Summer has tricked me yet again. Cold weather last week combined with school still in session had me complacent. Then out of nowhere it hits me: hot weather, end-of-year parties and final performances, plus holidays hot on their heels. I’m going to play a trick of my own and think beyond the barbecue for entertaining this June, July and August. Here are my favorite unconventional summer party ideas – and the party invitations to match.
Cocktails and Croquet Invite friends over for an afternoon of lawn games and lemonade, plus cool finger food and spiked refreshments fit for the sultriest of summer days. Send out Mixbook’s perfectly preppy Geo Pattern party invitation to set the tone. As always, the key is to keep is simple. Encourage guests to don their preppiest club attire and get into the spirit of the party. Litter the yard with vintage outdoor games like croquet, bocce, ring toss, horseshoes and badminton. Set up separate stations for kids and adults, or simply rotate from time to time so every age group gets a go.
Night at the Drive In Send out one of Mixbook’s great 1950s-style party invitation to summon friends to a private home screening of a classic movie. Create the feel of a 1950s drive-in movie theatre with an outdoor film projector set up to screen right on the side of your house. If your house is smooth, you’re golden. If it’s not, simply suspend a sheet a few inches away from the wall. Spread out blankets and pillows in the grass, and serve popcorn, licorice and classic glass bottles of Coca-Cola. Decorate with a few funny signs that say things like “No Necking” and “5¢ a soda.”
Garden Party When your garden starts to go off, instead of hauling bushels full of produce into your kitchen, lure friends and family straight to the source with Mixbook’s Garden Brights party invitation. Decorate the perimeter of your garden with streamers and balloons, or simply let the natural beauty take center stage. Invite guests to pick herbs right from the ground to savor and smell. Make sure you incorporate the bounty into the menu, making strategic use of your abundance. The more creative you get, the more fun the party will be – and that is particularly true if you employ an artful take on mixology using fresh ingredients, rare elixirs and plenty of ice. And…don’t forget the built-in party favors. Send guests home with a giant squash or whatever’s coming up in spades.
Game Night I always forget about playing games with people other than my children. But busting out a few classic games is a fantastic way to encourage new conversation with the same old crew – especially after the kids are in bed. Much as I love my friends, sometimes it does seem like we touch on the same subjects an awful lot – especially because we’re all sort of orbiting the in the same stratosphere. But getting a group game of Balderdash or Apples to Apples or whatever game you know and love changes the conversation – and lets you forget about the daily-daily altogether. Which is really refreshing once in a while. Round up all your favorite people by sending out Mixbook’s Game Night invitation featuring a design that evokes a vintage Scrabble board. Make the celebration itself simple by having plenty of refreshments on hand along with big bowls of snacks and a great upbeat playlist that never stops. Tell friends to brush up on their fifty-point Scrabble words or their shark-style shuffling skills and make a night of it.
Happy Mixbooking! Happy Summer!