The outdoors can hold a definite appeal for party hosts. The mess-factor tends to be less plus being outside alone can take some of the pressure off in terms of providing entertainment for your guests. The kids can play freely and the adults can sip cold drinks and enjoy the sun. Oftentimes, a combination of good company and good weather is enough to ensure a pleasant time; but what can take a get together from good to great, is the little touches. Here are 5 tips to ensure your outdoor gathering is hitch-free.


Include a Bugspray and Sunscreen Station 

Your guests will thank you for this one! Most people don’t think to apply these essentials before going to a party, so have them readily available and avoid burns and bumps.

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Account for Mosquitos. 

There a few ways to ensure your gathering is mosquito-free:

  1. Empty out sources of standing water, like pools, rain gutters and rainwater that has pooled on surfaces on the deck.
  2. Place a few fans around the perimeter of your space.
  3. Purchase mosquito repellant candles and lanterns. Look for wax that contains geraniol or


Make the Food and Drinks a DIY.

Instead of stressing out in the kitchen slaving over elaborate dishes, serve raw finger foods that guests can put together themselves. The same goes for drinks: set up a table or a drink trolley with beverages, garnishes and fruit. If you want to go one step further, make up recipe cards with instructions on how to make tasty combinations with the liquor and mixers available.


Freeze Water Balloons. 

Avoid having a cooler full of water at your party’s end. Freeze water balloons and keep them in your cooler with your beverages. An added perk: a water balloon fight for the kids to look forward to before home time.


Make it a Potluck 2.0.

Offer a prize to the person who brings the tastiest or most popular dish. Assign a theme and have guests cast their votes to engage everyone in the game.

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Zakiya Kassam

Zakiya is a freelance writer/editor based out of Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter: @zakkassam

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