August always feels like the last hurrah of summer with days dwindling as a new school year approaches. Back to school shopping infringes on the season’s unstructured days, final weeks of camp, and attempts to cross remaining items off the summer bucket list. But as you officially say goodbye to summer and resume school year routines, plan an outdoor get together to renew friendships before school starts.
Ideas for Outdoor Get Togethers to Renew Friendships Before School Starts
Plan a Back to School Potluck
If you’re like me, you’ve missed regular interactions with parents you see during the year in the absence of weekend games, school pick-up and drop off, and the myriad of activities our kids are involved in so it’s a great time to plan a back to school get together. Kids can renew friendships before school starts while adults can catch up before the school year crazy begins. Here are a couple of ideas to make hosting an end of summer gathering easy:
- Use Evite — Sending an Evite is the easiest way to invite friends and organize a potluck that won’t have repeating dishes. In your notes to your guests, let them know what food you’re planning to provide and ask they leave a comment about what they’re bringing to avoid repeat dishes. Even if friends are on vacation when your Evite goes out, they’ll see it in their inbox when they get back and receive a reminder to RSVP and sign up to bring a dish a couple days before your event.
- Order party platters— Hosting isn’t fun if it makes you crazy! One of my favorite tricks is outsource part of the meal to make things easier. Since it’s often nice to have food out as guests arrive, order appetizer platters from a place like Fresh Direct so hungry kids load up on healthy snacks as the party begins.
- Host your event outside— Let guests mix and mingle in your yard or if you’re feeling fancy, use these tips on creating the perfect outdoor tablescape. If you belong to a neighborhood pool, it’s also a perfect place to hold a back to school potluck because of built-in entertainment!
Host a Backyard Movie Night
Our neighbor, Lisa, is the queen of backyard movie nights! It’s a BYOC (bring your own chair kind of affair) for a kid-friendly movie under the stars that begins after dinner when the sun goes down. As the stars start to twinkle overhead, kids settle in with popcorn, juice boxes, and a movie that maybe they’ve seen before but is always better when viewed outside with friends.
If you’re wondering how to host your own backyard movie night, I love these tips from DC Mosquito Squad on How to Build Your Own Backyard Theater complete with DIY ideas for an outdoor movie screen and projector and a list of must-haves for your theater setup.
Have an Insect Management Plan
No one loves worrying about getting bitten or swatting mosquitoes away when trying to catch up with friends. Even though you could plan for a back to school potluck luncheon when mosquitoes are less likely to be out, they’ll still come out as the sun goes down leaving friends susceptible to bug bites. Kids who are busy munching on popcorn during a backyard movie night probably won’t notice mosquito bites until the next day.
A good host always has a plan to keep mosquitoes at bay so here are some recommendations of ways to protect your guests from bug bites at your outdoor get together so the focus can stay on renewing friendships, rather than mosquitoes:
- Remove standing water from your yard since standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos. Be sure to empty any containers, no matter how small. Old tires, pet bowls, or soda cans hold enough water for eggs to thrive and it’s important to check gutters and for leaks around outdoor faucets that may cause standing water.
- Stock up on bug repellant. Mosquito repellent is proven to work, but since guests may forget to apply it before leaving the house, having several bug spray options will be most appreciated.
- Light citronella candles and torches around your yard. Tiki torches filled with citronella fuel always look great but they’re short term solutions that sometimes don’t work at all.
- Consider your lighting. Bugs are attracted to lights but white bulbs attract insects more than yellow ones.
- Point oscillating fans at seating areas to discourage mosquitos from landing on your guests
- Encourage movie goers to wear long sleeves and pajama pants
- Arrange a special event mosquito barrier spray. This is a fool-proof solution that eliminates the need for personal bug spray application, fans, candles, torches, and long sleeves and long pants. We use DC Mosquito Squad to treat our property on a regular basis and their mosquito barrier spray is effective in keeping mosquitoes away for up to 21 days!
To make your final days of summer more enjoyable as you reunite with friends and help kids renew friendships before school starts, visit D.C. Mosquito Squad and connect with them on their blog and through social media:
- Twitter: @DCMosquitoSquad
- Periscope: @DCMosquitoSquad
- Instagram: DCMosquitoSquad
- Facebook: FB.com/DCMosquitoSquad
- Snapchat: DCMosquitoSquad
- Pinterest: DCMosquitoSquad
- G+: DC Mosquito Squad
To read my other posts about DC Mosquito Squad, visit:
- 29 Ways to Protect your Family from Mosquito Bites and Zika Virus
- 4 Ways to Get Rid of Backyard Mosquitos and Ticks
- How to Keep Biting Bugs Away from Special Summer Events
This post was written in partnership with D.C. Mosquito Squad who is providing standard barrier treatment for our yard this summer. No compensation was received for this post.