Inside: Outdoor dinner party ideas to make summer nights magical.
Summer is coming up, and you know what that means: outdoor parties! There is no better way to get some quality time with the people you love while also spending some time outdoors. After being stuck indoors all winter, I find myself jumping with excitement at the idea of all of the parties I will be throwing.
One of my absolute favorite types of outdoor parties are of the dinner variety! There is just something about eating outdoors that really connects me with nature, and makes being with my friends and family just that much more exciting and special.
I thought I’d feed into my excitement by brainstorming some outdoor dinner party ideas.
If you are interested in throwing one of your own, then keep reading. I’ve compiled a list of the best ideas you can find, as well as walk you through the process of throwing it from start to finish.
How to Throw An Outdoor Dinner Party
First things first, we’ll start with the basics.
Step One: Choose a theme. This can seem like the hardest part, but it is also the most fun! There are so many awesome themes to choose from. You can always have a classic dinner, but having a theme makes it feel all the more special. Not only to you but to the people around you. I’ve included a list of the best dinner party ideas below to help you in decide.
Step Two: Send Out Invites. After you’ve chosen a theme, pick a date. Make sure to give people time to add it to their schedules. As a rule of thumb, plan it anywhere from 3 weeks to a month away. This also gives you time to get all of the preparations needed. You can send out invites either electronically or if you wanna go a little more classic, physically.
Step Three: Choosing the menu. This is going to be based on your theme. For example, if you have a beach party, serve shrimp and other kinds of sea food. Down below I’ve made sure to include a few menu ideas to get those creative juices flowing.
Pro Tip: Make sure to not get food that will be temperature sensitive unless hosting the party from your backyard.
For example, if you are going to have the party at the beach like mentioned above, perhaps don’t serve ice cream. You’d have to haul it all the way to the beach and wait until dinner is over to serve it, all the while hoping it is still cold enough in the cooler. Save yourself the stress.
Step Four: Gather Supplies. Besides the food, you have quite a few other things to buy in order to throw the best dinner party possible. I’ve included a list of must have supplies below.
Step Five: Party it up! After you’ve done all of this, then you are basically ready. All there is left is to set everything up and get cooking. Remember to have fun with it.
Now, depending on your theme you may not need all of these, but they are here for suggestions.
Table & Seating
- Chairs or Cushions
- Table or Picnic Blanket
- Eating Utensils
- Place Mats
- Menu Supplies
- Cold Drinks
- Extra Jackets
- Seating Cards
- Fairy Lights
- Outdoor Heater
You can use all the steps above to create a little checklist for yourself. This will help to ensure that you don’t forget anything important. Now, onto the exciting part: Picking a theme!
Take a look at the list below for inspiration. You can use these at face value or you can add your own little quirks and changes to make them unique to you. On the ones that needed some more explaining, I added some info.
But for the most part, they are all straightforward Ideas.
Outdoor Dinner Party Ideas
1. Classy Beach Party – Food, Friends, and Good Times.
2. Tiki Beach Party – Punch, tiki torches, and perhaps have all of your guests show up in a Hawaiian shirt.
3. Park Picnic
4. Tea Party
5. Snack Themed- This is where all of the food is snack-sized!
6. Dinner Games – Bring as many cards and board games as you can and have a night of outdoor games!
7. Trivia Dinner
8. The Great Outdoors – Have nature-themed decorations and foods
9. Masquerade Dinner – Everyone shows up in their fanciest attire and masquerade masks.
10. Fairy Themed
Backyard Dinner Party Ideas
11. Bonfire Dinner
12. Dinner & A Movie – For this one, you’ll need an outdoor projector. Set up your own outdoor movie theater and spend the evening watching movies with your guests.
13. Classy Elegant Spread – I love the juxtaposition of elegant attire and the outdoors. Only include the fanciest of food and have everyone dress elegantly.
14. Roaring 20s
16. Bohemian Dinner
17. Classic BBQ
18. End of Summer Party
19. Rustic Dinner
20. Disco Night
21. Bring your own Cocktails
22. Bald Themed
Simple Outdoor Dinner Parties
23. Campfire Themed
24. Pizza Party
25. Chili Cookout
26. Fun Sized Dinner
27. BYOP – Bring your own pasta. This one is perfect to help save some money on food expenses.
28. Breakfast for Dinner
29. Rainbow Themed
30. Seafood Boil
31. Soup Potluck
32. Group Date
33. Classic Dinner
34. Takeout Potluck
35. Picnic Themed
Outdoor Dinner Party Menu Ideas
36. Deviled Eggs
37. Veggie & Hummus Plate
38. Salami & Cheese Skewers
39. Charcuterie Board
41. Chicken Kabobs, Lime Rice, Corn Salad
42. London Broil, Garden Salad, Rolls
43. Lasagna, Salad
44. Seafood Boil
45. Burgers with Fries
46. Ice Cream Sunday
47. Pie A La Mode
48. Chocolate Cake
49. Fairy Lights
50. Comfy Seats
51. Place Mats
More Party Ideas You’ll Love
- 17 BEST DONUT GAMES FOR A SWEET PARTY – Donuts are a favorite sweet treat around the world and for good reason. They’re delicious! With so many flavors from chocolate to bubble gum, there is a donut made for every single person in the world. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who wasn’t a fan of them. Being such a beloved dessert, it should not be a surprise to you that there are donut GAMES. If you are interested in incorporating one at your next party, then I recommend clicking here and checking out this article. I’ve created a list of 17 of the best donut games to ensure you’ll have the sweetest party possible.
- ROCKIN’ 2000S THEMED PARTY IDEAS – Everyone knows how Rockin the 2000’s were, that’s no surprise. What is a surprise, is that they happened over a decade ago. Yep. It may be hard to believe, but the 2000s are basically considered vintage. So if you are feeling a little nostalgia for that time period, then consider throwing yourself a 2000’s themed party! There are so many awesome ideas for you to check out here. Take a look.
- HOW TO PLAY THE CHANDELIER DRINKING GAME – Everyone loves a good drinking game. They’re a wonderful way to have some laughs and an epic good time. They can take any party up a notch in the easiest way. There are so many amazing drinking games out there, but not quite like the chandelier game. Curious as to what that is? Then you should feed that curiosity. Click here to read this article that outlines exactly what this game is and step-by-step instructions on how to play it. You will not be sorry, I promise! Unless of course, you drink a bit too much while playing.