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Entertainment & Recreation

Outdoor Halloween Party - Ideas for Decor, Food, and Games

Wicked-Cool Ideas for an Outdoor Halloween Party



Outdoor Halloween Party

Don’t be afraid to host a Halloween party outside. A dark and chilly fall night provides the perfect eerie ambiance for a bewitching Halloween bash. Holding your party outdoors also gives you an array of options for festive decorations and games that would be difficult or impractical indoors. Create a hair-raising Halloween party with these ideas for décor, food, and games.

Halloween Party Décor
Outdoor Halloween Party Decor
Turn your outdoor living space from homey to haunted with these frightfully festive Halloween decorating ideas.

Send a chill down guests’ spines as they enter your backyard by playing scary background music and using a fog machine to create a creepy, graveyard-like atmosphere. Switch out your porch and landscape lights with black light bulbs to enhance the eeriness.

Make spooky silhouettes by drawing the outlines of ghosts and other sinister figures on pieces of plywood, then cutting out the shapes and painting them black. Prop the shadowy figures up against a tree, the fence, or the back of the house.

Photo courtesy of Party City

Drape fake cob webs or torn cheesecloth from tree branches, along the fence or deck, and from the beams of a pergola or gazebo to give the yard an abandoned and mysterious look.

Make party guests feel like they’re being watched by a scary beast lurking in the bushes with this idea for glaring monster eyes:
- Get a toilet paper or paper towel roll (if using a paper towel roll, cut it in half).
- Draw or trace a pair of devilish eyes on the roll (use the pattern below as a guide) and cut out the shape.
- Color the toilet paper roll black with marker or craft paint and use electrical tape to close one end of the roll.
- Grab a green, yellow or red glow stick, bend it to activate the light, and place it in the toilet paper roll through the open end; close the end with another piece of electrical tape.
- Stuff the glaring beast eyes in a bush or place them in the bark ridge of a tree.

Glaring Monster Eyes Pattern

Glaring Monster Eyes Pattern for Halloween Craft


Halloween Party Food


Halloween Party Food and RecipesScare up an appetite with a scream-worthy spread of gruesome grub and tricked-out treats. From “finger” foods to spooky sweets, here are some ghoulishly good Halloween recipes to serve.


Deviled Eyes – Prepare deviled eggs with avocado to give them a ghoulishly green hue. Top each egg “eyeball” with a sliced green or black olive to create a pupil. Add veins by arranging a few thinly sliced roasted red pepper strips around the olive.

Photo courtesy of Amy’s Party Ideas

Halloween Chex Mix RecipeHalloween Chex Mix – Set out this wicked-good mix of candy corn, pretzels, raisins, and white chocolate...and watch it disappear! Get this recipe & other festive Halloween desserts >>

Mummy Dogs – Preheat oven to 400° F. Open and unroll a can of refrigerated breadstick dough; separate at perforations. Cut each breadstick in half using a knife or pizza cutter to make two thinner strips of dough. Take two thin dough strips, one at a time, and wrap lengthwise around a hot dog. Leave a small space open around the top of the hot dog for the Mummy’s Face. Continue wrapping all the hot dogs and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Spray the Mummy dogs with cooking spray and place in the oven. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until dough is light golden brown. Let cool for five minutes. Pipe eyes on the mummies using mustard or ketchup.

Apple Monster Mouths for Halloween PartyMonster Mouths - Core an apple and slice it into quarters. Cut a wedge from the skin side of each apple quarter to form a mouth. Place slivered almonds into the top and bottom of the apple for teeth. 

Fried Fingers – Use a bit of marinara sauce to attach sliced blanched almonds to tops of mozzarella sticks to make them look like severed fingers.

Photo courtesy of Amy’s Party Ideas


Trick or Treat Halloween Candy Buffet Trick-or-Treat Candy Buffet – You can't have a Halloween party without candy! Fill plastic cauldrons with different types of Halloween candy for guests to take home in goodie bags.

RIP Graveyard Cake – Layer chocolate pudding and crushed chocolate cookie crumbs in a large cake pan. Write “RIP” on oval or square sandwich cookies to make them look like tombstones and stick them in the cake. Top the cake with gummy worms to up the gross factor.


Bewitching Brew – Transform punch into a boiling witch’s brew or poisonous potion with dry ice. Place a few blocks of dry ice inside a large punch bowl. In a smaller punch bowl, prepare your favorite punch recipe. Carefully place the punch-filled bowl inside the larger bowl with dry ice. The fog from the dry ice will escape from the bottom bowl, creating a spooky vapor. IMPORTANT: Always handle dry ice with tongs or heavy rubber gloves to avoid freezer burn or frostbite on your skin. Keep the dry ice in a well-ventilated area and be sure not to breathe in too much of the gas.


Photo courtesy of Party City



Halloween Party Games and Activities

Here are a variety of ghostly games to make your outdoor Halloween party more terrifyingly fun and exciting.

Pin the Face on the Jack-O-Lantern – Give this childhood favorite a Halloween twist. Have each player cut out eyes, a nose, and mouth from black construction paper and stick a piece of double-sided tape on the back of each cutout. Get a large pumpkin and place it on a table. One at a time, each player stands with their cutouts about four feet away from the table with a blindfold on. After spinning around in a circle four times, the player walks toward the pumpkin and tries to pin the face on the pumpkin. Take a picture after each turn to see who pinned the best face.

Skeleton Scavenger Hunt for HalloweenSkeleton Scavenger Hunt – Purchase a plastic skeleton with detachable bones, separate it, and scatter the bones around the yard. Have guests search the yard to gather the bones and try to put the skeleton back together.

Guess the Body Part – For this classic Halloween game, gather an assortment of boxes with lids and cut a hole in each lid so that guests can fit their hand through it. Prepare food items for “body parts” and place them inside the boxes for guests to guess what they are. For example, Witch’s Eyeballs (peeled grapes); Dracula’s Teeth or Warewolf Fangs (candy corn); Frankenstein’s Ears (dried apricots); Dead Man’s Heart (large peeled tomato); Human Brain (cooked head of cauliflower).



Photo courtesy of Party City

Ghost Stories – This is a must for any Halloween party! Gather everybody around the graveyard and take turns telling spooky tales of the undead.

