Home Tip Tuesday: Memorial Day Entertaining Tips

Preparation and personal touches make for a fun party.

For many Americans, Memorial Day is the first big opportunity for casual entertaining. Though summer is officially still a month away, Memorial Day gatherings are the kick-off for backyard parties to come. That’s why some hosts feel the pressure to get it right. Don’t let the stress of event planning spoil your fun. Our top tips will keep guests happy and keep you in the party mood.

Get Prepped
The more chores you can check off the list before guests arrive, the more time you’ll have to enjoy yourself. Start make marinades, dips, dressings and pitchers of ice tea and lemonade mid-week; they’ll all stay fresh in the refrigerator for several days. The day before your party, chop vegetables, prep side dishes and make any baked goods you included on the menu. Don’t forget to check the propane tanks if you’re using a gas grill or stock up on charcoal.

When it comes to D├ęcor, Less is More
Memorial Day is a patriotic holiday, but you don’t have to overdo the red white and blue in order to show your American pride. A few strings of white twinkle lights, some red tablecloths and blue paper goods are a good base to build on. Wrap some blue ribbon around a few canning jars and fill them with daisies and red carnations for a cheerful touch of Americana. Keep the decorations simple, natural and recyclable.

Keep Them Amused
Outdoor games are the perfect form of entertainment for a Memorial Day bash, but remember, not everyone can participate at the same level. Include a variety of activities to keep younger children and those with less athletic skills involved. Bean bag tossing, horseshoes, croquet and badminton are a few examples of games everyone can enjoy together.

Kick the Can
Putting a variety of canned drinks in a bucket or cooler of ice is a great idea, but you can do better! Fill 12-ounce canning jars with ice tea, homemade lemonade or even specialty cocktails. Use a Sharpie to write the name of the drink on the jar lid, and screw the lid on tight before placing the jars in ice. So much more fun and festive than store-bought drinks!

Go With the Flow
It’s amazing what a difference music can make at any party. The flow of music sets the mood and keeps the energy lively.  Music volume should be kept low enough not to interfere with conversation, but loud enough to set a festive mood. Remember to select tunes all your guests are likely to enjoy instead of focusing on your personal favorites.

When good food and good friends come together, a good time can’t be far behind. With a little bit of preparation and a few personal touches, your Memorial Day party will be a great start to summer entertaining.

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