Believe it or not, outdoor parties can be fun and stress-free! (Think: less cleaning indoors!)

For your next backyard party, try one of these outdoor décor ideas, activities, and ideas for food and drinks that your guests will love! We have nine backyard party ideas for summer to make it more fun for both you and your guests.

Be clear and concise on the invites.

You’ll want to clearly let your potential guests know what to wear, what time you’re serving food, and what the plan is in case of bad weather. Be clear that grilling will start at 5 p.m. and end at 6:30 p.m.. This will prevent stress of 8 p.m. stragglers wondering where their burgers are.

Also, give them both an email address and phone number to which they’ll RSVP. Not everyone will, unfortunately, so plan for a few extras.

Create a fun spin on serving party favorites.

No backyard party is complete with classic drinks such as margaritas and daiquiris. Yet, instead of serving the same drinks everyone else has at their parties, serve them up on a fun new way!

Try these Jell-o Layered Margarita Party Bites that are both refreshing and colorful. You can keep a tray outside for easy access and the rest can chill out in the fridge. Plus, you’re less likely to have billions of half-full cups lying around your yard at the end of the night.

Have plenty of seating and table space.

You don’t want 50 guests fighting over 10 chairs. Borrow chairs from neighbors and family, or rent chairs for around $1.50 each and tables for around $6. It’s a small price to pay for happy guests that won’t be dragging their dirty feet through your home looking for a place to sit.

Make sure to provide a well-lit area.

Be sure that your guests aren’t tripping over each other during your outdoor party. Purchase inexpensive string lights for around tables and the dance floor. Cover any extension cords, make sure the food and grill area is well-lit, and perhaps add tiki torches around the perimeter for even more festive lighting.

Keep the bugs away.

There are several steps you can take to avoid having your backyard party dominated by mosquitos. Make sure that you don’t have any standing water in or near your yard. Before the party starts, treat your yard with a bug control spray and offer your guests mosquito repellent wristbands instead of making them spray it on. You can also use citronella candles, tiki torches, or – for a more natural repellant – plant lemongrass, peppermint, and thyme near your patio.

Create the ultimate playlist.

Keep your party playlist upbeat and with a wide variety of decades. In your playlist, include classic bands such as Queen, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and the like. Spotify has a Backyard BBQ playlist. (Just make sure to sign up for commercial free or it will kill the mood).

Keep the volume at a level where everyone can hear it, but no one has to talk loudly to be heard. A quick tip for the best sound is to turn your speakers toward the house so that the sound bounces throughout the space.

Have a little something for the kids at your party.

Make sure there are backyard party games and fun outdoor activities set up to keep the kids busy. Make sure to serve kid-friendly foods. Most of all, make sure the alcohol is out of reach. Provide a cooler with drinks for the kids that’s easily within their reach.

Have a smart buffet setup.

Place the cheap foods, such as chips and salsa, at the start of the buffet, and end with the more expensive foods, such as meats. Guests are more likely to fill up on the “fillers” so you’ll have more meat and fruit to go around.

Get organized.

To make party planning much easier, you can download this printable party planning checklist to make sure that your party goes as smoothly as possible!