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7 Essentials for Summer Entertaining

There are certain entertaining essentials you'll need to make every gathering feel effortless. Scouting out the perfect location is the first step, and doesn't have to be complicated: a patio, garden, spacious backyard or outdoor terrace all require the same basics you'll need for summer events and parties. Once you have the space nailed down, it's time to move on to the details. Tumblers, portable seating and throw blankets are just the start–additional thoughtful touches will be sure to impress all of your guests. Here are the 7 essentials everyone needs for the ultimate summer entertaining.

1. Tumblers
Snazzy tumblers are always great to have on hand. They are a great tabletop accessory and are perfect for outdoor use. For summer, we tend to lean towards bright and colorful glasses vs. neutrals. The pop of color is a fun touch for entertaining outdoors; it will remind guests of tropical escapes and make them feel at ease.

2. Drink Dispenser
A carafe or creative beverage dispenser helps you serve your guests with style. Encourage guests to help themselves with an easy-to-access beverage dispenser. You can find dispensers that come in all shapes and sizes. If you find the right style and position it correctly, it will fit seamlessly among the rest of your summer entertaining decor.

3. Outdoor Bar
A backyard bar is the easiest way to transition guests from indoors to outdoors. Creating an outdoor bar makes it easier for the host and guests to relax and enjoy the summer day. There's always that one guest who loves to play bartender! Single out your friend and put them to work.

4. Ice Buckets
Be sure to have plenty of ice ready in the freezer for the day of the party! It's the absolute worst when you have to leave mid-party for an ice run. No one wants to be tasked with that chore (even if they generously offer). Save everyone the trouble and make sure to have enough ice ready in advance. In addition to the ice itself, make sure to have coolers and ice buckets readily available for all beverages.

5. BBQ
Nothing says summer like BBQ! One idea perfect for outdoor get-togethers is grilled kebabs. Have guests build their own meat and vegetable skewers or prepare them in advance. A sweet or spicy glaze will top off the meal and leave guests wanting more.

6. Popsicles
Popsicles in the summer are such a delight. Buy popsicle molds and make your own for your party. Either make them with guests or in advance before everyone arrives. There are so many amazing fresh juice popsicle recipes to try. Cool off with these tasty strawberry-pineapple-lime flavored summer treats.

7. Portable Seating
Portable seating or folding chairs are great to have on hand for outdoor gatherings. If you are low on storage space, we suggest renting portable seating for a one-time event. If you host more frequently, look into buying bulk seating at cost-efficient shopping centers.

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