5 Fabulous Outdoor Entertaining Area Ideas Perfect For Summer

5 Fabulous Outdoor Entertaining Area Ideas Perfect For Summer

The sun's out, so it's time to make the most of this gorgeous weather with some extra celebrating and al fresco dining at home. Whether your outdoor entertaining area is a grassy yard, some pavers out the back, or a tiny apartment balcony, you'll want to make the best of it when family and friends come around.

Need some fun outdoor entertaining area ideas? We love the idea of having a go-to party stash with extra seating, glassware, decorations and other useful things on hand. So you're always ready to let the good times roll, even if it's last minute.

This is easy entertaining - just add guests, nibbles and a drink or two. Cheers to that!

Set Up Some Seating

1. Set Up Some Seating

No one likes standing all day, so whether your outdoor entertaining area is a tiny balcony or a sprawling backyard, family and friends will need somewhere to sit. Think about the size of your regular guestlist, whether your furniture will be undercover, and if you have space - indoors or out - to store items like foldaway chairs and cushions.

More formal outdoor dining will require individual seats at the table, or an outdoor home bar may do better with some tall stools instead. If you are going for a more relaxed vibe, an outdoor lounge or couch will keep guests comfy and within easy chatting distance, but it's especially important to ensure larger outdoor furniture can be moved into cover during bad weather or is otherwise durable and weatherproof.

Already got outdoor furniture? One of our favourite outdoor entertaining ideas is to liven up older pieces with some fresh chair pads and outdoor cushions. Or think about relaxed seating with sturdy bean bags and floor cushions that are perfect for casual hangouts or even an outdoor movie night. They're easy to move and store, and can do double duty for indoor hang-out spaces or teen bedrooms between parties.

Seating like this does have an age limit, though! If nanna and grandpa are on your regular guest list, look at something more senior-friendly like a classic camping chair that can be folded away after use. Or simply make sure to bring out some of your more sturdy indoor dining chairs for them to use.

Keep Things Cool

2. Keep Things Cool

Summer days are wonderful for outdoor entertaining, but nobody wants to bake in the sun. Take note of the shadiest spots in your yard, and make sure they're accessible for guests who want to stay cool with extra seating or space to stand. Need more shade? Think about investing in a large umbrella or two. Beach umbrellas can be staked straight into the ground, or go for a cantilever umbrella on a stand. For a more permanent option, consider adding a shade sail to your space that is connected to the side of your home.

You'll need to keep the drinks cool, too. If the trek to the fridge is just too far, think about having a cooler or party tub on hand, plus lots of ice. You don't want to disappear every time someone needs a fresh drink!

Large drink dispensers are great for use outdoors, as they provide easy access to cool drinks and you won't need to refill them throughout the event. Pop them and a range of glass tumblers on an outdoor trestle and guests can pour themselves a drink whenever they desire.

Stock up on handy items such as sun hats, sunscreen, fans and mosquito coils to keep guests comfortable. If you're hosting regular outdoor get-togethers, you could stash these items in a dedicated storage tub so they're always on hand.

Enjoy Food & Drinks In The Sun

3. Enjoy Food And Drink In The Sun

When planning the food for your outdoor entertaining area, is it going to be nibbles and chardonnays on the deck, sausages and chops on the barbeque, or elaborate dinner parties? Only you know your entertaining style for al fresco dining - plus the number of guests you're likely to invite, how much time and energy you have for prepping and cooking (and cleaning up afterwards), and what kind of look suits your outdoor space best. Tropical? Modern? Boho? A little bit of everything?

Help get your outdoor table party-ready with stylish table runners and placemats. (If you're feeling crafty, you can even make your own.) Planning on finger food? Make sure you've got some sturdy serving platters and trays to share the goodies around on, plus serviettes or napkins to deal with spills and sticky bits.

Check you've got enough glassware on hand for your guestlist, and consider the type of tipples you'll be serving. Wine glasses and tumblers are always useful. Then add in whatever works for you. Love sharing your homebrew? Go for dedicated beer glasses. Mixing up some punch? Add a jug. Entertaining loads of little ones? Having some paper cups on hand might avoid breakages and tears.

Looks Like A Party

4. Looks Like A Party

If you're a regular outdoor entertainer, think about investing in some festive decor to reuse over time. Paper lanterns look fantastic strung up from trees or pergolas, and once you're done they can be folded away for next time. Ditto with hanging garlands and buntings - we've got heaps to suit dinner parties for all sorts of occasions. Solar string lights bring instant party vibes, too. Wind them around a balcony or tree trunk, tumble them down your dining table or damaging them through the branches in your backyard for an instant boost in festivity. Though they might be too pretty to pack away when you're finished with them!

Not all of us are blessed with sunny outdoor spaces (or green thumbs), so if your entertaining area is looking a little bare, why not add in some faux plants? Mix with real greenery for a lush jungle look, or go faux all the way for low-maintenance foliage. We love the look of faux vines across the backs of chairs, as well as some vibrant artificial flowers on the tables.

If your al fresco dining event is happening later in the afternoon or evening, consider some candles to create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for your party. Tealight candles in beautiful candle holders and stylish jar candles are perfect for the outdoors, but avoid candles that are easy to knock over like taper or pillar candles - you don't want fire damage on your verandah or outdoor dining set!

Get Ready For Fun

5. Get Ready For Fun

Organising your outdoor entertaining area should be as relaxed as possible, but a little bit of planning can help the good times roll just that bit easier.

Do you have space in your yard and eager players? Make sure there's a bat and ball in easy reach for a spot of backyard cricket. Want to listen to some party tunes? Organise outdoor speakers ahead of time, and encourage guests to add to the playlist so everyone can hear their favourite tunes. And if the party continues into the night, grab some glow sticks and have fun lighting up the night with glowing neon colours!

If your regular guest list includes lots of little ones, why not set aside some party favours to hand out during their visits? Younger children will love playing with bubble wands outside in the sunshine, or soft balls that won't do too much damage if they go astray. Water pistols are great fun at any age, and have the added benefit of cooling guests down on the hottest of days.

Our easy outdoor entertaining ideas will ensure you'll have fun this summer! Whether you've got a stylish modern outdoor entertaining area or one you've hastily cobbled together at the last minute, you can find everything you need to make outdoor entertaining a breeze at Spotlight! You can shop our outdoor dining range online, pay safely and we'll deliver your outdoor entertaining supplies straight to your front door. Or, visit your nearest Spotlight store to browse the outdoor dining and entertaining range in person.

For more outdoor fun ideas, check out our blog on decorating with fairy lights and our buying guides on party tableware and home decor cushions. And be sure to browse the full range of outdoor living supplies at Spotlight for anything else you may need to pull off the perfect outdoor dining party!




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