Break out the rosé and cue the lazy beach days, BBQs and brunching alfresco—our first taste of summer is finally upon us! Memorial Day is the perfect excuse to invite your friends over for a season-kickoff bash. Don’t have the time? We put together six easy entertaining hacks for a great get-together you can throw last minute without breaking a sweat or the bank.
How To Throw The Best Bash In Town
Old-school? Yes. Just as delightful as when you were a kid? Totally! Throw a BBQ and, as a special treat, stock a cooler filled with all the treats from summers gone by—think Klondike bars, Firecracker Popsicles and Orange Creamsicles. Invest in a good (and cute) cooler that you can use throughout the summer, like this mint one. We promise the nostalgic sounds of the ice cream truck driving through your childhood neighborhood will come wafting into your party and instantly put everyone in a great mood.
No patio or outdoor space? No problem. Why not invite your friends to a nearby park for a picnic party so you can truly embrace being outside at the onset of summer? Lay down some blankets—we like these leather ones from Gathre for their design and easy wipe-away cleanup as well as these from ban.do, which are perfect for beach days. Order a sandwich platter from a local deli or grocery store and pair with small bags of pretzels or chips. Assemble them in a cute bakery box (pink for color, kraft for a more natural vibe) tied with twine. It's so easy, but the packaging will definitely make your casual picnic feel like a carefully thought-out, polished affair. Toss some assorted fruit in these berry baskets for sharing and you are good to go!
Nothing says summer more than bright blooms and lots of greenery. If you fill your space with plants and flowers, it will immediately set the mood for your pals and also break your living space out of the winter doldrums. IKEA is a one-stop shop for all your foliage and floral needs with classic- and clean-looking plant pots that even come with pre-arranged succulents. Grab these by the armload and line them up on your food table, kitchen counter and bathroom. If you're feeling more inspired, go for something bigger like a larger, palm tree-inspired plant. The retailer even has great options for displays, like this corner piece or this plant stand. Putting your greenery and florals on multiple eye levels will make your living room or patio look like a lush, tropical paradise.
No need to run to the liquor store and stock a full bar. Having just one really great summery cocktail will immediately put your friends in the mood for all the fun to come—and it doesn't hurt if the beverage is pastel-colored! Rosé lemonade, watermelon mojitos or even a classic Bellini bar are all fan favorites and a perfect way to usher your friends into summer.
Trust us, if you have a theme, your party will instantly feel incredibly put-together and like you put a lot more work into it than you actually have. We like the idea of an exotic desert bash. Maybe keep the guest count more intimate and order in from your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant. Set the mood with an assortment of lanterns and votives and be sure to use a festive tablecloth (this one has a bit of shimmer) as well as proper plates and glassware. Then throw on some inspired music and pop some bubbly.
Who says gift exchanges are just for the holidays? There are so many fun pool floats out there—invite your friends over, order pizza and have a white elephant pool float exchange. Ask everyone bring their favorite new floaty (Target and Urban Outfitters are great places to score the perfect one), wrapped. Everyone draws a number. Number one picks the first float to unwrap. Then number two can choose to steal number one's pick or unwrap a new one from the pile…and so on until all the inflatables are unwrapped. (Official rules are here.) At the end of it all, all guests go home with a super-cute float. Everyone's a winner!