With the right people, any party can be a great time, but there’s something especially satisfying about throwing a spectacular summer party. The weather is the best it’s going to be all year, and people are eager to get outside and be social. We tend to think that people are just happier in the summer than in winter, and while the evidence for that is a little more complicated, getting outside in summertime does provide us with other benefits. For instance, going for a jog or even taking a brisk walk on a summer evening can make you feel stronger and healthier. Ride the summer wave for as long as you can by having people over for a summer bash that engages both their mind and their body.
The best kinds of parties mix old traditions with a sense of possibility and discovery. For instance, everyone loves going to a party where there’s food being grilled on a charcoal or gas grill. It’s not just limited to people who eat meat, either, as you can easily throw corn, zucchini, and other vegetables on the grill as well. Today’s veggie burgers are also so good that even the most committed omnivores can barely tell a difference. If you’re having vegetarians or vegans over, try to at least keep the vegetables separate from the meat items. If you have a second, smaller grill available, then that’s probably the simplest option for keeping everyone happy.
The best place for grilling is the backyard, and backyards are also a great place to set up a few games. Party mainstays like cornhole and horseshoes are always a possibility, but if you really want to make the party one that everyone will be talking about, think outside the box and look into something like an obstacle course rental or inflatable bounce house. Sure, adults have things like jobs and mortgages to worry about, but they can still kick off their shoes and run around an obstacle course for a night.
For many people, there’s nothing wrong with partaking in a little alcohol at a party. One study found that, among people who do drink, the median consumption is about three drinks per week. It’s also not unheard of for all of those drinks to be consumed over the course of a party, especially if that party starts at 7 p.m. and ends at midnight. As the host, you want to ensure that your guests can get home safely. One of the best and most subtle ways to do this is to check in casually people throughout the night. Saying something like, “How are you feeling?” is a better opening line than, “You’re not going to try and drive home drunk, are you?” The first question strikes a note of concern, while the second one sounds more accusatory than anything.
Presumably, you know your friends well enough to know if one of them looks like they’ve gone overboard on the booze. Did that person come to the party with a friend or significant other? If so, check in with that person and ask if they’re giving them a ride home. There’s a decent chance that their companion previously agreed to be the designated driver and gave the now-intoxicated person permission to cut loose a little bit. However, if that’s not the case, then it’s arguably your job as the host to take the drunk person aside and speak to them as calmly as possible. Offer to call them a Lyft. If you have room in your house, offer to let them sleep over. If you can quietly enlist another friend to hide your drunk friend’s keys from them, then do so. In the morning, you can magically “find” the keys again, then give your friend some headache medicine and send them on their way. It may feel sneaky, but it’s a less drastic option than having to call the cops because a very drunk friend ignored you and got behind the wheel anyway.