How to Host Summer's Best Lawn Party

family at table for outdoor meal

Summer is in full swing here in the Bluegrass and that means an abundance of fresh produce from the garden or farmer’s markets are making their way to our kitchens.  Summer is also a time when folks are busy with vacation plans, wedding weekends, and road trips. With so many people traveling, it can be difficult to prioritize getting together with our friends or family. 

But soon, summer will give way to a new school year, and fall will race us straight toward the hectic holiday season. That’s a whole different kind of busy. Summer brings the advantage of long daylight hours, warm weather and a sweet summer harvest that’s worth celebrating! Whether you are hosting for a birthday, to shower a bride, or meet up with your book club, a summer lawn party is a great way to gather. Of course, you don’t need a special occasion to pull your favorite people together for food and fun so why not plan your Summer Lawn Party today? You don’t even have to clean your house! 

The best lawn parties include a festive table, an element of fun activities, and simple but delicious food. Hosting your friends and family doesn’t have to cost a lot or keep you in the kitchen all day. Just keep it simple with these three details in mind for creating summer’s BEST lawn party!


Plan your menu based on what’s available and in season where you live. Choose easy, make-ahead recipes to minimize last minute food prep.

For example, here in Kentucky, late July and early August bring fresh peaches, zucchini, sweet corn and juicy ripe tomatoes.  A seasonal menu might include a simple salad of sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and basil drizzled with a high quality balsamic glaze, followed by grilled pork chops topped with a peach jam glaze, and served with charred zucchini and grilled corn. Finally, warm peach crisp served with vanilla ice cream is the perfect finish to any summer day. 

Bottom line, consider the season and choose recipes that can be made ahead of time so you can BE at your own party!

sliced tomatoes with mozzarella and balsamic glaze


Every good party has an element of fun! A summer lawn party is the perfect invitation to bring out the corn hole set or yard size version of popular games like Jenga or tic tac toe. If you have the space for it, an old fashioned badminton match is great fun for those playing and for those watching.

Young adults playing corn hole on the lawn

The FESTIVE Details

Here is where you can decide what makes your gathering a party. Use of color is really the key to pulling off a cohesive look and feel for almost any occasion.  Do you have a guest of honor? Consider their favorite color or flowers for decor. If not, pick something that coordinates with the season and the colors of the food you plan to serve. Natural greens and wood tones always work well in an outdoor environment.

Of course you can buy paper and plastic products in nearly every color but if you want a more sustainable idea that won’t break the bank, put your money into two basic elements:

1.  A Lovely Centerpiece. Never underestimate the power of a grocery store bouquet and a collection of glass vessels from the Dollar Tree. Cluster them together in the middle of a round or oval table, or spread them out along the length of a rectangular table. Alternatively, if you have a pretty bowl somewhere with nothing to do, plop it in the middle of your table and fill it with fresh color-coordinating produce for an equally eye-catching option.

2. Cloth Napkins. Nothing is wrong with opting for good ole’ paper napkins, but the simple addition of real, cloth napkins in a well chosen color scheme effortlessly adds visual impact to your tables-scape. Plus, they can be used again and again and bring an extra bit of elegance to your table.  

Peaches in white bowl on outdoor table

If your table itself needs a facelift or covering, a new drop cloth (the thinner kind, laundered in fabric softener first) is an inexpensive and surprisingly attractive table cloth idea that can be purchased at any hardware store for just a few dollars.

What are you waiting for?

Hosting a summer lawn party is a fabulous way to nurture your most important relationships. So go ahead, invite some folks over for good food, and great fun! With just a little preparation, you can take a simple summer evening and make it memorable. 

Never miss an opportunity to celebrate. The Savor Time & Tradition Box Subscription is a great way to treat yourself and your family. Each month includes high quality convenience products that make food prep a cinch, plus gathering ideas to keep you and your favorite people connected. Learn more here and be sure to click on that little tab at the bottom of your screen to join the list AND get $10 off your first month's Savor Time & Tradition Box.