Summer Party Essentials.

I can’t believe summer is FINALLY here.  I have been waiting so long for this moment.  With the advent of summer, comes backyard barbeques, beach picnics, and impromptu entertaining.  Summer just seems to mandate nothing fancy and elaborate.  The same holds true for triathlete get-togethers.

After a long ride or run with friends, no one really wants to fix anything complicated.  It’s time to relax, kick back, and spend some quality time with good friends AND talk about the ride or run……To be ready for these spur-of-the-moment parties, we discovered there are certain items you should always have on hand in your home.  Then, when you find out how many are coming over, all you have to do is run to the store for food and ice, plug the iPod into the speaker, and the party is good to go…..

10 Summer Party Must Haves For Entertaining

  1. Margarita pitcher, glasses, and mixers – They can be used for any mixed drinks, including sangria.
  2. Bowls for chips and salsa, salad & tongs, and pasta.  You can also use baskets covered with napkins for the chips.
  3. Bar mixers, such as club soda, sparkling water, and tonic.  Plus, a variety of sodas.
  4. Cocktail napkins, dinner napkins, and placemats.  I love the ones from MYdrap that come in a roll, tear off, and come in fun colors.  They’re actually 100% cotton, washable, and can be used up to 6 times.
  5. Cheese board and utensils.  You can buy these in sets at stores such as Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn.  I love the ones that you can write the name of the cheese on with chalk.  That way, you can get the kids involved.
  6. A set of outdoor dinnerware (or nice, sturdy paper plates) and silverware (have baskets to put silverware in so everyone can help themselves).  It’s much nicer if you have a set of inexpensive metal silverware to use than plastic.
  7. Beverage tub/cooler to hold sodas, beer, water, wine, etc.
  8. Kids’ activity box.  There undoubtedly will be kids and they’ll need to be kept occupied.  Fill a container with a badminton set, bubble makers, tic tac toss, soccer set, and something to do with water, such as water tag.  You get the idea.
  9. Staples that keep, such as chips, nuts, crackers, and mixed olives.  Include some frozen hors d’oeuvres here, too.
  10. Liquor.  Keep white and red wine for sangria, beer, and the basic, well-stocked bar.  Especially for summer drinks think vodka, gin, rum, and tequila.  (Just make sure to get fresh lemons and limes when you make a grocery run).  We also love the new Spiked Seltzer (shout out to local talent Nick Shields & David Holmes) that is 6 percent alcohol, low carb, and gluten free – all with a great taste and perfect for summer indulging.

So, this should make it very easy to have everyone over after a race or just to celebrate the season.  You can even ask people to bring their own chairs if needed.  No excuses….Happy partying!!!  And, if you want to actually plan a triathlete party, check out our 20 tips.