Backyard barbecues, late-night swimming soirees, fruity mixed drinks, freshly grilled garden vegetables, and s'mores are a few of the festive elements that go into eventful summer entertaining. These flavorful ideas are especially relevant this year, as Pinterest announced their 2018 Summer Entertaining Trends. Did any of your go-to summer entertaining favorites make the list? Read on to find out—after all, summer is just getting started!
1. Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches
It doesn’t take long to exhaust your local ice cream truck's offerings—those gumball eyeballs on ice pop cartoon characters get too hard to eat, anyway! Pinterest is popping with DIY waffle ice cream sandwich recipes. We have a classic standby, which you can keep simple with vanilla ice cream and no accoutrements. Or, when you get adventurous, try adding almond or coconut edges for a delicious and beautiful flourish. Try making your sandwich with gelato, sorbet, or other ice cream flavors too.
Give yourself a break from playing bartender at your next summer soirée. Instead, mix up a big-batch cocktail for your guests ahead of time. Our pitcher margaritas are always a hit. Hand out these sour cherry mojitos for a refreshing twist on a classic summer beverage. Sangria will carry your book club meeting into the evening, or you can dress up this hibiscus ginger tea with a splash of your favorite spirit. When the drinks are flowing smoothly, the party is, too.
3. Water Bars
In between cocktails, keep your guests refreshed with a "water bar." Set up your hydration station with a large water dispenser (perhaps even a custom one). Provide flavored ice cubes for guests to mix and match, or provide fruits and herbs in pretty containers. This lime and rosemary recipe is particularly festive for summer. Feeling really on-trend? Give your guests the choice of still, sparkling, or coconut water as a base.
4. Stargazing Parties
With all these delicious drinks and snacks, why keep things indoors? Everyone is ready to take their parties outside! And with the rise of stargazing parties as the soirée in style this season, hostesses are looking to the heavens for inspiration: brass hanging star decor, sparkler-esque cocktail stirrers, a spread of star-inspired sweets (like "asteroid" chocolate crinkle cookies and star-shaped linzer cookies) on a sparkly table runner. And make sure you have plenty of comfortable lounge furniture, so you can lean back and get a good view of the sky.
5. Reusable Utensils
We hate to say "we told you so," but we just knew reusable utensils would be the next big thing. This summer, you'll see plenty of reusable straws on Pinterest, along with eco-friendly cutlery like these customized bamboo utensils. However, it's not just for lunchtime: sustainability is taking over in a big way, from your earbuds to your yoga mat. Will this be the summer you finally go zero waste? We can't wait to see!
6. Edible Place Settings and Centerpieces
Frosé is delicious (trust us, we know), but summer is for experimentation. Why limit yourself to frozen grapes when the dining table decor itself is ripe for eating? We can't stop thinking about the tropical paradise pictured here: Set in a carved-out log, this edible centerpiece features an arrangement of melons, pineapples, and other tropical fruits. Extend it to the place cards with a personally picked piece of summer fruit.
7. Fun on the Go
Kids know this better than anyone: summer is for experimentation. That's why grab-and-go activities like washable sidewalk chalk paint and miniature paper kites are just a few of the ways we're keeping the little ones happily occupied be it at an upcoming block party, barbecue, or any ordinary summer day.
Looking for more ideas? Watch how to set up a champagne popsicle party: