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Get inspired by these creative summer party ideas

Kim Grundy is a writer for SheKnows Parenting and SheKnows Entertainment. For more celebrity news and fashion tips, check her out on AllParenting or follow her on twitter @KimGrundy for all the latest news!

Plan a festive summer bash

Summer is the perfect time to throw an out-of-this-world bash. After all, the days are longer, the weather is warmer and schedules are a bit more relaxed, setting the perfect stage for a fab summer party. Before you plan the same old backyard barbecue, check out these unique summer party ideas that are totally Instagram-worthy.

Woman having a summer party

Photo credit: nensuria/Istock/360/Getty Images

Summer glow party

Summer Glow Party

Image credit: lil blue boo

A summer glow party is fun for both adults and kids. Take advantage of the warm nights by planning a glow-in-the-dark bash. To set the mood, place Mason jar glow stick lanterns as well as outdoor lights around trees, bushes and walkways. Mason jar glow stick lanterns are easy to make and inexpensive, as you simply cut open a glow stick and pour the fluid into glass jars. Fill up several ice buckets with regular ice cubes mixed with light-up ice cubes and fill them with beverages. You can also serve cocktails or mocktails in clear plastic cups filled with light-up ice cubes. Activities can include nighttime bowling, in which you simply place glow sticks in water bottles to use as bowling pins. Pass out glow stick necklaces and bracelets to guests. Since you are the host, make sure you stand out by wearing glow in the dark nail polish.

Food truck party

Food Truck Party

Image credit: Napa Valley Girl

Food trucks or carts are the hottest trend for parties, so why not incorporate this fun theme into your next summer bash, just like Napa Valley Girl did? You can either have one main cart, such as a taco cart, or several options for your guests to choose from, such as a hot dog cart, an ice cream cart, a snow cone cart, a cotton candy cart and yes, even a margarita cart. You can rent your own cart and serve your guests or have it be self-serve, or you can rent the cart and professional server from a local business, such as the The Wow! Factor of Atlanta.

Backyard movie night bash

Backyard Movie Night Bash

Image credit: Black and White and Loved All Over

Follow the lead of Black and White and Loved All Over and recreate the nostalgia of a drive-in movie theater by planning your own backyard movie night party. Create a comfy setup of large cushions and lanterns placed around an outdoor screen. Create your own cozy movie nook by making your own movie screen by following the directions from Pottery Barn. Place several blankets and bean bags, and possibly even an outdoor rug, in front of the screen. Popcorn is a must, so make several different flavors of popcorn to serve, or create your own popcorn bar.

Golf cart and bike summer parade

Golf Cart & Bike Summer Parade

Image credit: Summer at the Lake

A golf cart and bike parade is such a fun summer tradition. Gather up your neighbors and friends, have them decorate their golf carts, bikes and scooters with balloons and banners, and ride around the neighborhood to celebrate the start (or the end) of summer. The blogger at Summer at the Lake participates in one each year for the Fourth of July, but you don't really need a reason to host this fun event. Station the golf carts at the front and back of the group to keep everyone safe. Once the parade is finished and everyone has arrived at the designated home, continue the party by serving Popsicles and pizza.

Paint party

Paint Party

Image credit: Handmade by CJ

Put an artistic spin to your summer party by hosting a paint party. There are several different companies that do most of the work for you. How does it work? You gather up a group of friends and the art instructor comes to your home (or you go to the studio, like Handmade by CJ did), and she walks you through the step-by-step process to create your masterpiece, which usually takes two to three hours. When you are finished, you not only had a wonderful time with friends, but you have a masterpiece to take home. Search online for “paint parties” to find out what is available in your area; popular companies include Painting with a Twist or Pretty in Paint Parties.

A unique twist on block parties

Image credit: Oh Happy Day

Whether you are new to the neighborhood and trying to meet new friends or are already good friends with the neighbors and are looking for a summer party theme, this party tip from Lara Ferroni is a fun (and tasty) idea. She and her neighbors decided on an Iron Chef theme in which they all picked a secret ingredient (they chose goat cheese) and then made tapa-sized dishes around that special ingredient. Neighbors took turns going to each other’s homes and tasting the dish. Make things simpler by hosting a progressive dinner party without the Iron Chef theme, like they did at Oh Happy Day.

You could also host an “around the world” wine party in which each neighbor chooses a country and serves wine and appetizers that go along with the chosen country.

White party

Sean “Diddy” Combs and throw an elegant White Party

Photo credit: Jason Merritt /Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Take a party tip from Sean “Diddy” Combs and throw an elegant white party, in which guests are required to wear all white to celebrate the beginning (or ending) of summer. Diddy has his strictly A-list bash on the Fourth of July in the Hamptons, but your party will be just as cool in your backyard. Decorate with white flowers and white lights and serve clear cocktails, such as white wine, vodka martinis or White Russians.

More summer party ideas

Summer party themes for a stylish affair
13 Pinspiring party food ideas for summer
The Summer Block Party games, decor and recipes

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