You’ve seen our end-of-summer event inspiration blog, so now let’s dive in to the actual party planning! In September, one glance at your calendar brings on the “summer is almost over” panic. The words “Labor Day” jump off our devices or wall calendars like surprised cats. The official last day of summer, September 23rd, is creeping up, but there is still time for one final I-Don’t-Want-to-Let-Summer-Go bash before the days get shorter and the to-do lists get longer. Having a final summer outdoor party means … well … another chance to be outside. Who’s going to turn that down?

Even if only taking a few steps beyond your back-patio door, venturing into the great outdoors can present challenges. From lightning to hornets, you’ll benefit from being prepared for the unexpected. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you achieve the best late-summer party possible!

Wanted and Unwanted Guests

Get invitations out early if you want more than late-summer wasps to arrive! With back-to-school shopping, vacations, and busy schedules to contend with, everyone will appreciate 10 to 14 days’ notice. Keep in mind that some friends’ kids go back to school earlier than others, so picking the best date for a bash is critical. And with everyone’s e-mail folders filling up, sending or dropping off an actual invitation might be a welcome change. If you are going to invite pets and kids, you better let people know on the invitation. If you opt for a theme like Hawaiian Luau, you can color coordinate the invitations too.

When it Rains…

End-of-summer parties mean unpredictable weather, but if you rent a tent, you got it covered, literally. Or, you could decorate an already existing outdoor gazebo or patio to let your friends know it’s not off-limits. Colorful balloons or a pinata might do the trick. Do you have enough chairs and tables? Are they waterproof? Remember, Oregon can get a lot of rain so you’ll want to be prepared, even if the forecast says sunny.

Let the Outdoor Party Games Begin

Who doesn’t want to play some outdoor games with friends as the lazy days of summer are almost behind us? Having designated areas for games like horseshoes, cornhole or croquet will help keep everyone from crowding the food and beverage area out of boredom. Kids love games, and the further they are away from people with glasses and bowls that can be knocked over, the happier everyone is. Let this energetic activity commence with lots of laughing encouraged.

Food, Please!

You must also figure out how much food to have and where to put it. There are a couple of things to decide upon and consider:
1. If the temperature gauge is rising, you need to keep the food cool or only bring it out for a short amount of time. Will the tables be in the shade and do you have enough of them?
2. How much do you want to commit to serving food? Maybe you just need a soft-serve ice cream machine or a punch bowl full of margaritas to keep your friends sipping and satisfied. Whether you’re planning on doing a full meal or light snacks, let your guests know. At the end of the day, food makes the party, so make sure you know what your serving and to how many people.
3. If you do want to go all out, have some fun with the menu choices. Keep with a theme or have a grill-master competition.

Music to Their Ears

A party is always more fun with music. This could be as elaborate as a band underneath a stage tent or a Spotify playlist hooked up to a speaker. Outside acoustics vary, and neighbors might want it to be quiet after a certain time of day, so definitely consider the logistics of your soundscape.

Most of all, you want to make a toast to summer and end the season with an outdoor party no one will forget! For party supplies and more party tips, visit Parties To Go. We’ll help you make sure your event goes off without a hitch!