Tag Archives: Party Ideas

Your Guide to a Fantastic Backyard BBQ

So you’re having a backyard BBQ for your friends and neighbors? Here’s all you need to make it great!

1. Comfort

The issue of “not having enough chairs” usually comes up at most get-togethers. So if you want to be sure all your guests are comfortable and have a place to sit, you may want to have a few spares sitting around. If you want to go the extra mile, have a selection available, as some guests might prefer a classic chair with a canopy, others may like to put their feet up, another might prefer a bug net (there is always one guest who freaks when bugs touch their food, and it’s usually me!), or you might need one just the right size for kids! One way or another, make sure you’re guests all have a place to sit to enjoy your food and company!

Original Canopy Chair With Ottoman Original Canopy Chair

 

 

Original Canopy Chair With Bug GuardKids Canopy Chair

2. Food

You can find burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, steak, or BBQ sandwiches at just about any backyard barbecue you go to. You’ll typically see sodas, chips, corn on the cob, baked beans, coleslaw, and potato salad as well.

Since these are dishes people will expect to find at a barbecue, you may want to include some of those familiar items, but you can also try some items that are a little different too!  Here are some foods that are super easy to make, and will really get your guest’s attention- making your party stand out among the rest. This arrangement screams summertime- Sparkling Pineapple Strawberry Punch, Red White and Blue Mason Jar Salad, and Bacon Pineapple Chicken Kabobs!

Sparkling Pineapple Strawberry Punch

Red White and Blue Mason Jar Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bacon Pineapple Chicken Kabob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Games

Break out some great, backyard games like Ladder Ball, Badminton or Volleyball, Bocce Ball, and Bean Bag Toss! Each of these games require sets of teams, ensuring there is something for everybody to play and a little friendly competition!
Kelsyus Ladder Ball Kelsyus Premium Badminton/Volleyball Combo

Kelsyus Bocce Ball Kelsyus Premium Bean Bag Toss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Have a pool?

Kelsyus Floating Pong

 

If you have a pool, another great game to include is Kelsyus Floating Pong! Fill the cups with punch or water and toss the ball into the cup!

You can even create a combination of these backyard games to make a full-blown tournament if you’re feeling competitive!

 

 5. Grand Finale

S’mores is a classic way to go for an outdoor dessert. But you may not have the ability to set up a campfire in your backyard, and holding marshmallows over the grill might not be a sensible option for you if you have a large number of guests. Even if you simply want to try something different, we’ve got you covered with an awesome snack-movie combo! Set up a really easy DIY movie screen in the backyard and enjoy while snacking on a Strawberry Brownie Kabob!

DIY Backyard Movie Screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Float Americana

Red, White and Blue Fourth of July Pool Party

by Tracy Kunzler

How to Throw a Fourth of July Pool Party

The fourth of July is an important, yet casual holiday occurring during the hottest time of the year, so why not celebrate it in and around the pool? Think about it – it really is the “poolitically correct” thing to do, and a truth I hold to be self-evident. And, since it’s a time to celebrate freedom, let’s liberate party hosts from complicated recipes and elaborate party prep! Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with this fun celebration for guests AND hosts! All men may be created equal, but all pool parties are not! Continue reading

What to do with Oodles of Noodles

Let’s just admit it. Summer is over. There’s no going back as we watch the leaves turning brown on the trees. Now that your pool is finally closed, you may have left over foam noodles from those warm summer days, but where do they go when the air gets chilly? Why not put them to work?!

Our 5 Favorite Pool Noodle Ideas

  1. This simple, yet beautiful pool noodle garland really brings everything together. Check out the blog post from Sugar & Cloth for a full tutorial.Pool Noodle Garland via Sugar & Cloth
  2. At the Swimways Corp. annual cookout this summer we used our noodles as napkin rings – a cute and colorful way to brighten up any party. Using three different colored noodles, simply slice evenly and pull your napkins through the hole for a cheap and quirky solution.Pool Noodle Napkin Rings
  3. This tutorial for creating Pool Noodle Ponies from Ginger Snap Crafts is great for imaginative young minds and makes for an awesome weekend craft project for kids and parents. Pool Noodle Ponies
  4. It is October! So here’s a fun decorative fall idea from Coupons Are Great, with tutorial – Pool Noodle Pumpkins!Pool  Noodle Pumpkins
  5. Ahoy thar me mateys! Do you have a pirate party t’plan? If so, Sophie’s World has a great tutorial and video walk-through that teaches you how to make a special foam noodle pirate sword for your little rapscallions!

