Nothing screams summer like being outside and making lasting memories with little ones running around and adults kicking back. Don’t take the job solely upon yourself though! Consider hosting a summer potluck for people to gather in your space without having to do all of the work yourself.  

Pick a Theme

Pinterest is perfect for searching for a creative party theme to set your potluck apart from the rest. A theme is an excellent magnet for conversation and provides a clear and cohesive idea on a direction dishes should be centered around for guests to contribute. Some dish themes include a Mexican fiesta, state fair food, or twist on movie theater offerings. If you’re in the mood to craft, spend some time doing a creative DIY table setting or buy a tablecloth and name place setting in the color of your theme if you have one.

Make Refreshing Cocktails

Image via Flickr by  Farmers and Fishers

Look up new recipes with fresh seasonal summer ingredients. Transform blackberries into mojitos and peaches into daiquiris. In a pinch? Make blackberry and peach sangria the night before for a perfect, hassle-free cocktail. Place an ice chest nearby for guests to add ice without having to go in and out of the house often.

Keep Clean Up Simple

Potlucks have a variety of food that guests may want to pile up high so spend the few extra dollars buying sturdy disposable paper or plastic plates. Make sure to stock up on utensils so you don’t run out during the festivities as no one wants to do that many dishes. Don’t feel guilty asking guests to take the dirty containers they brought with them back home. Time should be spent enjoyed with others, not being overwhelmed by the number of plates in your overflowing sink.

Keep Cool

The summer weather may become overwhelming, and people may want to have a break from the heat by going indoors. It is essential to have a well-cooled house for guests during the summer months. An overly heated home can quickly ruin any party. Preparing the home and entertainment area, including the AC, is a necessary step so that guests stay comfortable. Simple maintenance tasks for your HVAC, like changing air filters can improve the quality of the airflow with a bonus of saving energy.

Stay Organized

To ensure that food allergies are taken care of or avoiding multiples of the same dish, start a meal train. Meal train has a free potluck online service. It lets you coordinate dishes, item quantities, add notes, or make updates for your event. For those last-minute friends or those that don’t want to do any work at all, add a donation portion to the meal train so they can still contribute.

Summer potlucks provide the perfect opportunity to catch up on life and enjoy one another, so relax and don’t stress if everything is not perfect. Follow these ideas or add some of your own to create a fun potluck and then give yourself a pat on the back, you entertaining pro!