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Creative ideas for a summertime of outdoor fun and frolic

By Gigi Steel

Grandmother and granddaughter having high tea outside

The warmer summer temperatures and long evenings make for the perfect setting to visit with friends and watch fireflies while enjoying a cool beverage. Creating a relaxing, casual, yet elegant ambiance to enjoy is simple with these creative ideas.

Bandana table settings. Bandanas can be purchased for just a few dollars, but they add a lot of flair to a whimsical and fun atmosphere. Buy several to stitch together to make a tablecloth. Use single bandanas for napkins.

You can mix and match with various colors and patterns or stick with a color scheme of red white, and blue for Independence Day; pink and blue for a gender reveal party; or the colors of your favorite sports team. The easy part of using bandanas is that the hems are already sewn . . . so no raw edges to worry about hemming.

Beach themes are very popular during the summer even when the beach is hundreds of miles away. You can bring the beach vibe to your mountain home by purchasing a bag of sand and spreading it around on the center of the table.

Place shells and other natural sea elements in the sand. Small votives or tea lights can be placed in large shells. Ask your guests to bring a beach towel to place in their chair. A few pink flamingo and mermaid figurines are a must for a beachy theme.

This is definitely an outdoor party unless you want to clean sand off of your floors for the upcoming weeks.

Vintage themes such as an old-fashioned garden tea party is a lovely way to spend an afternoon with your friends. Place a floral tablecloth on your table and sprinkle flower petals around the center. A hydrangea and peony bouquet will look lovely centered into the petals.

Vintage tea cups and saucers are both functional and add to the elegant atmosphere. Place crystal plates filled with strawberries, tea sandwiches and petit fours on top of crocheted doilies. To add an element of delight, ask your guests to wear fancy hats.


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