Summer is in full swing, which means it’s time to get your family and friends together for backyard BBQs, pool parties, and all of your other favorite outdoor activities! While outdoor entertaining is great for adults and children alike, it can come with some challenges. Florida’s boiling summer temperatures, pesky bugs, and limited seating can all become a host’s nightmare. These 5 tips will help you plan and execute the perfect outdoor gathering, every time!


1. Prepare for any weather

Every Floridian knows that heat, humidity, and a heavy dose of sunshine all come with the summer months, and when we’re not getting sweltering sun, it’s probably pouring down rain.

An important part of outdoor entertaining is to be aware of the predicted forecast, but you should also prepare for any kind of weather. For beating the heat, equip your patio or outdoor area with fans, misters, and plenty of shaded spots where your guests can find shelter from the sun’s rays. In case of afternoon showers, provide covered areas that can fit all of your guests, and ensure there is space for your cooking appliances beneath the cover.

Don’t let the weather bring your patio party to a grinding halt, by preparing for the worst, your guests can continue to enjoy your festivities rain or shine!


2. Protect food from the elements

Food and the outdoors aren’t always a match made in heaven. Bugs, weather, and high energy activities can all become an obstacle for keeping food and snacks both safe and fresh. Chips exposed to humidity can become stale, fruits often attract bugs, and even the sturdiest tables can fall victim to hyper kiddos.

Plastic containers with well-fitting lids are your best friend when entertaining with children. If you want to keep snack foods out throughout your party, use plastic containers with lids. These will keep out bugs and air, while also staying spill-proof. Plate covers can also be used to shelter food from bugs and humidity.

If you want to keep food cold while it is outdoors, try setting the food on top of ice packs instead of loose ice. When ice melts it will slowly warm up. Ice packs stay colder longer and multiple ice packs can be cooled beforehand so they can be rotated throughout the day. Be strategic with your snack and food planning, finger foods are easy to serve and eat while standing outside.

Food is usually the centerpiece of any successful gathering, but soggy chips and bug ridden fruits can spoil your guests appetite. The key to hosting outdoors is to focus on providing coverable foods for your guests to enjoy!


3. Protect yourself from the bugs

While protecting your food from bugs is important, you also want to protect yourself! Floridians are constantly battling the dreaded mosquito, but there are some ways to get on the winning side of this fight and protect your guests from annoying, biting bugs.

Citronella candles are the most natural way to deter mosquitoes and other bugs and can even be made at home. However, if you are also entertaining children, you may not be able to place enough candles out to be truly effective.

Another, more reliable, bug defense are body sprays. Many sprays use Deet to repel these pesky bugs, and studies have shown that it’s one of the more successful mosquito-fighting chemicals. Some popular spray brands include, Off, Repel, and Cutter, and if you are worried about using a spray on sensitive skin, there are also organic options!

In addition to using a body spray, there are also yard sprays that can help deter certain bugs from ever entering your yard in the first place. Some sprays can also kill gnats, ticks, fleas, ants, and their other friends. When used properly and dry, these chemicals are safe for children and pets. The best bug treatment is a combination of any of these products!


4. Create designated gathering spaces

If you have ever hosted a gathering, you already know that people tend to congregate in the most inconvenient places, like the middle of your kitchen. To help guide your guests to more convenient outdoor gathering locations, you want to create spaces designated for them.

One of the easiest ways to direct traffic is to create organized seating areas. People will naturally gravitate towards chairs or couches, so it’s important to provide as much seating as possible.

Another great tip for organizing your guests is to guide them to gathering areas with food, drinks, and activities. Place these stops along the way to the gathering space to create a more natural flow, and prevent one area from being too crowded at once.

It is also helpful to mark a space for children. Children will go where the games or activities are, so you can provide seating for them near the activities.



5. Plan outdoor activities

Games and activities make for the best gatherings! If you are hosting a themed event, birthday party, 4th of July celebration, or just a weekend social hour, you should always have entertainment that can be enjoyed outside.


If your outdoor gathering includes children, be sure to provide everything they’ll need for outdoor fun. Some activities for children include slip n’ slides, hide and seek, scavenger hunts, and sports. If you want to host a family-wide kickball or touch football game, make sure you have all of the proper equipment and space to play. It’s important to consider all of the logistics of your chosen activities!


Norfleet Homes—Homes Built for Making Summer Memories

Norfleet homes are built for memory making, and what better way to ring in the summer than by gathering your friends and family together? Our covered porches and landscaped yards are perfect for hosting outdoors—visit us online to view of our premium standard features.