September is fast approaching, but summer fun does not necessarily have to end just yet. With the end of August comes a more tolerable sun and a host of fun, fall-themed decorating and hosting ideas. All you need is a few materials and some guests to enjoy the end of summer.
1. Savor Summer's Last Hurrah
Not ready to welcome fall just yet? You don't have to! Use these last few weeks to revisit your favorite summer activities. Water gun fights in the backyard? Invite family and neighbors with kids, set aside a water-free zone for the adults, and let the youngins tire themselves out. Not ready to retire the grill just yet? Fire it up for Labor Day and make summer favorites like roasted peaches before fall brings new, seasonal fare to your grocery store. Pining for the beach? Re-create the experience with an inflatable pool, parasol, kinetic sand, and picnic in your backyard.
Pro tip: Nothing says summer like mojitos, pina coladas, or mai tais (mocktails for the under aged, of course). However you choose to celebrate the end of summer, add a refreshing splash with these modern twists on classic summer drinks.
2. Take Advantage of Milder Temps
Now that the dog days of summer are nearly gone, you'll be able to spend afternoons outside more comfortably. Retire any shade structures and take advantage of the softer temperatures by setting up for fun but more involved activities that were too athletic for hot summer temps — like badminton — for friends and family to enjoy in the mild end of summer afternoons and weekends.
With the sun winding down, you can comfortably host just about anything in the backyard: book club, potlucks, even study groups! Just wipe off any outdoor furniture that's gotten a little dirty over the summer and make sure you have extra sweaters or blankets ready should guests linger into nighttime. Tiki lamps are also a great, festive option for keeping warm. Just be mindful to keep fire safety in mind. We're not out of "fire season" just yet.
3. Light it Up
With night falling sooner, lights will help you keep the fun going. Whether you decide to hang yours from a tree, across your backyard, or go for something free-standing, you have lots of options. Some of our favorite hanging options include mason jars filled with fairy lights, hanging tea lights, and these Japanese-style lanterns from Etsy. If you're looking for something free-standing, there's always tiki torches, solar powered pole lights, and light columns for the crafty. Covering bushes in sparkly lights is also a beautiful way of lighting your backyard. Whichever option you go with, make sure to keep cords from becoming a tripping hazard.
Pro tip: Tie cords down with bent clothes hangers. 1.) Use pliers to cut the hangers down to four to seven inches depending on the size of your cord. 2.) Bend the pieces into the shape of a horseshoe. 3.) Place them over your cord every four to five feet. 4.) Use a hammer to drive them snuggly into the ground, and voila! No more tripping hazard.
4. Pay Homage to Fall
The advent of fall brings a host of new twists to your entertaining options. Ring in the start of autumn with themed decorations around the house. A fall wreath adds some flair to your door and can be a fun (and cheap) activity to do with the kids one afternoon. Keep costs down by gathering leaves around the neighborhood or on a hike. Incorporating seasonal favorites such as roasted chestnuts or sweet potato dishes into your next gathering is another great way to welcome fall. Want to go all out? Throw a Fall Equinox Party the second to last weekend of September and invite friends over to celebrate the new season.
The end of summer is far from the end of backyard entertaining season. We still have several weeks to soak up every last bit of beautiful weather and start looking forward to fall. What are your favorite end of summer entertaining ideas? Let us know in the comments!