Trick or Treat Card Game – Create a deck of cards from orange card stock. On each card, write “Trick” or “Treat” on one side of the card. For each “Trick” card include an act to perform, such as Tell a Scary Story, Act Out a Scene from Your Favorite Halloween Movie, and Perform Your Best Evil Laugh. To play, have guests sit around a table and place a bowl of candy in the middle. Shuffle the deck of cards and fan them out around the candy bowl. One at time, go around the table and have each player draw a card. If they pull a “Treat” card, they get to select a piece of candy from the bowl. If they pull a “Trick” card, they must do what’s on the card in order to get a piece of candy.





Fun Ideas for a Fall Barbecue - Fall Party Themes and Ideas

Fall Outdoor Party Themes and Ideas


Summer may have ended, but the fall season offers just as many opportunities to entertain outdoors. With cooler temperatures, gorgeous foliage, delicious crops, and fun festivities, autumn is the perfect time to invite friends and family over for a backyard barbecue or bash. Here are three fall party ideas to keep guests entertained all season long.

Fall Harvest Party

Celebrate all of the wonderful things the fall season has to offer by throwing an outdoor harvest party. Invite friends and family to bring their best autumn-inspired dishes or consider having a harvest swap! Prepare for the crisp weather and shorter days by adding a fire pit and outdoor lighting to your patio or deck.

Harvest Party Décor

Decorate Your Yard for a Fall PartyWith all the natural colors and bounty of the season, it’s easy to decorate your yard for fall. Create a rustic harvest setting with these easy décor ideas:

Welcome guests and set the stage for your party with a festive display that illustrates all of autumn's natural splendor. Dress up a pergola or arbor with fall leaf garland, mums, and a couple scarecrows.

For a harvest-themed tablescape, purchase a piece of velvet or burlap from your local craft store and use as a table cover or table runner. Arrange a mix of gourds and potted mums down the middle of the table for a simple and festive centerpiece. You can also paint letters on the pumpkins or flower pots to spell out “HAPPY FALL” or “HARVEST.”



Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie

Decorate your yard for a fall party with seasonal touches like pumpkins and mums
Decorate the rest of the outdoor space with seasonal touches. Pile pumpkins and mums around trees; place bales of hay around the patio (cover the hay bales with a blanket or fabric so guests can use them as seats); bundle dried cornstalks together and tie them to the posts of a pergola or gazebo.

For evening gatherings, add charming candleholders to the tablescape by cutting the tops off of small gourds or apples, then carving out circular pockets and placing tea lights inside. Drape throw blankets or afgans in fall hues or motifs (think plaid, leaves, owls, pumpkins, etc.) over chairs; guests can use them to keep warm at night. 


Photo courtesy of Worthing Court,
www.worthingcourtblog.com

To add more festive flair, make a garland of Indian corn to hang along the fence or deck: Plot dried ears of corn* (with the husks attached and pulled back) about 6 to 8 inches apart on a piece of twine or raffia. Once in place, use pieces of twine or floral wire to attach the ears of corn to the twine, tying it around each piece where the husk meets the cob. (*Dried ears of corn can be found at your local farmer’s market or grocery store. You can also dry fresh ears of corn by placing them in a mesh bag and hanging them outside or in an area with low moisture and humidity. Corn will dry in approximately three weeks.)



Harvest Party Food


From apples to pumpkins, the fall harvest offers a bountiful buffet of sweet and savory flavors. Create a party menu that embodies the season with these autumn-inspired foods and recipes.


Food for a Fall Harvest PartyCrudités - Visit your local farmer’s market and buy an array of seasonal fruits and vegetables. They not only make for an easy appetizer but add tons of fall color to your buffet table.

Editor's Tip: Dress up your buffet with mini pumpkins, leaves, acorns and pinecones. Include decorative food labels so guests can easily identify dishes (check out Frog Prince Paperie for printable party supplies).

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie

Harvest Chicken Salad – Give regular chicken salad an autumn makeover my adding chopped apples, pecans, celery, and pomegranate seeds (arils) to the mix. Serve with whole grain baguette slices or crackers.

Apricot-Dijon Pork SaladApricot-Dijon Pork Salad – This is a perfect transitional dish between summer and fall. Summer apricots and tart cherries add beautiful fall color and natural sweetness to the salad, while the Dijon mustard and ginger dressing lend a warm and spicy flavor. Get the recipe >>

Fall Ratatouille – No harvest party would be complete without this quintessential fall vegetable dish. This recipe features a medley of late-summer/early fall vegetables, cheese, and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Get the full recipe >>

Caramel Apples – Combine food and fun by setting up a caramel apple-dipping station: Display skewered apples on a bale of hay for easy picking. Use a disposable chafing dish to keep the caramel warm and ready for dipping. Set up a line of plastic bowls (with spoons) at the end of the table and fill with yummy toppings like chopped nuts, chocolate chips, candy bar pieces, graham cracker crumbs, sprinkles, and crushed cookies.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board

Apple Cider – Serve this delectable fall drink in a pumpkin punch bowl: Hollow out a large pumpkin, removing all the seeds and scraping out the pulp from the sides. Pour in apple cider and garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks. Use mason jars for drinking glasses to add a rustic touch!




Harvest Party Games and Activities

Complete your harvest party with a host of festive fall games that feature the bounty of the season.

Harvest Party Games and ActvitiesCorn shucking contest – Divide ears of corn evenly among guests and see who can finish shucking their pile the fastest. Award the winner with a homemade treat, such as apple cranberry granola bars or a loaf of pumpkin cornbread. After the game, throw all the shucked ears of corn on the grill for a tasty treat.

Bobbing for Apples – You can also go for a twist on this classic game. Hang apples from tree branches by tying a string around the stems. Guests then have to try and bite the apple without using their hands. The first one to eat their apple wins.

Pumpkin bowling – Use a pumpkin as a bowling ball (pick one that’s not too heavy or too big) and use soda bottles as pins (fill them with some sand to weigh them down).

Pumpkin Bocce – Use a medium-sized pumpkin as the pallino and small gourds for the bocce balls. Very the type or color of the gourds among the different teams to keep accurate score. 

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie






Backyard Tailgate Party - Fun Ideas for a Fall Barbecue


Fall Outdoor Party Themes: Backyard Tailgate Party



Backyard Tailgate Party

Fall and football go hand in hand—and with it comes tailgating! Instead of heading to the game or stadium parking lot, give yourself the home-field advantage with a backyard tailgating party. Put on your best game day gear, fire up the grill, and invite fellow fans (and non-fans) over to enjoy a pleasant fall day of fun, football, and food.

