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Summer Bucket List: 5 Ideas

Summer Bucket List: 5 Ideas

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Highlights
    1. Treat yourself to 5 party themes guaranteed to make summer amazing.
    2. Gather friends of all ages for a backyard movie night.
    3. Host a seafood boil, moonlit cocktail party, garden party and more.

Summer is here and gone before you know it. Make the most of this short-lived season with 5 gatherings worth enjoying before the season sets. From elegant soirees to casual get-togethers, these ideas promise a season of fun in the season of sun.

1. BACKYARD DINNER AND A MOVIE

There’s something special about watching your favorite movie alongside fireflies. Warm nights make summer the perfect time to pull off this cool party idea.

  • FIRST, THE FOOD. Keep the menu simple with laid-back family favorites like pizza or hot dogs. Set out stylish snacks for dessert. Movie favorites like popcorn, peanuts and candy are a must. Present them creatively in grab-and-go concession boxes, or stack them as you would see at the theater. A popcorn bar where guests can add fun mix-ins of their choosing is sure to win a round of applause.
  • NOW THE MOOD. Lay out blankets and plenty of pillows for guests to get lost in. Or set out rows of lawn chairs if expecting a larger crowd. Containers filled with glow sticks or mini flashlights are fun for the kids. For the movie, you’ll need a projector and a screen—invest in one of the inflatable varieties available or hang taut a crisp white sheet.
  • FOR THE TABLE. A casual buffet setup is the way to go. Drape a red carpet runner down the center of the table and decorate with paper Hollywood Walk of Fame stars. Serve food family-style on platters and opt for dinnerware with a simple, modern touch, such as the CORELLE® SQUARE™ CASCADING LINES 16-PC SET. Create your own movie marquee by writing the feature name and showtime on a chalkboard.
2. Bright and Stylin’

White-themed parties have popped up in cities like Miami, Chicago and San Diego. The decorating theme is so simple that it’s one of the easiest party to throw yourself. And summer is the perfect time to parade your best dress whites.

  • FIRST, THE FOOD.Need some ideas? White pizza, white bean crostini, queso blanco dip, white chocolate-covered pretzels and strawberries, white-frosted cakes and cupcakes, and white parfaits and meringue cookies should get you started.
  • NOW THE MOOD. white-themed parties tend to take on a more formal tone. But this kind of elegance is easy to pull off. Tie bunches of white balloons to your deck, drape white fabric over the backs of chairs, decorate trees with white streamers or garland, and fill mason jars or glass hurricanes with pretty white pom-poms (or string fairy lights if nighttime) and set along pathways.
  • FOR THE TABLE. Drape a white linen tablecloth over a long table and set with the whitest dishware you have. The CORELLE® BOUTIQUE™ CHERISH 16-PC DINNERWARE SET is a perfect option. Present food on white serving trays and cake pedestals, and serve beverages in clear glassware. Bouquets of white flowers in clear or white vases finish the look. Share food on matching servingware, including CORELLE® BOUTIQUE™ CHERISH 12.25″ SERVING PLATTER, CORELLE® BOUTIQUE™ CHERISH 10.5″ APPETIZER TRAY and the CORELLE® BOUTIQUE™ CHERISH 1.5-QT SERVING BOWL.
3. SUMMERTIME SEAFOOD BOIL

No beach required. Whether you’re the laid-back Low Country shrimp boil or the preppy New England clam bake type, throwing a summertime seafood boil is about as easy as it gets.

  • FIRST, THE FOOD. Start with as big of a pot as you can get your hands on. Fill with water and bring to a boil. Add your favorite seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay®. Add any of the following in the order it takes to cook (for example, potatoes take longer than shrimp, so put them in about 10 or more minutes prior): fresh seafood, such as shrimp, crab legs, lobster claws, clams, crayfish and mussels; precooked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa; and fresh vegetables, such as new potatoes, corn on the cob, garlic cloves and red onion wedges. Serve crusty bread or cornbread muffins, lemon wedges, hot sauce and bowls of melted butter alongside.
  • NOW THE MOOD. Keep the vibe easy breezy with a cool color palette of ocean blues and natural textures that mimic rope, sea grass, driftwood and other beachy finds. Set out glass lanterns and netting, fill small aluminum buckets with shells or sand and taper candles, and hang nautical pennant banners where they can blow gently in the breeze.
  • FOR THE TABLE. Cover it with newspaper. Yep, it’s that simple. Serve beverages like Long Island iced tea or herb-spiked lemonade in mason jars. Also set out dinnerware that calls to mind salt air-infused visions of a day at the beach, such as CORELLE® LIVINGWARE™ OCEAN BLUES 16-PC DINNERWARE SET.
4. MOONLIGHT COCKTAIL PARTY

Oh, what a little moonlight can do. Dine and drink under a sky of stars with an adults-only soiree hosted in your backyard.

  • FIRST, THE FOOD. Think finger food—easy bites that can be balanced on a small plate in one hand. Skewered chicken satay, marinated olives, heirloom tomato bruschetta, goat cheese-stuffed mushrooms, smoked salmon crisps, mini cheesecakes, lemon tartlets and mini cupcakes combine to make a perfect menu for the masses.
  • NOW THE MOOD. If possible, plan your party on a night when the moon is expected to be at its most magical. When it’s full, just a little ambient lighting is all you’ll need to set the scene. Put out plenty of candles in glass votives, wrap trees with twinkle lights, hang lighted round paper lanterns, deck out the patio with string lights, or hang candle-filled mason jars with ribbons from tree branches.
  • FOR THE TABLE. Instead of a formal dining table, opt for a buffet instead. Set out some plates from the CORELLE® SQUARE™ SIMPLE LINES 16-PC DINNERWARE SET and plenty of cocktail napkins. Serve specialty drinks in serve-yourself containers or set out a tray of champagne cocktails that guests can grab.
5. GIRLS-ONLY GARDEN PARTY

Gather your besties for a memorable gathering that’s a guaranteed good time.

  • FIRST, THE FOOD. Keep the fare light with salads, tea sandwiches, cheese and fresh crudite platters. And use edible flowers when you can—in ice cubes and lemonade, sprinkled atop salads or to dress up a tray of pretty dessert pastries.
  • NOW THE MOOD. Bring on the flower power and fresh-air fun! Hang a faux flower garland. overhead and set out brightly colored terra-cotta pots (or natural ones for a more demure look). Bouquets of fresh flowers are an absolute must here, especially if you don’t have a lush garden of your own. Put individual long-stemmed showstoppers like dahlias and daisies in glass bottles or a lush bunch of hydrangeas in a watering can. Offer a pack of seeds tied with a pretty ribbon as a parting gift.
  • FOR THE TABLE. Set individual places with dainty dinnerware like the CORELLE® LIVINGWARE™ GARDEN LACE 16-PC SET. Vintage fabric in floral patterns make great folded napkins. Place directly on top of each dinner plate and top with a fresh flower.

EXPERT TIPS

YOUR TURN: What’s on your summer bucket list?