We all love the summer sun, but sometimes it just gets a little too hot to handle — especially when throwing an outdoor party.
Summer is the perfect season for outdoor entertaining: the sun is out, the drinks are cold and the dresses are flowy. But summer entertaining also means the hot, hot sun. And while we want our guests to feel as comfortable as ever, let’s face it — we don’t all have the luxury of having a swimming pool conveniently located in our backyards. But don’t worry, because you don’t necessarily need a pool to keep guests cool at your next party. We spoke with a few experts and they gave us some useful tips on how to make sure the hottest party of the year doesn’t leave your guests drenched in sweat.
Kiddy pools are definitely not only for the children. Robin Popelsky, director of events at the Bowery Hotel, suggests to bring out the child in all your guests and set up a kiddy pool — perfect for a foot soak or a splash. Just make sure to have some towels handy to dry off.
Set up a cooling station with brightly coloured handheld fans, moist towels and spray mist bottles. Hilary Pereira, author and party planner, suggests having chilled, scented hand towels ready for your guests. They’re simple to make — all you need is to make your own lemon- or lime-infused bowls of water, soak the hand towels, and let them chill in a fridge. Also try rose or violet water for a more flowery scent.
Fancy ice and treats
The key to keeping guests cool at any outdoor party is to keep them hydrated. And there’s no better way to do this than by serving hydrating treats, like frozen grapes or frozen melon balls. Brittany Faure Booz, Briar Faure Mewbourne and Chef Blake Faure, owners of Golden Pheasant Inn, also suggest adding fresh herbs or fruit zest to ice cube trays before freezing water and making sure to have at least one pound of ice per person for serving drinks and keeping beverages cold.
Tenting an area may be pricey, but according to expert event and party planner Greg Jenkins, canopies do the job just as well and are rather economical; you can usually purchase them at major home and building stores. These are portable, easy to install and can be decorated with fabric, accents and pillows. Just make sure not to have side walls on the canopy — this will trap in hot air and though it might block the sun, it won’t be making your guests any cooler.