Thankfully living in Australia and enjoying the great weather during spring and summer – those long warm days and nights – makes planning a backyard party in your home a breeze. Our great climate means you can make plans to have your party outside and if you have kids coming to the party, your back yard gives them plenty of room and space to run around and play. Having a party OUTSIDE means you’ll have a lot less *mess* to clean up afterwards, and there is less chance of food and drinks being spilt on your floors and furniture inside. The best thing about having your party outside is the range of games you can organise for children to play.
If you are having a few small children come along the games you design should be planned as a group, so they can have more fun, instead of feeling like they are in a competition. In general, any games revolving around water are usually a big hit, something as simple as *fishing* for a prize in a kids wading pool is just one of many water-related games young ones can enjoy. Alternatively, you can try organising a treasure hunt in a sandbox, pin the tail on the donkey or the very popular piñata.
Older children will enjoy a scavenger hunt (similar to an Easter Egg hunt), and, if you have the room for it, volleyball, kicking a soccer ball around or a few games of badminton. Teens will probably enjoy a patio party with decorations and music, or you can go for a theme such as a luau, or coming as your favourite singer, actress/actor or super-hero.
Spring parties also give you the chance to fire up the pizza oven.
Outdoor living is *part and parcel* of life in Australia and spring is the perfect time for you to get your friends and family together. Pizza’s, some drinks, salads and yummy desserts what better way to enjoy time with friends and family?
To make sure everyone has a great time –
Keep your guests comfortable, this means ensuring you have plenty of food and drink – even if that means you have lots of left-overs, and, that there is seating available for everyone. If it’s going to be a hot day, consider having your get-together at night or have fans and shade available.
Make your clean up simple, no one wants to be stuck inside doing the dishes all night, the best way to avoid this is by using disposable knives, forks and plates. Today there are so many disposable items for parties, from wine glasses to plates that are stable and firmer plastic cutlery that doesn’t break as soon as you try cutting into something hard. You can also get plates and cutlery to match a theme if you are celebrating a special occasion.
Day or night you want to keep insects away! Flies, mossies and even bees can be a huge and annoying pest at any outside get-together, so take some preventative measures – remove any standing water from the area – mosquitoes love stagnant water. If you have a water feature, drain and clean it out and remove water from saucers or pot plants. Insect barriers or citronella candles will also help. If you entertain a lot outside and you have the area you may want to consider screening in your outdoor area to prevent flies from getting in around the food and guests.
While living in Australia is great for spring outdoor entertaining, if you have planned your party in advance, you may need to consider alternatives if it ends up being a wet day. If you find the weather has turned you may need to take your party inside, so always have a backup plan.
A great way to ensure everyone feels relaxed and *at home* is to add some finishing touches to your outdoor entertaining area – colourful table clothes with contrasting plates and serviettes, containers filled with ice and drinks so your guests can help themselves, it saves people rummaging through your fridge every 5 minutes, keeps guests outside, and by letting everyone *help themselves* they feel like they aren’t *imposing* on you too much.
And finally – plan your event, prepare as much food as you can BEFORE everyone arrives, you want to be able to mingle with everyone, chat and catch up, not be inside preparing pizza bases and cutting up vegetables. Do the hard work early, so when everyone arrives you can sit down, relax and enjoy your time with family and friends.