Your guide to outdoor entertaining

Make your next outdoor party a breeze with inventive menus, fun decorating ideas, and easy tips

20 tips for your best outdoor party

In the West, we can hike in January, picnic in March, and even celebrate Thanksgiving––at least partly––outdoors. Here are our ideas for year-round entertaining outside

blue and yellow place setting
Photo by Thomas J. Story

Setting the table

11. Crisp palette: Who says Thanksgiving decor has to be dictated by the colors of turkey feathers? Try hues inspired by winter citrus and the blues of the Pacific.

12. Place settings: Mark each table setting with the guest’s initials. These vintage letters do double-duty as napkin weights and party favors.

13. Everything is illuminated: Tealights in jam jars keep each table setting visible as the sun goes down.

14. Home on the range: The genius of dining in your own backyard is that your kitchen is just a skip away. Serve food buffet-style indoors—it can stay warm on the stovetop.

Get it: Letters from Collage Gallery (from $6 each). Max Teal salad plates by Crate and Barrel ($5). Coast dinner plate by Crate and Barrel ($6). Sky doily placemat by Urban Outfitters ($3).

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