Tailgate Party Décor

Whether you root for your alma mater or local NFL team, here are some ideas for creating a fun football atmosphere everyone will cheer for.

Ideas for a Fall Backyard Tailgate PartyCreate an authentic tailgating ambiance by decorating your truck or car with your team’s insignia and parking it on the back lawn. Add a pop-up canopy and portable chairs to complete the tailgating vibe.

Show your team spirit by hanging pennants, banners, and streamers that display your team’s colors and/or logo.


Photo courtesy of Amy’s Party Ideas


Football Paper Lanterns for Tailgate PartyFootball paper lanterns (pictured at left) and tissue paper pom-poms are another fun decoration: hang them at varying lengths from tree branches or pergola beams.

Put a football twist on seasonal items to liven up your décor:
- Use mums to display your team’s colors
- Carve pumpkins to look like football helmets and paint your team’s logo on them
- Transform a tall oval pumpkin into a football by painting the entire pumpkin pigskin brown and adding white laces down the center
- Make a scarecrow that resembles your favorite player, your team’s coach or mascot

Photo courtesy of Party City



AstroTurf Buffet Table for a Tailgate PartyFor a festive food display, turn your buffet table into a football field with this fun AstroTurf table runner idea from Uncommon Designs. Artificial turf can be purchased at your local home store, or you can use dark green felt as an alternative. To complete the look, use white athletic tape to add yard lines.

Include yourself (and your guests) in the décor by sporting festive football apparel, jewelry, and accessories like party beads, wigs, and foam fingers.

Photo courtesy of Uncommon Designs

Since the game is the main attraction, tune in to the pregame show while you pregame with an outdoor TV. Make sure the TV is positioned where everyone can view it. You can also rent or buy an inflatable outdoor screen if you’ll be entertaining a large crowd—or just want to really impress your guests!



Tailgate Party Food


A simple, self-serve menu of finger foods, hearty sandwiches, and quick-cooking fare will keep fellow football fans fueled from kickoff to the final touchdown—and prevent you from getting sidelined to the grill or outdoor kitchen. Tackle any appetite with these tasty tailgating food ideas and recipes.


Roasted Red Pepper, Ham and Parsley Torte – This delicious appetizer is perfect for a crowd, easy to make, and can be prepared a day ahead.

Football Themed Deviled EggsDeviled Eggs – Turn this classic finger food into football-shaped food by topping with pieces of chives in the pattern of football laces.

Grilled Sweet Potato Salad – This recipe is a delicious fall alternative to traditional potato salad and will pair well with any type of game day grub. Get the recipe >>

Sub or Sandwich Tray – Subs are filling, tasty, and easy to make. Wrap individual subs or sandwiches in napkins so guests can grab both and get back to watching the game.

Photo courtesy of Party City

Burger Bar for a Tailgate Football PartyBurger Bar – Burgers are a tailgating staple and easy crowd pleaser. Set up a build your own burger bar with an assortment of condiments and toppings to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Take a tip from The Frog Prince Paperie’ s Touchdown Slider Bar and include labels so guests know exactly what they are trying—and don’t confuse the pickled peppers with the hot peppers!

Beer-Grilled Chops – You’ll score major points with these juicy and tender pork chops. Get the recipe >>

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie


  Find more crowd-pleasing football party recipes >>




Tailgate Party Games and Activities

Keep guests entertained before kickoff with a variety of tailgating games and football activities.

Quarterback Toss – Hang a 30”, a 36,” and a 40” hula hoop from a tree and write a point value on each one (the smaller the hoop, the higher the point value). Let each player have three turns at tossing a football through the hoops. The player with the highest amount of points wins.

Football Face Painting for Tailgate PartyFootball Fan Face Painting – Fans young and old will have fun putting on their game face. Make sure you have paint colors to represent each guest’s favorite team. Along with face paint, provide an assortment of football themed stickers, temporary tattoos, and colored hair spray–and see who gets the most creative!

Touchdown Bean Bag Toss – Form a small football field on the patio or lawn with masking tape. Divide players into two teams and have them take turns tossing bean bags onto the other team’s side of the field. Keep score for each team by tallying the yardage points where the bags land (touchdowns count as 0 points). The team with the lowest yardage points wins.

Photo courtesy of Party City

Football Bingo – Create Bingo cards with football terms and phrases (such as “touchdown,” “false start,” “field goal,” and “interception”) and have guests try to fill out their cards as they watch the game.




Take our survey to get a FREE download of Award-Winning Pools book for iPadFree e-book! See over 75 amazing pool photos in our Award-Winning Pools book. Take our quick survey to download Award-Winning Pools FREE for iPad >>



4 Cool Pool Accessories and Floats

Fun Pool Floats and Accessories for Summer Outdoor Entertaining







Drink Dazzlers™ Light Up Coasters


Drink Dazzlers™ Light-up CoastersDrinkware that doubles as décor? Believe it! Place your cup on top of one of these light-up coasters and watch it glow. Party guests will have no problem finding their drink at night. The Drink Dazzlers™ Light Up Coasters bring a fun element to your patio table during summer pool parties and barbecues.

The light-up coasters also work with clear flower vases and bowls; use them to create a light-up centerpiece for a backyard graduation party or other summertime celebration. (Sold as set of four coasters; glasses not included.)

Try these 4 Refreshing Summer Drink Recipes >>



Mega Chill Pool Cooler Float

Mega Chill Pool Cooler FloatWith all the fun and activity going on in the pool you’re sure to need some refreshments. Quench your thirst while you keep the pool fun going with the Mega Chill Pool Cooler Float.

This large floating cooler features six cup holders around the perimeter of the cooler and two side handles for easy carrying. The large cooler in the center can hold up to 24 soda cans with ice. You’ll be sure to use this convenient float all summer long, whether entertaining family and friends or just lounging in the pool.



LED Light-up Pool Stool

LED Light-up Pool Bar StoolsGive your party guests a cool place to sit. These remote-controlled LED light-up pool stools provide a comfortable seat and illuminate your pool for the perfect party ambiance. The resin barstools are easy to move around the pool and can be used in any aboveground or inground swimming pool with a depth of 3 or 4 feet. (The stool’s seat height is adjustable from 24 to 33 inches.)

Set the mode on the stool’s internal LED light unit to auto for a multicolor display or use the remote control to pause the light on a certain color. The LED’s rechargeable battery lasts 12 hours per charge.

