Fun in the Sun: Tips for Hosting a Summer Gathering

by | Jun 4, 2024 | Fun and Adventure

The sun is high, the air is hot, and the days seem to last forever—in a good way. With all the nice weather and increased energy, you’ve probably considered hosting a summer gathering. And for good reason! Getting people together, whether for a special occasion or just for the sake of having a good time with people you care about, is a great way to show your love and gratitude to those whom you feel lucky to have in your life.

You make the guest list, nail down a date and a location for the event to take place, and we’ll provide you with all the tips you need for hosting a summer gathering that no one will soon forget.

What time should your event take place?

Rattan-backed chairs situated around a table in a back yard on a summer evening.

There are several factors to keep in mind when deciding the best time to host your event. If you’re hosting it on a weekday, you’ll have to keep everyone’s work schedules in mind and their household situations. For example, if this is an adult-only event, expect that not all of your guests will be able to find sitters for their children. If kids are allowed, you may also consider the average bedtime for your guests’ children. Your event doesn’t have to revolve around that, because parents can choose whether to be flexible with those bedtimes, but it’s something to consider.

When deciding the best time for your event, make sure that you also leave enough time for yourself to prepare food, seating, and entertainment. Leave enough time after the event (or the following day) to clean up after your event. Especially if you didn’t host your event where you live. 

What should be served at your event?

If you’re hosting a summer gathering, there’s almost always going to be food involved! What kind of food entirely depends on the amount of preparation you want to do. If you want it to be fairly hands-off, consider grabbing various fruit and vegetable platters from the store. Or buy them yourself, cut them, and plate them. Whichever feels like a more responsible use of your time and money.


A bowl filled with pasta salad.

If you’re willing to spend a little more time and a little more money on the menu, consider meals and snacks that are always a crowd favorite.

Depending on how long your guests plan on sticking around, it might be a good idea to have desserts ready for those with a sweet tooth. These are some delicious summer dessert options.


A glass of pink lemonade.

Hot summer weather necessitates ice-cold drinks! Here are some fun batch drinks for you to consider filling your pitcher with. 

How will you entertain your guests?

A ring toss game is set in the grass, with red, blue, and white rings scattered around it.

In many cases, your guests don’t need entertainment. Once the food is being passed around, people are bound to start chatting and entertaining themselves. However, if you’ve got a few people who aren’t social butterflies and need some help feeling more comfortable among the crowd, these activities are perfect for hosting a summer gathering.

  • Cornhole
  • Tug-of-War
  • Bocce Ball
  • Badminton
  • Croquet
  • Ring Toss or Horseshoes
  • Volleyball

If your guests are feeling more stationary and less active, consider playing card games or telling stories around a table or bonfire.

Hosting a summer gathering is supposed to be fun!

When the gang finally makes it over to your house and the chatter begins, enjoy it! Don’t spend the whole time stressing about the next dish you’re going to serve or the game you’re going to initiate. Have fun with the people you invited. Use this time to connect with your friends, family, and colleagues. Make those sweet summer memories and be glad to have so many loved ones in one place at the same time—you did that!

Starting to feel insecure with all of these people around? Worried about what they’re thinking about your event? Try these six methods to boost your confidence.