Summer entertaining essentials

Good Housekeeping

Party-ready summer essentials for your best-ever backyard bash.

Photos courtesy of Frontgate

Bar Cart

Serve beverages in style on this Teak Bar Cart ($500; With three shelves for storage, it’ll keep all of the supplies you need within reach. Repurpose the removable trays to tote food from kitchen to table.

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Courtesy of Crate and Barrel

Lounge Chair

Consider it a sensible splurge: The chic Calypso Swivel Lounge Chair with Sunbrella Kiwi Cushion ($450, has wear-resistant fabric and hidden rollerblade wheels underneath, giving one lucky guest (or you) max movability to mingle.

Courtesy of Gold Canyon

Bug Protection

These hardworking candles do more than add charming flicker: Gold Canyon’s Papaya Passion and Jasmine Lime Specialty Scented Citronella Candles ($14 each, keep bugs at bay while putting off a downright pleasant aroma (yes, really).

Courtesy of Lowe's

Fire Pit

Tad bit chilly come nightfall? Create a campfire feel with less work using the Garden Treasures 30" Matte Black Steel Wood-Burning Fire Pit ($60, The screen cover keeps embers under control.

Courtesy of

Practical Pieces

Mason jars aren’t just for canning. Perfect as drinking glasses, votive holders, or DIY lanterns (just add wire to make a handle), they’re always party-ready — and hard to break!

Stock up with this inexpensive 12-pack of 16-ounce Ball Regular Mouth Jars with Lids and Bands ($16;

View photo

Courtesy of Target

Pretty Pitchers

Mix up a big batch of iced tea or lemonade in the Striped Beverage Dispenser ($6, for stores). The easy-to-pour spout let’s kids get their own drinks — make that, let’s everyone get their own drinks.

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Smart Shades

In a variety of bright colors and stripes, the 6’ Round Umbrella with Eucalyptus Pole ($99, is an instant, affordable way to update your outdoor furniture.

Bonus: Unexpected showers or harsh sun rays are less likely to thwart party plans with protection overhead.

Courtesy of

Cocktail Sticks

Give party drinks a pop of color with quirky, conversation-starting Fred Swizzle Sticks Drink Stirrers ($6; The adults will love them as much as the kids do.

Courtesy of

A Place to Park

Bust out the board games or just give folks a place to nap off their lunch on a moisture-resistant Foldable Striped Travel Mat ($22, It provides the perfect position from which to stargaze after dark, too.

Courtesy of WalMart

Fun and Games

How to ensure kids (of all ages) have a good time: Set up a safe but sure-to-get-the-blood-pumping outdoor game like My Sunshine 10-Pin Bowling Set (Price may vary, for stores). Just be ready for some healthy competition.






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