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By: Alison Jacobson, The Safety Mom
Posted on: Mar 14, 2019

Party Planning Tips for a Fabulous Outdoor Party

For those of us on the east coast it’s entirely possible that we’ll still be seeing some snow this month, but we can hope for the best. Even for people living in warmer climates the weather can be unpredictable. However, Spring officially begins at the end of this month and I can’t wait to get outside and enjoy my back yard.

Wherever you live, if you are getting a glimpse of spring in the coming weeks, here are some tips for preparing to host a fabulous spring party and maximizing your outdoor space!

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Plan for some spring clean-up

Dirt, stains and mildew can accumulate on your patio or deck over the winter. Use a garden hose with a spray attachment to wash surfaces that may be showing signs of winter storage and rinse them clean. Use the highest or most powerful setting on the sprayer and aim it directly at muddied or heavily soiled spots to remove as much of the dirt as possible. Finally use some laundry detergent mixed with water or a commercial cleaning solution to mop spaces down. Hose surfaces down once more when you’re done to rinse of the detergent away. You also want to reseal the wood to keep it looking nice.

If you have a stone patio scrub any stains using a detergent or dishwashing liquid. To remove mold, moss and mildew add bleach to the water and scrub with a brush. Rinse it off with fresh water.

Your chair cushions will probably need a bit of sprucing up too. In most cases bleach will be too harsh. Just use a mild detergent and water and let soak for 10 minutes. If there’s mildew add ¼ cup borax to the water. For stubborn stains you might have to use a scrub brush. After 10 minutes rinse thoroughly with a hose, squeeze out as much water as you can and let cushions dry thoroughly outside.

Make it cozy

Preparing for the unexpected is a key component of any event planning endeavor. During the spring temperatures can vary dramatically over the course of a day. Be prepared for cooler weather in the late afternoon or early evening. A heat lamp is a great way to keep things warm; and for splashes of color place several cozy blankets and pillows around your seating areas for guests to grab as they need to warm up. Also, be prepared for changes beyond just the temperature. Rain showers will put a damper on your party. Make sure you can easily transition indoors if need be. Have an area inside set up so it’s not an awkward transition.

Create a spring party atmosphere

Your plants might not be blooming yet and the back yard could still look a little bare so decorate the area with some store-bought bouquets of flowers, Japanese lanterns or even balloons. The leaves will still be off the trees which will leave little privacy to your next-door neighbor’s yard. Also consider a portable partition or outdoor curtains to not only give some privacy but create a more intimate setting.

Keep the menu light

It might be too early to do a full-on barbeque so keep the menu light and easy – and work with fruits and veggies that are in season. Chicken salad, grilled asparagus, deviled eggs, roasted artichokes are make great additions to your spring party shopping list; and smoked salmon toasts with a sparkling wine also work well. For dessert you can’t beat delicious strawberries that are at their peak.

No matter what type of event you are planning to celebrate the arrival (nearly!) of spring, preparation is the key to throwing a great party without making yourself crazy. Successful parties that are well thought through in the planning stages allow the host plenty of time to enjoy friends and family during the main event. So go ahead - welcome spring with a celebration!