Keep the entertainment in the pool with these waterproof music players and speakers >>



Watermelon Slice Pool Island Float

Watermelon Slice Pool Island FloatWith its bright red center, black seeds, and yellow and green rind, this watermelon slice pool float is ripe for the...lounging! Everyone will want to feast on this large fruit-inspired pool float, which measures 60 inches in diameter.

Any way you slice it, this heavy-duty vinyl float is sure to entertain kids and adults alike. Add a few eye-catching slices to your pool to get the party juices flowing.




Add more fun to your pool party with some floating pool games >>



Photos courtesy of Toysplash.com


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5 Fun Pool Games

Fun Swimming Pool Games for Kids and Adults Alike








By Kimberlee Courtney

Turn your swimming pool into the ultimate summer entertainment center with these fun pool games. Great for pool parties or any summer day, these floating pool games are sure to entertain kids of all ages.

Inflatable Volleyball Game

Inflatable Volleyball Pool GameKeep cool while you bump, set, and spike your way to victory! This inflatable pool volleyball game is great for inground and aboveground pools and requires no installation or assembly; just inflate and play. The floating net makes for a fun challenge (and great workout!). If desired, anchor weights (not included) can be attached to the grommeted pole bases on the floating net.

The inflatable pool volleyball game measures 95 inches by 24 inches and includes game ball, net, and posts. May the best team win!


Ball Dartz

Ball Dartz Inflatable Pool GameThis pool-friendly version of darts features an inflatable Velcro-covered dartboard and six plastic ball darts with Velcro strips. Perfect your aim by launching the ball darts at the floating target or play a fun game with family or friends.

The Ball Dartz Pool Game can be used in aboveground and inground pools and measures 55 inches long, 23 inches wide and 39 inches high.


Tic Tac Toe

Tic Tac Toe Floating Pool GameThe classic pencil-and-paper game of Tic Tac Toe gets a wet and wild makeover. The inflatable Tic Tac Toe Ball Toss Pool Game features a floating game board and five “X” and five “O” squishy balls. The balls are bottom weighted so they always rotate face up to display the X or O. You’ll have tons of fun playing this favorite childhood game in your pool. Plus, the game becomes more challenging as you not only have to try to get three of your balls in a row, but have to toss the balls onto the floating game board while standing at the opposite end of the pool.


  4 Free Pool Games (all you need is a pool and a few fun-loving swimmers!) >>



Splashimals Floating Pool Cards Game

Splashimals Floating Pool CardsSchool may be out for summer, but you can keep the learning going with this fun Splashimals floating card game. Each foam card features half the picture and name of an animal and helps your child practice spelling and animal recognition as they match the animal heads and tails in the deck. For a creative and fun challenge, have them mix animals up to create new animals or words, like Tur-key (half Turtle, half Monkey) or Ca-sh (half Camel, half Fish). There are more than 225 possible animal card combinations.

You can also play a fun game of memory by placing the cards face down in the water. Flip the first card over and then try to find the matching card, flipping only one card over at a time and placing it back in the water face down if it’s not a match. You’ll have to remember where the matching cards are and also keep track of them as they float around in the pool. The foam cards dry easily and come with a mesh bag for storage.




Don’t have a pool? Check out these other fun summer activities for kids >>



Alien Eye Ball Toss Game

Alien Eye Ball Toss Pool GameWhether they’re in or out of the pool, everyone can take part in this fun inflatable alien eyeball toss game. What’s more, you can play this game any way you want. For instance, each player can take a turn tossing the five squishy eye balls onto the floating alien head from a designated distance (maybe 3 to 5 feet). Keep score by tallying the points for each player; the player with the highest score wins.

You can also play multiple rounds by eliminating the player with the lowest score after each round until two players remain. Have the last two players toss only one ball; the player whose ball lands in the higher score zone wins.

If playing with two to five people, give each player one eye ball and establish a winning point total, such as 1,000 points. The first player takes his turn tossing his eye ball onto the alien head and records his/her points. The player then retrieves his/her ball before the next player takes his/her turn. Players continue taking turns until the first person reaches the winning point total.

This versatile pool game can also be played on the lawn or beach. The floating alien face is made of 12 gauge vinyl and measures 38 inches. Five squishy eye balls are included with the game.

Photos courtesy of Toysplash.com


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Waterproof Music Players, Speakers, and Phone Cases

Waterproof Speakers, Phone Cases, and music players for Your Pool







Sony Walkman Waterproof mp3 player sports portable music swimmingNormally electronics and water don’t mix—which can be a real bummer if you want to listen to music while lounging in the pool or swimming laps. Luckily manufacturers have developed waterproof music players, phone cases, and speaker systems that are ideal for swimmers, pool-goers, and pool owners who like to entertain.

With summer just around the corner, a waterproof phone case or audio system can come in handy and add to your enjoyment when spending time at the pool. Check out these waterproof devices to see which option is best for you.


Compact Waterproof Music Player for Swimmers

Sony Walkman Waterproof mp3 player sports portable music black

At first glance, you may mistake the Sony Walkman® Sports MP3 Player for just a pair of headphones… but look closer and you’ll see the music player is built right into the headphones!

This portable music player has a lightweight, compact design that’s not only sweatproof but waterproof up to depths of 6 feet, making it a great option for gym-goers, runners, and swimmers.

Whether you’re doing a moderate or intense workout indoors, outdoors, or in the pool, this waterproof music player has a new tension band for a supportive fit to keep it securely in place during all activities. With 4GB of built-in memory, users can easily drag and drop MP3s from iTunes® for Mac or PC, Windows® Media Player, or Windows Explorer.

The Walkman Sports MP3 Player delivers up to eight hours of audio playback on a full charge and is available in four colors: white, black, blue, and pink.


Photos courtesy of Sony


Waterproof Phone Case with Built-In Speaker


EcoExtreme waterproof phone case music speaker
EcoExtreme waterproof phone case music speaker redIf you’re like most people, you don’t go anywhere without your smartphone—including the pool and the beach. If you are looking for a waterproof case for your phone/portable music player, the EcoExtreme not only keeps your device safe in and around water, but also allows you to play music through its built-in speaker.

Place your phone or media device into the durable waterproof case and take it with you for any kind of outdoor activity. It also has an internal compartment to fit small items like keys, credit cards, cash, and other items you want to keep dry.

