30 Easy Outdoor Entertaining Ideas

No matter what you're celebrating, learn how to host the perfect garden party with these fun entertaining tips.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Jason Busch

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stephanie Hulings

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Ben Rollins

Photo By: Image courtesy of Courtney Ortiz

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/ Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of HGTV Yard Takeover.

Photo By: Images courtesy of Heidi Geldhauser, Our Labor of Love. Floral Design, Amy Osaba

Photo By: Photo by Jamie Rector

Photo By: Image courtesy of VivaTerra

Photo By: Image courtesy of Sur La Table

Photo By: Image courtesy of Sam Henderson

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Sea Island

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of The Hursts

Photo By: Image courtesy of Pottery Barn

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Courtney Ortiz

Pizza Party

With a custom wood-fired pizza oven and bench-style marble table, this Tuscan-inspired space by Jamie Durie is ready for a family of pizza lovers.

Play Some Games

Outdoor games like giant dice will provide hours of entertainment for kids and adults alike. Check out Glow-in-the-dark lawn darts, inflatable Twister and more exciting backyard lawn games.

Bring the Indoors Out

Recreate the comfort of indoors outside with clever outdoor living vignettes like this one. Try visiting yard sales, antique stores or secondhand stores to find old outdoor furniture that can be instantly brought back to life with quick coat of paint. Outdoor Room Ideas

Make Some Shade

Help guests escape the summer sun with an outdoor umbrella. 13 Outdoor Umbrellas We Love

Go Big with a Pergola

Pergolas are an attractive permanent addition to the garden that will create a cool, shady spot for you and your guests to relax. See more beautiful pergola designs.

Break Out the Fire Pit

Keep the party going after dark with a fire pit. Fire pits are useful year-round, and many are under $100. Try setting up a s'mores station to win extra points with your guests. See our favorite fire pit ideas and designs or make your own fire pit in an afternoon.

Invest in Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting can include some dramatic choices, such as neon deck lights, colored floods that turn plain white walls into art, white candles, oil lamps and string lights woven through plants to create atmosphere after sunset.

Put Pets Away

Sorry—we love Fido as much as you do—but no matter how good-natured and well-behaved your animal is, unless you're absolutely, 100-percent sure that everyone coming to your shindig will be okay with it, put your pets away. Animals often get overwhelmed around large groups of people, so your four-legged friends will thank you later.

The Secret to Getting Rid of Mosquitoes

Citronella plants, candles and torches can provide some temporary relief from hungry mosquitoes; you can also try burning these easy-to-make sage bundles. However, the best method is simple—a fan. Mosquitoes can't fly through the breeze, so hurry and get that old fan out of the basement! Get bit? 12 Ways to Relieve Mosquito Bites

Set Up a Buffet

Create "stations" with different appetizers and dishes throughout your backyard to keep guests moving and mingling during your event.

Set the Table

If you're hosting a formal event, a stylish outdoor place setting is easy to set up.

Make a Garden Centerpiece

Use flowers and elements from your garden to create unique—and inexpensive—centerpieces for the table. Think creatively and use vessels you have on hand and foliage and flowers from your own garden. Centerpiece Ideas for Every Occasion

Terra-Cotta Utensil Holders

These clever re-purposed pots are a charming way to help your guests find what they need to dig in. Get the steps.

Fire Up the Grill

With delicious recipes for both meat-eaters and vegetarians, grilling is a summer party must. Grill looking a little dingy? Click here to learn how to restore it to its former glory.

A Grill for Small Spaces

Don't fret, apartment dwellers. There are a wide variety of grills available made especially for small spaces, like this grill-planter combo from Black+Blum

Choosing BBQ Wood

Grilling and smoking meat with wood can be a complicated task. The smoke is meant to enhance the flavor of your meats and not overpower it. As a basic approach, choose lighter, fruit woods for fish and poultry. Pair them with oak for longer, hotter burning. Experiment from there with other woods, using them in moderation until you reach your desired flavor. The Top BBQ Wood for Smoking and Grilling

Baste Meats with Rosemary

Rosemary bush thriving? Snip off a couple of branches, dip them in a marinade and baste your meat with them. Get the steps.

Grill Some Fish

There's nothing better than fresh fish straight off the grill. Grilling whole fish can seem daunting, but this nonstick grill basket makes it as easy as flipping a burger. Simply fill the basket with your favorite whole fish—try stuffing your fish with fresh herbs and citrus slices—close, lock and grill.

Prepare the Menu

Take advantage of your summer harvest by serving up platters of your homegrown garden veggies, like this hearty grilled zucchini and goat cheese salad. Try one of these 8 Tasty Garden-to-Grill Recipes.

The Kids' Table

Chopped fruit creations, like this colorful rainbow, encourage kids to play with their food, and eat it, too! See more fun fruit and vegetable creations for the little ones.

Water Stations

Make sure there is plenty of water for your guests to drink. The hostess of this tropical bridal shower kicked their water up a notch by adding lemons and limes.

Bring out the Bar

Serve up cocktails like this homemade limoncello, You can also set up an area in your yard with different liquor and beverages and let guests mix their own. 17 Sublime Summer Cocktails

Put Some Spice in Your Life (And Cup)

Looking for a spicy cocktail? Try infusing tequila with peppers straight from your garden. Get the steps from HGTV.com, plus a recipe for a blood orange Sol de Flare cocktail.

Create a Space for Kids

If you have kids as frequent visitors, keep your tiny guests busy by creating a space in your yard just for them. Here, old wooden logs create an obstacle course for children that serves double-duty as a lovely flower garden accent. More family-friendly garden ideas.

Sandbox to Raised Bed

A sandbox for kids can later be used for a raised bed garden after children outgrow it. Make sure to cover your sandbox at night and after use to keep critters out.

Giant Chess

If you've got the space, a giant chess or checkerboard is a fun and functional backyard addition that will wow guests. Learn how to make your own using just concrete and sod.

Pool Party

Pool parties are easy: just tell your guests to grab their swimsuits, serve some drinks and dive in! Extra towels will definitely come in handy for forgetful guests; signs pointing to the bathroom will prevent dripping guests from wandering through your home. This pool was once a dumpster, see its amazing transformation.

Outdoor Wedding Ideas

Hosting a wedding in your own backyard is an inexpensive and memorable way to exchange vows. Get ready for the big day with garden wedding ideas and DIY wedding ideas from our friends at DIYNetwork.com.

Tailgating Tips

Everyone loves a good tailgate. Bring a little nature and style to gameday with fun tailgating ideas from the ladies of At The Picket Fence.

Go on a Picnic

Take the party to the park or even just host a small soiree in your yard with a picnic baskets. Don't forget silverware and a comfy blanket to sit on!

Get the Lawn Ready

Start off your party-prep by mowing the lawn. Get expert lawn moving advice from Yard Crashers' Ahmed Hassan.

Have Fun!

Remember, the most important part of an outdoor party is that you and your guests enjoy each other's company. Get more clever entertaining ideas from our friends at HGTV.com.