Hosting a successful dinner party in a small backyard doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need is good company, good food, and a comfortable setting! I love to serve my guests and family an “urban picnic” which consists of fruits, cheeses, and antipasto. This meal requires ZERO cooking and very little prep–making it the perfect last minute meal! Here are small backyard entertaining tips to help you host your own urban picnic.
Small Backyard Entertaining Tip 1: Comfortable Seat Cushions
Purchasing quality outdoor patio furniture and cushions is a wise investment! Your outdoor furniture should be as comfortable as your indoor furniture. Thick cushions and pillows will ensure guests are comfortable–making them more likely to linger into the evening.
Small Backyard Entertaining Tip 2: Use a Market Umbrella
Outdoor umbrellas provide shade, ambiance, and help define your eating area. I keep ours open even in the evening because I love the cozy feeling it provides. Draping outdoor twinkle lights or battery operated lanterns on your umbrella rungs is a wonderful way to provide ambiance at night.
Small Backyard Entertaining Tip 3: Provide Mosquito Control
Nothing ruins an evening quicker than pesky mosquitos! Keep the bugs away by providing outdoor mosquito protection for your family and guests. I have the NuTone Haven™ Backyard Lighting & Mosquito Repellent System which is amazing. It has been a game changer for us this summer! The Haven system revolutionizes outdoor living and mosquito repellency. The repellent is automatic and easy to use creating an odorless, silent and invisible vapor, providing protection within 15 minutes, and is safe to use around children, pets, and plants. The repellent lasts up to 90 days if used for 2.5 hours each day, so it potentially can last all summer long! You can learn more about it here.
Small Backyard Entertaining Tip 4: Keep Food Simple
Instead of fussing over the stove or grill, serve your guests what I like to call an urban picnic! An urban picnic consists of a charcuterie board, an antipasto board, a fruit plate, a deconstructed salad, and some fresh bread. While it might not look like much food at first glance, the food pictured below easily feeds my family of four.
Sharing platters and eating finger foods creates a convivial atmosphere! It is a fun and bonding way to experience a meal together.
TIP: Mix 2 tablespoons of marshmallow fluff with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese to create a delectable fruit dip! Dollop dips right onto your serving boards.
Small Backyard Entertaining Tip 5: Serve Bottled Beverages
Cold drinks are a necessity for summer outdoor entertaining! Eliminate the need for beverage servers and drippy cups by serving bottled beverages.
Small Backyard Entertaining Tip 6: Garnish Simple Dishes
It’s no secret that we taste with our eyes first which is why presentation matters! Make simple dishes beautiful by garnishing your plates. Slices of watermelon, sprinkled with fresh lime, and served on a cake platter look even more inviting when garnished with a few fresh sprigs of mint!
I also recommend placing a few raspberries or strawberries on a store bought mini-cake to dress it up and enhance the flavor!
Small Backyard Entertaining Tip 7: Add Flowers to the Table
Every table needs a centerpiece! A pitcher of fresh cut garden flowers, or even a grocery store bouquet is a welcoming way to greet loved ones.
Small Backyard Entertaining Tip 8: Provide Ambient Lighting
Add some romance to the evening with twinkle lights, lanterns, candles, or outdoor lighting fixtures. My Haven™ Backyard Lighting & Mosquito Repellent System is set on a timer to automatically turn on at dusk which is incredibly convenient. I also use outdoor lanterns to brighten the night.
Outdoor lighting makes a small space magical! (I only wish I could have caught a picture of all of the fireflies that were lighting up the night! It was enchanting.)
I hope these tips have inspired you to entertain on a small scale this summer! Please pin this post for later reference!
Thanks to Haven™ Backyard System for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.