20 Outdoor Celebration Ideas

20 Outdoor Celebration Ideas

Kiwis love to gather outdoors in the summer which makes social distancing restrictions a little easier to accept. In fact, the recommendation to gather outdoors creates the perfect opportunity to utilise the incredible parks and beaches we are fortunate to have at our disposal. Celebrations at home will now often be based outdoors too, so there's no better time to clear out the garage, slap on some sunscreen and get ready to partayyy! Here we have 20 ideas to get you in the mood

GATHERINGS AT HOME

1. Every good party host puts the comfort of guests first, so always allow for shade and shelter. A structure that can serve as both is doubly useful. Think the garage, a balcony or a marquee. Don't forget seating!

2. Forego the barbecue and all its accoutrements and instead slice a leg of ham to serve with bread rolls and simple salad ingredients.

3. People love to contribute. If you've already organised the menu but guests offer to bring something, why not be specific and tell them 'two bottles of fizzy water' or 'a bag of ice'? That gives you one less job to do and it's simple for your guest.

4. Build a massive grazing platter. Have a long table prepped with boards and platters and ask your guests to bring finger food to contribute. Create height in the centre with blocks and pop serviettes, cheese knives and serving utensils around the edges. Include bunches of salad greens and herbs and small piles of fruit that will eventually fill in the spaces. Encourage your guests to arrange their contribution however they like.

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5. Create mini zones using furniture, cushions, mats and rugs so that every space can be utilised.

6. Lighting can make an outdoor party setting look very special. For a pleasant glow at an evening do, go for the rule of three light sources. For example, hang string lights overhead, light the fire pit and place a few small landscape lights around the perimeter. Save bright lighting for the bar area.

7. If children will be present, it’s better for everyone if they are kept happily occupied. A few simple, creative touches can make all the difference. Try one of these:
• Cover tables with butcher’s paper and set out felt tips and stickers to decorate the “tablecloths”.
• Set out buckets of chalk for drawing on the patio floor or footpath.
• Let older kids document the party with instant cameras and peg their photos on a string, bunting-style.

8. D.I.Y floating citronella candles in upcycled jars look super pretty and do double duty keeping pesky bugs away!

9. At a backyard party, a rolling table on casters could be just the ticket when the weather is iffy - roll it into the garage if the rain starts to pour.

10. To reduce traffic around the bar, set up mini drinks stations around the party, both inside and out. Beg and borrow chilli bins or ask your guests to bring one with ice in it. Fill bottles with water and include one at each station.

11. Make centrepiece arrangements from foraged greenery. It's surprising what you can create with cuttings from even the most basic garden.

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12. Create a flower wall or other backdrop for photos and include a few props for extra laughs. Alternatively, you could use a sarong or patterned duvet cover as your backdrop. It's a fun way to encourage photos that will be worth keeping.

13. As the host, you may not have time to take your own pictures. Grab a couple of Instax cameras so your guests can get posing and snapping, or designate a photographer to create lasting memories.

14. Repurposed pallets make for seriously stylish 'boho' furniture. After use, they can be broken down for disposal or kept for the next shindig.

PICNICS

15. Safety first! Take a large bottle of sunscreen, some insect repellent and a first aid kit. Set them up ready for use in a small tub or even just sitting on a plate. And don't forget to have ample water on hand. Not only will your guests be protected but they’ll appreciate the thought too.

16. At a picnic, less is more. Go for simple foods of the best quality you can afford. Pre-cut cheeses into bite-sized chunks, slice baguettes and wash fruit so it's all easy once you're there.

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17. Bunting immediately creates a festive atmosphere and can be used to define the area for a party in the park. Either purchase or sew your own or try attaching leaves and flowers to string for a pretty, sustainable option.

18. Try a deconstructed salad. For a super easy option that allows people to have just what they want, pack a container with ingredients for everyone to build their own salad. Washed, crisp leaves, sliced cucumber, blanched asparagus, whole cherry tomatoes and sliced capsicum all hold up well. Add a jar of olives, a container of feta cubes and a bottle of dressing and everyone's happy!

19. Create an epic playlist with tunes to suit the occasion and remember to charge up your portable speakers.

20. Don't forget the games to bring everyone together! Think about giant Jenga, petanque, frisbee, badminton, cricket, or simply kick a ball around.

Lastly, on your invitation let guests know what to expect at the gathering and what they should bring so that they can plan accordingly and feel comfortable when they arrive. We hope you enjoy a long summer getting together with friends and family. With our very best wishes from Garador.

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