Long summer afternoons extending into sultry evenings are the perfect time to throw an outdoor family party. Stay safe and make sure everyone has a good time with these 3 top tips for a successful event that’s memorable for all the right reasons.
From barbecues to candles and patio lights, where there’s flame there’s the chance of burns. Keep children and pets under supervision at all times if you’ve got open flames anywhere people are gathered:
- On still summer evenings, candles are gorgeous, but floaty skirts, little fingers or party games could make it all end in tears.
- Spitting fat, smouldering coals or toddlers reaching for a tempting sizzling sausage are common bbq hazards to be aware of.
- Lantern decorations with a flame, hanging from fences or tree branches can fall or be knocked off or over.
One solution to the ever-present fire hazard is to opt for faux flames. Battery candles or solar powered lights are just as good for a nice soft light, but are much safer. When you reduce fire hazard risks, you can relax and enjoy family time.
If you’re hiring some professional entertainment, such as a band, kid’s entertainer or maybe just a DJ at a large family outdoor party, give some thought to the cables you’ll need to run across the outdoor space.
- Electric cables need power from somewhere. Will you hire a generator or run an extension from either an indoor or outdoor power socket?
- Which route will the cables take to deliver power where it’s needed? Try not to have ground cables running across areas where kids will play or people will walk or dance.
- Will you need a stage? If you’re having a band or a disco, a centralised, earmarked area where they can work or put on the show is called for. Professional staging companies can help here if you’re really pushing the boat out, and they will also advise on electrical and cable safety.
- Another type of cable is those that tether marquees or tents. If you’re setting up a bar area, this type of thing really creates a cool party atmosphere. Make sure people won’t trip over guy ropes.
Fun and Games
Family outdoor parties involving kids nearly always mean games or activities they can get involved in. Us adults are happy to stand around chatting and sipping long cool drinks with some music playing in the background, but kids need a bit more.
Especially for larger gatherings, it helps if you can section off zones and have a different kind of activity going on in each. Not only does this help keep activity kit all in one place, it makes it easier to supervise and keep everyone safe. Here are some ideas:
- Hire some metal barriers and create a circuit if you’ve got a selection of ride on toys. For children over the toddler age, organise small races and have prizes for everyone.
- Use barriers to make entertainment zones, maybe with face painting in one and bubble blowing in another.
- Make a disco area if you’re having a DJ, cordoning off the ‘dance floor’.
- Use barriers to prevent small children straying into cooking areas.
Parties take time to organise. Give yourself as much planning time as possible, draw up your wish list of activities or menus, and don’t be scared to contact professional stagers if you’ve got a large gathering or celebration going on. There’s always more to think about than you first realise, but get it right and everyone will be talking about your outdoor family party for years to come.