Designed to fit mp3 players and smartphones--including iPhone 4/4S & 5, Samsung S3, Android, Windows, and Blackberry--this waterproof phone case is ideal for swimming, hiking, going to the beach, and other outdoor activities.

The EcoExtreme speaker case is powered by 3 AA batteries and has a 30-hour battery life. It comes in seven colors: black, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, and red.

Photos courtesy of Grace Digital


Floating Waterproof Speaker for Your Pool



EcoXGear ECOXBT waterproof portable audio speaker poolsideAnother option for playing tunes in and around your pool is a waterproof speaker. The EcoXGear ECOXBT by Grace Digital Audio is a portable waterproof speaker system that streams music via Bluetooth from your smartphone or Bluetooth-enabled audio device.

You can take the ECOXBT speaker right into the pool with you while keeping your phone safely away from the water. The ECOXBT streams audio from up to 33 feet away, providing a convenient wireless way to play music at your next pool party.

The ECOXBT is powered by a built-in rechargeable lithium battery and provides 10 hours of audio playback. It is available in three colors: black, orange, and red.

Photo courtesy of Grace Digital

Video: See the ECOXBT Floating Waterproof Speaker in Action



Top 10 Outdoor Entertaining Essentials

Must-have Items for Entertaining Outdoors


1. Grill

You can’t have a backyard party without a barbecue grill. Today’s grill units come in a variety of sizes and offer built-in storage and prep space to minimize the hassle of trips indoors. Many also feature accessories such as rotisseries, warming plates, and side burners for diverse cooking methods.

Weber Summit Grill Center

For a list of leading grill manufacturers and resources, visit our Outdoor Kitchens & Grills Buyers’ Guide.


Photo courtesy of 2011 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Used with Permission



2. Grilling Tools & Accessories

Every grill master needs to have a good set of grilling tools, especially when cooking for a large crowd. The three main grilling utensils: a spatula for flipping burgers and positioning food; a pair of tongs for gripping meats and vegetables; a fork for piercing and turning meats. Look for grilling tools with long handles to protect your hands from the heat.

Weber Grill Accessories
Photo courtesy of 2011 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Used with Permission


Another important grilling tool to have on hand is an instant-read meat thermometer. This will take the guesswork out of cooking and ensure that meat, poultry, and other cooked foods have reached a safe internal temperature.

Digital Meat Thermometer
Photo courtesy of Overstock.com



3. Outdoor Dinnerware and Glassware

If you typically resort to disposable paper plates and red plastic cups for your outdoor affairs, consider investing in outdoor dinnerware and glassware made from hard plastics like melamine or acrylic. These worry-free options are durable, lightweight, and environmentally-friendly because they can be washed and reused. They also come in an array of vibrant summer colors and patterns just like your indoor tableware.  

Melamine Outdoor Dinnerware
Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com

A large, self-serve beverage dispenser makes it easy to serve a big group of people and will also cut down on waste like empty water bottles and soda cans. Use it to serve homemade iced tea, lemonade, or a fruity summer drink.

340-ounce Beverage Dispenser
Photo courtesy of Overstock.com



4. Outdoor Serving Items

It’s important to serve food outdoors when entertaining in your backyard. This eliminates the hassle of running inside to grab additional food items and also keeps guests from having to make trips in and out of the house—often with dirty shoes or wet feet—to grab food or supplies. The type of outdoor serving items you’ll need will depend on the number of people you plan to entertain and the type of food you’ll be serving. 

 

An outdoor extension table is a great item to have when entertaining because it allows you to easily adjust the table size to your needs. Extend the table for additional seating during larger gatherings or fold down the leaf when space is limited.

Outdoor Extenstion Table
Photo courtesy of Overstock.com

A fold out bar can come in handy if you regularly entertain outdoors or host large parties. It offers both countertop space for serving food and/or beverages and storage space underneath for essentials like glassware, dishes, utensils, or other supplies you might want to have on hand.

Royal Tahiti Outdoor Folding Bar
Photo courtesy of Overstock.com

For smaller outdoor gatherings, a portable patio cart can keep supplies within reach. Stock it with dishes, utensils, ice, paper towels, condiments, and other necessities. When the party is over it can be used for easy clean-up: just load it up with dirty dishes and wheel it back inside.  


Outdoor Patio Cart
Photo courtesy of Overstock.com




5. Insect Control


When eating and entertaining outdoors it’s expected that a number of mosquitos and insects will be flying around. Keep bugs away from food by keeping it in covered storage containers or under mesh food tents. Umbrella drink covers will prevent insects and debris from getting in beverages and will also help guests keep track of their drinks.

Place citronella candles on outdoor dining tables to repel pests while guests enjoy their food. Set citronella tiki torches or mosquito lamps around seating and social areas for added protection at night. See more tips on bug protection.

Candles around Outdoor Patio
Photo courtesy of Gasper Landscape Design & Construction; Photography by Rob Cardillo




6. Backyard Shade Products


Make sure you have enough shade for your guests so that they don’t get uncomfortably hot and retreat indoors. Table and freestanding patio umbrellas offer relief from the burning sun while guests eat and socialize. Some patio umbrellas can be tilted and turned with the movement of the sun to provide optimal shade throughout the day.


Green Cantilever Outdoor Umbrelle

Photo courtesy of Overstock.com


You can also keep guests cool and comfortable with a pop-up canopy or tent. These come in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit any outdoor entertaining space. A pop-up canopy or tent can also be used to keep food out of the sun and offers protection from an unexpected rain shower.

Outdoor Party Tent Canopy
Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com



7. Music & Outdoor Stereo Systems


Music helps set the tone for any party, indoors or out. There are a variety of ways to add acoustics to your backyard get-together. Wireless docking stations for MP3 players and iPods can easily be set out on a table or by the pool. These systems are convenient for outdoor parties, but they are not weatherproof so be sure to look for models that include a splash-proof plastic covering to protect your iPod or MP3 player.

Wireless Music Dock for iPod or MP3 player


Another option is to hook up your indoor stereo system to outdoor speakers. Weather-resistant outdoor speakers can withstand the elements, such as sun, rain, and temperature changes and come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and designs. You can select from outdoor speakers that are mounted to a wall or pillar, freestanding speakers that can be placed around the yard, landscape speakers that are installed inground, and wireless speakers that are disguised as rocks, lights, or planters to blend with the surrounding scenery.


