Summer is in full swing here in South Africa. What an amazing time of year it is to be in South Africa. The weather is warm, the skies are blue and the atmosphere everywhere is one of happiness and joy. It is a gorgeous season to celebrate so spend some quality time outdoors with family and friends while the evenings are longer and the temperature is balmy.
Summer parties do not need to be immaculately planned events, rather they can be spontaneous events such as a pool party on the weekend. Celebrate Summer at home with a fun and vibrant pool party with friends. Spend time floating in the water on lillos or taking a cooling dip in the pool in between tanning sessions in the sun equipped with large sun hats, dark glasses and SPF. Set up a braai and ask your friends to bring a food dish to the party and share amongst everyone. Here are some food ideas that are wonderful for sharing – watermelon, basil and feta salad, garlic bread, creamy potato salad and grilled meat to help keep your guests happy. Top the day off with an ice cream to complete the perfect summer meal. To compliment the food spread, we recommend preparing a fruity punch to enjoy under the sun. To make your punch mix lemonade, fruit concentrate, ginger beer, alcohol of your choice, fresh fruit pieces and, finally top it up with loads of ice to keep the punch nice and chilled.
We suggest buying/ hiring some blow up pool toys such as lillos in the shapes of swans or donuts to add elements of fun to the event. Why not get some sporty toys such as water cricket or volleyball? Remember to set up a few large standing garden umbrellas to protect everyone from the sun and keep a bottle of sunscreen close at hand to lather up and keep your skin protected from the harsh UV rays.
Another great way to celebrate Summer is to meet for a picnic at the local botanical garden, forest or dam. Summer should be celebrated in the great outdoors and by enjoying a picnic you can go almost anywhere to enjoy your meal with friends. It is an easy way to meet a lot of people with minimal work as everyone is responsible for their own meal. Pack your picnic basket with finger food and drinks and take your picnic blanket with you. Follow your nose to a picnic spot where you can enjoy nature in all its glory. The wonderful thing about going on a picnic is that it truly is a family affair. Everyone has a great time, mom and dad are able to sit back and relax as all the cooking and preparation has been done while the kids can play all day with soccer balls, skimming stones, building forts, climbing trees and so much more. You may even be tempted to close your eyes and have a nap in the sunshine or read your book while enjoying the fresh air.
Remember to pack your insect repellent to repel those irritating bugs that come out in the heat including (but not limited to) mosquitoes, ants and other creepy crawlies. The most important thing is to have is sunscreen on hand as well as hat to protect yourself from the sun. It is very important to protect yourselves from the harsh African sun that can cause skin damage.
The final last minute party idea we have is to throw a garden party outside. Gardens in summer are full of beautiful green plants, happy flowers and ancient trees. The trees make for a shady canopy over your table, protecting you from the harsh sun while enjoying the gentle breeze blowing through the leaves. Set up your table under the trees and prepare a summers meal filled with fresh vegetables and use seasonal fruit such as mango’s, litchis, pineapples and more. Play some soothing music in the background to compliment the sounds of the birds tweeting in the background. Light some candles to add to the atmosphere and pick a colour theme to celebrate the warmth and vibrancy of the season. Summer is all about bright colours and fun, do not be conservative rather be bold and pick vibrant colour combinations such as pink and orange or why not blue and purple? Hang some paper Chinese lanterns in the trees in the same/ complimentary colours to add some pops of colour to the natural surroundings.
For all these parties remember to have lots of hydration available for your guests. The African sun can be very hot and the last thing you want is to end the party with heat stroke due to spending too much time in the sun and not drinking enough fluids. So have fun enjoying this glorious time of year – remember everything does not need to be perfect, it is more important to celebrate spending time with friends and family laughing together and creating memories that will last a life time.