinch, too!
4. Play games. If kids are attending, you may want to set up some games to keep them occupied. Chalk and bubbles can create hours of enjoyment, or get out the classics like corn hole and horseshoes.
5. Show a movie. After a day in the sunshine spent grilling and playing games, kick back and relax with an outdoor movie. Elevate your backyard theater experience with a high-quality projector designed for home use such as those from Casio’s line of LampFree Projectors. The XJ-F210WN from the Advanced Series, for example, features intelligent light control that adjusts projection brightness accordingly. Inflatable screens are available to rent or purchase and make a great choice for outdoor use. Or you could simply use a wall or an extra-large sheet.
6. Create ambience. Street lights, hurricane lanterns or tealights create a warm and inviting ambience. Use lighting both to stylishly set the mood and allow the party to continue even after the sun goes down. ■