The temps these days may be a bit high but, I don't know about you, I'm not letting a little heat get in the way of my summer plans. Sure, they may have to be slightly altered, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of ways to have fun without breaking (too much of) a sweat. Below, I've listed 8 gatherings that will help you and your friends beat (almost) any heat summer is throwing your way. Since the predicted forecast for the next few days is one of fire-like conditions (at least in the NYC area), consider this your weekend cool-down plan.
P.S. To help make all your summer soirees easier, don't miss my list of outdoor entertaining essentials.
1. Pack a Picnic for the Beach || Nothing says summer quite like a picnic at the beach. The picnic staples of sandwiches, lemonade, watermelon and potato chips are classics for a reason- they're easy to make, affordable, mess-free, hold up in the heat, and require little-to-no cooking. For more picnic inspiration, check this post out.
2. Enjoy a Day of Water Activities || Use your backyard or head to a local park for day of h20-filled fun. Some of my favorites include a water slide and water balloon fights. Keep the water theme going by serving blue refreshments, everything from blue jello cups to blue lemonade to blueberry popsicles.
4. Gather for an Ice Cream Social || Cute bowls, fun toppings, lots of ice cream....there may be no better way to cool down with friends. To help you pick flavors and toppings, try coming up with a theme, i.e. tropical (which could include things like coconut ice cream, mango sorbet, caramel sauce, a variety of nuts, granola, shredded coconut) or chocolate (which would include chocolate ice cream, triple chocolate ice cream, oreo pieces, brownie bites, chocolate sprinkles, hot fudge sauce, white chocolate sauce).
5. Hold an Evening Movie Screening in Your Backyard || Throw some pillows and blankets on the ground, set a projector up against the side of your house/building or a screen, and provide everyone's favorite movie snacks- candy and popcorn (and if you're space allows for a fire pit, you could even provide everyone with the makings for s'mores). For drinks, serve sodas (bonus points for unusual flavors or glass bottles) or alcoholic spritzers.
6. Throw a Sangria Soiree || With so many fun sangria flavors out there, you potentially could host sangria soirees all summer long and not run out of flavors. As a fun alternative to pre-making the sangrias, you can also set-up a DIY sangria bar (see this post for tips on how-to set one up).. For food, serve lighter fare that won't require much cooking and that can withstand the heat of summer...think marinated shrimp, lobster bites, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc.
7. Host a Salad Potluck || No one wants to turn on an oven or stove when it's 900 bazillion degrees out, so, in place of a regular potluck, have everyone bring their favorite salads (here are 3 perfect picnic salads to get you started). Just don't forget to assign someone a dessert salad, too! For even more salad ideas check out this and this.
8. Cool Down with an Iced Coffee Bar & Make-Your-Own Yogurt Parfaits Brunch || For a summer breakfast get-together, switch out heavy brunch fair for a build-your-own yogurt parfait bar. Set up fruit, granola, nuts, nutritional toppings (i.e. cacao nibs, shredded coconut, chia seeds) and several flavors of yogurt. For drinks, keep the DIY theme going with a fun iced coffee bar. Of course, you'll need your coffee, as well as coffee ice cubes, flavored syrups, milk (regular, almond, coconut, condensed) and whipped cream for topping.