Summer is in full swing! The season’s highlights including warm weather, outdoor living, refreshing cocktails, and fresh Colorado produce, give us enough to celebrate, but sometimes we love just a little something extra with our summer parties. Here are four summery themes that you can incorporate into your summer soirees instead of the same ‘ol backyard barbecue.

 

Coastal Italian

 

Italian food is not all pasta and marinara (Which we do love on a cold winter day); all savvy world travelers and dreamers know that the Italian coast is where summer and simple, fresh flavor meet. Bring the glamour of the Amalfi Coast to your backyard this summer with picnic blankets, umbrellas in the grass, sunglasses, and yard games. Grill pizzas using store bought dough and fresh summer ingredients; classic combos like basil, tomato, and mozzarella, or pesto with shaved parm and clams always go over well. Become inspired by what is available locally too. Peaches with red onion, balsamic, and chèvre, or arugula, pancetta, and blue cheese make delicious summer pizza combinations. For a true Italian experience, offer fresh oysters, grilled clams, and mussels with lemon wedges. Don’t forget the bubbly water, prosecco, limoncello cocktails, and fresh figs or ricotta tarts for sweets.

 

Serendipity idea! To create a European beachy vibe, keep your color scheme in shades of blue with white accents.

 

 

Lemonade Stand

 

Bring back summer nostalgia with a lemonade stand theme. We love this late afternoon theme for both kids parties and adults. Decorate with yellow tablecloths, vases filled with lemons, and yellow and white flowers. As a centerpiece for your party set up an old fashioned lemonade stand with a few varieties of the refreshing favorite. Lavender lemonade, basil lemonade, and yes, spiked lemonade. Serve fresh summery sandwiches, a strawberry and spinach salad, and ice cream sandwiches for desserts.

 

Serendipity Tip: Include a watermelon tasting table with watermelon wedges and varieties of tasting salts: spicy cayenne, cinnamon sugar, and black salt.

 

 

 

Summer Fiesta

 

Bring the bright and bold color and flavor of Mexico to your own backyard! Decorate with colorful paper flowers or these easy DIY hanging flowers. Cover tables with bright white and let the flavor of Mexico speak for itself. Serve a variety of salsas like mango, classic tomato, and tomatillo for guests to snack. For summer, we love light Mexican inspired foods like spicy shrimp skewers, carne asada tacos, and chili lime corn on the cob. A big batch of watermelon margaritas and ice-cold Mexican beers with limes are easy crowd pleasers. Offer non-alcoholic melon agua fresca for non-drinkers. For desserts serve churros with chocolate dipping sauce or mini tequila lime cheesecakes. (Pictured left from a Mexican Coastal theme party from Serendipity.)

 

Serendipity Idea: No matter the age of your group, everyone loves a piñata! Either buy your piñata at a party store, or make your own. Fill with candies, inexpensive gift cards, bottle openers, lotto tickets, and mini card decks.

 

 

Elegance Illuminated

 

Cool summer nights are often the best times to celebrate. Light up the night with lanterns, market lights, and candles. Use colorful or patterned tablecloths to brighten the space the up and let the lights shine their simple elegance. Serve an array of seasonal appetizers to snack on all evening like mint and lamb flatbread, bacon wrapped asparagus, and ceviche shooters. Keep guests cool with refreshing beverages like classic rose, or blueberry lavender vodka spritzer. Simple sweets will match the party with fresh-minted fruit kabobs, or pavlovas with strawberries. Keep the party going well into the night with fun social games like Cards Against Humanity or Pictionary.

 

Serendipity Tip: As the sun goes down, bugs come out. Make your own eco-friendly bug repellent for your guests to apply. As a bonus this recipe costs less than a dollar to make. Place in mini spray bottles and offer them to your guests to take home as a party favor!

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