Warm beaches, bright colored towels, sun tans and barbeque grills. The makings of a great summer out on the lake. The only thing missing is that huge summer party that kicks it all off. Be the talk of the whole season with these tips on throwing the ultimate start-of-summer party that your friends and family will be talking about for years.
A good theme can make a great party even better. It may be as simple as a luau or a beach bum theme. Or spice it up with a `70's theme, famous couples, or make it a game night. Choose what kind of games from board games, card games, sport games or get-to-know-you games. A fun way to bring the game theme to your guests is to have the invitation be a game itself. Maybe make it a puzzle or fold it into a fun shape.
Dress up your theme with cups, plates and napkins to match it. The colors of a Rubik's cube are bold, bright and usually easy to find. Get blue and green plates, yellow and orange cups, red napkins and white plastic utensils. Make sure there are plenty of garbage bags around to keep your boat and lake clean after your party.
This fun game will be an icebreaker if you have some guests at your party who don't know each other. Have your friends bring six major articles of clothing, each a different color of the Rubik's Cube. During the evening, have your guests swap clothes with other guests to get all six items of clothing in one color. Then, roll a Rubik's cube and whatever color comes up, those people with that color win the prize of your choosing! You'll enjoy watching your friends walk up to each other and ask for their shirt or shorts.
Now that your guests have six items of clothing that are the same color, split off into teams according to what color they are. Play volleyball, horseshoes or Frisbee with teams that are all the same color. This way, it is more likely that the teams will be more evenly matched and random than if you let your guests pick their own teams.
Before everyone gets completely soaked, play a game on the beach. Divide your guests by the colors of their shirts. Each team must have one large water gun filled with water and one team member willing to get wet. Squirt shaving cream on the front of a willing team member's shirt. If you do the same design, it makes the amount of shaving cream the same for all teams. Each member of the team will get one squirt from the water gun to try and remove the shaving cream. You will rotate the team line until all the shaving cream is removed. The first team to remove the cream is the cream of the crop or the winners!
Food is always an important asset to the party. Serve some chicken strips that are easy to marinade in barbeque sauce and throw on the grill, or go a little bit bigger with some steak or shrimp. Most people feel more comfortable if they can contribute to the party. Have the guests participate and bring a salad or a dessert. Make things simple by adding bowls of candy, nuts, and even popcorn that your guests can grab while socializing.
Make sure that there is plenty of water, soda and adult beverages to go around. If something a little stronger is on the agenda, have your guests help you to know what to buy or have them bring their favorite mixer to share. There might be a creative bar tender in your group of friends. Have him or her tell you what to buy in order to make their special brews.
Load your toons up with toys, food and friends and take your party out on the water. Put that sound system to the test and hook up your MP3 player with a new playlist ready to go. If you go with the Rubik's cube theme, it might be fun to play some music from the 1970's, as this is when the Rubik's cube was invented. Create a playlist that has all of today's hits as well as some Billy Joel, The Police, Barry White, Chicago, Harry Chapin, Carly Simon and even some Blue Swede. This will make your guests grin with the contrast of music.
Since the party is out in the water, play some water games! A greased watermelon tournament is a fun way to have everyone get in the water. The object of the game is to get the greased watermelon to the opposing team's end. You can create the ends with two anchored pontoons with around 20-40 feet in between them (depending on how hard you want to make the game). "Grease up" a full-size watermelon with Vaseline or shortening by spreading it all over the entire watermelon. Make sure you have a couple more watermelons on hand for back up or for a new twist to the game. Divide your guests into two teams; you can stick to different colors of shirts or have everyone pick their own team, just make sure that they are evenly matched.Have teams start by the side of their pontoons opposite each other. Drop the watermelon into the middle, in between the two pontoons. At the referee's signal or when the watermelon hits the water, the teams move to get the watermelon. Players attempt to move the watermelon, without lifting it out of the water, to the opposing team's boat. They can push it, grab and swim/run with it or propel it through the water. They may not lift it out of the water! If a player lifts the watermelon out of the water it is a foul, play stops and the "fouling" team goes back to their side. The other team maintains possession of the watermelon where the foul was committed and play resumes.
Players grapple for position and possession of watermelon, and "wrestle" the watermelon out of opposing players' arms. Remember at this point that the watermelon will be quite slippery, and after five minutes, the players will be too! If one team gets the watermelon to touch the opposing team's pontoon, they score a point.
However you decide to kick off your summer, the main idea is to get all of your friends and family together. Make memories that will last not only all summer long, but for a lifetime. Remember your camera, sunscreen and brightly colored towels and have the ultimate summer party.
If you do end up using some of these party suggestions, we want to see your photos! Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or snail mail them to company headquarters for a chance to be published in PDB magazine.