Summertime in Texas is the perfect season for entertaining friends and family outdoors. Warm temperatures might be discouraging, but make the most of them with cool and refreshing libations, relaxing games, and an enchanting atmosphere.
Spritz It Up
Whether guests are sipping on freshly squeezed lemonade, Southern sweet tea, sangria, or sparkling water, spritz it up with these ideas:
Freeze a variety of berries and melon to add to drinks. They can replace ice to keep drinks cool while adding delicious flavor. Use a melon baller to scoop out watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Add the fruit to a pitcher of the beverage of choice or allow guests to choose their own flavor combinations. Similarly, for an adults-only evening, pour wine into an ice tray and freeze it. Use the wine ice cubes to keep wine chilled all evening without diluting it. For a lighter option, add the wine ice cubes to sparkling water. For an unusual container, shave down one end of a watermelon so that it can stand upright. Cut open the other end and remove the contents. Use an apple corer to make a hole near the shaved end, which is where the tap will be inserted. Fill the watermelon with your drink of choice, pour a glass, and enjoy!
From Backyard to Magical Oasis
With minimal décor and time, anyone can create a peaceful ambiance that transforms your backyard into a magical oasis.
Use a birdbath to create a relaxing summer mood. Make sure it is filled with water, and add floating tea light candles and flowers. String lights through tree branches and across the patio to encourage afternoon festivities that easily linger into the evening. Set up areas for engaging outdoor games, such as giant chess and checkers board, washers, and over-sized dominoes.
When dining al fresco in the summer afternoons and evenings, decorate your outdoor table using these durable yet aesthetic tips:
- Set the table using linen napkins for a light and easy cleanup. Linen napkins are reusable and can be washed in the sink for the next mealtime.
- For an easy yet refreshing centerpiece, fill a colorful vase or votive with water and place a fresh arrangement of flowers or baby’s breath in it. Baby’s breath, an ideal plant for the heat, stays fresh for up to ten days.
- To keep pests away, light the table with citronella candles. These candles will create an ambiance at the table while protecting your guests and food from bugs.
To beat the Texas heat and stay refreshed, try out these cool tricks:
- Place small, handheld accordion fans in a decorative bowl, allowing guests to pick one up upon arrival and leisurely fan themselves.
- Create your own ice-cold compresses! Roll up square, individual washcloths and secure with a rubber band. Place the cloths in a designated cooler filled with ice, for your guests to grab and stay cool.
- Set up a large, stationary fan in one central location. Make sure the fan is on a low, controlled setting to keep a constant breeze.