Throw a Summer Gathering! Choose From One of These Ideas

Apartment Therapy's Guide to the Perfect Summer

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The summer is a perfect time to work on the good things in life, like making long-lasting connections with loved ones, laughing with friends and throwing such awesome gatherings they're talked about for summers to come! Whether you're a seasoned party-planning pro or just dipping your toes into the hosting water, we've got your guide to throwing your best summer gathering yet — and to kick it off, today choose from four different types of (equally fun, equally awesome) gatherings!

For the next ten weeks we'll take you step-by-step through the process of planning a fun summer gathering. From food and drink menus, to decorating and more, we'll break the task of entertaining friends and family into easy-to-tackle, bite-sized bits.

Your first step? Choose from one of the four party types below. Each week we'll give you tools and ideas for each party type. Lock down your decision this week so that by next week you're ready to hit the ground party planning.

1. Chill Cocktail Social
Throw a casual (for everyone involved!) event full of tasty drinks that are fun to explore and that will chill those hot summer nights. The attention at this party will be on sophisticated details, cultivating cozy conversations and crafting cocktails that will put your neighborhood bearded bartender to shame.

2. Sweet Sunday Brunch
Gather your closest friends on a summery Sunday to celebrate your friendship, the great city you all live in and the delicious delights of enjoying good food together. By planning a brunch out step-by-step, you'll not only give yourself the gift of being able to relax and enjoy your hosting gig, but you'll have the blueprints in place for recreating this sort of sweet gathering on the regular.

3. Family-Friendly Barbecue Picnic
Get the kids involved for a family-friendly day time picnic featuring lots of grilled treats, fun yard games and memories that will last a lifetime. You don't have to make it a full-blown block party, but inviting your neighbors to this sort of shindig is the perfect way to cultivate that community feel.

4. Stellar Sci-Fi Movie Night Under the Stars
Stars above, blankets below and a classic sci-fi thriller full of stunning visuals and mind-blowing plots on a big screen in your backyard (don't worry, we'll have alternatives for those without a backyard). Plan this out-of-this-world party for friends who love exploring the cosmos as much as they love drinking a cosmo.

So choose which kind of gathering you'd like to throw this summer and follow along as we guide you through every step of the process!

Visit the Guide to the Perfect Summer main page for links to all of the posts published so far or sign up to have them delivered directly to you each weekend.

More posts in this series

Host a Fun & Friendly Gathering

(Image credits: An Outdoor Movie Party; Janel Laban)

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Main, Outdoor, Entertaining

Adrienne photographs beautiful homes in and around her home base of Austin, Texas. She's a contributor to UPPERCASE Magazine and spends all her free time exploring small town Texas. She watches a lot of Star Trek.