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Creative Entertaining Ideas for Summer Parties

The heat is on, and so is the summer party season! Your guests will be delighted by these fresh ideas for your event’s decor, food, and drink. Time to get your guest list together and let the good times roll!


Deck Out Your Table

Set the scene with these fun and colorful summer party decor ideas!


Fresh and Floral

Let summer flowers take center stage for your party decor! Start with a neutral table setting and white tablecloth. Along the midline of the table, arrange some delicate foliage such as Silver Dollar Eucalyptus to act as your backdrop. Layer on your favorite blooms cut fresh from your garden, like vivid roses, fragrant jasmine, and lush penstemon. Wherever you have a side table or coffee table, fill a small vase with a cut bouquet to match your centerpiece. Finish the look with soft lighting from neutral lanterns like the Antibes Outdoor Lantern, available in three sizes.

Burst of Citrus

Juicy oranges are a symbol of sunny weather, so try this summer party idea! On a white or cream-colored tablecloth, fill several clear or ceramic serving bowls with piles of fresh oranges or tangerines. Along the midline of the table, add a flourish with strategically-placed halved oranges at the bases of the serving bowls and, optionally, some sprigs of foliage from your citrus trees. For some fun color contrast, opt for dinnerware in a summery-blue print like this 12-piece Medallion Outdoor Melamine Dinnerware Set.


Vacation Vibes

Capture the laid-back mood of an island getaway with bold decor and tropical flowers. First, set your summer party’s color palette using textiles like the Marrakech Navy Outdoor Rug or the Ikat Diamond Cushion in Flame. Interspersed with your table setting and on all other outdoor surfaces, place plumeria or hibiscus blooms that complement or contrast with your textiles. Finally, finish the design with trays filled with assorted fresh-cut tropical fruits. This mirrored decorative tray will reflect the light and colors of the fruit, making the selection appear fuller and brightening the overall design.


Cater to the Crowd

At the heart of all summer parties is the big question—what are we eating? These no-fuss party food ideas are perfect for the hot California weather!

Inspired Charcuterie

Charcuterie is always a crowd-pleaser, especially if you let the crowd inspire your selection! Fill your tray with vegan, gluten-free treats that will ensure just about anyone can enjoy most of what you’re serving. Things like hummus, fresh fruit, cherry tomatoes on the vine, nuts, and vegan “cheeses” are sure to be a hit at any summer party. In separate small serving bowls or cracker trays, provide gluten-free rice crackers, whole grain crackers, and fresh bread rounds, ensuring allergens stay separated. Finally, arrange a selection of fine cheeses on a riser tray to keep the dairy distinct from the vegan selection and add some visual dimension. Finish by tucking some edible flowers and sprigs of fresh herbs into the spaces to add some inviting color to your creation!


Shop in-store for a variety of ingredients for your charcuterie boards and appetizer plate


Gourmet Essentials

Whether you are an experienced culinarian or a novice recipe warrior, let Rogers Gardens Gourmet be your hidden gem for carefully selected ingredients and inspiration for your cooking adventures. Explore flavors from around the world. From Indian Curry paste to Spanish Saffron, these carefully selected spices turn your everyday cooking into a culinary delight from an exotic land.

Cooking with organic ingredients supports your health and the farmers and food producers that promote sustainable agriculture and healthy soils. Toss some freshly grilled organic veggies with fresh herbs and our organic pasta with a drizzle of our organic olive oil for a quick anytime meal.


Summer would not be complete without s'mores around the campfire or ice cream on a sunny day. Ticket chocolate crafts specialty marshmallows and decadent chocolate to create a fun and surprising twist to a classic. Express your inner foodie with a variety of ice cream toppings from Runamok Maple, Stonewall Kitchen, and Tillen Farms.

Shop larger selection in-store or limited selection online.


Garden Bounty

Show off the best your garden has to offer! Plan your summer party menu around your best harvests—you might be surprised by the delicious ideas that spring to mind. For example, if you had a bumper crop of heirloom tomatoes this year, serve them sliced and create a “burrata bar” with fresh-baked bread, olive oil, balsamic reduction, plenty of burrata cheese, and some cracked black pepper and fleur de sel to sprinkle on top.

Grill Your Own Adventure

Everyone loves a good old-fashioned cookout in the summer, but this idea puts a twist on the same old party fare! Add interactive elements that let guests personalize their sides, like a build-your-own veggie skewer bar or a grilled corn station stocked with creative toppings. For dessert, a selection of grill-friendly fruits—like peaches, nectarines, and pineapple—make for delicious parfaits. Let guests choose their favorite, and have the grillmaster layer the warm fruit with vanilla frozen yogurt and a sprinkle of candied nuts for some satisfying crunch.

Sensational Summer Sippers

No summer party is complete without refreshments! Try these delicious and unexpected options; one with alcohol, and one without. Make it convenient to have herbs like sweet bay, thyme, sage, oregano, and parsley at your fingertips to make any meal or create any libation with your homegrown garnishments from your Deluxe Cocktail Herb Garden Tray or Chef’s Herb Garden.

Citrus Aperol Sangria

This balanced cocktail pairs perfectly with the Burst of Citrus party theme!


• 1/2 cup citrus shrub, like this Grapefruit Shrub
• 1 cup sparkling water
• 1 bottle chilled chardonnay or other white wine
• 2 cups orange juice
• ½ cup Aperol
• 3 fresh seedless oranges,


1) The day before serving, combine shrub, sparkling water, juice, wine, and Aperol in a 3-quart pitcher. Add orange slices and stir.
2) Refrigerate overnight.
3) Serve in stemless
wine tumblers filled with ice.

Lavender Lemonade

Everyone can enjoy this unexpected bouquet of summer flavors.


For the lavender syrup:

• 1 cup sugar
• 2 cups boiling water
• 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
• ½ cup of fresh-picked lavender

For the lemonade:

• 1 ½ cups freshly-squeezed lemon juice
• 2 cups cold water
• Fresh mint leaves (optional)
• Sliced lemons (optional)
• Dried lavender flowers
• Ice
• Paper straws


1) Combine syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a rolling boil, and let cool for 2 hours.
2) Add syrup to a 3-quart pitcher and add lemon juice and cold water. If desired, add fresh mint leaves and/or lemon slices.
3) Fill pitcher to the top with ice and stir to combine all ingredients.
4) Serve in glass half-filled with ice and garnish with a paper straw and a sprinkle of dried lavender flowers.

Want more inspiration for an unforgettable summer? Visit our garden center in Newport Beach to discover more ideas for outdoor living, entertaining, and more!