Outdoor Planter Speaker_OSD Audio
Photos courtesy of OSD Audio, Stereostone, Inc and Etón Corporation



8. Outdoor Seating

It’s important to provide ample seating for your party guests so that they are comfortable. While you could invest in additional outdoor furniture like patio chairs, loungers, and sofas, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to add extra seating when entertaining outdoors.

Folding chairs, ottomans, and even beach chairs work well around the pool area or a fire pit. An outdoor storage bench or cooler can easily double as a seat when you place a cushion or a few pillows on top.

White Adirondack Beach Chair Montego Bay Deck Box
Photos courtesy of Overstock.com


A large blanket or outdoor rug spread out on the lawn offers a simple place for guests to relax and catch up; it can also designate a play/picnic area for the kids. And remember that a retaining wall easily provides a comfortable spot for guests to perch or set down their food and drink.

Outdoor Rug_Natural Terracotta Ashlar Pattern Retaining Wall
Photo courtesy of Overstock.com; Photo courtesy of Red River Hardscapes



9. Outdoor Lighting


A backyard party in the summer is sure to extend into the night, which makes lighting an essential outdoor entertaining element. Outdoor lighting not only keeps the backyard safe as sunlight withdraws, but also adds ambiance and makes an outdoor setting feel more cozy and inviting at night.

String lights add festive sparkle to a pergola, gazebo, or umbrella and help highlight dining/social areas for guests. Tiki torches and path lights can be placed around the patio or pool to help illuminate dark corners and designate walkways. Lanterns and candles are great for table tops and help create a more intimate atmosphere. Additionally, an outdoor fire pit provides both light and warmth to keep guests comfortable on cool summer nights. It also creates a prime gathering spot for conversation.

Pergola with String Lights

Photo courtesy of The Outdoor GreatRoom Company




10. Outdoor Games

Having a mix of outdoor games set up around the yard will keep everyone entertained throughout the day and ensure your guests have a good time at your party. There is a wide selection of outdoor games to choose from, but it’s important to pick ones that are suited for the various age groups of your guests. Lawn games like horseshoes, ladder ball, washers, and bag toss are easy to play and require little equipment and space. These games can also be played in teams, which is a great way for guests to mingle if they don’t know each other well.

Washer Toss Lawn Game Ladder Toss Lawn Game
Photos courtesy of Hayneedle.com


A variety of games and activities can also be played in the swimming pool. Get a group of people involved in some friendly competition with a volleyball or basketball net or keep things small with a floating Ping-Pong table or poker table.

If you’ll be spending Labor Day poolside, check out these fun pool games for kids.



4 Pool Party Ideas: Party Themes, Décor, and Games

4 Summer Party Themes








By Kimberlee Courtney

There’s no better way to celebrate summer and beat the heat than with a pool party—and no party is complete without a great theme. From the decorations to the food to the games, here are four summer party themes to help you create a fun and festive setting.



Summer Luau Party Decor

Luau Party

Transform your backyard and swimming pool into a tropical paradise with a Luau party theme. You can easily find an assortment of luau-themed décor and accessories at your local craft or party supply store.

Here are some fun ideas for Luau party decorations, food, and games.


Luau Party Decorations

Luau Party Theme Decorations

Raffia or grass table skirts – adorn patio tables or a buffet table with raffia or grass table skirts to give an authentic island vibe

Tiki torches – line up tiki torches along the entrance to the backyard or around the swimming pool

Leis – hang assorted colors from tree branches or drape across the backs of patio chairs

Inflatable palm tree cooler – for an attractive way to keep drinks cool. A variety of designs and sizes are available and can hold anywhere from 24 to 60 12-ounce cans (plus ice)

Tiki totems – scatter these fun faces around the yard

Fresh coconuts and/or pineapples – arrange on patio tables for inexpensive (and edible) centerpieces

Floral garland –  use as a border around the swimming pool, drape across tree branches, or attach to patio umbrellas

Printed beach towels – hang beach towels with a sunset, ocean, or island print on a clothesline or along the backyard fence to create festive backdrops for photos


Luau Party Food


Hawaiian Luau Party Tableware

Hawaiian fruit punch – in a large punch bowl filled with ice, mix your favorite juices (e.g. pineapple, orange, grapefruit, cranberry, etc.) with lemon-lime soda or ginger ale; garnish with orange, pineapple and lemon slices

Tropical fruit salad – cut mango, pineapple, and papaya into cubes; combine with mandarin orange wedges, kiwi slices, and flaked sweetened coconut; drizzle with honey and lime juice

Island chicken kabobs – arrange chunks of teriyaki-marinated chicken breast, pineapple, and bell pepper on wooden skewers. Grill 15 – 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until chicken juices run clear. Serve over white or brown rice

Hawaiian pizza (ham & pineapple) – make your own or order from your favorite pizza place—we won’t tell!


Luau Party Games & Activities


Limbo


Pineapple Bowling


Hula Dance-off – separate pool party guests into teams of three or four and see which team can come up with the most creative hula dance


Hula Hoop Contest – have two or three people (or more, depending on how many hula hoops you have) hula hoop until there is only one person left hula hooping. The person left standing then hula hoops against the next group of people. Continue the cycle to see who ends up the hula-hooping champion.


Luau Party Limbo Game Pineapple Bowling Game Luau Hula Dance

Photos courtesy of Party City, PartyCity.com




Fiesta Party Decorations
Photo courtesy of Party City, PartyCity.com

Fiesta Party

The bright colors, zesty fare, and festive tone of a Mexican Fiesta make it a great party theme for summer. Take your pool party amigos south of the border with these fiesta-themed decorations, food, and games.


