Summer birthdays open up a world of possibilities for birthday parties–the outdoor world. Whether the birthday party is for you, your child, your sweetie or a good friend, take full advantage of the warm season when you choose your locale, menu, activities and theme for the celebration.
Look no further than your own backyard if you have room for a party. Break out the grill and throw a backyard cookout–suitable for all ages. If your backyard is small, or you want a more exotic setting, check out your nearest state or municipal park. Many have activity areas, picnic shelters and grills where you can cook. Some parks require reservations for large groups or for specific activities, so be sure to call ahead for the rules and regulations.
Summer Party Themes
Make your birthday party the one that everyone remembers for years by choosing a theme and carrying it through from start to finish. Use tiki torches and bamboo accessories to transform your patio or lanai into a tropical island for a luau blowout. Surprise everyone by playing against the typical summer party ideas and throw a formal catered dinner–on the beach. Tickle the fancy of your favorite movie fan by turning the backyard into a movie theater, complete with the birthday boy’s favorite movies projected against a sheet of canvas on the garage wall.
Kids Birthday Parties
Turn your backyard into a water park for the afternoon. Pull out the sprinkler and hook it up, fill the kiddie pool, or turn a soaker hose into a makeshift “car wash.”
For school-aged kids, turn the backyard into an art studio with a tie-dye party. Provide white T-shirts, dyes and rubber bands. Warn parents to send kids in old clothes.
Host a birthday water war, if you can stand the mayhem. Provide everyone with his own water pistol–and arm the birthday boy with a double-tank water blaster. Set a time limit or limit the number of pistol refills, and get out of the way.
For pre-teens and teens, get out of the backyard and book a party at a local mini-golf center or water park. Most have special group rates for birthday parties, and include birthday cake, pizza, soda and free run of the park for up to two hours.
Nothing says summer better than homemade ice cream. Turn the food into part of the fun by providing each birthday party guest with plastic freezer bags, ice, salt and the ingredients to make her own ice cream. For a barbecue birthday party that includes both kids and adults, cook kid-friendly foods, like hot dogs and burgers first, and let the adults wait for foods that take longer to cook.
Keep It Safe
If the party is outdoors, be sure to plan for all contingencies. Have a first-aid kit handy for doctoring scraped knees, and sunscreen on hand for guests that forget to bring their own. Food safety is important, too. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. If anything sits out for more than an hour, don’t take chances–throw it out.
- girl with weapon image by Dmitriy Kosterev from Fotolia.com