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If I could describe my perfect summer weekend to you, it would involve catching up on sleep (wishful thinking with two kids, but a girl can dream!), time spent at the pool, and hosting at least one backyard hangout every single weekend. We all notably spent 2020 and some of 2021 without social gatherings, so I know I’m not the only one excited to send out a mass text to my nearby friends and get them over for a casual hangout in our yard or on our porch.
Just a few months ago, my husband and I bought our first home, meaning we now have our first backyard and we intend to use it to the fullest. Since we also have little kids, I personally prefer hosting people and having them come to us instead of figuring out the logistics to get two toddlers into the car, out on an adventure, and back before naptime. So instead, I often invite everyone to our place. The kids can nap mid-party and I can continue on enjoying time with friends.
To keep everyone happy and coming back, I’ve been sprucing up our outdoor space and making sure our get-togethers are comfortable and fun for both adults and kids. If you’re working on becoming the go-to hosting house or just want to have a few things on standby for when guests pop in, we’re here to help.
Here are 22 items we love for summer outdoor entertaining.
Dining and Drinking
Whether you’re hosting a full-fledged dinner party or casual cocktails on the lawn, below are some items you might need.
Melamine is a must-have for outdoor dining. The plates are shatterproof and still dishwasher safe, plus they look nice.
Whip up a summer cocktail and serve it in this gorgeous beverage dispenser.
Crate & Barrel
Hot summer days call for a frozen cocktail or mocktail. These glasses take the presentation up a notch.
These glasses are a fun and unique shape, plus they are durable for outdoor use.
These vibrant plates are good to use year after year, and offer a fun base for all your fave treats.
These placemats are a classic style and perfect for summer gatherings.
Bed Bath & Beyond
For entertaining the grown-ups, swap in these delicate bright napkins with a border trim detail.
General Outdoor Decor
Spruce up your space with comfortable seating, lights, and more.
This conversation set is unique in its own way and ideal for hosting any guests. What's better than being both comfortable and chic?
This bar cart is perfect for having drinkware or appetizers at the ready for summer (adult) hangouts.
Collapses for easy storage, too!
2 colors available
Perhaps a bit pricier than other drink coolers, this one is so fun and bright that it might just be worth the splurge.
Have extra seating easily on hand with these stackable patio chairs.
Keep the kids content at their own personal picnic table. Ideal for eating, crafts, or pure enjoyment, a backyard table is a must!
Lanterns are the perfect way to upgrade your outdoor space. Once the season is over, these also work well inside.
The Everymom x Minnidip
Use this adorable kiddie pool in a number of ways: fill it with ice to keep drinks cool, let the kids play in it, or even use it for the adults to cool off in (though maybe just a place to put tired feet).
This is definitely a splurge item, but how fun are at-home, big-screen movie nights? You'll definitely be the favorite family on the block with one of these in your yard.
I'm a sucker for bistro lighting so you better believe these line all outdoor spaces around our house.
I've admittedly had my eye on this for a few months and will likely hit "buy" this week. It's the perfect outdoor rug to pull a look together.
Pretty and bright, this block-stamped outdoor rug comes in two sizes to fit your space: 5' x 7' and 7' x 10'.
2 colors/patterns available
Always have a fridge full of drinks for when your crew stops by.
We already love The McBride Sisters's Black Girl Magic wine and nothing screams summer quite like a chilled spritzer on a hot day.
A refreshing drink that's good for your gut? That's a win-win. Stock your parties with prebiotic drinks from Poppi—we especially love the tropical flavors!
These crafted canned cocktails have delicious flavors like Vodka Elderflower & Pear and Tequila Grapefruit. Plus, the company is women-founded and owned.
If you're preferring to go alcohol free but still want the summer feel of a rosé, go for this non-alcoholic rose from Sip Clean. It tastes like the real thing!
This article was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated for timeliness.