10 Summer Entertaining Essentials for Millennials

You don't have to live in a large house, complete with sprawling backyard and pool, to host an adult gathering. With these basic essentials, you can graduate from college parties to sophisticated soirees that you might actually invite your parents to.

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April 25, 2019

Hydration Station

Want to be the hostess (or host!) with the mostess? Then your beverage game is key. Stop scrambling around trying to make sure every guest has a full drink, instead, set out a hydration station with a drink dispenser, or a few! Batch cocktails, refreshing water, sangria...the possibilities are endless. Bonus: you'll be able to enjoy your party as much as your guests without the need to play bartender.

Buy It: Crate and Barrel, $31.96 (Originally $39.95)

The Ideal Bar Cart

You're not an adult until you have a bar cart or at least some kind of designated spot for drink ingredients and accessories that's, you know, not above your refrigerator. Keep supplies and accessories for your hydration station handy with this stylish rattan bar cart. It is slightly smaller than your average bar cart, meaning it won’t cost you this month’s rent to stock it, it won't take up too much floor space and the wheels make it easy to move around when setting up for a party.

Buy It: Target, $119.99

Ice Ice Baby

Step up your ice game and help your guests keep their drinks cool with these sleek silicone trays. Maybe you’ve tried silicone trays before, and you’re worried about the floppy sink-to-freezer transfer. Don’t be! These trays are lined with a stainless-steel frame for extra rigidity. Plus, the included silicone lid means no unpleasant freezer smells in your ice.

Buy It: Food52, $38 - $84

Apartment-Approved Fire Pit

Bring all the summer-night-fire-pit vibes to your apartment with this tabletop fire bowl. It’s far more than just a fancy candle. These bowls produce an ultra-clean 7-inch flame that will burn for up to three hours before requiring a new gel fuel can.

Buy It: The Home Depot, $53.99

The New Disposable Cutlery

Sometimes, disposable utensils are a must. Instead of going the typical plastic route, opt for a more environmentally-friendly option: wood. This wooden cutlery set comes with 100 pieces, is fully compostable and will look so much classier than plastic at your next gathering.

Buy It: Food52, $26.00

Light the Way

Welcome warm vibes to your outdoor space with a set of indoor/outdoor cafe lights. Not only will you be able to dance (or drink!) the night away, a string of these sleek black-capped orbs is a much more sophisticated choice than Christmas lights you probably had hanging as all-year lights in your college or first post-grad apartment.

Buy It: Target, $23.99 (Originally $29.99)

Pretty in Pink

The ultimate host needs the ultimate outdoor table. How about a chic bistro table with a beautiful powder-coated pink crackle finish? This is the perfect set for everything from breakfast to late-night wine and the pink is sure to add some color to any drab space.

Buy It: Wayfair, $163.99 (Originally $181.99)

Melamine Dreams

No one likes paper plates but using nicer dinnerware for parties is risky. That's why melamine is a great option. No more ugly paper plates at your parties or broken dishes on the patio. These melamine plates are dishwasher safe, come in a beautiful, moody foliage print and with the peace of mind that they won’t shatter if a friend drunkenly drops them.

Buy It: Terrain, $12.00

On-the-Go Grill

If you don’t have the space or the need for a large grill, do yourself a favor and buy this little guy. For under $80, you get the perfect-sized grill that fits on a tabletop. Plus, you can transport it wherever you need, like on a car camping trip, picnic or fall tailgate.

Buy It: Urban Outfitters, $76.00

Twinkle Lights

Set the mood with your very own set of twinkle lights. This set of three strands is fully remote-controlled and can be used anywhere that needs a warm glow, from the garden to the living room. It features eight different flash settings and a dimmer.

Buy It: Food52, $35 - $45