Take advantage of perfect weather and celebrate together outside! These clever outdoor party ideas cover food, themes, decor, and more!
As the weather warms up, open up your doors, and host your parties on the patio or in your backyard. The best thing about having parties outside is that you don’t have to clean up inside your house after all your guests leave!
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Hi! I’m Annie, from Venture1105. I love hosting parties! Do you? I’m not very creative, so I rely on other ideas I find on Pinterest. That’s why I created this list. I wanted one place I could go to find a handful of ideas that would spark even more ideas in my mind. I hope this list helps you out as much as it helped me.
17 Clever outdoor party ideas
I broke up this list by different categories. Scroll through and find the category that you need the most help with. In this guide, you’ll find all sorts of outdoor party ideas – from the food, to the games, decor, and even some fun themes.
Outdoor Party Themes
The very first thing you need to plan is the theme. The theme will determine your food, games, and even your decorations.
Outdoor Movie Night
Set up a movie night at home! Hang up a sheet and use a projector to watch a movie under the stars. Then, you can create your own movie night concession stand with snacks and even play tickets.
Backyard Camp Out
Another fun theme is a backyard camp out. You can either set up a tent and end the night actually sleeping under the stars or just serve some food and play some fun games. Either way, this backyard camping party guide tells you everything you need to plan a memorable one – from the food to the games, to the decor!
Retro Surf Party
This is a really fun variation on the beach party theme. Instead of just a beach party, throw in some surf boards and play some Beach Boys! What you have is a fun retro surf party that everyone will remember.
On the other side of the age spectrum, if you want something a bit more relaxed, you can host a small brunch on your patio. This guide shows you how to decorate the table – I love those flowers!
A beach party is one of the most popular themes for outdoor parties. This guide takes you through the invitations, the food, and even some fun decor ideas too.
Outdoor Party Food
After you decide on the theme, it’s time to plan the food. Planning the food is one of my favorite parts. While it can be as easy as searching Pinterest for “princess party food ideas,” I also have some of my favorite party foods listed right here for you.
Tiki Punch Recipe
Luaus and other tropical themes are popular for outdoor parties. If you are doing one of those, serve this tiki punch.
Save your fingers (and the fingers of your guests) from gooeyness and indulge in a s’mores cake instead. Chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers are synonymous with outdoor parties. This cake will be devoured!
Tropical Turtle Beach Cups
Easy Macaroni Salad
This macaroni salad is a classic picnic or BBQ side dish. I’ve seen it at potlucks, graduation parties, and more than a few 4th of July parties! It’s scrumptious and feeds a crowd on the cheap!
If your theme is camping or even something with bugs, then these cupcakes will make everyone laugh.
Outdoor Party Decor
The part I struggle with the most when it comes to parties is the decorations! There are some seriously creative bloggers out there, and thanks to them sharing their ideas, your parties will look amazing!
Patriotic Sand Art Decor
This is a really festive idea for patriotic outdoor parties. The best part is, you can change this sand art idea to match your theme – just use a different color of sand!
DIY Utensil Table Setting
If you are going to serve food at your party, then make these really fun little utensil holders. The best part is, they are ridiculously easy to make!
Aren’t these candles the cutest? I love how they upcycled wine bottles into beautiful candle-holders. This is such a classic centerpiece that it can go with just about any party theme. As of October 2020, the link to this tutorial is no longer available. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Outdoor Party Games
Don’t forget the entertainment and games at the party. The games don’t always have to be on-theme. Even so, I found a few that match!
Tic Tac Toe Game Board
Whether you are hosting a small group of friends or entertaining a bunch of kids, tic tac toe is fun for everyone. Follow this easy craft tutorial and you can make your own.
Nerf War Battlefield
If you have a big enough back yard, playing a nerf war with the kids can be a harmless and fun way to have a few laughs. I say kids, but really all ages will get in on the fun!
Sponge Water Bombs
An eco-friendly alternative to water balloons, sponge water bombs help kids cool off and use of all that endless energy! Keep them on hand because they also work to wash your car too.
Giants, Wizards, Elves Game
This is a whole-body variation of rock/paper/scissors game. It’s an entertaining game for kids that doesn’t require any extra equipment (yay!). Hessun Academy has complete instructions. You play it with teams and then it turns into a game of tag. It sounds hilarious!
How To come Up With Your own Outdoor Party Ideas
There really isn’t a secret to throwing a smashing party. If you are happy and welcoming, people are going to love it.
Even so, here are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way that will ease your anxiety about planning outdoor bashes.
- Start with an easy theme. The theme will help you plan the rest of the party
- Ask people for help. If there’s a part of the planning process that is difficult, ask for help! You don’t have to do this alone.
- Keep it simple. Often when we start over planning, it can become overwhelming and difficult to accomplish.
Our Favorite Outdoor Party Essentials
Whether you’re planning to a few outdoor get-togethers this summer or just maybe one a year, here are a few of our must-have items to throw the ultimate bash!
- A Giant Outdoor Jenga – This classic game is on a new scale with this oversized outdoor addition. It’s the perfect way to keep kids entertained while the adults get to mingle.
- Solar Hanging Patio Lights – Having patio lights really sets the ambiance of your outdoor party, but finding an electrical outlet can sometimes be a problem. These string lights use a solar cell so you don’t have to worry about that common problem.
- Mesh Food Tents – Bugs won’t get a chance to eat your food before you do with these mesh food tents. They also collapse for easy storage when you’re not using them, too.
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