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End-of-summer party ideas

Plan a summer sendoff with these fun themes, games, and food

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Posted on Aug 25, 2022, 10:30:00 AM GMT

It’s sad to see the lazy days of summer end and the busy, back-to-school season begin, but you can let summer go out with a bang by throwing a memorable goodbye party at your home. Check out these ideas for themes, games, and food to make it an event to remember.

End-of-summer party themes

Make your party festive with fun themes that add color, seasonality, and creativity to your bash. Share the theme with guests ahead of time, so they can bring their own flair to the festivities.

  • Beach theme. Grab some inflatable pools, lounge chairs, umbrellas, and even a kid’s sandbox and volleyball net to transform your yard into a beach party. Blast some tunes from the Beach Boys or Jimmy Buffett, throw some tiny umbrellas in the drinks, and you’ll have your guests feeling like they are hanging out in Margaritaville.
  • Sunshine theme. For this theme, you’ll want everything to be bright and sunny with lemonade, corn on the cob, and yellow cupcakes. Decorate tables with yellow cut-out suns, sunflowers, and sunglasses, and you’ll have everyone feeling happy and cheery.
  • Garden theme. Have your party overflowing with summer flowers—either real ones or make your own—for table décor. Set up picnic blankets around your flowers and shrubs with low tables to have guests feel close to nature. Include flowers in drinks like lavender in a cocktail and have guests wear something floral to add to the festivities.
  • Luau theme. Grab some tiki lights and flower leis, then wear your favorite Hawaiian shirt, and you’ll have yourself a luau theme. Mix up some piña coladas and pineapple drinks, cook a pig roast, blast Hawaiian music, and hand out flowers for guests to put in their hair, and everyone will feel like they just landed on a tropical island.

End-of-summer party games

To add to the party themes, plan some outdoor games that would appeal, not only to the kids, but the adults, as well, so everyone can have fun in the sun.

  • Lawn games. Popular ones include cornhole, ladder ball toss, horseshoes, bocce, Kam Jam disc golf, Slam Ball, badminton, and more.
  • Outdoor board games. Bring your favorite board games outdoors, but with larger versions. Check out this outdoor checkerboard, or if you’re ambitious, you can try to make one yourself with a large sheet, painted with black-and-red boxes. Another large version of a popular game is this Giant Wooden Toppling Tower. For those who want an easy, relaxed game, check out this giant Connect 4.

For the kids, set up some water balloons, relay races, a piñata, kickball, or a tug of war if you’re feeling really ambitious.

End-of-summer party food ideas

No end-of-summer party is complete without good food and drinks. If you have a garden, your vegetables will be in abundance, so find ways to incorporate them into each dish. Here are some mouthwatering suggestions.

Summery sides:

  • Arugula, watermelon, and feta salad. This one is light for summer and is very tasty. Check out the refreshing recipe.
  • Corn on the cob. This side staple screams summer, and it’s even better on the grill. You can go simple with butter, add grilled corn to a salad with tomatoes, black beans, and avocado, or make it Mexican style.
  • Summer salmon niçoise. This recipe can double as a main dish, as well, because it’s full of protein from the salmon and eggs.

Mouthwatering main dishes:

  • Kababs. With an abundance of fresh vegetables, you can make flavorful kababs. Thread some tomatoes, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, eggplant, or potatoes, then pair that with chicken, shrimp, pork, tofu, or beef. Add some seasoning, BBQ sauce, or dressing to bring out the flavors.
  • Fish tacos. No matter the kind of fish, it always tastes better grilled. You can put the fish in a taco shell, soft roll, or wrap. Add some veggies and shredded cheese, and you’ve got a tasty summer dish.
  • Burgers. Summer is not complete without a burger with all the fixings! Add some different flavors by grilling the tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and peppers to go on top. For another twist, try grilled bacon, pineapple, and hot peppers for a Hawaiian feel.

Decadent desserts:

  • Dessert jars. These are similar to parfaits, and you can layer up anything you want in them, such as granola, whipped cream, fruit, pudding, Jell-O, or cookies. The possibilities are endless.
  • Frozen soufflé. These refreshing treats are the perfect, light ending to a filling meal. Check out the recipe.
  • Pie. Peach, blueberry, cherry, or apple—they are all yummy, juicy treats, especially if the fruit is fresh off the tree. Add some vanilla ice cream, and you’ll win rave reviews from guests of all ages.

Enjoy the end of summer!

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