Throwing an outdoor party should be self-explanatory, but as the disparity between ages widens, the difficulty that comes with keeping everyone happy increases…and so do the costs!
But you can keep your budget down and attendees of all ages happy with these 6 tips to ramp up your outdoor parties.
Prepare for the Worst (in the Right Ways)
Adults and children will process rain differently, for instance. On a hot day, a short rain shower can be a source of excitement and great joy for kids and adolescents enjoying the sun, a welcome respite from the heat. Meanwhile, adults will find the rain to be a cumbersome interruption to their fun.
There is no getting around it. While children are the ones in diapers, you might find it to be the adults that do the majority of the whining if you are not prepared for the worst of inclement conditions.
So when it comes to creating fun across ages, your activities geared at older crowds should be weather proofed. Some options include indoor alternatives, fabric buildings, gazebos, and makeshift covered shelters.
Differentiate when You Decorate
There is nothing you can do about the disparate tastes between adults and children. There will be a lot of overlap when it comes to classy, understated decorating for parties that can appeal to all ages.
But looking expensive is a taller order entirely. Without some careful forethought, your classy, all inclusive soiree can quickly devolve into a cheap, Party City knock off event that has your adult friends checking their watches.
On the other side of the coin, children and adolescents are easily bored. Plus, you do not want to invest a pretty chunk of change into a set of decorations that is at risk of being broken or damaged at any juncture by the wildly swinging limbs of your child’s social network.
…But Color Coordinate
Of course, there is no need to sacrifice your aesthetic entirely for the cause of practicality, or vice versa. There are tons of ways to marry function and form in satisfying ways that helps your guests keep on track and having a good time.
Color coordination across different aspects of a party helps unify the party’s messaging. You keep a consistent message and maintain plenty of avenues to “brand” the experience you are looking to help usher your guests into.
An easy to match, simple color palette that translates well across different mediums is key, here. You do not want to get too complicated in your color choices. It will become increasingly difficult to match as you add more colors to your palette. Sticking to a few strong choices will also help you pair it more easily to your home and landscape.
Of course, it is a no brainer that children ought not be kept out until the wee hours of the morning. On the flip side of this coin, asking adults to attend your party and begin drinking mid-afternoon to be finished by three pm is similarly absurd.
A happy middle ground will depend on the nature of your event and the size of your group. For instance, for a large holiday party it is more reasonable to expect that people would be out later into the evening with their children. The same can be said for activities held in temperate or summer months.
Music can easily become the backbone of an outdoor social event—for better or for worse! So your music selection then, naturally, must be age appropriate. Older music generally tends to be a safer bet, but you want to be careful taking this rule and running with it.
After all, while they might both be considered old, there is a marked difference between old tried and true “oldies” of yester years (that is, the golden age of music in the mid-twentieth century) and the party anthems of the early aughts.
If you are unsure about the age appropriateness of your music choices, as of 2015 most music available online on major streaming platforms has been rated for age appropriateness. A quick search will help narrow down entire playlists to help you find your right fit.
Joint or Cross-Age Activities
It seems easier to invest separate funds into activities for adults versus activities for children and adolescents. (Teens are a harder order to fulfill!) There is no easy recipe to satisfy everyone, all the time, but there are some crowd pleasers you can rely on to keep everyone satisfied.
Bouncy castles, for instance, are an easy get for children. They are an instantaneous crowd pleaser, but did you know that adult bouncy castles exist? You can even just use most regularly sized bouncy castles with adults, so long as children are not in the castle for their own safety.