8 outdoor party ideas for modern hosts

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Photo by Askar Abayev
Photo by Askar Abayev

Hosting an outdoor party can be fun, festive, and filled with lots of laughter. However, hosting a successful one is not as easy as just moving everything to the patio, backyard, or other outdoor space you have. It requires a lot of planning, guest correspondence, and ideas for the party. You also need to think about how to deal with unexpected weather and anything else that might happen. Whether you are planning a party for your friends or for both friends and family, here are some ideas that can help make your party even better.

Settle on a Theme

Settling on a theme as early as possible is so important because the theme will tie everything together. Going for a seaside theme? You will need to create a coastal vibe to go along with it. Want to create an intimate dinner setting? You will need to make the necessary arrangements for it.

There are so many themes to choose from, and the one you ultimately end up with will depend on the type of party you are hosting, who is invited, the time of day, and the season. 

Photo by Brooke Lark, Unsplash
Photo by Brooke Lark, Unsplash
Photos by Brooke Lark, Unsplash

Get the Right Furnishings

The right furnishings will complement your theme while also providing your guests with somewhere to sit. You do not need to go out and buy a full garden furniture set, although you can if you would like to, but you can always use whatever you have.

Fix them up as much as you can and then decorate them. If they don’t look good or fit in, you can always borrow some from a neighbour or friend, or shop for cheap second-hand options online. Ensure the furnishings are lightweight so they are easy for you and your guests to move and consider bringing some poufs and ottomans for those who are more comfortable sitting on the ground. 

The latter option can be a great way to create a cozy and intimate sitting arrangement.

Photo by Gillian Harrison, Pexels
Photo by Gillian Harrison, Pexels

Create an Outdoor Cinema

You can also incorporate an outdoor cinema into your party scene for the guests who prefer this type of entertainment. For this, you will need some space, a vertical wall for the screen, an outdoor projector, some seating options, and a sound system. You do not need to worry too much about the source of the medium because most modern projectors come with USB and media card slots.

Set aside some space for the cinema, set up the screen ensuring it is as vertical as possible, and then work on the technical aspects of the movie-watching experience. These include ensuring you have the right media, the image is centered on the screen, and the sound arrangement works as expected.

Once everything is done, you can arrange some food, snacks, and beverages for your guests. Alternatively, you can have them bring over whatever they like from the rest of the party.

Photo by Ron Lach, Pexels
Photo by Ron Lach, Pexels

Grilling and Barbecuing

The party is already outdoors which means it already has a casual and campy atmosphere. Grilling and barbecuing are both great options for such an outdoor party, with people who know how to do it encouraged to make food that is fit for a crowd. Foods like hot dogs, chicken, and burgers are easy to make and are definitely crowd-pleasers.

If you are hosting some vegan or vegetarian guests, consider having some grilled veggies for focaccia sandwiches and kabobs. You should also consider having the person handling the grilling or barbecuing make some veggie burgers for your vegan or vegetarian guests.

An alternative to barbecuing and grilling is making foods that are easy to make outdoors but that do not require you to stand over a grill. Making a pizza outdoors, for example, is a great idea because they are easy to make and a great option for all crowd sizes. 

To do this, you will need an outdoor pizza oven that cooks fast and can accommodate the sizes of the pizzas you would like to make. The Ooni Koda 16 from Ooni is a great option because it can cook pizzas of up to 16 inches and is gas-powered.

Planning ahead will go a long way in ensuring everything goes smoothly whether grilling, barbecuing, or making pizzas outdoors. It will also save you a lot of time and stop you from running around when it’s time to cook. 

Photo by Brooke Lark, Unsplash
Photo by Brooke Lark, Unsplash

Choose Good Music

Music can make or ruin an outdoor party. You should have a playlist of songs to be played during the party. Choose the music, keeping in mind the tone and timing of the party, the type of party you are hosting as well as the people invited.

Having different playlists for different sections of the party is also helpful as it helps set the right mood at the right time. If you cannot create a playlist, there are many ad-free options on YouTube that will keep your guests entertained for hours.

If your friends play some instruments, you can ask them if they could play for an hour or two.


There are so many options to choose from when deciding how to accessorize your party, but some mood lights are a good place to start. Hanging some lights and other party accessories can create a celebratory mood, especially if the party will go on into the early evening or night. 

Paper lanterns are also a great option because they are not very common, are easy to hang, and are easy to take down. Repurposing some Christmas lights to create a twinkling effect also works great.

Those who host parties often buy accessories that can be reused such as blankets that can be thrown over seats and tables. 

Create a Great Evening Atmosphere

Having some lights in the garden for parties that run into the evening or night is a great first start, but you could do a lot more to create a great atmosphere. Consider adding some candles to improve the mood and create an exquisite look. 

You can also use candles or incense sticks to keep mosquitos at bay. Although this might depend on the season depending on where you live, it is still a good idea as it adds to the ambiance.

A fire pit is also a good idea as it creates a focal point for your seating areas, especially as the night goes on and more people opt to sit instead of stand or dance. It can also provide warmth in intimate settings, keeping your guests comfortable and eliminating the need for blankets or heavy clothing.

Photo by Francois Van Staden, Pexels.
Photo by Francois Van Staden, Pexels

Create an Outdoor Bar Area

If you are hosting a party for adult guests, a great option is to have a bar area. There are two ways to go about this. First, you can hire a bartender to mix drinks for your guests. You can instruct them to create fun drinks depending on the season and occasion.

Second, you could set it up so your guests can pour themselves a drink. This will save you money since you will not have to hire a bartender and it will also save you from having to stand around the bar pouring drinks.

Planning, creating a great atmosphere, and ensuring your guests are comfortable are key ingredients to a great outdoor party. Choose a suitable theme and use it as an anchor for your planning and the party.

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