At some point during the summer you might be tempted to throw a party. The popular time to toss a party is the 4th of July weekend. However, just like a Christmas open house, you might find that your friends are all booked up and you’ll be stuck with pounds of guacamole wilting under the noonday sun. Instead, throw your summer party on any weekend just because. Here’s how to make it a memorable party.

Pick A Theme

Although the classic, “It’s Summer” is always a good standby, you can kick up your party by picking a fun theme. Hawaiian Luau is always a good way to go. You can have a contest for the “loudest” Hawaiian shirt. If you’re feeling truly adventurous, dig a pit and roast a pig. A good theme area to explore is your cultural heritage. Don’t wait for the holidays to break out the family recipes. Dish them up for a Sunday afternoon outdoor party.

Another good theme is to wrap your party around a particular movie. Not only can you plan your menu around that movie but you can also rent an inflatable screen and show the movie when the sun sets. You can have your own backyard drive-in!

Light ‘Em Up

If your summer blast is going to go into the night, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right lighting set up. Turn off the security floodlight and instead, bust out the Christmas lights. You can string them all over the yard to create a festive atmosphere.

Fun For The Family

If kids are on the guest list, then you’ll want to plan some fun activities for them. Having a pool pretty much has you covered. Short of that, you might want to set up a little cornhole toss action, bubble station and the ever-popular super soakers.

Fire Up The Grill

Burgers and dogs are great for the kids. Perhaps for the moms and dads you might seek out some gourmet sausages from your local butcher. BBQ chicken is always a crowd pleaser. Just make sure you don’t overcook the cluckers.

Other food treats can include your basic dips and chips. Again, defer to your theme. Hawaiian luau means pineapple salsa. Star Wars movie night means any dip that is alien green. Remember, nothing says summer like frozen Otter pops. The kids will like them, too! Finally, nothing beats a good old fashion potluck. It’s a chance to share recipes and keeps you out of the kitchen.

What will be your summer party theme?