Fiesta Party Decorations


Paper fans & streamers – choose bright summer colors like orange, red, pink, yellow, and lime green

Party lights – use multicolored string lights or fun options like chili pepper string lights or mini margarita lights

Mexican blanket – use as a table cover or backdrop for photos

Stick flags – place miniature Mexican or multicolored stick flags in the ground along the perimeter of the pool

Mini cactus candles – these will help establish a southwest theme and can serve as both table décor and party favors

Fiesta tableware – decorate tables with plastic Margarita  glasses, fresh limes,  colorful vases, and Mexican-themed paper flowers and napkins


Fiesta Tableware  Party City Fiesta Paper Fans

Above: Photo courtesy of Chris Nease, Celebrations at Home
Right: Photo courtesy of Party City, PartyCity.com



Fiesta Party Food

Tortilla chips and salsa – for an authentic touch, try this delicious recipe for Black Bean Salsa  (pictured below)

Tacos – set up a taco station and let guests pick their favorite fillings and toppings like ground beef, shredded chicken or pork, Cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, lettuce, salsa, tomatoes, jalapeños, sour cream and guacamole

7-layer dip – layer refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cheddar cheese, sliced black olives, and lettuce; serve with corn or tortilla chips

Mexican grilled corn – top grilled corn on the cob with a mixture of mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder and Cotija cheese (or Parmesan)

Chips and dip trio – fill tired serving baskets with tortilla chips and an assortment of dips, including salsa, guacamole, and corn relish

Mexican Fiesta Party Food Black Bean Salsa Recipe

Above: Photo courtesy of Chris Nease, Celebrations at Home
Right: Photo courtesy of Tanya Staab


Fiesta Party Games & Activities


Pass the Sombrero – like “Hot Potato,” but with a fiesta twist: Instead of a potato, have players pass around a sombrero. Each player has to put the sombrero on their head before passing it to the next person.  The person wearing or holding the sombrero when the music stops playing is eliminated. Continue eliminating players until two people remain. The player without the sombrero when the music stops is the winner.

Inflatable Cactus Ring Toss 

Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Piñata – choose from a variety of fiesta-themed shapes, like a sombrero, chili pepper, donkey, or cactus

Mariachi Musical Floats – for this take on “Musical Chairs,” you’ll need to have one less float/inner tube in the pool than there are people. Have everyone swim around the pool as you play a CD with mariachi music; when you stop the music, everyone has to swim to the nearest float and jump on; the person without a float is eliminated and one float is removed from the pool. Continue playing, removing a float each time a person is eliminated. The person to sit on the last float is the winner.

Dress-up Relay Race:
     You’ll need these items for each team: 
        Sombrero 
        Maraca 
        Fake mustache (look for versions that attach with an elastic band, not adhesive)
        Bandana

     How to play:
       1. Divide party guests into two or more teams (the number of teams will depend on how many sets of items you have)
       2. Pile each team’s set of items at the opposite end of pool
       3. When someone says “Go,” the first member of each team swims to the other side of the pool and puts on their team’s group of items
       4. The player then swims back to the other side of the pool, takes off the items, and passes them on to the next team member.
       5. That team member puts on the items, swims to the other side of the pool, takes off the gear, and swims back to the other side of the pool to tag the next player.
       6. The cycle continues until the last player returns back to the team. The first team to finish wins.


Sombrero Pinata  Fiesta Party Game

Above: Photo courtesy of Party City, PartyCity.com
Right: Photo courtesy of Chris Nease, Celebrations at Home


Under the Sea Party


A backyard swimming pool is the perfect venue for an Under the Sea party theme. Create an enchanting underwater adventure with these seaworthy ideas.

Under the Sea Party Decorations


Tropical fish floats

Bubbles – rent or buy a bubble machine to create the illusion of underwater bubbles

Fish netting – drape decorative fish netting (available at craft and party supply stores) over your backyard fence or use it as table covers

Streamers or crepe paper – use a combination of deep blue, turquoise, and green streamers or crepe paper to simulate water motion and seaweed. Attach varying lengths along the backyard fence, to the backs of patio chairs, and along the edges of patio umbrellas.

Seashells – scatter an assortment of shells on top of patio tables or place in small sand buckets

Coral reef wall decor – these lightweight, vinyl sheets (for indoor/outdoor use) can be attached to your fence with Sticky tack or double-sided tape to create an underwater scene

Under the Sea Scene Setter   Tropical Fish Floats
Photos courtesy of Party City, PartyCity.com


Under the Sea Party Food


Tuna “fish” sandwiches – cut tuna fish sandwiches into fish shapes with a cookie cutter. (You can also make peanut butter and jelly-fish sandwiches.)

Shrimp cocktail

Miniature crab cakes

Goldfish crackers

Sea life cups  – make these delightful under-the-sea treats pictured below with blue gelatin dessert mix, whipped topping, crushed graham crackers, and molded chocolates

Salt water taffy

Octopus hot dogs – slice hot dogs in half lengthwise, leaving about two inches connected at the end for the head. Turn the hot dog and slice each half again, creating four “legs.” Cut each of the four legs in half again.

Crab dip

Sand dollar sugar cookies – sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar to look like sand

Gummy fish candy cups (pictured below) – place gummy fish in plastic cups with blue candy-coated chocolates to look like they’re swimming in the ocean

Under the Sea Jell-O Cups Gummy Fish and Candy Cups
Photos courtesy of Tonya Staab


Check out these additional Seafood Recipes for Your Poolside Affair.


Under the Sea Party Games & Activities


Shark Bite
   How to play:
    1. Have everyone get in the pool
    2. Choose one person to be the “shark.” When you say "Go," the person who is the shark has to swim around the pool and try to catch one of the other guests.
    3. The person that gets caught (or bit) becomes the shark for the next round

Sand art station

Crab races

Buried Treasure Race
    How to play:
    1. Pick one person to be the leader and divide the rest of the party guests into two teams. Each team stands at opposite ends of the pool.
    2. The leader goes to the middle of the pool and tosses in an assortment of diving toys, such as lobsters, starfish, turtles, and dolphins. When the leader calls out “Go,” the first member of each team swims to the center of the pool, collects as many items as they can, and returns to their team.
    3. The leader tallies the number of items each player collected for their team and then tosses the items back into the center of the pool for the next two players.
    4. After all the players from each team have taken a turn, the leader adds up the results from each round to see the total number of items each team collected. The team with the higher number wins.

Inflatable starfish ring toss
Inflatable Starfish Ring Toss

Photo courtesy of Party City, PartyCity.com





Patriotic Party

Patriotic Party Theme DecorationsCelebrate the summer holidays, show your support for Team USA in the Olympic Games, or host an all-American backyard barbecue with these patriotic ideas.

