10 May 2021

Outdoor Summer Entertaining Ideas

With the weather getting warmer and the sunshine lasting longer into the evening, now is the perfect time to think about your outdoor entertainment space! Check out these ideas for fun summer entertaining ideas in your backyard, even on your patio or deck. There’s something for everyone!

Create an Oasis (Even in a Small Space!) for Outdoor Entertaining

You don’t need a tropical get-away to enjoy the outdoors, just a bit of creativity and some tips to make your space sparkle for the summer!

Greenery will bring that lush, oasis feels to your space. Even if you live in a temperate climate, like here in Virginia, planting flowering plants like Day Lilies and Calla Lilies will bring the tropics to you. Plant these beautiful perennials in your existing flower beds or as a feature in a unique rock garden. If you live in an apartment and are short on space, try out a potted Monstera Plant for a tropical vibe.

Some new outdoor furniture will make your space feel refreshed! And you don’t have to break the bank on a new piece or two. Anything wicker will add a fresh touch to your patio or deck. Try out a new rug underneath your outdoor dining table or near your bistro set, like this trendy Farmhouse accent rug from Target for only $25! If you’re looking for more seating, you can pick up an outdoor bench in a coordinating color or a contrasting wood stain for visual interest. Be sure to include thick and comfy cushions for optimal enjoyment. Add a few new pillows, and you’ll have a cozy dining area in no time. If you have a fire pit, be sure to arrange some seating around it for s’more’s nights and more!

Create the Perfect Outdoor Entertaining Ambiance

If you have lots of space in your backyard and want to build a new focal point, look into a pergola! This one features gorgeous profiled beams and trellis ends for a touch of elegance. You could stain or paint the wood to match your decor style (white would be perfect for a farmhouse look or leave as-is for a boho-feel). Add sheer drapes, fairy lights, or even a trailing vine around the pergola beams to complete the look.

Make sure your outdoor fete isn’t interrupted by unwanted intruders (bug ones, that is). Light a few of your favorite citronella candles to set on tables, or place a few citronella Tiki torches around your yard to ward away pesky insects. A combination of candles and torches will also lend to the glowing ambiance of an outdoor evening event- a win-win!

Photo Credit: @simplysmores.co

Outdoor Entertaining With Summer Drinks and More

What’s an outdoor summer party without a cold, refreshing beverage?

Try out these easy (and beautiful) DIY wine cubes. Just freeze your favorite wine (red, white, or in-between) in ice trays, pouring about 1 ounce per cube. Pour a glass with chilled sparkling water and add a few of your frozen wine cubes. Enjoy!

Do you love Moscow mules as much as I do? Try this summer spin on the cocktail classic! First, in a pitcher, stir together vodka, lime juice, sliced plums, and sprigs of fresh thyme. Then, stir in chilled ginger beer before serving over ice in a Moscow mule copper mug. Finish off with a garnish of a plum slice and a sprig of thyme. Cheers!

Tired of the same basic s’mores recipe? Are you a big fan of Samoa cookies? Then be sure to try this fun twist on your old favorites! In addition to chocolate squares, marshmallows, and graham crackers, all you need are some toasted coconut shavings and caramel. Then, begin to assemble your s’more as normal, but before you place the top graham cracker, top your toasted marshmallow with a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of coconut. Finish your s’more with the top graham cracker, and you’ll have a delicious fireside treat. Yum!

Not a graham cracker fan? Try using chocolate chip cookies as the base of your s’more instead! Replace the chocolate squares with a thick smear of Nutella, and you’ve got a decadent dessert on your hands.

Summer Mule

A refreshing twist on the classic Moscow mule recipe

4.8 from 6 votes


10 mins


a few seconds


a few seconds






4 people


178.0 kcal


  • 8



    1 cup

  • 2


    fresh lime juice

    1/4 cup

  • 2

    plums, thinly sliced

    plus more for serving

  • 8


    fresh thyme

    plus more for serving

  • 12


    ginger beer

  • lime wedges

    for garnish


    1. Stir together ingredients.

      In a pitcher, stir together vodka, lime juice, sliced plums, and sprigs of fresh thyme.

    2. Add ginger beer.

      Then, stir in chilled ginger beer before serving over ice in a Moscow mule copper mug.

    3. Garnish and serve.

      Finish off with a garnish of a plum slice, lime slices, and a sprig of thyme. Cheers!



178.0 kcal


27.0 g






23.0 mg


26.0 g

Get the Party Going

Once you have your outdoor space ready and your menu prepared, it’s time to set the mood for whatever your entertainment plans are! Set up your fire pit with plenty of firewood to keep it going all night long, light your citronella candles, hang a string of lights across your yard or patio, and play some festive music.

Corn hole boards or Spike ball sets are a great way to encourage your guests of all ages to play and let loose. Be sure to create drink areas with ice to ensure cold beverages, even when the weather is warm. Most importantly, though, remember to have fun!

Are you excited about outdoor entertaining this upcoming summer season? Have you tried any of these fun outdoor entertaining ideas to freshen up your space or to liven up your party? Let your friends and family know on FamilyApp!

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