One of my absolute favorite parts of summer is dining outdoors, so today I’m sharing seven of my favorite outdoor entertaining essentials. These are my “must-haves” that make for easy (and stylish!) summer entertaining!
I know most of us probably live in an area that has opened up some at this point (even California has!) but if you’re like me, you might not be ready to dive head first into having large parties. But you know what we can do? Entertain outside!
The one thing the experts agree on is that we can safely have a few people over outdoors (and if you’ve been here for awhile you know that’s something we do a lot of around here come summertime!) With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to share our favorite Outdoor Entertaining Essentials as part of our Simply Home post this month.
So today I’m sharing my absolute, favorite, must-haves that I use when I’m entertaining outdoors! I’ve listed my top seven, but to be honest, there were even a few more so I’ve included those at the bottom of the post!
Here’s to summer….
Seven Outdoor Entertaining Essentials I Can’t Live Without!
Would you believe that I never had non-glass wine glasses until last year?! Haha, I can’t even say why which makes it even more odd!
With all the entertaining we do outside, we had quite a few mishaps so last year I finally bought some. I can’t believe it took me that long!
If you buy high quality acrylic, you can’t go wrong. They’re much more attractive and realistic looking than plastic. In fact, from a few feet away, you literally can’t tell the difference between the two!
I have these glasses for both red and white as my husband is pretty particular about glasses, but you could definitely get by with just one basic shape.
Lanterns!! I literally can’t imagine summer without my favorite Pottery Barn lanterns! I move them all over the place. We use them by the fire pit, and on the front porch, as well as on the dining table.
I have some other ones from places like Home Goods, too, because I love to mix and match them, but the PB ones are my favorite. I love their rustic charm!
There are the acrylic wine glasses again! 😉
I have them in the small and the medium sizes.
And speaking of lanterns, you have to get some flameless candles!! This is another thing that I find to be absolutely essential to outdoor entertaining.
I used to use regular candles in my lanterns, and then they would melt all over my PB lanterns. Which are wood. Not good. 🙁
Now there are beautiful, realistic looking flameless candles that have real wax on the outside. But let me give you a piece of advice so you don’t screw up like I did – don’t use those outside! Because they’re made of real wax, they still melt! I purchased some of those last year and they melted all over my pretty wood lanterns.
Not only was it a mess to clean up, but it ended up being a huge waste of money. So now, I’ve invested in these outdoor flameless candles (make sure they specify outdoor) and they’re great. I’ve also found these solar powered ones which seems like a great idea – no batteries and they re-charge in the sun!
I’ve spoken about this little speaker before – it’s even been in my Christmas Gift Guide – and I’m telling you it’s fabulous! It makes listening to music outdoors so easy.
We actually have speakers set up outdoors but they run from the stereo. And if you’re anything like us, you aren’t really popping in CDs anymore! Since buying this UE Boom, we never use the speakers outside anymore. We simply move this around. 😉
This little speaker is a powerhouse! It’s by Bose so it has amazing sound, especially for it’s size. And the battery runs for a really long time.
You run it through your cell phone (or any other bluetooth device) and it can play any playlist or music that you have on your phone, or it can connect to Pandora or Spotify. I’m telling you, it’s brilliant!
I love to have some extra chairs around. We used to have some cheap plastic ones, but I finally decided to spring for something a little more attractive. I love the look of bistro chairs, so we bought a 3-piece set of two chairs and a little table.
And this summer I’m going to buy two more chairs just so we have some extras (for when we can finally have more people over again!)
This little set has been great, and it’s actually really come in handy with social distancing! We had some friends over for cocktails in the backyard a couple of weeks ago, and I was able to sit four people at the dining table (two at each end) and then I set up this little table and chairs across the way for the third couple.
And on other nights, I use the table for serving and storing food that may not fit on the table. And the chairs and the table all fold up so they are easily stored!
String lights are so adorable, and they add so much charm to any space! I especially love the ‘Edison’ style bulb versions, but to be honest, any twinkling, white light is welcome on a summer evening!
I just recently purchased these and I can’t believe how much ambiance they add to the patio! Unfortunately, I tried photographing them for you and my camera is no longer working today – eek! Anyway, take my word for it – they are totally worth investing in!
This Pottery Barn party bucket has been a favorite for several years now. We use it for everything from small gatherings to large BBQs. I talked about it in my Summer Essentials post, and that’s because I love it so much!
I don’t have the stand, but I’m thinking of getting it because then I wouldn’t need to take up table space when entertaining outdoors. Either way, it’s cute and useful – and how many things can we say that about?!
Okay, I know I said seven, but it’s so hard to narrow it down so I’m sharing eight, haha! This one is super simple and inexpensive, but I think it’s a definite outdoor entertaining essential.
These water bottles are something I always have on the table when we’re entertaining, and even more so in the summer! I fill them and keep them in the refrigerator and then when we have friends over we have cold, filtered water ready to keep everyone hydrated.
I like to put two on the table, one on each end. That way everyone can help themselves when they’re thirsty! You can find them almost anywhere. From Walmart, to World Market, to Home Goods, but the ones I have are from Target.
There are a few other items that I love for summer entertaining as well. Maybe not essentials, but definitely favorites! I’m sharing them below in case you’re interested!
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Now check out what outdoor entertaining essentials my friends are sharing below!