Summer is the time to take your fun outside, and while there's nothing wrong with hosting a good old-fashioned barbecue, these outdoor party ideas will convince you that there's much more to life than just hot dogs and burgers. If your place has a deck, you've pretty much hit the millennial housing jackpot, and you need to take advantage of this summertime luxury. Have access to your building's rooftop? Have nothing but a teeny tiny fire escape? We can work with that, too. The point is to get you outside. Whether your outdoor space is small, spacious, or somewhere in-between, there's one thing that is a definite, universal truth — now is the time get out there and milk this gorgeous weather for everything it's worth.
That being said, decks in particular can be a hard box to think outside of, because barbecues and backyards are somewhat synonymous. But barbecues are overdone, overplayed, and, well, a little boring. And you're none of those things. You have no time to settle for anything less than fabulous.
It is time to think way outside the BBQ box — here are a few ideas to get you started. I promise, there's not one hot dog or hamburger included on this list. You're welcome in advance.
1. Christmas in July
2. Host an outdoor brunch for your friends
I know that you have an entire board dedicated to fancy brunch recipes you've probably never tried, because you never had a sweet deck to entertain on and, also, Hollandaise sauce is super intimidating. Well, it's time to face your fears, because no two things go better together than boozy brunch and a deck. Take warning — your friends will probably flock to your place like pigeons every Sunday. Try these brunch recipes next weekend.
3. Host a crawfish boil
I learned about crawfish boils when I went to Charleston for the first time. It was the coolest thing, ever — basically, you boil a bunch of delicious things in a giant pot, and dump it on a newspaper-covered table. AND PEOPLE EAT IT WITH THEIR HANDS. As an added bonus, there are no dishes for you to clean — just crumple up the paper, and toss it (there won't be any leftovers, I promise). This boozy iced tea would be the perfect accouterment to a spicy crawfish boil.
4. Sangria and tapas
Was there ever a more delicious combo? I think not. Skip the regular barbecue fare, and play around with a few other exotic flavors. To really kick your party up a notch, take these sangria recipes from The Kitchn for a spin.
5. Summer solstice party
You don't have to be a hippie goddess to celebrate the beginning of summer. Invite all of your friends to wear white and/or flower crowns. Serve up summer-inspired food, and decorate with tons of fresh flowers. Need some more inspiration? Here's how the Swedes celebrate summer solstice.