10 Cheap Summer Party Ideas

Earlier this week we highlighted some simple decoration ideas for throwing together a simple summer party. We want to take advantage of the longer days, the warm evenings and the feeling of being on vacation (even if we're not) before the weather turns to fall. Here are 10 easy ways to entertain this summer (that won't break the bank):

• Invite people over to use your complex's pool (if you've got one) or round up a group of friends and find a swanky hotel to hang out at for the afternoon.
• Throw a craft party and make some garlands, finish up some sewing projects or work in the garden together.
• Throw a palm springs inspired cocktail party and invite everyone to dress up in 60's era gear--bonus points if you invite everyone over for the season premiere of Mad Men. Supply the martinis and ask everyone to bring a dish.
• Invite friends over for a summer swap party: cheap and you get rid of stuff.
• Pop down to the 99cent store and see if you can organize a themed party around some colorful cocktail umbrellas, silly slingshots or puppy calendars.
• If you plan to spend the day with friends at the beach or hiking in the mountains, invite everyone over afterwards and play some board games, nosh on some deli sandwiches and drink some mint iced tea.
• Movie Night. Rent some great summer movies (or do a John Hughes Marathon) and provide the popcorn and cheap beer. If you've got a projector (or can borrow one) and can do it outside even better. (On a side note, what are some of your favorite summer movies?).
• Have a farmer's market brunch party. Meet up with friends at the farmer's market and choose the menu there. Each person contributes food to the shindig and everyone goes back to your place afterwards to prepare it, listen to music and hang out.
• If you've got a backyard with some fun games: croquet, ping pong, slip and slide: host a sunday afternoon game party (ahem, grace).
Find an unusual spot and host a dinner party as the sun goes down. On our hikes we've found picnic spots, but if you've got a rooftop or balcony you never use. Use that tablecloth, put out the good china (don't buy anything new and break out the pizza and chuck shaw. Bonus points if you're in formal attire.

How do you plan to enjoy the rest of summer?

(Image: Grace's Decorating An Outdoor Party)