Though each season has its special charms, summer is one of our favorite times to entertain. Maybe it’s the nostalgia factor, that “no-school-tomorrow” feeling, or the fact that when temperatures are high, stress levels tend to be low. In any case, it’s time to break out your cutest melamine plates and load up on sparklers, because outdoor entertaining season is here.

Set the tone for your gathering right up front. We love the idea of a nautical-themed Fourth of July barbecue, whether you’re lucky enough to be by the water or not. We love these invites from Gina Langford, which are a seamless blend of patriotic and nautical. We’re getting out our Breton-striped shirts and crushing on these on-palette plates. For a nautical party, nothing but rum will do. Make a big batch of rum punch so that guests can serve themselves, and you can enjoy yourself instead of constantly mixing up drinks. For food, evoke the Northeast with everyone’s favorite road trip treat: a lobster roll. If that isn’t your style, impress guests with a hot dog topping bar that elevates the cook-out classic to something Instagram-worthy. For sweet treats that beat the heat, go stress-free, and just stock a cooler full of a huge array of frozen popsicles, cones, and bars. Guests can take a walk down memory lane as they choose favorites from childhood. (And little ones will love it, of course!)

Kick off your shoes, pack up the cooler, and watch the temperatures rise with no stress–we’ve got you covered for summer entertaining. Check back in with us for more tips and ideas all through the season.  

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