Patriotic Party Decorations


Red, white and blue paper fans or lanterns

Miniature American flags – use as both décor and party favors

Patriotic pinwheels – place large ones in the ground around the swimming pool or arrange a few miniature pinwheels inside blue or red sand buckets for a festive centerpiece

Stars and stripes pennant banners – drape across tree branches or the backs of chairs

American flag bunting – hang along the fence or deck rails

Red, white, and blue table confetti

Solar powered floating pool lights – a few red, white, and blue spheres will add a festive ambiance at night

Red, blue, or American flag bandanas – use as placemats or napkins

Photo courtesy of Party City, PartyCity.com

Patriotic Party Food


American flag fruit kabobs (bottom left)

Snow cones – let guests add their favorite syrup flavor(s): blue raspberry (blue), strawberry (red), or piña colada (white)

Maple-Mustard Country-Style Spareribs


Patriotic parfaits
(bottom right) – layer blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, vanilla-flavored yogurt, whipped topping, granola, and flaked coconut

Individual caramel popcorn snack boxes - these can also be displayed as part of the décor!

Hot dogs and hamburgers – set up a buffet table with all the fixings

Grilled corn on the cob

Barbecue chicken

Star-shaped sandwiches

American Flag Fuit KabobsPatriotic ParfaitCracker Jack Box
Left: Photo courtesy of Party City, PartyCity.com; Middle: Photo courtesy of Tonya Staab; Right: Photo courtesy of Chris Nease, Celebrations at Home


Patriotic Party Games & Activities

Bobbing for apples

Tug-of-War – this can be played on land or in the pool

Flag Relay
     How to play:
     1. Divide guests into two or three teams
     2. Each team gets a bucket filled with miniature American flags (1 flag per teammate). Place buckets on opposite side of the yard.
     3. On the count of three, the first member from each team runs to their bucket, picks out a flag, and then runs back to tag the next player.
     4. The game continues until all of the members of a team have gotten their flag. The first team to finish wins.

Pie-eating contest - use mini patriotic pies with star cutouts

Mini Patriotic Pies
Photo courtesy of Chris Nease, Celebrations at Home





You May Also Like…
Top 10 Pool Games >>
Put It On Ice: Frozen Dessert Recipes >>
Seafood Recipes for Your Next Poolside Affair >>

Outdoor Speakers in Disguise

Wireless Outdoor Speakers







By Debra Maurer

Outdoor speakers can be just as beautiful as they are functional. Check out some of these unique speakers that double as rocks, lanterns, planters, statues, and more.


This wireless outdoor speaker lantern ­can be mounted onto the back wall of your house. It comes with a transmitter that is compatible with most electronic devices, allowing you to broadcast sound from your iPod, radio, computer, etc.

Photo courtesy of Audiovox Corporation







Planters with built-in speakers can be filled with real or faux flowers to spruce up your deck. They’re available in many styles and materials, including terra cotta, wood, and stone.

Photo courtesy of PlanterSpeakers.com






Faux rock outdoor speakers come in many different shapes, colors, and textures. You can choose the best one for your landscape.

Photo courtesy of Stereostone, Inc.








From fish to frogs to cherubs, statue speakers add a decorative element to your garden.

Photo courtesy of OSD Audio, www.OutdoorSpeakerDepot.com






This bench speaker provides extra seating while delivering sound to your backyard. ­

Photo courtesy of PlanterSpeakers.com





Visit our Outdoor Entertainment & Recreation Buyers' Guide for information on where to buy these speakers and other outdoor speakers/entertainment products.

Summer Fun for Kids

By Nate Armstrong

Fun Outdoor Activities








1. Sprinklers


A swimming pool, of course, is a great way to keep cool in the summer while keeping the kids occupied. But if you don’t have a pool, another way to keep cool and active is to connect a three-arm sprinkler toy to your garden hose or sprinkler system. Your kids will love the chance to run around the yard and play in the water.

2. Water Balloon Tosses

A water balloon toss is another fun and inexpensive outdoor activity and can be played a couple different ways, depending on how many people you have:

If there are an odd number of children, the kids can stand in a circle:

    1. 1. Have the kids stand in a circle, with two feet between each person.
    2. 2. Begin play by having one kid toss the water balloon to the person on their right.
    3. 3. The children continue tossing the water balloon to one another in a clockwise direction.
    4. 4. When a player drops or pops the water balloon, he/she is eliminated and the rest of the players must spread out another foot to compensate for the missing person. This is done each time a player is eliminated.
    5. 5. Continue to play and eliminate players until only one person is left. He/she is the winner and gets to toss the balloon first in the next round.

If there are an even number of children, the kids can play in pairs:

    1. 1. Divide all players into groups of two and give each pair a water balloon.
    2. 2. Line the players up in two lines, with partners facing each other, and have each person take a big step backwards.
    3. 3. Each player holding the water balloon gently tosses it to his/her partner. If their partner catches it, they each take another big step backwards. If the balloon breaks, the pair is eliminated.
    4. 4. Continue to play and until one pair is left.

3. Scavenger Hunts

You can map out a backyard scavenger hunt that can be played individually or in teams. Make a list of items for them to find and give each person or team a copy of the list, and let the scavenging begin. Include items that can easily be found in your backyard, such as a leaf, pine cone, flower, rock, and twig, as well as outdoor items that you can place around the yard, such as a water gun, a Frisbee, a pair of goggles, and a splash ball. Whoever returns with all the items first is the scavenger hunt champion.

4. “Drawn-Like-Me” Posters

A creative activity that can be done indoors or outdoors is to create “drawn-like-me” posters. You’ll need a large flat surface like your patio or driveway. You’ll also need a large roll of poster-size paper that you can purchase at craft stores or teacher supply stores. Have each child lay down on a piece of the poster paper, and then trace their outline with a pencil. Then let the kids take over and decorate their outlines with markers, crayons, sequins, and yarn for hair. They can make their drawings look like them or pirates, princesses, astronauts, or whatever they come up with.

5. Evening Activity: S’mores and a Story

After a long day of sun, fun, and games, settle down for the evening around an outdoor fireplace or firepit. (Make sure children are under adult supervision at all times.) Set up a s’mores station with marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars. You can even get creative with the ingredients, such as using chocolate chip cookies instead of graham crackers, and fruit slices or chocolate peanut butter cups instead of the chocolate bars. As they sit around the fire, let the kids create a collaborative story: Have them go around in a circle, letting each person contribute a sentence at a time. It allows each child to participate and can lead to some very entertaining stories! If they’d rather watch a movie, they may not need to head indoors after all: They can watch their favorite movie on an outdoor TV or inflatable screen


About the Author: This guest post was written by Nate Armstrong of Sprinkler Juice.

 



You May Also Like…
Fun Pool Games for Kids >>
Top 10 Pool Games >>
Pool Party Ideas: Party Themes, Decor, and Games >>

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