But Wait, There’s More!

We’ve scoured Pinterest for the most creative pool noodle craft ideas out there and created a dedicated board. Here are our favorites! What’s your favorite noodle re-purposing idea?

Follow SwimWays’s board Creative Pool Noodle Ideas on Pinterest.

Give Dad the Gift He Really Wants This Father’s Day

by Tracy Kunzler

Sunday, June 16 is Father’s day, and it’s very important to celebrate dads, because they’re the ones who kill the spiders. A June 2012 survey conducted by RetailMeNot.com found that quality time spent with the family is the gift dads most want to receive on Father’s Day! The gifts dads said they least appreciate receiving are neckties and “#1 Dad” T-shirts. (I am guessing soap-on-a-rope would be up there too!) So, give dad what he really wants this year – quality time with the family! Following are three EASY celebrations (the name of this page is “Relax” after all) that dads of all generations will enjoy. (Of course, anyone named “Dad” will need to be responsible for eliminating any spiders interfering with the festivities!).

Golf Par-Tee

If your dad likes golf, this par-tee will suit him to a “tee!”

Menu

Serve this casual buffet on a table lined with artificial grass (found at hardware stores) for the look of a putting green!

Flavored “Tees”

Make up batches of a variety of flavored “tees” and “tee-off” with a “tee-tasting!” There are lots of flavored teas on your grocer’s shelves these days that you can either brew or make up from a powdered mix.

Journeyofparenthood.com

Via journeyofparenthood.com

Golf Club Sandwiches

Make up a platter of club sandwiches (turkey, bacon, lettuce tomato and mayo on a variety of breads), insert a golf tee into each in lieu of a toothpick, (we like the way they did this on journeyofparenthood.com) and voilà! Your theme-appropriate main “course” is ready!

“Chip Shots”

Fill foil cupcake liners (tin cups) with a variety of gourmet-flavored potato chips. Find liners in the bakery aisle of your grocery near cake-decorating supplies.

“Wedge” Salads

Good Clean Fun Wedge salad

Via goodcleanfuneating.blogspot.com

Remember this childhood and diner favorite? For a simple wedge salad, cut a head of iceberg lettuce into small wedges. Top each with your favorite bleu cheese (or ranch) dressing, chopped tomato, crumbled bacon, bleu cheese and a few slivers of red onion. Serve immediately. We found these pretty wedge salads on the blog “Good. Clean. Fun.”

Tin cup-cakes

Make dad’s favorite flavor of cupcakes in foil (“tin cup”) liners or buy pre-made cupcakes and set into foil liners (found in the bakery aisle of the grocery store.) Frost the cupcakes (if homemade), top with coconut colored with green food coloring or green jimmies to look like grass, insert a golf tee in each. If you like, use a dab of frosting as “glue” to adhere a white gumball to the top of each tee as a golf ball!

Gifts and Activities

SwimWays Pro-Chip Spring GolfThis tee-rific gift doubles as a party activity for dad! SwimWays Pro-Chip Spring Golf Game can be played on land or in the pool! The twist-and-fold floating target green opens and closes with a flip of the wrist. Game includes 1 floating golf target, 12 golf balls (3 red, 3 orange, 3 yellow, 3 blue), chipping pad, and 1 movable 18th hole flag along with a carry/storage bag. Assign a different color ball to each player in rotating foursomes to have a backyard golf tournament! Sold at various stores across the country or get it here. Other fun golf-related activities for your par-tee include playing croquet and ladder golf.